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composers Eerie Spatiality epoch-defining Geniuses Jazz Keyboardists Music music videos photography pianists Thelonious Monk

The Mysteries of Monk.

Unquestionably one of the titanic figures of 20th century music, Thelonious Monk composed and performed mountains of material that now has classic status, but during his initial heyday in the 40’s, it was often dismissed as too quirky, too dissonant, too…weird. Well, Monk’s work is indeed all of those things, but in just the right amount. There is an uncanny air of ineffable mystery that permeates his playing that is striking. His style is angular, uses silence beautifully, and is deeply personal and idiosyncratic. Although hugely influential, no one has ever sounded remotely like him.

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Audio Bob Dylan composers epoch-defining hit singles Music music videos performers photography singer songwriters

While My Conscience Explodes: Bob Dylan.

Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues.
Things Have Changed.
Neighborhood Bully.
Visions of Johanna.

Umm…what can one say, at this point, about Mr. Dylan? This post represents but a minute handful of personal favorites composed and performed by one of the great artists of our time. The video quality isn’t great on Restless Farewell, but don’t miss it. Extremely powerful.

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Barry…….Bonds…

In Barry’s prime, he was simply impossible to pitch to, as his almost absurd walk totals indicate. 232 bases on balls in one season. When he did on the rare occasion get a ball to hit, he very rarely missed it.

Bonds really had no weaknesses as a batter. He is certainly the top hitter I’ve ever witnessed, with a compact, lethal swing that had no holes. He actually slugged .863 one season, a record that will never even be approached, in all likelihood. Only Ted Williams and Babe Ruth compare.

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Charisma composers Eerie Spatiality Electronica epoch-defining Eternal Gary Numan Geniuses Music music videos performers photography Singers Synth-Pop Terminal videos vocalists

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 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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Bruce Springsteen Charisma epoch-defining hit singles music videos performers photography Poetry Singers videos vocalists

Springsteen.

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

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Actors Actors of Greatness Brad Dourif epoch-defining Film Geniuses performers Photo-Editing photography Police Procedurals Predators Psychopaths Sci-Fi serial killers TV X-Files

The X-Files: Beyond the Sea.

The brilliant actor Brad Dourif gives a mind-boggling portrayal of convicted—and soon to be executed—serial killer Luther Lee Boggs. In this story, there’s a catch—a quite big one—in that the murderer claims to have acquired psychic powers, and might be able to help capture a predator who has abducted two people, and has killed ritualistically in the past. Mulder (David Duchovny), for one, is less than convinced.

In these two subsequent scenes, firstly… although Agent Scully would dearly love to converse with her recently deceased father, it’s quite possible that Luther Lee Boggs’ (Brad Dourif loses his mind, in the best possible way) intense aversion to the electric chair has even greater motivational potency. Lastly, in the poignant, haunting final scene (the final scene *we’re* going to present…), the correct warning Boggs had given to Scully ended up saving her life, and convinces her that he’s been telling the truth. He’s only willing to convey her father’s message if she is his witness when he’s strapped to the chair in a few hours. Is this one last trick, one potential last act of cruelty? Or does he truly value the agent whose life he saved? This ambiguity is part of what makes him such an intriguing character…and Dourif’s masterful performance makes Boggs truly indelible.

Amen. Simply one of the greatest performances I’ve seen, ever.

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Actors Actors of Greatness Alfred Hitchcock Directors epoch-defining Film Geniuses Horror/Cult Films Predators Psycho serial killers videos

Hitchcock’s Psycho {1960}.

The plot of Psycho, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, pivots on the fulcrum of a red herring. Janet Leigh’s character fears that she is in imminent legal danger, and suffers from a troubled conscience, when in fact something far, far worse, something having absolutely nothing even remotely to do with events up to that point, awaits her.

When he dines initially with Leigh, the reaction/mood of Norman Bates {portrayed iconically by Anthony Perkins} changes rather drastically, from chipper, to utterly incredulous, to overtly hostile, to a resigned world-weariness, to a last attempt at joviality. He appears to be friendly and caring, if a bit troubled and mercurial.

When the dogged, unswerving Milton Arbogast {Martin Balsam} calmly dissembles the slowly dissolving structural integrity of Norman’s version of events, he opts to trot out the heavy artillery, proclaiming “If it doesn’t gel, it isn’t aspic; and this ain’t gelling.” Stunned silence proceeds to take over the entire universe, and Norman Bates is clearly rattled. The two shall meet again, soon enough.

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Trek {Star}: Vol. 2.

Three of the Highest Echelon: The Ultimate Computer; Where No Man Has Gone Before; and The Man Trap.

Towering genius Dr. Richard Daystrom, in the midst of further un-understanding, plans to β€œshow” Leonard McCoyβ€”plans to show everyone, in factβ€”and delivers, in his stentorian manner, a powerfully declamatory oration, all the while teetering on the very brink of sanity/insanity. 

In trying earnestly to persuade the well-nigh legendary (and Great) M5 Multitronic Unit (which displays its textbook Uncompromising Stance) to do, and to not do, certain things, the mighty and almost eternal Dr. Richard Daystrom begins an ill-fated rumination on his life and work, and the all-too-prevalent injustices therein. A last, desperate, titanic, paradigmatic, Γ¦on-defining manifestation of wild grandiosity brings with it predictable results. 

Mr. Spock (Leonard Nimoy) and Captain Kirk (William Shatner) employ a potent cocktail of chicanery and subterfuge to subdue the solitude-defending archaeologist, Professor Robert Crater (Alfred Ryder). They proceed to interrogate him vigorously, mainly/entirely concerning the whereabouts of his wife.

Gary Mitchell leaves little doubt of his seriousnessβ€”he is most certainly *not* jokingβ€”with Lee Kelso. He then ruminates, with ever-increasing wonder, about his newly found, awesome, and steadily burgeoning powers. Gary Lockwood delivers a masterful performance as the metamorphosing Mitchell.