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Hear Nick Cave's new cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Avalanche' for 'Black Sails' -- exclusive

From Her to Eternity, the first album Nick Cave released with his long-running group the Bad Seeds all the way back in 1984, was a fascinating collision of classic pop crooning and industrial noise, with a gothic mood set by the opening cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Avalanche” that transformed the pensive acoustic ballad into a ghoulish ode to self-annihilation. Recently Cave revisited the song, recording a new version for Starz’s pirate drama Black Sails that takes a whole new approach, with a spare piano-and-strings arrangement, Cave’s finely aged vocals, and a melancholic air.

The new version of “Avalanche” will appear in trailers for Black Sails and at the end of this season’s ninth episode.

Season two of Black Sails premieres Saturday, Jan. 24, at 9 p.m. on Starz.


Killer playlist: Get spooky with these tracks


There’s plenty of kid-friendly Halloween-themed music out there, but sometimes you’re in the mood for songs that’ll actually give you the chills. (No offense intended, “Monster Mash” and “A Nightmare on My Street.”)

When you’re ready to take your party from turnt-up to terrifying, try this playlist of creepy tunes. They range from songs about serial killers (Neko Case’s “Deep Red Bells” concerns the Green River Killer, while “John Wayne Gacy” memorializes America’s preeminent nightmare-inducing clown) to traditional Appalachian murder ballads (“Down in the Willow Garden,” a folk song that dates back to the 19th century, is covered here by Green Day’s frontman and the eternally mellow Norah Jones). This is the perfect soundtrack for a goth gathering or a Halloween night at home alone, while you check—and double-check—to make sure your doors are locked. READ FULL STORY

Nick Cave talks to EW about his new movie '20,000 Days on Earth' and why he doesn't like meeting his heroes

Over the course of a nearly four-decade music career, Nick Cave has been one of music’s most reliably inscrutable rock stars. The forthcoming documentary 20,000 Days on Earth (in theaters September 19) does a bit to shed some light on Cave’s dark spirit, but it does it with a twist.

Although many of the day-in-the-life conversations aren’t scripted (or very loosely so), and everybody in Cave’s life—from bandmate Warren Ellis to former Bad Seed Blixa Bargeld to Kylie Minogue—plays him- or herself, a lot of the film is built on artifice. The office where Cave undergoes a therapy session, the “archive” where he goes to review old photographs—they’re all built sets and faked scenarios, and constructed to try to wring some truth out of something inherently fake.

20,000 Days on Earth splits its time between those scenes and in-the-studio footage from the sessions that led to Push the Sky Away, Cave’s 2013 record with the Bad Seeds. It’s a remarkable movie, existing in the unique dimension between fiction and reality straddled by filmmaking greats like Werner Herzog and Errol Morris: READ FULL STORY

SXSW: Nick Cave discusses childhood, addiction ... and some music

The opening panel for SXSW music was billed as a conversation between alt rocker Nick Cave and author Larry Ratso Sloman, but it felt more like that old TV show, This is Your Life, as Sloman took us through Cave’s biography. Starting with his childhood in Australia, the talk moved through his well-documented heroin addiction, relationships with various famous women, and oh, a little about the unique sound that he has honed over the years. Cave reacted to many of Sloman’s quotes pulled from earlier interviews with the deadpan response: “I said that? Cool.”

But learning about Cave’s background did help give a greater sense of the oft-misunderstood artist’s oevre. Cave’s first musical influences grew from the shows he was exposed to as a kid in rural Australia. “Everything we watched was American. Australian didn’t have culture,” he said. The Johnny Cash show took a strong hold on Cave. “There was something kind of evil about it, something dangerous about this articulate character, and I responded to that.”

Cave’s life has been a series of do-overs and fresh starts, moving first to Melbourne, then to London, then to Berlin, then to Brazil. He said he kept trying to find culture in the early moves but admitted jokingly, “Culturally, life has been a series of disappointments.” His life in Australia was dominated by crime and drugs, alongside his girlfriend in those days, Deanna, about whom he wrote the song of the same name. “We had a borderline criminal kind of relationship,” Cave said.


Hear the Cold War Kids cover Nick Cave's 'Opium Tea' -- EXCLUSIVE


They’ve been away for a bit, but California indie band Cold War Kids are back in action this year.

The band’s set to release their fourth album, Dear Miss Lonelyhearts, on April 2, and they’ve already debuted the lead single “Miracle Mile” to stir up excitement.  Now they’ve got a new treat for you: a cover of the Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds song “Opium Tea,” which you can hear exclusively here.

But wait, didn’t Nick Cave and his Bad Seeds just release an album as well? They did! So everyone’s a winner here. Listen to the Cold War Kids’ take on the Cave classic below:


Music Mix Q&A: Henry Rollins on 'West of Memphis' soundtrack and what's next for the West Memphis Three

Back in 1994, three teenagers were convicted for the murder of three boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. The three young men—Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, and Jason Baldwin—were railroaded from start to finish, and the case against them was built on the idea that the children were killed as part of a satanic ritual conducted by the trio, who were also quiet kids who listened to heavy metal.

They became known as the West Memphis Three, and the quest to free them became a cause celebre that attracted the attention of stars like Johnny Depp, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, and former Black Flag and Rollins Band frontman Henry Rollins, who regularly hosted benefit shows and put out a curated an album of Black Flag covers to raise funds for the West Memphis Three’s appeals. The story has been well told in the documentary series Paradise Lost, as well as in the just-released documentary West of Memphis, which shifts its focus to the process that led to the Alford pleas that allowed the West Memphis Three to go free after 18 years.

With so many musicians invested in the West Memphis Three, it’s no surprise that the soundtrack to West of Memphis—which just hit store shelves yesterday—has a pretty tremendous lineup, including Vedder, Depp, Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, Natalie Maines, and Rollins. EW spoke with Rollins recently about the film, the soundtrack, and the ongoing saga of the West Memphis Three.

EW: Considering how long this process has been and the stakes involved, is it a little surreal to be talking about the West Memphis Three in terms of the subject of a film soundtrack? 
Rollins: I never thought we’d be having this conversation—the soundtrack, the movie, all of that. There were a lot of dark months, even dark years. You burn so many emotional calories thinking about these guys in cages. Then the thing goes to the judge, the thing you’ve been working on for 15 months, and the judge just goes “Nah.” And you’re back at the bottom of the hill, covered in mud, with no tools. So you have to go back and get the tools again. This would be for three years at a time. The entire thing became abstract. The trippiest thing is now me hanging with Damien in New York at a packed theater with a bunch of people clapping. It borders on the surreal.

And even though they are no longer in jail, the story still isn’t over.
Right. The thing that a lot of people do forget is that three beautiful little boys were killed. There are parents who are still gutted that their babies are dead. What parent gets over it? So someone did that—not Damien, Jesse or Jason, but someone. And they need to answer for that. These people need any resolution that can be afforded, and the West Memphis Three need exoneration. They did not do anything, and not only do they deserve to get out of prison, but the rest of the world needs to go, “OK, they really did get the guy.” READ FULL STORY

Nick Cave talks about the new Grinderman CD, Katy Perry's 'chubby' fingers, and why EW needs to stop wasting his time with all these stupid questions

GrindermanImage Credit: Deirdre O'CallaghanYou know those people who do suffer fools gladly? Yeah, Nick Cave is really not one of them.

“The last three questions you could have f—ing Googled, mate!” the Australian novelist, screenwriter, and singer-songwriter snorted at your writer on a recent morning in New York. His words were harsh. But were they fair?

Well, not really. For one thing, the questions in, well, question had concerned the then as-yet-unannounced, and un-Googleable, touring plans of Grinderman, the band which comprises Cave and three members of his Bad Seeds backing group (drummer Jim Sclavunos, bassist Martyn Casey, and multi-instrumentalist Warren Ellis). And for another thing, I had started the encounter by saying some—deservedly—nice things about the quartet’s new CD Grinderman II, which is out today.

Grinderman’s follow-up to the band’s eponymous, raw 2007 debut once again finds Cave strapping on a guitar to mine a gritty, crazed blues seam while, this time around, also finding space for a touch of bizarro soul in the form of the track “Palaces of Montezuma.” Meanwhile, those who relish Cave’s twisted way with a lyric will most definitely not be disappointed by a CD which at one point summons up the image of JFK’s spinal cord wrapped in Marilyn Monroe’s negligee.

The result is, in turn, fascinating, brilliant, and at times fairly darned harrowing. That’s also pretty much what talking to its creator is like, as you can find out after the jump when Cave and Jim Sclavunos discuss their latest opus, unexpectedly muse on the delights of the Gérard Depardieu-Andie MacDowell rom-com Green Card, and, rather more predictably, urge the man from EW to “try harder!”


All Tomorrow's Parties Rocks the Catskills

The roving international event All Tomorrow’s Parties took place Sept 11-13 in the Catskill Mountains, and it was essentially a perfect weekend. Curated by The Flaming Lips and nestled within The Shining-esque Kutshers Country Club in Monticello, the event, featuring the likes of Animal Collective, Sufjan Stevens, Nick Cave and of course the Lips themselves, provided one mesmerizing set after another. Below, a few highlights:

Nick Cave made a surprise appearance Friday night by joining the Dirty Three (whose Warren Ellis is a member of his Bad Seeds) and apparently he also gave a hotel-room performance to six incredibly lucky fans the next day.

Saturday officially began with indie-pop maestro Sufjan Stevens, who went easy on audiences by playing his gentle Seven Swans album from start-to-finish, because he said it worked well as “an early-afternoon hangover special.”

Black Dice, who followed a few hours later, were markedly less considerate toward anyone with a headache. Its three members embarked upon a 45-minute electronic noise freakout, playing so loud you could actually feel the bass vibrating the tips of your eyelashes. When a sampled guitar riff made an appearance during their set, it was almost sad to be torn from their absorbing underworld and reminded that structured music exists.

Saturday found Bradford Cox pulling double duties, performing first solo as Atlas Sound and then later with his group Deerhunter. The Atlas Sound set was a disappointment—he spent as much time fussing over tech issues (he joked he was worried his guitar sounded too close to Dave Matthews) as he did playing songs.


Nick Cave's new book: read an exclusive excerpt

nick-cave_lAustralian rocker Nick Cave’s second novel The Death of Bunny Munro is out next week. Can’t wait that long? Then the Music Mix has some good news (and a lot more good news than any of the main characters in Cave’s wonderfully deranged, bleakly comic, book ever receive). Our sibling blog Shelf Life has got hold of a fruity, delicious garcinia cambogia extract flavors of words and chapters from said demented tome. Enjoy!

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