Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Mute Records forum still dominated by frantic Depeche Mode fans

Believe it or not, I don't usually spend large portions of my day obsessively checking the Mute Records website. That's over now. But recently I decided to take a look to find out about a certain soundtrack release date (See "Stupid cold, stop fogging up my Nick Cave fantasies.") And just as when I first used the site to research stuff for my super-geeky MA thesis several months ago, the is still dominated by several Depeche Mode ultrafans.

What's on the mind of the Dave Gahan-loving masses this month? Recent hot topics range from "Any chance of a DM calendar this year?" to "Will the next DM releases sound better?" (Oooh, PWND!!!) And, appropriately, enough, it turns out that Mr. Depeche Mode has another solo album Hourglass coming out on October 22nd here in the UK, a release that many fans are so excited about that they just can't wait to get in touch with Dave via his MySpace page! Unfortunately, the former frontman seems a little bit difficult to get ahold of, as evidenced by this little disclaimer: "PLEASE NOTE: You are NOT messaging Dave. You are messaging his webmaster."

So, who are these rabid Depeche Mode fans? Are they the unwashed suburban basement-dwelling teenagers, desperate to show their allegiance to the band that made Covenant and Funker Vogt possible? Are they the "So, it's cool that I'm goth and gay?" guys? Or are they the self-appointed "cool" moms who liked Soft Cell, but couldn't really get into Cabaret Voltaire?

Now, I'm not gonna lie to you. I like Depeche Mode. Always have done, always will do. And if you don't, if you're one of those people who thinks you're too cool for Violator, well that's just too bad, then. Because then maybe you just have questionable taste in music! That said, I've been watching a lot of 80s/90s videos over the past coupla sick days, and although I did a run-down of my current favorites yesterday, I decided that Depeche Mode deserved a post all of their own.

The following videos are all shot in this panting "Hey, we're into Godard, are YOU?" fashion. It's so arty! It's so high-concept! Everybody is really taking this so seriously! And each video is infused with varying degrees of ridiculousity, although thankfully not on the level of Duran Duran's "View to a Kill".

"Never Let Me Down Again"

It starts off pretty well, all D-Gahan sipping coffee with an old guy. Then it quickly gets wild as Depeche Mode decide to go on a North by Northwest meets Night of the Hunter style roadtrip!!! I so want to go to Wall Drug with them!!!!

"Strange Love"

This video has everything! Meaningless symbolism, that grainy snuff film aesthetic, and Dave Gahan disinterestedly dancing around with his hands in the air like a botched attempt at Heaven 17 dude's striking arm raise in the "Temptation" video. Also, it totally has a Lee Miller-doing-photoshoots-in-Paris-after-the-war vibe going on, doesn't it?

It so totally does.

Let's not forget "Enjoy the Silence"!

Love that "America's Next Top Model" style opener where everyone in the band gradually disappears till there's only Dave left! Or when the king goes up the mountain with his deckchair? Man, that king is going everywhere!! What is he looking for? Is it love? The cure for the emptiness his power and wealth cannot fill? OK, go survey your kingdom, dude!

And finally, "Policy of Truth."

The video starts off with a series of scenarios involving leather-clad guys making out with various androgynous/ unfortunately 80s-styled ladies. So far, so mediocre. But wait? What's that around 1 min. 43 sec.? Is she actually running away? YES!!! Something has disturbed this woman to such a point that she is actually fleeing from making out with someone. That is a BURN, my friend, a total BURN. Afterwards, our hero (maybe?) wanders aimlessly around, seemingly looking for another lady in a hideous hat to make out with. This is interspersed with scenes of friends talking and A SHARK. All of which, I'm sure, has something really deep and meaningful to say about the concepts of honesty and trust, but is mostly just straight up whack.


Anonymous said...

Wow. You just referenced the Heaven 17 *AND* Cabaret Voltaire in a single post. You just won the Miss Goth Queen 1986 award. Your black-and-white striped off-the-shoulder sweater is in the mail!

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