Tag Archives: Gary Numan
English singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Gary Numan first burst onto the scene fronting the New Wave electronic act Tubeway Army from ’76 to ’79. But that latter year also saw the arrival of Numan’s solo debut, The Pleasure Principle (stream it below), with its smash single, “Cars” (above, performed live for KEXP FM). “The most popular of all the Gary Numan albums is undeniably 1979’s The Pleasure Principle. The reasons are simple—there is not a single weak moment on the disc,” says AllMusic. Numan remained busy recording and touring for the next two decades, his unique electronic-pop sound influencing generations of musicians, including Trent Reznor, Foo Fighters, Afrika Bambaataa and Marilyn Manson. But after slowing down some around the turn of the century—and following the 2013 release of Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind) (stream it below)—Numan returned this past September with Splinter (Songs from a Broken World) (stream it below). “Music can be a potent escape from the pressures and anxiety associated with the real world. But it can also be the exact opposite, acting as a mirror of society, reflecting its flaws. Gary Numan is doing the latter, confronting the dangerous, divisive times we live in and the long-term effects they might create,” says PopMatters. “Savage is a compelling cautionary tale of what may happen if we’re too complacent to give a damn about future generations. It’s also a stunningly sharp and diverse collection of songs from a living legend.” Numan’s fall tour comes to Brooklyn Steel on Thursday night. Local garage-rock duo Me Not You open the show.
Tags: Afrika Bambaataa, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Steel, Foo Fighters, Gary Numan, Live Music, Marilyn Manson, Me Not You, Music, New York City, Preview, Savage (Songs from a Broken World), Splinter (Songs from a Broken Mind), The Pleasure Principle, Trent Reznor, Tubeway Army, Video
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Gary Numan, an innovative, pioneering force in industrial, electronic music and synth pop, has been influencing others for more than three decades now. He rose to fame fronting the post-punk band Tubeway Army in late-’70s London. Numan’s first solo album, the guitar-free The Pleasure Principle (stream it below), came out in 1979. Led by the single “Cars,” the LP received rave reviews and the singer-songwriter toured the world in support of it. Since then, Numan (above, performing “Cars” for KEXP FM) has released a slew of singles and albums. His 12th studio album, Songs from a Broken Mind (stream it below), came out last year. Consequence of Sound declared “Gary Numan is easily poised for a comeback, even though he never really went anywhere, and Splinter is easily his strongest album in years.” Find out in person why he’s influenced the likes of Trent Reznor, Beck and Dave Grohl when Gary Numan plays Webster Hall on Saturday night.
Battles – Webster Hall – November 1, 2011
Surprise is no longer an appropriate reaction when it comes to technology’s entanglement with music. Pro Tools, pedals and amplifiers are now mainstays of live performances, expanding timbral possibilities beyond acoustic capability. To believe otherwise is to impose delusion on reality. The more appropriate response is awe and wonder. Try matching sound to sight and you’re more likely to become dizzy than echolocate instrumentation. But that challenge makes bands like Battles a thoroughly engaging show, with the eyes, ears and mind.
On Tuesday night at Webster Hall, Battles returned to a “hometown crowd” for the first time since April. The band is currently touring in support of its latest album, Gloss Drop, the first without former band member Tyondai Braxton. And, while his vocal contributions are missed, they aren’t forgotten. Without a singer, Battles’ live show relies on recorded vocal tracks from Braxton as well as recent Gloss Drop contributors, like Matias Aguayo and Gary Numan. The trick is Battles matches the vocals to video projections of the singers, a clever way to humanize the sound.
But outside of watching the band and the screens, Battles’ performance is most appreciated in its ingenuity and physicality. Multi-instrumentalists Ian Williams and Dave Konopka constantly trigger loops and tinker with sounds while drummer John Stanier pounds mercilessly against his drum kit, highlighted by an elevated ride cymbal. During performances of crowd pleasers “Atlas” and “Ice Cream,” all three melded their seemingly incongruous parts into a whole, astonishingly sounding like pop music. It is electronic madness—enough so to inspire periodic moshing, but Battles always finds a way to make it both difficult and enjoyable. —Jared Levy