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Country Music Dwight Yoakam performers photography Singers vocalists

World’s Greatest Vocalist: Dwight Yoakam.

Dwight Yoakam can simply do the impossible with his voice. See North to Alaska, among many others, for evidence. He steps into the very large shoes of legend Johnny Horton, and…whoa. A transcendent, jaw-dropping, awe-inducing performance. And, the same can be said of his live 2013 reading of the Red Simpson-penned Close Up The Honky Tonks. Even a young, inexperienced Yoakam—in his 1985 performance above, he shyly asks the audience if they like the show—kills it. A not-many-times-in-an-epoch talent.

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Bob Geldof Boomtown Rats Music music videos performers

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.

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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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Audio Charisma composers dancing Eerie Spatiality Eternal existentialism Geniuses Ian Curtis Joy Division Music music videos performers photography Poetic Genius Poetry Punk Singers Terminal videos vocalists

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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David Byrne Eno Geniuses hit singles Music music videos new wave performers photography Singers Talking Heads videos vocalists

Talking Heads: The Mad Professor-ism of David Byrne.

Mind. Montreux, 1982.

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.

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Bauhaus Charisma epoch-defining existentialism Goth Music music videos performers Peter Murphy

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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Andy Partridge Geniuses Music music videos performers photography Singers videos vocalists XTC

XTC, featuring Andy Partridge.

Few bands can match XTC’s accomplishments as far as writing/performing memorably quirky, intellectual, and, yes, catchy songs. Lead vocalist Andy Partridge provides the oddball genius charisma to generate a potent cocktail of aural nirvana.

Most of these are live performances, with the Rockpalast Senses being fairly rare.

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Allan Clarke Music music videos performers Singers The Hollies videos vocalists

The Hollies.

The Hollies, a superb three-part harmony group {primarily}, fronted by the amazing Allan Clarke, had many a monster hit, including the Albert Hammond-penned The Air That I Breathe; these are their four of their finest.

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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.