Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Apocalypse In 9/8: The Fixx Is In

All right, I only figured out this was the 32nd anniversary of this show at 10pm last night, so forgive the brevity of this message. Honestly it's going to be 100 degrees here today and I better get this cooking before my computer is in flames.
Here comes one of my favorite archival items from one of my favorite 1980s bands. Yesterday we had The Pretenders, so let's continue the Eighties greaties with a taste of The Fixx in their prime.
I love these guys because they didn't fuck around. No hair, no funny clothes, no disposable songs. Just warped art-rock and tunes about the darker, more apocalyptically psychological aspects of things. No sappy balladry, no posturing. Simply magnificent songs about missing aircraft, the horrors of war, and depression and alienation. When I was 16 I worshiped this band, and the years have done little to diminish my affection.
For me, these guys are Progressive Rock for the '80s. Of course, all the accoutrements of Seventies Prog are stripped away for the new decade: no capes, no songs about demons and wizards, no abrupt technical timeshifts, no Brit silliness yet still tremendous fun. Several of their tunes remind me of a more New Wave Pink Floyd, in their subject matter.
So many killer songs, too. Red Skies at night. Cameras In Paris. Are We Ourselves? Saved By Zero. Stand Or Fall. Sinking Island. Lost Planes. One Thing indeed Leads To Another with these cats. Their first four records are as good as any recorded in that decade, IMO.
The guitar player, Jamie West-Oram, is astonishing in this band... even though he rarely plays what might be termed a solo. His chordings are so unique and he has a sound you recognize after a few chiming tones. His performance in today's share really drives the point home. 
So let's get to it. This is an NTSC DVD of The Fixx doing their thing in the Rainbow Music Hall in Denver in 1983. It was broadcast once: as one of the old Saturday Night Concerts on the original MTV, back when that network had something to do with music. It comes from a master VHS taped direct from the air, but because the sound on the original videotape had deteriorated and the concert was also recorded for broadcast on the King Biscuit Flower Hour, the audio from the KBFH broadcast has been substituted, and in full, pristine lossless PCM sound.
The Fixx
Rainbow Music Hall
Denver, CO

01 The Sign of Fire
02 Stand or Fall
03 Cameras in Paris
04 Running
05 Some People
06 Reach the Beach
07 The Fool
08 One Thing Leads to Another
09 Outside
10 Saved by Zero
11 Lost Planes
12 Sinking Island
13 Red Skies

Total time: 59:13

Cy Curnin - vocals
Jamie West-Oram - guitar
Rupert Greenall - keyboards
Danny Brown - bass
Adam Woods - drums and percussion

NTSC DVD from a master VHS tape of the original MTV broadcast, with song audio subbed in from the KBFH pre-FM CD
Two days, two prime examples of Eighties rock on two off-air DVDs. Someday, the record "industry" will get a clue, but until then I will sit here and make the effort they won't, because the music and the impulse to spread it around the existing vacuum is that strong for me. Anyway, enjoy this anniversary special from three decades plus ago and please don't forget to support the artists like The Fixx here -- who still record and play to this day -- by buying their records and attending their concerts.--J.