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Context Music / TheBirthdayParty

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1[[quoteright:350:]]²[[caption-width-right:350: [[SarcasmMode A group of nice, church going lads.]] Left to right: Rowland S. Howard, Mick Harvey, Music/NickCave, Phill Calvert, and Tracy Pew.]]²²->''"Hands up: who wants to die?!"''²-->--[[EstablishingCharacterMoment The first line]] of "Sonny's Burning"²²The Birthday Party was an [[UsefulNotes/{{Australia}} Australian]] PostPunk band, active from 1978-1983, and is best known for being Music/NickCave's first band. The band features Nick Cave's howling madman vocals, Rowland S. Howard's and Mick Harvey's jagged, shrieking guitars, Tracy Pew's sleazy basslines, and Phill Calvert's crisp, tribal drumming.²²Originally named The Boys Next Door and a somewhat bland UsefulNotes/{{Punk}} band, their music style became dark, noisy, and theatrical with their second album: ''The Birthday Party,'' to which they formally changed their name. Two highly influential but commercially unsuccessful albums followed: ''Prayers on Fire'' and ''Junkyard,'' and two [=EPs=]: ''Mutiny'' and ''The Bad Seed,'' before the band split. Nick Cave and Mick Harvey went on to form Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds with one-time guest musician [[Music/EinsturzendeNeubauten Blixa Bargeld,]] while Rowland S. Howard started a solo career.²²Tracy Pew died in 1986, and Howard in 2009.²²Not to be confused with [[Theatre/TheBirthdayParty the play]] by Creator/HaroldPinter. Some accounts claim the band was named after the play, but there's not really a consensus.²----²²!! Studio Discography:²²* ''Door, Door'' - (1979) - The Boys Next Door.²* ''Hee Haw'' - (1979, EP) - The Boys Next Door. Later combined with ''The Birthday Party'' in the ''Hee Haw!'' compilation.²* ''The Birthday Party'' - (1980) - Originally credited to The Boys Next Door, re-released as The Birthday Party.²* ''Prayers on Fire'' - (1981)²* ''Junkyard'' - (1982)²* ''The Bad Seed'' - (1983, EP) - Later combined with ''Mutiny'' in the ''Mutiny/The Bad Seed EP'' compilation.²* ''Mutiny'' - (1983, EP) - See above.²----²²!! This band provides examples of:²²* AmbiguousGender: "Dead Joe:"²-->''Can't tell the girls from the boys anymore''²* AustralianMusic: A staple of the Australian Punk scene early on, though they emigrated to UsefulNotes/{{London}} when they changed their name.²* BadassMustache: Tracy Pew's other visual trademark alongside his NiceHat.²* CarefulWithThatAxe: Nick liked to shriek and howl in nearly every song, and he opens "Mutiny in Heaven" with a single ghostly scream.²* CompanionCube: "Mr. Clarinet," if the title character is taken as a literal clarinet.²-->''Marry meeeeeeee!''²* CountryMatters: "Mutiny in Heaven," used towards a priest that the narrator confesses to.²* CoverVersion: Multiple of Music/TheStooges: "Loose" is covered on their live EP ''Drunk on the Pope's Blood'' and "Fun House" on the ''Live 1981-82'' album. They also performed whole sets of Stooges covers.²* DarkerAndEdgier: Every record was heavier, freakier, and more challenging than the last, culminating in ''Junkyard'' sounding like a HardcorePunk[=/=]DeathMetal mix on "Dead Joe." Excludes the ''Mutiny / The Bad Seed'' [=EPs=] which mellowed out to a sound closer to what The Bad Seeds would do.²* DownerBeginning: "Shivers".²-->''I've been contemplating suicide''²* DrugsAreBad: "Mutiny in Heaven" details a drug addict's collapse.²-->''If this is heaven, then I'm bailing out''²* FanDisservice: The titular character from "Nick the Stripper."²-->''He's a fat little insect''²* FightClubbing: The band's aggressive music and confrontational personae, and the general punk culture of the era, led to some notorious outbreaks of violence at their gigs, including band member on band member, band member on audience, and audience on audience.²* GothRock: The band were lumped in with the genre, but they did not fit the style and eschewed the label. However, their music was influential to Goth Rock's GarageRock-rooted cousin Deathrock, and they're popular among Goths regardless. Having one of the ''[[Music/{{Bauhaus}} other]]'' seminal vampire songs, "Release the Bats," helped.²* HemoErotic: "Release the Bats."²-->''My baby is alright...''\²''She says 'horror vampire bat bite...''\²''How I wish those bats would bite'''²* IntentionallyAwkwardTitle: The live EP ''Drunk on the Pope's Blood''.²* IntercourseWithYou: "Zoo-Music Girl:"²-->''If there's one thing I desire in this world''\²''That's to make love to my''\²''Zoo-Music Girl''²* LargeHam: Nick Cave, who sang like a raving lunatic.²* LooksLikeCesare: Nick Cave and Rowland S. Howard with their wild, dark hair.²* MohsScaleOfLyricalHardness: Reached all the way from 2 to 10, from harmless silliness ("A Dead Song") to detailed, violent drug nightmares ("Mutiny in Heaven"), and raving bloody murder ("Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow).")²* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Between 5-7 with their screeching, pounding sound. "Dead Joe" reached an 8, sounding like proto-DeathMetal.²* MurderBallad: ²** "Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)."²--->''Wherefore art thou baby-face, wherefore art thou?''\²''Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow...''²** "Deep in the Woods" is the first of many Cave songs explicitly sung from the perspective of a SerialKiller.²* NewSoundAlbum:²** After the more straightforward Punk/New Wave sound of ''Door, Door'', the ''Hee-Haw'' EP and ''The Birthday Party'' built up the madness, darkness and noise that would become the band's signature.²** The ''Mutiny'' and ''The Bad Seed'' [=EPs=] de-emphasized the noise and vocal mania, sounding closer to Music/NickCave's later work with The Bad Seeds.²* NiceHat: Tracy Pew always wore a cowboy hat.²* NoiseRock: Their music made heavy use of clattering percussion, walls of feedback, and unhinged vocals, constantly sounding on the brink of collapse.²* PlayingCyrano: "Mr. Clarinet:"²-->''Would you tell her for me''\²''Oh Mr. Clarinet, my confidante''\²''That I love her, love her, love her, love her''\²''I love her but I can't''²* PostPunk: Grew out of the Australian Punk scene into something much darker, more theatrical, and violent.²* ProductionForeshadowing: "Swampland" would later be [[AdaptationExpansion adapted]] into Music/NickCave's novel: ''Literature/AndTheAssSawTheAngel.''²* SayingSoundEffectsOutLoud: "Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)," with the "Pow" being [[MurderBallad gunshots.]]²* SelfDeprecation: "Nick the Stripper" and "King Ink" are songs written by Cave as this during a period of WritersBlock, describing himself variously as "A fat little insect" and "King Ink feels like a bug and he hates his rotten shell."²* SelfTitledAlbum: ''The Birthday Party'' is an inversion, originally being credited to ''The Boys Next Door.'' The band changed their name to The Birthday Party, and the album was re-released with the credit changed.²* ShoutOut.ToShakespeare: "Theatre/{{Hamlet}} (Pow, Pow, Pow)" is one of the strangest ones ever. The lyric also alludes to another of the Bard's plays: "'''[[Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet WHEREFORE ART THOU, BABYFACE?!]]'''"²* SingerNamedrop: "Nick the Stripper" is this to Cave, written as one of two self-deprecating songs alongside "King Ink" during a bout of writer's block.²* TheSomethingSong: "A Dead Song."²* SpellingSong: The intro of "Hamlet (Pow, Pow, Pow)" ('''"H! A! M! L! E! T! YEAAHHH!"''') combines this with CarefulWithThatAxe.²* SpringtimeForHitler: The band were surprised at the indie success of "Release the Bats," which they wrote as an over the top joke.²* StepUpToTheMicrophone: Rowland S. Howard sings lead on "The Red Clock" and "Ho-Ho". Cave regrets not having Howard sing more of his own compositions, particularly "Shivers".²* TitledAfterTheSong: The original title of "Happy Birthday" was "The Birthday Party". Though they changed the song title, they thought it would be a good new name for the band.²* VampiresAreSexGods: "Release the Bats" reads like weird vampire porn:²-->''My baby is a cool machine''\²''She moves to the pulse of her generator''\²''Says damn that sex supreme''\²''She says damn that horror bat''\²''Sex vampire, cool machine''²* WordSaladLyrics: Almost every song, to varying degrees. Particular examples:²** "Release the Bats," which degenerates into throwing as many gross words alongside "bat" and "vampire" as possible.²* WordSaladTitle: "Big-Jesus-Trash-Can."²----


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