Rare or Unreleased 6: The Birthday Party

The Birthday Party: It's Still Living [.zip]

This is almost a bootleg—a 1982 concert released by the record company in 1985 against the band's wishes (they couldn't get with the mix). Which makes me feel good about depriving the label of income by sharing the album (which in any case is no longer in print), but slightly guilty about spreading material the band itself didn't like (but which they were initially relieved was no longer in print!). But hey, 'twas a long time ago…

Besides, it's a good live document, with performances of «A Dead Song» and «(Sometimes) Pleasure Heads (Must Burn)» that surpass the less unhinged versions on Prayers on Fire and their second Peel session, respectively.

But a clue to the perhaps juiciest bit about this album can be heard just before the band breaks into «The Dim Locator», when amid the sparks of static that are scattered across the album, someone (Mick Harvey?) says, «Someone take this microphone and-», the sentence disrupted by a series of crackles. Legend has it, singer Nick Cave was so out of it he didn't notice that his unearthed mic gave not only himself, but anyone he touched rudely awakening jolts of electricity, the more lucid band members only tortured by Cave's innocent attempts at intimate cameraderie…

It's the Spinal Tap of post-punk, really!
1. King Ink
2. Zoo-music Girl
3. The Dim Locator
4. She's Hit
5. A Dead Song
6. (Sometimes) Pleasure Heads (Must Burn)
7. Junkyard
8. Blast Off
9. Release the Bats
10. Nick the Stripper
11. Big Jesus Trash Can
12. Dead Joe

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