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The prophecy of Gary Numan and 'the end of things' 

The artist performs at House of Blues Dec. 13

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"I should have told you / Be careful what you wish for," Gary Numan sings on "Mercy," off his self-released September LP Savage (Songs From a Broken World). Those titles aren't joking around. You know things are bad on the international-optics front when Mr. Pleasure Principle himself is dishing out the I-told-you-sos. A lot of bleak, angry music is being made these days, but few albums can touch the utter bleakness and seething anger of Savage. Numan has said its genesis was President Donald Trump pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord, something akin to the pilot of an airplane that's on fire chucking your only parachute. Savage is Numan's Cormac McCarthy-read on the wreckage that could be wrought by such decisions — a teetering Jenga of smoking postindustrial soundscapes and sky-choking lyrical imagery — though it works just as well as a Rorschach test for a world actively breaking in front of our faces because of our actions (and inactions). Taken as such, it might be the most important record made in 2017, a case made even stronger when accompanied by Numan's September manifesto in The Daily Beast, whose thesis haunts his album's every ominous phrase: "As he went from candidate, to president-elect, to President Trump, I began to realize, with an ever-growing sense of dread, that we were all living in a monumental moment in the history of the world. It could almost be exciting if it wasn't so awful." How's this for a thought experiment: Time-travel back to 1979 and tell anyone who will listen that in 40 years, Trump will be president, Al Franken will be ousted from the Senate in a tsunami of sexual harassment reckonings, and it will fall on Numan to save us all. Me Not You opens. Tickets $25.


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