Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Live From KCRW (2LP)

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In April 2013, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds were booked to play the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and with the same lineup of acts appearing two consecutive weekends, Cave and his bandmates had a few days to kill in California. During their downtime in the Golden State, Cave andthe Bad Seeds cut a live-in-the-studio session for Santa Monica's public radio station KCRW-FM, and the recordings have been released under the straightforward (if less than imaginative) title Live from KCRW. Given that Cave's Push the Sky Away had been released just two months earlier, it should come as no surprise that the KCRW set followed the soulful but understated tone of that album, and the two releases share four songs, but in many respects, this is a richer and more emotionally engaging experience, and nearly as precise. While some lamented the absence of Mick Harvey on Push the Sky Away, this compact version of the Bad Seeds - Cave on vocals and piano, Warren Ellis on guitar, violin, piano, and vocals, Barry Adamson on organ and vocals, Martyn Casey on bass, and Jim Sclavunos on drums and vocals - sounds remarkably tight and intuitive here, calling up a palette of sounds that range from the spectral to the majestic, and as they accompany Cave on a set of his more contemplative material, the effect is impressive, especially given the one-take nature of the recording.

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