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.

𝑿-π‘­π’Šπ’π’†π’”: 𝑷𝒂𝒑𝒆𝒓 𝑯𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒕𝒔 {π‘»π’π’Ž π‘΅π’π’π’π’‚𝒏}.

The brilliant character actor Tom Noonan gives a towering performance as serial killer/child predator John Lee Roche, who may, as it turns out, be responsible for the disappearance of Fox Mulder’s sister Samantha—the entire crux of the series.

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.

𝑺𝒕𝒂𝒓 π‘»π’“π’†π’Œ: π‘ͺ𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒕 π‘΄π’‚π’“π’•π’Šπ’‚π’.

Richard Webb {as Ben Finney} and the renowned Elisha Cook, Jr. {Samuel T. Cogley} both give standout performances in this Trek episode, which focuses on a curious concept: Justice.

π‘‡β„Žπ‘’ 𝑋-𝐹𝑖𝑙𝑒𝑠: {π΅π‘’π‘¦π‘œπ‘›π‘‘ π‘‘β„Žπ‘’ π‘†π‘’π‘Ž} – π΅π‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘‘ π·π‘œπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘“.

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.

π’π’π’…π’Šπ’‚π’„ {2007}.

The Zodiac Killer was active—as far as we know—in 1968 and 1969, though he claimed in one of his notorious, cryptic, and, really, legendary, letters that he had killed (and was continuing to kill…) many more than the law department could conceive of. His five “canonical” murders were unusual in a number of ways: his “signature” varied from event to event; and instead of trying to conceal his deeds, he boasted and rodomontaded unabashedly and very publicly. When he gloated that he planned to kill schoolchildren as they “came bouncing out” of a schoolbus, panic ran rampant throughout the whole of Northern California.

This scene shows the strikingly cryptic, bizarre, haunting interview that Toschi {portrayed by Mark Ruffalo}, Mulanax {Elias Koteas} and Armstrong {Anthony Edwards} held with Person of Interest Arthur Leigh Allen {played by John Carroll Lynch, who gets it pitch-perfect}. By turns haughty, indignant, angry, and laconic, Allen kept dropping revealing, tantalising bits of information that certainly got the lawmen’s attention. They glance at each other, almost in shock, as the suspect all but reveals that he’s the infamous Zodiac. But not quite. An extremely intense scene.

This riveting film focuses, for the most part, on the remarkable degree of not only fear, but *obsession* that the never-caught serial killer instilled in people. This kind of obsession destroyed a number of lives; Paul Avery {Robert Downey, Jr.}, Dave Toschi {Mark Ruffalo}, and Robert Graysmith {Jake Gyllenhaal} are those examined in Zodiac.

π‘‡β„Žπ‘’ 𝐿𝑒𝑛𝑒 πΏπ‘œπ‘£π‘–π‘β„Ž

Bewildering Semaphore-like Movements.

Lili-Marlene Premilovich, later known as Lene Lovich, preternaturally idiosyncratic—and gifted—songstress, happens to play saxophone, is an animal rights activist, and initially wore her hair in braids to keep the locks from the clay, when in art school, studying sculpture. And, damn, she can deliver a tune. With octaves to spare {hear: Momentary Breakdown}.

π˜›π˜©π˜¦ 𝘊𝘰𝘢𝘯𝘡𝘳𝘺 π˜”π˜Άπ˜΄π˜ͺ𝘀𝘴

Willie Nelson

Titans of music abound in this post. From the preternatural pipes of Mr. Yoakam, to the not-in-need-of-rocking-chairs legend George Jones, to the inimitable Hoyt Axton, to the Lanois-ing Willie Nelson…then the hugely underappreciated Dick Curless, the irresistible Lucinda Williams, to Dan Auerbach and his mesmerizing ways, Buck Owens in his prime with Don Rich, the great Merle Haggard, the Silver Fox…and we conclude with Dwight once more, with Eddy Shaver.