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Preview: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 

Noah Bonaparte Pais previews the legendary rocker coming to the Mahalia Jackson Tehater July 21

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Nick Cave is never less than in complete control. Behold the creepy/beautiful cover of Push the Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd.), Cave's 15th LP with the Bad Seeds: a blinding black-and-white image of the darkling Aussie in his ballroom-like bedroom, opening one shutter only enough to let high-contrast sunbeams dance across wife Susie Bick's naked body. Or his new documentary, 20,000 Days on Earth, which he twisted into a half-fictionalized, 24-hour account of the Victorian vamp in broad everyday-light. Or the man himself, sinisterly dapper in high-collared white shirts and violently cut black suits, raven hair slicked back over an expanse of flat forehead and two hollow blue eyes. The devil didn't come down to Georgia — he came up from Down Under, and the eerie absence of fire or brimstone on Push the Sky Away should be cause for concern, not ease. After two lewd Grinderman detours ended in a visit from an unsentimental reaper, Cave followed them (and the equally crazed 2008 Seeds release, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!) with an unconscious downer soundtrack that flickers from depraved imagination, yet stays detached and dispassionate like a sated predator. The city girls and local boys of "Water's Edge" and "Jubilee Street"'s fetus on a leash don't stand a chance, any more than the "Mermaids," in whom Cave believes just as much as God — but that doesn't stop him from stooping to cocksure lures ("She was a catch/ We were a match/ I was the match that would fire up her snatch"). He's the wolf in sheep's clothing who can't help but whistle. Tickets $66.10-$77.60 (includes fees).


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