When Nick Cave unveiled Grinderman -- his project with Bad Seeds bandmates Warren Ellis, Jim Sclavunos and Martyn Casey -- the Australian songwriter described the music as a soundtrack to "a massive midlife crisis."
So we suppose it's both good (for consumers) and bad (for the 53-year-old frontman) that the crisis continued with Grinderman 2, the follow-up album released Sept. 14. For Cave, who told our sister paper SF Weekly that he plans to work on a new Bad Seeds album once the Grinderman tour is over, the side project is clearly a way for him to get away from what he called "the bloody business of writing alone" and just let the sparks fly:
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"We book five days, go into the studio with a band, and just play stuff. Improvise stuff. Improvise lyrics, the whole thing. That's basically how the songs come about. And then when I take them away and work on them a bit, the lyrics, I try and stay true to what came out at the time, the themes and the ideas. Because they seem to come from a different part of me, a part of me that I'm unable to -- that I don't get to when I'm sitting in the office by myself."
The process clearly worked. Grinderman 2 can be as hard on the ears as it is on the sensibilities, but it's nothing if not visceral. Venom is spewed and guts are spilled, and the Music Box is sold out tonight with admirers ready to soak it all in.
Other highlights: Faith No More nears the end of its reunion tour with dates tonight and Wednesday at the Palladium, playing a sold-out room tonight. ... Roger Waters is back at Staples Center for Night 2 of "The Wall: Live." ... And singer-guitarist Glen Hansard brings the Frames to the Avalon to wind up the U.S. leg of the Irish rockers' 20th anniversary tour.
Also: Great benefit for the Multiple Sclerosis Society at the Hotel Cafe, featuring Wires in the Walls, the Whiskey Saints and Black Crystal Wolf Kids, among others; Street Drum Corps at the Roxy; Kitten and a House for Lions at the Echo; Taylor Locke & the Roughs and Adam Bones at the Mint; Les Blanks and Manhattan Murder Mystery at Spaceland; the Californian and Le Switch at LaBrie's in Glendale; T. Mills at the Troubadour; New Kingdom at the Silverlake Lounge; Miguel at the Viper Room; Million Kids at the Redwood; Blok at the Central in Santa Monica; and indie rock at the Basement Tavern in Santa Monica featuring LA Font, Hi Ho Silver Oh, Gamble House and Risers.