π‘‡β„Žπ‘’ πΊπ‘Žπ‘Ÿπ‘¦ π‘π‘’π‘šπ‘Žπ‘›: βˆ°.

The High Priest of quasi-androgynous Synth-Pop/Electronica, the Alien Deity, The Gary Numan.” *That* is the short-duration, deeply personal 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. It conveys gist; Gary Numan gist. This realm. This symbol. This Gary Numan.

“This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England…”

We’ll lead off with two {you may see three; deal with it} 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.

Praying” would have to rank first, or thereabouts, in my own world. Curiously, very few live/TV iterations seem to exist. I did what I could!!

Um. WOW.

Spellbinding is Numan’s performance on Down in the Park, live at the Odeon, 1979. Doom-y, evocative, remarkable.

There’s a realm where no one can touch Gary Numan. I am *not* going to provide: its Name, Address, or Phone Number, at present. {oh, OK!}

*1 Cock Boulevard, Absorto, Chari-Baguirmi, Chad * {quite near the headquarters for Flux Density-measurin’ Volume Integral, noted Theme Park}.

He created aural landscapes which allowed access to the unfathomable. His performances have been described in so many ways. Strikingly “robotic”. Otherworldly. 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. Β 

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, mainly {if by *mainly* one means 26.6666666666666666%} the 1980 iteration, which included 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, undefinable. An epoch-defining genius; equivalent to Beethoven.

Incredible version!
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.

Mr. Byrne has always been that rare bird: a creative genius and innovator, with a deeply innate style, who is also willing—eager— to take in all manner of input {see: Eno} so as to evolve. Definitely not a play it safe type, David Byrne took risks as simply a matter of course. I, for one, admire this greatly.

π΅π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘Žπ‘› π‘€π‘Žπ‘¦, πΉπ‘Ÿπ‘’π‘‘π‘‘π‘–π‘’ π‘€π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘¦…π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘ 𝑄𝑒𝑒𝑒𝑛.

Queen, featuring vocalist Freddie Mercury, and guitarist Brian May, with a live You’re My Best Friend, performed in December of 1979 at the Hammersmith Odeon. This shows Mercury in top form vocally; a true maestro at work.

Another shining exemplar of Queen’s formidable power is this iteration of the remarkable hit single Killer Queen. Recorded June 7, 1977 at Earl’s Court, this rendition is quite canonical. The synergy between Freddie Mercury and guitarist Brian May is really working, and both are in magnificent form. Speaking of Mercury, Roger Daltrey once stated that he was “the best virtuoso rock β€˜n’ roll singer of all time”, and well known soprano Montserrat CaballΓ© felt that β€œhis technique was astonishing; he sang with an incisive sense of rhythm; he also had a great musicality, and he was able to find the right colouring or expressive nuance for each word”. An extraordinary, charismatic performer, Mr. Mercury was described by guitarist Brian May as being so magnetic β€œhe could make the last person at the back of the furthest stand in a stadium feel that he was connected”. The British vocalist also was unafraid to rank 58th in a poll of 100 Greatest Britons, finishing just behind Alexander Graham Bell. And The Cliff Richard (??). George Harrison was bettered, however, and in the most controversial decision, legendary Welsh actor Richard Burton came-a-cropper, finishing behind—by a significant margin—the great vocalist. Observers reported the Welshman appeared visibly shaken, ashen-faced, and extremely bitter during the ceremony. Some claim he wiped away tears, as he abruptly stormed off to whereabouts unknown.

Burton later claimed ill health, but those near him were positive the Welshman wept openly, clenched his fists in impotent rage, and frequently muttered uncomplimentary remarks whilst shaking with hysteria, losing his balance more than once.” -Thrustus Simmonds, noted author of “Titans of Britondom, and Such”.

Lastly, the rousing Keep Yourself Alive. Live, 1974, at The Rainbow. Truly uplifting, and the musicianship, as was typical from this band, occupied Upper-Echelon terrain. This band indeed changed lives.

π‘…π‘œπ‘”π‘’π‘Ÿ πΉπ‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘’π‘Ÿ.

This masterful, stylish 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. 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.

π‘Ίπ’‘π’“π’Šπ’π’ˆπ’”π’•π’†π’†π’.

The songΒ BadlandsΒ is belted out with supreme force (Get It Straight!!) and something else I won’t attempt to name. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crowd react in quite this way. 2002, in Barcelona.Β Badlands, defiant and uplifting,Β is one of Bruce’s best, to meβ€”the first cut off Darknessβ€”but this is simply transcendent. One sees here, for reals, why many witnesses to Springsteen’s legendary shows view him as an almost religious figure.

From 2009. The mighty and just a bit intense Bruce Springsteen unleashes the goods, ALL of β€˜em, on the moving Something in the Night. This song, from the great 1978 album Darkness on the Edge of Town, is, probably, if gun were put to head , to me, the greatest song the great man wrote. There are many. But this, this just totally embodies Springsteen.

𝑿𝑻π‘ͺ, π’‡π’†π’‚π’•π’–π’“π’Šπ’π’ˆ π‘¨π’π’…π’š π‘·π’‚π’“π’•π’“π’Šπ’…π’ˆπ’†.

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.

A masterpiece from Rockpalast.
A brilliant, somewhat crazed version.

𝑻𝒉𝒆 π‘―π’π’π’π’Šπ’†π’”.

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 three finest—all live performances—to mine ear.