I have this utopian view that the common person – like your gran, or the guy who works in the sandwich shop – actually wants an adventure, to hear something they’ve never heard before. I might seem leftfield, but I’m really not trying to be weird, you know.
Björk, Daily Telegraph, 2005
Born: 1965, Reykjavík, Iceland
Featured album: Medúlla (2004)
SO YOU WANT to be an art-pop genius? Well, it helps if you were born a child prodigy – just ask Captain Beefheart, Diamanda Galás and Nina Hagen. But with the exception of maybe Kate Bush, few gifted youngsters who’ve grown up to traverse music’s outer limits have attained the sort of mainstream recognition Björk has. Maybe that’s because she’s as earthly as she is otherworldly, as attuned to pop as she is to the avant-garde.
FOR SOMEONE WHO enjoys loud, strange noises, it’s been awfully quiet here for the last few months. I just wanted to let you know that I haven’t gone anywhere and there’ll be new content coming soon.
Artist: The Birthday Party
Label: Missing Link
Producer: Tony Cohen, The Birthday Party
Cover art: Jenny, Poly & Evan
WEARING NOTHING BUT a loincloth, and with the word ‘HELL’ painted on his chest, a skinny geek twirls around a stripper pole in a circus tent before emerging into a burning Melbourne trash heap, where he cavorts with his bandmates, several psychiatric patients, and a goat. Those only familiar with Nick Cave as Australia’s answer to Leonard Cohen might be shocked to see this video for “Nick The Stripper”, which perfectly captures the carnivalesque hysteria of The Birthday Party’s Prayers on Fire.
We went from a raw garage band through experimentalism back to raw blues almost. It was kind of like that, we just ended up doing raw, violent experimental music.
Mick Harvey, Stranded, 1996
Formed: 1978 (as The Boys Next Door), Melbourne, Australia
Featured album: Prayers on Fire (1981)