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‘–π‘π‘˜ πΏπ‘œπ‘€π‘’: π‘ˆπ‘›π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘Ÿπ‘Žπ‘‘π‘’π‘‘ π‘ƒπ‘Žπ‘›π‘‘β„Žπ‘’π‘œπ‘› πΌπ‘›β„Žπ‘Žπ‘π‘–π‘‘π‘Žπ‘›π‘‘.

“Ol’ Drain”, as Mr. Nick Lowe is called in some circles {i.e.: The None}—it’s his middle name, and a fine one—wears more than a few musical hats, and pulls it all off in such fashion as would create, probably, a dither of aesthetic paroxysms in any milliner or hatter. Earlier on, (than…??) Lowe, often with mate Dave Edmunds, in Rockpile, showed an uncanny talent for creating clever, charming, quite diabolically catchy songs that perhaps represented the very embodiment , the K2-like apotheosis, of Pure Pop Wonderment. Really…well, it was not fair. One had little to no choice but to come ’round to the man’s idiosyncratic ways. No one, however, minded, it seemed; either that, or such monumental courtesy was shown to Nick {OK, I’ll love it…} than to any other mammalian, extant or extinct.

To siphon away all the hysteria sure to erupt the very second one’s “Earlier on…” gaffe—or was it???—becomes public, let’s open our collective aesthetic Golgi apparati to Brinsley Schwarz. No, not the haberdasher. And yes, I understand that a haberdasher by no means specializes in hatwear, except for those who do. Formerly Kippington Lodge, Brinsley Schwarz gave Mr. Lowe a forum for his musical nascence—he penned So It Goes, and What’s So Funny whilst nestled in the Schwarz collective—and also, presumably, provided a harrowing de facto tutorial on how **not** to name bands.

Right. The supremely accomplished Nick Lowe, and the vastness of his achievements, cannot be adequately summarized. It won’t do. And I’ve already squandered most/all of the allocated space, ranting about…well, if anyone figures that out, do contact me, or the proper authorities. Therefore, I hereby resign my post, and retire to private life. To quote the man himself, as he signed off on a certain Elvis Costello LP: “Now, get happy. Your friend, Producer Nick Lowe.” I think that’s pretty damn cool. Because it is. Costello paid his friend homage many years later, quoting what was proclaimed in the midst of Peace, Love, and Understanding, during the Brinsley years. On Letterman. No. Brinsley Schwarz, nΓ©e Kippington Lodge, did not appear on Letterman. {Nick did, obviously}. Don’t be difficult.

π‘‡β„Žπ‘’ π‘ƒπ‘’π‘‘π‘’π‘Ÿ π‘€π‘’π‘Ÿπ‘β„Žπ‘¦: π‘‰π‘Žπ‘šπ‘π‘–π‘Ÿπ‘–π‘π‘Žπ‘™π‘™π‘¦-π‘ƒπ‘’π‘Ÿπ‘ π‘’π‘Žπ‘ π‘–π‘œπ‘›π‘’π‘‘ 𝐷𝑒𝑖𝑑𝑦.

In re: the above, and the below: One of those riveting performances Peter Murphy has been known to deliver, the kind that provokes ponderings such as “Hmm. Is P.M. the greatest person to ever draw breath? Oh, right. He’s probably *not* a person, as such…”. I’m sure you have entertained such mysteries. Still emphatically vampiric, all the more impressive given the attire; Bela, say, would not be caught dead, undead, or in some interstitial state about which we know little {OK; nothing}, in such garb. But, yep; vampiric as they come. He is in full command of his towering vocal abilities, as per. A mesmerist is in the house. And, *you* let him in!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Cuts You Up {1992, on D. Miller} vid has become somewhat, oh, infamous, due to Murphy’s {elegant} gesture (which was *not* “giving {Miller} the finger”, as the rattled, indignant, incorrect host proclaimed…’twas a nose-thumbing, a snook-cocking); it was a perfect moment in time, making crystal clear that some people are human {Miller, for example: and a jackass to boot. He had just finished offering forth banal, insulting words about his Guest, then plays the Innocent…}, and some are more of the god-like/vampiric/undefinable/ambiguously-formatted persuasion.

{above prose appended 8/8/2019; I’d already referenced this topic in post originale, below, but I feel a need to avoid revising/excising. And, you cannot make me.}

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

His immense powers, presence, and unearthly priest-like {Ambiguously Benevolence’d Category} attributes are all on display in these videos; and, for the connoisseurs, the Great Man delivers (whilst exiting the stage, post “Cuts You Up”) unto host and mere mortal Dennis Miller a profound gesture, one flawless, snook-cocking nose thumb, with all the impeccable style and ease that would be expected.

To reiterate: I am *not* removing, now, or ever, the Miller quasi-debacle bit here, addenda or no addenda.

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.

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}.