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Will the Real Blue October Please Stand Up?

Local band suffers identity crisis

Bands love free publicity. In the quest to stand out and apart, a picture in a newspaper or magazine is worth more than just a thousand words; it could be worth thousands of ticket or CD sales. So naturally, the members of local band-made-good Blue October were elated when they heard they'd graced the cover of a Houston publication, Music News, just in time to tease their October 15 show at the Meridian.

Problem was, it wasn't them.

"The fans started going off on our Web site: 'Blue October is on the cover of Music News, but the photo and information is totally wrong!' " says Paul Nugent, the band's manager. The cover photo on Music News's October issue featured three Blue October members. Yet the cover story mentions "singer/songwriter Justin Furstenfeld, violinist Ryan Delahoussaye, guitarist C.B. Hudson and drummer Jeremy Furstenfeld…" (That's four.) Turns out the photo is of synth-pop trio Blue October, of merry ol' England. Whoops.

A cute Russian blue kitty...
A cute Russian blue kitty...
...Blue October UK...
...Blue October UK...

"The minute I found out, I tried reaching out to Music News, but I couldn't find them online," says Nugent, who's based in Dallas. "I actually requested that the fans mail me a copy so I could contact the publication. Then I called the Houston Press, because I figured at least you guys would know what was up."

Happy to help, Paul. We called Kevin Wildman, publisher and editor of Music News, which is based out of League City. Wildman was a little surprised to learn of the snafu. "You're the first one to call me, so I guess that shows how many people are paying attention," he says. "To tell you the truth, a lot of people aren't even gonna notice the difference in the picture." (Actually, 348 fans blasted the Blue October site about the image.) Wildman says he got the band information online, and when he did a search for Blue October images, he found the trio picture and figured that was the one. (When we did a Google image search, we had to click through three pages of Blue October pics -- plus some baseball players and some cute Russian blue kittens -- before finding the UK trio's image.) Wildman, though, was apologetic, if not confused. " The site I pulled it off said it was Blue October," he says. "God knows how many Blue Octobers there are out there. We're sorry about the mistake. We certainly didn't run it on purpose, and we'll run a correction in November." Nugent says the band was disappointed, but has nothing but love for Wildman's publication. "We're grateful and humbled that they thought of us, and we hope they think of us again," he says. "We wish them nothing but the best and appreciate what they do for Houston's music scene."

And hey, all this hubbub has given Wildman an idea for his November cover: "Maybe I should run pictures of every Blue October I can find," he says with a laugh, "and have readers pick their favorite." -- Steven Devadanam

DEPECHE MODE MARKS THE (G) SPOT

Depeche Mode's 25-year evolution reads like a young woman's bildungsroman. Over the years, David Gahan, Martin Gore and company have switched out bubbly, Casio goth for intense, guitar-driven rock. But whatever sound they adopt, they maintain the sort of softly trashy seductiveness that makes a certain type of girl swoon. In honor of DM's kicking off its first tour in four years to promote its latest album, Playing the Angel, here is a list of the various songs -- and the boys who best fit them -- that have found their way onto my mixtapes.

Song: "The Meaning of Love," A Broken Frame

Boy: Tom, age 12

Tom was adorable and was my first crush. With juvenile musings about love, "The Meaning of Love" is the ideal song for those seedlings of lust. Gahan's youthful voice is simply giddy on this synthesizer-and-drum-machine confection. And after spotting Tom in Speedos warming up for the backstroke, I slipped a copy of the tape into his bag and never said a word.

Song: "A Question of Lust," Black Celebration

Boy: Paul, age 16

With a deep, penetrating bass accented by a nervous tambourine shake, Gore sings of passion and desires: "But I need to drink / More than you seem to think / Before I'm anyone's." I knew our time was fleeting, but Paul was the perfect makeout partner at parties. My "mature" lust was nothing more than hands-on training for future endeavors when something more than shoes finally hit the floor.

Song: "Somebody," 101

Boy: Christopher, age 18

Only somebody you truly, deeply love is deserving of Gore's simply romantic, heartbeat-backed ballad longing for "Somebody who cares / For me passionately / With every thought and with every breath." This is why I waited for the live version (and the prom) to give this song (and my virginity) to the boy I believed was the one.

Song: "Happiest Girl" (B-side), Violator

Boy: Tyler, age 20

On this album, DM reaches a level of complete confidence in its unique sound. The song that stands out isn't even on the album; it's a B-side to "World in My Eyes." Tyler, the high school boy I played with during my second summer home from college, gave this heavy, pulsating track layered with electronic whirls to me because I was the "Happiest Girl" he ever knew. (That and he "wanted to feel the joy / Flow between our hips.")

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