Nick Cave: Sinner Saint
Mat Snow
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Buy *Nick Cave: Sinner Saint: The True Confessions - Thirty Years of Essential Interviews* by Mat Snow online

Nick Cave: Sinner Saint: The True Confessions - Thirty Years of Essential Interviews
Mat Snow
Plexus Publishing
224 pages
January 2011
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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If Nick Cave isn't at the front of the line in terms of being the strangest, most alluring, enigmatic and darkest character in rock mythology, it's terrifying to think who might be. The musician/songwriter - who has fronted a handful of different bands including The Bad Seeds, The Birthday Party, and Grinderman - Cave has never been one to seek out the spotlight. But here, under the wonderful editorial guidance of author Mat Snow, one of the guiding lights of rock journalism, the shadowy Mr. Cave is given shape, form and a voice in the form of 20 select and illuminating stories and interviews.

There are pieces here by such gifted writers as Phil Sutcliffe, Barney Hoskyns, and Mat Snow himself. Snow offers a piece titled "Prick Me Do I Not Bleed?" that originally ran in the NME (New Musical Express) on August 23, 1986. Snow also kicks off the anthology with a foreword, and here a few words from it.

"Nick Cave seems acutely aware of the springs of his artistic self, and over the years has hardly concealed the keys that turn his clockwork. Many artists will deny such keys, even to themselves. Not Nick Cave. His life and art have long meshed. At first it was as comically self-disgusted punk star braggadocio (take the Birthday Party's 'Nick the Stripper', a song presumably inspired, even sired, by The Stooges' 'I Wanna Be Your Dog'). But over the next few years a complex mechanism of personal self-exploration and revelation have, I think, found expression in a growing repertoire of musical voices and song styles. These can be summarised - deep breath - as a Baudelairean angel/whore bipolar sexual obsessiveness rendered serio-ciomically in the idiom of the Deep South as it might have been stylised in the music theatre of Brecht and Weill."
Snow's writing is concise and plump and bursting with emotion and intellect. Those elements reside in all the Cave tales told here. If you are a Nick Cave-man, you'll want to read this. And if you've been living in a cave, you should read this.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2011

buy *Nick Cave: Sinner Saint: The True Confessions - Thirty Years of Essential Interviews* online
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