I spent years in the early eighties following the NYC hardcore punk scene. I was there when the Beastie Boys forsook hardcore and embraced hip hop. I was at the show when Rachel played with them for the last time -- Yes, the Beasties once had a female member. I was there when GBH played and halfway through the show The Ramones walked in and the band stopped playing to pay homage to the gods of punk. I was there at a Dead Kennedys show when Neo-Nazi skins were beaten when they dared boo Jello during "Nazi Punks Fuck Off."
So what is this that I have come to terms with? I've come to realize that my all-time favorite band is Depeche Mode. Yes, that Depeche Mode. There is no denying my LastFM scrobbles. Far and away they are the artist I listen to the most.
It's true I have everything they have ever recorded including every single, remix, b side, etc. That in itself is a testament to what I think of them. Then again I have the full discography of acts that I don't listen to that often; David Bowie comes to mind.
So why Depeche Mode? Seriously, I don't completely know. There are artists that I love everything they do like Esthero, Morrissey, Jack White, Franz Ferdinand, Arctic Monkeys and Paul Weller. But with the exception of Esthero, there are months where I just don't listen to them. I always seek out Depeche Mode.
They have always been written off as a synth-pop example of 80s excess. I find them to be brilliant; the opinion of my beloved Mandy not withstanding. Their lyrics are more profound than most people think -- perhaps because the continuing struggles with drug abuse. Their music is down right catchy. It doesn't hurt that they are inspiration to groups like Ladytron and Datarock, which I love; not to mention a slew of Goth bands the world over. I do admit loving Goth sensibilities while finding them contrived at the same time.
After reading gobs and gobs of Buddhist books from Thich Nhat Hanh to Ram Dass, and from time to time even spending time meditating, DM's "Get the balance right" is still my favorite explanation of the middle way. Did they even mean it that way? I don't know and I don't particularly care.
I gotta get back to the DM Barcelona Concert I'm watching while on a plane heading to New Orleans; "Drive" is coming on. "Oh little girl there are times that I feel I'd rather not be the one behind the wheel..."
Another learning, it's hard to dance in a small plane seat while your love is next to you reading a serious book.
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Location:Flying somewhere over America