Paul Isaacs' Blog

Autism from the inside


Leave a comment

Atypical Features & Androgyny

I have atypical eyelids, shaped eyebrows, a crooked mouth and nasal bridge however people have told me either I look like a woman and/or have features of a woman for which I am flattered by their optical observations of my variants of my somewhat fruitful and irregular visage.

Androgny can be a look as much as an attitude a timely peek into someone who is a mixture of masculine and feminine.

I am not perfect and that is what should be cherished a feeling of unshackled non-perfection I find solace and tempered grounding beneath my limbs in these thoughts and I can smile freely. ūüėä

Paul Isaacs 2018.


1 Comment

Top 15 Tracks – A Tribute To Pete Burns & Dead or Alive

RIP Pete Burns when I started collecting vinyl in the early 2000s Dead or Alive I pleased to say I have collected the most all the singles most of the LPs and import CDs (he had a massive following in Japan).

I am pleased that the ultimate DOA compilation is coming out at the end of this month Sophisticated Boom Box and 19 disc compilation of all their albums, one live album, 1987 live show, promo videos and more. If you going to make a song that is remember over 30 years later that is achievement.

To celebrate Pete Burns and DOA with their floor stomping disco music to their proto-goth early years I am going go through a Top 15 DOA List with notable additional mentions (and probably a blog too) so here goes. .

DEAD OR ALIVE TOP 15 TRACKS 

1. Dead or Alive – Flowers – 1980

If people like Punk with a little mix of Goth this is a good place to start is 1980 and Pete and his band “Nightmares in Wax” were big on the underground Liverpool with many singles already under their belt this raw live performance from Pete shows something that is more akin to the “The Doors” and “The Cure”

2. Dead or Alive – I’d Do Anything ¬†1983

DOA released their first album under the new wave producer Zeus B.Held and this single “I’d Do Anything” is still “dark” DOA with progressive lyrics and interesting vocal range from Burns and the dash of electronic synth this a well packaged single.

3. Dead or Alive – That’s The Way (I Like It) – 1983

I nice cover from DOA and a minor hit on their first album with the androgyny being both in the Punk and New Romantic scene coming into the forefront of music then Burns came lapping up the lyrics with a fun video to boot.

4. Dead or Alive – Something In My House – 1987

DOA by their third album “Mad, Bad and Dangerous To Know” knew how to create dance music, with fast beats, repetitive synths and lick of a guitar here and there this little gem was created. I like the video to it really tells the story of the song with striking black and photography.

5. Dead or Alive – Rebel Rebel – 1994

DOA and of other bands had been “children” of the creationist era of music the children who heard Bowie and other strange characters they grew up and created their own images, sounds and shapes. I find it fitting that Burns done a cover of Bowie’s “Rebel Rebel” they lyrics seem very fitting to the man himself who was always pushing the boundaries.

6. Dead or Alive – Your Sweetness Is Your Weakness – 1991

DOA went in a different direction in the early 90s releasing “Fan The Flame Part 1” a lighter direction in turns of Hi-NRG and tone from the previous albums which was more ballad driven in many ways and many songs about love, loss and melancholy. This song is very different in all those areas focusing on Burn’s range with shot in amazing black and white (an interesting medium in its own right).

7. Dead or Alive – My Heart Goes Bang (Get Me to the Doctor) 1985

This single is from the “Youthquake” album which had that well know hit Another single was this one with fast synths, memorable lyrics and Burn’s powerful vocals make this an interesting single and the start of DOA’s journey into dance music.

8. Dead or Alive – Whirlpool – 1982

With its raw vocals from Burns, echoing instrumentals and immersive lyrics that capture the feeling of going “down” into the “whirlpool” this was the more experimental period of the DOA tenure still with punk roots well embedded in this moody single.

9. Dead or Alive – Misty Circles – 1983

With a firm mixture of dance tracks on their first album there was also some “darker” singles embedded this being one of them with moody lyrics, sound instrumentals and a flamboyant Pete sporting dreads, a large hat and colourful clothes this a nice a slice of New Wave.

10. Dead or Alive – Number Eleven – 1981

With its chanting choruses, organ piano and rambling echoing lyrics this was again the early days of DOA with their proto-Goth and Punk side that maybe not a lot of people do not know about this one I like with its group vocals weaving in and out of instrumentals creating a very dream-like atmosphere.

11. Dead or Alive – Nukleopatra – 1995

This song is a nice blend of humourous lyrics with a bit of trance tempo through into the mix something that is quite refreshing when listening to this song of how differing DOA’s back catalogue is.

12. Dead or Alive – Son of a Gun – 1987

This song is a mix of melody, beats and of course repetition. The lyrics are tongue and cheek something that Burn’s would do more frequently in the stock of his songs towards the end of the eighties. A real gem of a dance track.

13. Dead or Alive – The Stranger – 1981

We are going back to the early years again with this soulful haunting piece with an abpt title. The arrangements in this song a much akin to early DOA something which I realise listening the tone in the early years is darker, brooding, echoey and dream-like while the latter years are lighter, camper and brighter. So maybe unique thing about DOA is the slow shift from 1983 onwards to more techno dance tracks.

14. Dead or Alive – Nowhere To Nowhere – 1980

Rambling lyrics, setting a story with power and again powerful vocals from Burns. The organic arrangement of the instrumentals as stated below gives a tone which is differing DOA and lyrics go together well in this arrangement.

15. Dead or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)

I have decided to do a compact Top 15 with notable mentions as additions this goes without saying as firstly DOA’s well know song and secondly a dam good dance track with a quirky video, fantastic chorus, punchy lyrics and memorable instrumentals that goud you onto the dance floor 30 years on and it still a powerful fun track so here goes.

NOTABLE MENTIONS 

CONCLUSION

Pete Burns was a one off and his image and music will continue his legacy will be an well versed and diverse catalogue of music differing in tone, genre, melody and contrast depending on what era you choose and that is how  to remember him through the legacy of music that is being shared.

Paul Isaacs 2016

 


Leave a comment

Nina Hagen – A Punk With Soul

Nina HagenOVERVIEW

Nina Hagen is surprisingly someone (being a fan of 80’s new wave and alternative music) I missed out on.. until now and of course I was hooked on her music as soon as I heard her, from the sharp and progressive musical arrangements to the odd, strange and wild idiosyncrasies both on stage and the amazing vocal range but nevertheless alluring and carved and interesting and one off discography and legacy in the punk/alternative music scene.

FRIENDLY ALTERNATIVE SINGLES 

  • My Way To be honest Hagen’s cover punches more creditability into the lyrics, mixing her amazing range (going here, there and everywhere within the venture of the song), a creepy synth intro and sung in both english and german in is a tour de force in originality.
  • Ziggy Stardust¬†– I like Hagen’s take on this glam rock classic- her range is broader than Bowie’s and from the first perceiving and haunting intro to the waspish sting of her voice waving and meandering it has a epic quality to this she does (like with My Way) make this song her own.
  • African Reggae –¬†Who would of thought that punk, rock, reggae and opera could go to together from the mix of range broadening palette her musical genre mashing and lavish musical arrangement to flowing the nature of the lyrics this is experimental music at it’s best.
  • Smack Jack –¬†The ethereal whistling at the start to the punchy chorus and the lingering and overt message of someone who is in the hell of drug abuse the guttural rang of her voice as if she is talking to the person directly (as a male alter-ego). It comes across very much like spoken word single with the musical arrangement kept to a minimal (electronic bursts and guitar riffs) an important message to be held in this single.
  • Zarah –¬†With an impressive opening that comes across like an old movie or sitting in a sold out opera house it has a dream-like quality then the smash, crazy riffs, quirky danceable electronic licks and the rolling of Nina’s Rs this single has the unique ability to be both upbeat and odd all rolled into one – for all the right reasons of course love is very much for everyone.
  • New York New York –¬†A cool opening which comes across almost jazz like with a smattering of a repetitive beat then boom the night life of this famous city is given a take all of its own with a story on Nina going on her travels in the diverse night-life that has a epic quality and amazing over-the-top chorus that is operatic in tones and integrity is bone-tingling and danceable track indeed.
  • Universal Radio¬†– A song in itself about being one’s self and not being embroiled in the negativity around you just want to be balanced? This may well be the song for you with a catching beat – ¬†personally I prefer the 12inch Long play version of this as it emphasises the musical arrangement of synthesizer and beats and the high pitched melodic quality of Nina’s vocals.
  • Don’t Kill The Animals – w/ Lene Lovich – ¬†What a message to be put on a vocal track if there ever was one with a punching beat, guitar riffs that are danceable and infectious Nina’s and Lene’s vocal ranges complement each other in this progressive song about animal welfare, experimentation and animals rights the context is simple, straight forward and hard hitting as is it’s message, how it is sung and how it is played.

Nina 2CONCLUSION

A one off in her own right (on how you look at it) indirectly and/or directly ¬†paved a way for alternative music to be accessible to the public, with unique musical arrangements, depthful lyrics, integrity and humility she never got consumed by ego or greed but stayed true to herself and that is something she still lives by today – check her music out. ūüôā

Paul Isaacs 2015

Zarah – (German Version)


11 Comments

To Be Androgynous

Paul Bow in HairNote – This is from a personal perspective

GENDER IDENTITY & ANDROGYNE 

For humans, androgyne in terms of gender identity is a person who does not fit neatly into the typical masculine and feminine gender roles of their society.

Androgynes may also use the term “ambigender” or “polygender” to describe themselves. Many androgynes identify as being mentally between woman and man, or as entirely genderless. They may identify as “non-gender”, “gender-neutral”, “agender”, “between genders”, “genderqueer”, “multigender”, “intergendered“, “pangender” or “gender fluid”.

Me in Drag 1GENDERED INTELLIGENCE WEBSITE UK

DEFINITION 

androgynous¬†¬†(ńĀn-drŇŹj’…ô-n…ôs)¬†

Having both female and male characteristics. 

OVERVIEW & CONCLUSION 

In my first book “Living Through The Haze”¬†I write about towards the end of my book about how I view myself in terms of gender although I am physically male (male reproductive organs). I identify with both masculine and feminine ¬†and see a neutrality in that respect hence the the word androgynous which I would say I identify with.

Paul Isaacs 2014