Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nick Cave & PJ Harvey: Henry Lee

I love the whole "I'd kiss you but I'd rather see myself sing" vibe of this. Harvey and Cave may represent the unorthodox wing of rock star physical hottness, but it's hotness nonetheless. (I'd take these two over any of our present crop of on-screen vampires and their obsequious mates anyday.)

Harvey and Cave also represent that rare breed of pop musician: Those of career longevity. To put that in American Idol years, they've had the half-life of uranium. (Cave formed The Birthday Party, his first band, in 1973. Harvey joined her first band with John Parish in 1987.) Both have survived in an industry not known for rewarding age and both have done it with grace and their integrity intact. Both have grown and adjusted their music appropriately with their ripening age. (Cave's latest, "Dig!!! Lazurus Dig!!!" is on par with the best work of his career and that's no small achievement. Harvey has produced a deep canon with nary a lemon yet.)

Perhaps calling this breed rare doesn't begin to give justice to the truth of it. Try making your own list of dignified musical survivors (still recording) and see if your list can surpass the fingers on one hand.
If you can, let me know and let's discuss. (For my own list I'd have Cave and Harvey, Leonard Cohen, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, and then the well dries up fast. I'll have to spend some time with this.)

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