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Coachella 2013: Grinderman makes it personal

Nick Cave and Grinderman perform at the Coachella Music and Arts Festival on Friday.
(Jason Kempin / Getty Images)

Is it the scariest or sexiest thing imaginable to have Nick Cave scream at you, personally, for 15 minutes at Coachella?

During the lightly attended but absolutely ferocious set Friday from the Aussie goth-menace, a typically beatific Coachella cutie climbed atop a guy’s shoulders. She was dressed in flowing, wispy garments and some kind of floral headpiece. She swayed her arms around in a way that a Tiesto crowd might have recognized.

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Of course, that was pure bait for Nick Cave.

When his quartet dug into the noise-drone of “Kitchenette,” Cave started singing the song directly to her, pointing and pulling toward her with his hands. The girl responded in kind, drawing closer to his devilish orbit. “I’m just trying, to relax, I’m just trying to relax,” he promised, like a bad boyfriend trying to get out of the doghouse.

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When she got close enough for Cave to stroke her hair, however, he snapped, his face flushing Mephistophelian red as he screamed “I’M JUST TRYING TO RELAX!” so loudly it threatened to fry the P.A. with frustration and evil. She positively glowed with the attention.

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The dance continued for about fifteen minutes -- Cave seduced, then lashed back out, then lured her back in as guitarist Warren Ellis set the mood with mangled lines of pure feedback. Both Cave and crowd were loving this dance with the devil in the pale Coachella moonlight.

But as a literal image of a bad relationship’s entanglement, Grinderman made angry feel, oh, so sexy.

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