Tag Archives: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

We Must Love Each Other or Die: The Death of Bunny Munro

My world and the debauched world of Bunny Munro have recently intersected… and what a trip it has been!

Bunny Munro is a salesman who knows his days are numbered. His lust is of comic book proportions and there is almost always a rampant tee-peeing in his leopard skin briefs… particularly when Kylie Minogue’s ‘Spinning Around’ comes on the radio (Bunny proclaiming, I can’t believe that song is legal) or when a vision of Avril Lavigne overtakes him (in Bunny’s words, she has the Valhalla of vaginas). In fact, Bunny spends more time obsessing over genitals (his own and those of just about any woman that walks down the street), than just about any other character that has graced the pages of a novel. On the surface he appears an oversexed, on-the-make, chain-smoking, hard-drinking, coke-snorting monster, living out one deliriously long wet dream, but it is the depth Cave brings to Bunny that really makes him endure.

Much of this depth comes from Bunny Jr., who quite simply, loves his dad. Bunny Jr. is a beacon of hope in a world that has forsaken his father and robbed him of his mother. Together, they hit the road to sell beauty products, Bunny Jr. taking charge of ‘the list’ and the A-Z (the street directory) as his father’s life unravels in a series of sexual mishaps, beatings and a serious deranging of the senses. Like The Road (which Cave recently wrote the score for, along with Bad Seed & Grinderman collaborator, Warren Ellis), The Death of Bunny Munro is essentially an exploration of the father/son relationship. And while there is a moment at Libby Munro’s funeral where Bunny tries to offload his son, the two seem, for better or worse (the vulnerability you experience as Bunny Jr. is continually left in the yellow Fiat Punto, with nothing but his encyclopedia and Darth Vader figurine is at times truly nerve-wracking), inseparable.

The supporting cast of characters that Cave introduces are worth the entry alone… there’s Geoffrey, Bunny’s disturbingly overweight boss, who has a knack for the jokes – What’s green and smells like bacon? Kermit’s finger; Poodle, another of Eternity Enterprises sexual predators; the Horned Killer, who is working his way toward Brighton, leaving a trail of beautiful but very dead women in his wake; and Bunny Sr. whose sexual appetite and unbridled rage makes Bunny look like a samaritan.

The Death of Bunny Munro has all of Cave’s trademark gallows humour and sexual perversion, but it is his eye for detail that really shines… from the individual sunsets painted on a prostitute’s fingernails to the water stain on the hotel ceiling that looks like a small bell or a woman’s breast, Cave gives us all of the finer detail, whether we want it or not. ‘We must love one another or die,’ quotes Bunny from W.H. Auden, but there is no love on this earth that can save this tortured salesman.

And Canongate need to be applauded for releasing this as an audio book read by Cave himself. This for me was the ultimate way to experience the psychotic poetry of Bunny Munro. Cave’s voice captures all the madness of Bunny and the tenderness of Bunny Jr. and the soundtrack (composed by Cave & Ellis) kicks in at all the right times to transition you from scene to scene.

If you haven’t already, discover the world of Bunny Munro… to get a taste, head over and  listen to Cave reading select chapters on the book’s website (there is also some very cool video footage on the site).

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Carrying the Fire

Last night I saw John Hillcoat’s (The Proposition, Ghost of the Civil Dead) latest film, The Road and like all great art, it has left me feeling different. The story, shifting parts of my very being around to open me up like a can of fish and expose my own vulnerability. And it’s a story that is more important now than ever before… a story that is at its heart about the unbreakable bond of father and son, the struggle of being a man and the importance of carrying the fire.

Forget the term post-apocalyptic that has been used to describe the world of The Road… this is a world that has moved beyond that. It is a world unable to create new dreams, new memories; those left to survive have only their past to nourish them… the fire that burns inside. Scarily, the breakdown of family structure and the bond between father and son in our very own world is as bleak as the landscape Hillcoat realises in The Road and it is this that haunted me most throughout the film.

The fire on screen between Mortensen & Smit-McPhee was unflinching, their sense of hope, never once delusional, despite the savagery of the land and ‘the bad guys’; those who had forsaken their fire and roamed the road in gangs, searching for food, which more often than not was the flesh of other survivors. I feel that same fire; born into a family where our bond is everything… but it is a fire that our society is quickly extinguishing. I see and feel its loss daily in our schoolyards and streets, but as McCarthy’s story shows us, as long as some of us carry the fire, there is always hope.

The Road will challenge, will hurt and haunt, but my own fire is burning brighter for the experience.

Here’s a great trailer I have found and a track (Memory) from the sparse, plaintive score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis.

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New Music for Lost Sharks

The new music cup is spilling over at the moment, with some very cool releases. Here’s a taste of what’s creating waves in the world of this Lost Shark.

 

 

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – Sorya Market

This track is taken from the film The Girls of Phnom Penh and can be found on their new release White Lunar, which collects much of this duos soundtrack work from the last few years. Since the departure of Blixa Bargeld and more recently Mick Harvey from the Bad Seeds, Ellis has become Cave’s main collaborator. This track is stunning in its simplicity.

 

 

Do make Say Think

Do Make Say Think – A Tender History in Rust

Toronto’s Do Make Say Think are set to release their sixth long player Other Truths, and while it may only have four tracks, this is definitely not an EP. Do Make Say Think, create sonic narratives, songs that cast off the compositional anchor and set sail for non-liner waters. Here’s a track from their last album, You, You’re a History in Rust to help you on your way… Other Truths will be released in late October. You can currently listen to a sample here.

 

 

lou_barlow

Lou Barlow – The Right

Barlow is an indie institution. Whether he be with Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, Folk Implosion or in solo mode, his songs have always had a clear-eyed pop sensibility. His new album Goodnight Unknown will be released in early October. For those of you who just can’t get enough Lou, you can watch a documentary of the making of Goodnight Unknown here.

 

 

Ghostboy with Golden Virtues

Ghostboy with Golden Virtues – Wolfish

This is the first taste from what is sure to be a wildly dynamic debut album. Shot in New Farm Park in the depths of morning, this showcases Ghostboy with Golden Virtues at their dizzying best. It’s Howling meets Breakfast Club, it’s burlesque meets snyth pop, it’s damn good fun!

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Nick Cave & The Death of Bunny Munro

The Death of Bunny Munro

 

It’s been a long time between drinks, but Nick Cave is about to release his second novel, The Death of Bunny Munro. Fittingly, the book will also be released unabridged in audio format (complete with soundtrack by Cave and long time collaborator Warren Ellis) both as download and a deluxe box set.

Irvine Welsh has this to say about it:

‘Put Cormac McCarthy, Franz Kafka and Benny Hill together in a Brighton seaside guesthouse and they might just come up with Bunny Munro. A compulsive read possessing all Nick Cave’s trademark horror and humanity, often thinly disguised in a galloping, playful romp.’

Excited yet?

Well if you answered yes, check out the website: The Death of Bunny Munro

It is brimming with great stuff… The Audio Books page has Cave reading Chapter 1 and there are videos of Cave reading excerpts from various chapters.

The book is scheduled for an August release in Australia through Text Publishing. Can’t wait!

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