Nick Cave Takes the Plug Awards Where the Sun Don’t Shine

"Now if you'll all turn your attention to my butt ..."Photo: Kate Glicksberg

“I feel like my dad at a rave,” said host Patton Oswalt last night at the Plug Awards, scanning an audience of cool-to-cold indie rockers at Terminal 5. You had to feel a little bad for the comedian, not to mention the event's winners and presenters, who were faced with a crowd that mostly seemed intent on making conversation while waiting for what turned out to be fantastic performances by St. Vincent, Dizzee Rascal, and Jose Gonzalez. (People also chattered, between set changes, through the short films of Michael Showalter.) If Oswalt was the corny dad, chiding everyone for their “ironic T-shirts,” headliner and recipient of the Impact Award Nick Cave came off like the gloomy grandfather whose visit everyone was eagerly awaiting. “Here's what 30 years of innovation gets you,” said Oswalt, presenting the spiked pyramid that was Cave's trophy, “a butt plug designed by David Lynch.” Cave then rocked for 40 minutes with the Bad Seeds, wandering the stage in an unbuttoned shirt and three-piece suit, all world-weary glamour. It was just, paradoxically enough, what the crowd needed to get them going. It's a perverse group, after all, that honors its greatest with angular sex toys. —Elizabeth Black