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Nick Cave.

The Australian-born Nick Cave delivers his poetic, visionary compositions with mind-boggling intensity and fervor. Bad Seeds Mick Harvey, Blixa Bargeld, and others support Mr. Cave in his oft-times dark, tormented sojourn through the hinterlands. These performances are fierce, cathartic, electric.

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Jackie Wilson: Higher and Higher.

The great Jackie Wilson gives two electric performances of Higher and Higher, circa 1974. His mindboggling gifts are on full display throughout; it’s as if time/space were suspended.

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Guitarists, of Note.

The twin titans, Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew, share amusements and dovetail perfectly in these performances.

Then, Terry Kath of Chicago. Hendrix had high praise for this great man.

Well. Hendrix himself.

Mr. John McLaughlin and Co.

The mighty and eternal Allan Holdsworth.

Studio version. Holdsworth godlike simplicity and bearing.
“Fred”.

And, of course, the great Pat Martino.

Sunny.
Strings.

Indeleble performances from giants of the art.

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The Gary Numan: βˆ°.

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

Let ∰ = “The High Priest of quasi-androgynous Synth-Pop/Electronica, the Impassive Alien Deity, The Gary Numan.” What heretofore had been used to calculate Flux Densities, and whatnot, now is more—much more—much, much more.

He created aural landscapes which allowed access to the unfathomable. His performances have been described in so many ways. Strikingly “robotic”. Otherworldly. Mesmerizing. And moreover, there’s an unease, a disquiet, accompanying his trenchant intelligence; a wariness. Aware of a certain danger we cannot grasp. The ritual held out in the open, hauntingly obvious, yet impenetrable. A language we’ve forgotten; mind-argot beyond our ken.  

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The Differently-Realmed Ian Curtis, and Joy Division.

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.

The composer/vocalist of Joy Division hails from some different locale than do most human beings. Ian’s lodgings come rent-free, and he’s been awarded the keys to The City.

We’re not talking about earth, which he departed many years ago, alas, in 1980. He certainly left his mark here on this planet, but his realm is, and has ever been, elsewhere.

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Hoople! {Mott The}

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.

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The Peter Murphy: Vampirically-Persuasioned Deity.

Mr. Murphy is in top form still. He is in full command of his towering vocal abilities. A mesmerist is in the house. And, *you* let him in!!!!!!!!!!!!

The enigmatic and other-worldly Peter Murphy presents an imposing, daunting figure, one who seems unlacking in self-assurance. And, if anything, his *astonishing* vocal talents are fully—possibly more fully than ever—intact. Like unto a god. Or whatever he is.

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Roger Federer.

2011 French Open Semifinal vs. Djokovic here.

This masterful, stylish, dominant Swiss athlete, Roger Federer, has achieved such towering heights, in tennis, that he is generally considered the sport’s greatest ever practitioner. He has given many, many thrills over the years…with his nonpareil artistry and creativity; his indomitable will; his uncanny proclivity to produce his best when it matters most, when so many others wilt. Always so aware, so ready to seize command of the point. There’s just an extra gear/dimension to his game we’ve not seen before. An undeniable sense of synergy pervades his shotmaking. He has a unique way of taking time away from his opponent with his feet and timing. Winners from every court position flow from his racquet. His touch is exquisite. At his best, Roger’s game was—and, is—nothing short of poetry, the poetry of a genius…a slightly mad one, at that.

I’ll always recall my first viewing, against American Andy Roddick, in the 2003 Wimbledon semi-finals. His preternatural grace and *feel* for the game I simply found astonishing. Magical. When Federer closed out the second set with, really, something no one had seen—a running, forehand half-volley {usually a defensive shot} utterly whipped into the corner for an uncontested winner—both men had to smile. Commentator John McEnroe, quite capable of producing his *own* magic with a racket, was incredulous. “That’s not possible.”

On a personal note, I was fortunate enough to partake of the Great Man at very close quarters; a practice session. Being at such proximity to Mr. Federer would have to be included in one’s rather intimately scaled coterie of “Religious Experiences”. Plus, he also rather casually did something impossible. He’s like that.

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Springsteen.

Titanic moments of ecstasy, pathos, and catharsis are the norm for this great man, in his legendary live performances.

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The Ian Anderson, and the Tale of Jethro Tull.

Ian Anderson XXI

Thaumaturge, wizard, vocalist/performer/showman supreme. Mr. Ian Anderson, and his idiosyncrasies.

Ian Anderson II - Flute Wielding and Thrusting
Ian Anderson III - Ritual and Big Finish

Note: Revised 7/31/2019.