Geldof, Serpents, Etc.

The Boomtown Rats, led by Bob Geldof, perform three of their best, plus a nod to the great Syd Barrett. Geldof might be using a very large python for a microphone, at times. At other times, he strikes a Nixonian pose. On still other occasions, he does neither.

“Sir” Bob {as he is an Irish citizen, he cannot officially/correctly be referred to as “Sir”…} is deeply committed as an activist, particularly to famine relief in Africa.

π‘†π‘œ π‘€π‘Žπ‘›π‘¦ π΅π‘™π‘Žπ‘›π‘˜ π‘ƒπ‘Žπ‘”π‘’π‘ : π‘€π‘œπ‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘–𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑦.

Few are in the class, charisma-wise, of The Morrissey. The mononymous one, co-founder of the Smiths, with Johnny Marr, ventured out on his own, with great nobility, in 1987.

The Gary Numan: βˆ°.

“The High Priest of quasi-androgynous Synth-Pop/Electronica, the Impassive Alien Deity, The Gary Numan.” *That* is the gist of the above Volume Integral symbol. What has been used to calculate Flux Densities, and has served as one’s WordPress Profile “About Me” content, to boot, now is more—much more—much, much more.

We’ll lead off with four epoch-defining…”performances” {which will, I suppose, have to suffice, word-wise, as there exist no words suitable…}. He is **up** to something…..

The first and third videos are both from Dutch TV program TopPop, 1979. They are *not* identical, however. One, I believe, was not broadcast {the 1st; perhaps the “smiling” was considered too dangerous…}. Both are sublime.

By 1984, Numan was atop the globe.

Praying To The Aliens. {studio}.
Live, 1980: Santa Monica.

Spellbinding are Numan’s performances on Down in the Park, live at the Odeon, 1979 and 1984. Doom-y, dramatic, evocative, remarkable.

He created aural landscapes which allowed access to the unfathomable. His performances have been described in so many ways. Strikingly “robotic”. Otherworldly. Mesmerizing. And there’s an edge, accompanying his trenchant intelligence; a certain wariness. At times, an unnerving camaraderie with….whatever it may be, the ritual held out in the open, hauntingly obvious, yet impenetrable. A language we’ve forgotten; mind-argot beyond our ken.  

π‘ƒπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’ π‘ƒπ‘œπ‘ π‘Šπ‘œπ‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘šπ‘’π‘›π‘‘, π‘£π‘œπ‘™ 1.

An ever-so-haphazard collection of songs/performances which bring one to the trancelike state of what is called Pure Pop Wonderment. These things avoid syzygy. It’s not an excuse; it’s a vigorously researched excuse. Linear-ness is overrated. Most of these you’ll know, but perhaps not these versions. Maybe 1 or 2 that are new, to, say, the likes of you. Enjoy.

π‘‡β„Žπ‘’ π·π‘–π‘“π‘“π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘›π‘‘π‘™π‘¦-π‘…π‘’π‘Žπ‘™π‘š’𝑑 πΌπ‘Žπ‘› πΆπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘‘π‘–π‘ .

Go ahead. Choose a realm, any realm. Ian’s not from there; he’s never taken up residence there, and, for that matter, spends precious little—if any—time there. Yes. It’s been proven.

It’s a damn shame that so little halfway decent video footage seems to be available, of Joy Division. The first two are the cream o’, that I have encountered. Prose ought not storm about in the Video {or Image} playground. I panicked. I’m stalling. Wingeing. And on, now, we go. Unto the Breach. We few. We happy few.

This is their greatest achievement. {Yes. In my opinion.} Lyrics such as “On stranger waves, the lows and highs, Our vision touched the sky” {I hear “skies”, but every “authority” says otherwise. It’s skies.} are lyrics that will stop one cold, transported. He’s Rimbaud, but lots better, genius-y-er. Getting It-y-er. And: past tense. Like he’s not there. Maybe never was. Haunting. As. ___________.

Means To An End’s Twin, spire-wise.

Isolation transcends the Isolation genre, or would, if such a genre existed. “I’m doing the best that I can” not to expound. I give you Ian: ” A blindness that touches perfection,
But hurts just like anything else…” I mean…

Also Quite “Good”.

Ian was not only brilliant, fiercely determined, and a de-framer-of-reference…to whom could he be compared?…but he was one brave man. To go out, in public, put self on display, and take unreal chances, and I mean here with his dancing…this must have been terrifying. For one afflicted with epilepsy, to *intentionally* lose control, physically…unreal. But, he *had* to.

π‘‡π‘Žπ‘™π‘˜π‘–π‘›π‘” π»π‘’π‘Žπ‘‘π‘ : π‘‡β„Žπ‘’ π‘€π‘Žπ‘‘ π‘ƒπ‘Ÿπ‘œπ‘“π‘’π‘ π‘ π‘œπ‘Ÿ-π‘–π‘ π‘š π‘œπ‘“ π·π‘Žπ‘£π‘–π‘‘ π΅π‘¦π‘Ÿπ‘›π‘’.

What follows is a smattering of incredible live performances by this ensemble, some of which include guitar maestro Adrian Belew. David Byrne, it could be argued, virtually created “New Wave” {or *something*} with the inexplicable, unpinpointable, wondrous peregrinations of his vocals. Plus, the unusual “dancing”{or Nureyev/??-like movements}. Much more than an iconoclast, Byrne simply brought into the time/space continuum, things that were previously Noumenal, intangible. An epoch-defining genius.

Mind. Montreux, 1982.

{Granted, Wild Wild Life is nowhere near the preternaturally edgy/”weird”/indefinable ventures into undreamt-of realms, which made this band legendary. But, it *is*, well, fun. And it shows Byrne’s mindboggling theatricality and capacity for adopting a bewildering array of disguises, and such.}

A few comments on our selections {NOT all of them!!}: Cities {1983, 1982, *and* 1980 versions} *might* be David Byrne’s high-water mark as an “umm, what???” (followed by audible hysteria, in my case…) vocalist. The Impossible writ upon a landscape. Pulled Up and Mind, at the very least, are looking uneasily over their shoulders. The “He’s come undone” staggerings/lurchings in Psycho Killer {1983} are also enough to keep one alive for several epochs; the 1979 Mudd Club version is electrifying, mystique-laden; ridiculously brilliant. Both versions of Drugs have an eerie, haunting element all of their own; Dollette McDonald and Adrian B contribute mightily. Crosseyed is simply a collective singe-fest.

π‘π‘–π‘π‘˜ πΏπ‘œπ‘€π‘’: π‘ˆπ‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘‘ π‘ƒπ‘Žπ‘›π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘œπ‘› πΌπ‘›β„Žπ‘Žπ‘π‘–π‘‘π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘.

“Ol’ Drain”, as Mr. Nick Lowe is called in some circles {i.e.: The None}—it’s his middle name, and a fine one—wears more than a few musical hats, and pulls it all off in such fashion as would create, probably, a dither of aesthetic paroxysms in any milliner or hatter. Earlier on, (than…??) Lowe, often with mate Dave Edmunds, in Rockpile, showed an uncanny talent for creating clever, charming, quite diabolically catchy songs that perhaps represented the very embodiment , the K2-like apotheosis, of Pure Pop Wonderment. Really…well, it was not fair. One had little to no choice but to come ’round to the man’s idiosyncratic ways. No one, however, minded, it seemed; either that, or such monumental courtesy was shown to Nick {OK, I’ll love it…} than to any other mammalian, extant or extinct.

To siphon away all the hysteria sure to erupt the very second one’s “Earlier on…” gaffe—or was it???—becomes public, let’s open our collective aesthetic Golgi apparati to Brinsley Schwarz. No, not the haberdasher. And yes, I understand that a haberdasher by no means specializes in hatwear, except for those who do. Formerly Kippington Lodge, Brinsley Schwarz gave Mr. Lowe a forum for his musical nascence—he penned So It Goes, and What’s So Funny whilst nestled in the Schwarz collective—and also, presumably, provided a harrowing de facto tutorial on how **not** to name bands.

Right. The supremely accomplished Nick Lowe, and the vastness of his achievements, cannot be adequately summarized. It won’t do. And I’ve already squandered most/all of the allocated space, ranting about…well, if anyone figures that out, do contact me, or the proper authorities. Therefore, I hereby resign my post, and retire to private life. To quote the man himself, as he signed off on a certain Elvis Costello LP: “Now, get happy. Your friend, Producer Nick Lowe.” I think that’s pretty damn cool. Because it is. Costello paid his friend homage many years later, quoting what was proclaimed in the midst of Peace, Love, and Understanding, during the Brinsley years. On Letterman. No. Brinsley Schwarz, nΓ©e Kippington Lodge, did not appear on Letterman. {Nick did, obviously}. Don’t be difficult.

π»π‘œπ‘œπ‘π‘™π‘’! {π‘€π‘œπ‘‘π‘‘, π‘‘β„Žπ‘’β€¦}

Mr. Ian Hunter, the lead vocalist and braintrust of Mott the Hoople {so named after a 1966 novel by Willard Manus}, realized early on in his life, that, at least in terms of music, he quite simply was *not* like the others. It affected him much, much more powerfully.

Hunter joined a band called Silence, which was then renamed on a whim by the svengali-like Guy Stevens, noted impresario and bon vivant. Mott enjoyed some success, but was nearing the end of its tether, when one David Bowie offered them a song. All The Young Dudes became, of course, a huge hit, an anthem, the sound of an era.

Ian continued with Mott until December, 1974, then led a somewhat less hectic and more varied lifestyle. He worked briefly with the great Mick Ronson; the final track we here offer is an almost impossibly beautiful, wistful piece of music, and it is enhanced by Ronson’s mandolin. Mott the Hoople leave a unique legacy; a band beloved well beyond what their fame/fortune would indicate…yet they are really not a “cult” band, either. How dare they.