Lost & Found: Here’s a Birthday Party in a Junkyard
Music critic Stephen Erlewine used the word “challenging” to describe the Australian band the Birthday Party. He wasn’t wrong. Some music — say, your average radio hit — doesn’t take much effort to listen to and understand. An evening with the Birthday Party, however, might require an individual to expend more effort to get into the songs.
Just watch the above vintage clip, unearthed from some German TV show in the early ’80s, in which the band performs the song ‘Junkyard.’ That’s all the proof you need.
Back in 1973, a band called the Boys Next Door formed in Australia. In 1980, the Boys Next Door moved to London and changed their name to the Birthday Party. They were not, however, as cheerful sounding as their name might imply. They helped inspire and shape the goth movement. That’s cool, unless they’re the ones who also started the clove cigarette trend.
The band stayed together for another three years after moving to London. After recording four studio albums and a slew of EPs and other bits, the Birthday Party shut down. Some of the members formed Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Another member went on to help form These Immortal Souls.
Cave went on to form another band in 2006, called Grinderman. Saturated with fuzzed-out guitars and a noisy violin, Grinderman sang songs of sexual frustration and seething desire. Check out the video for ‘Heathen Child,’ from the album ‘Grinderman 2,’ below.