Will the Real Blue October Please Stand Up?
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.
"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.")
Song: "Freelove," Exciter
Boy: Keith, age 30
The ethereal sexiness and comfortable control of Gahan's sultry serenade encourage you to just relax and have fun. I'm older, a bit wiser and less patient when it comes to romantic love. When "No hidden catch / No strings attached" lovin' is needed, I can call up Keith, my mimbo, and "let go of complicated feelings."
Depeche Mode appears Monday, November 7, at Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. For more information, call 713-758-7200. The Bravery is also on the bill. -- Lyssa Oberkreser
Herein, a handful of take-aways from the White Stripes' Cavett-esque appearance on The Charlie Rose Show last week, dedicated to the unidentified talent booker who put Jack and Meg White in front of the black background for 40 minutes. Yes, the band known for stripping rock down to its basics spent nearly an hour chatting with the man who never uses five words when he can use 25, and the results were magical. Unidentified booker, we salute your moxie!
Line of the evening: Teasing the bifurcated episode -- first 20 minutes on Plamegate, last 40 with Jack and Meg -- Charlie intones, "A Washington investigation. And good music. When we continue."
Longest run-on question: Charlie -- "You know, when we think of Memphis and we think of the blues, and we think of Nashville for the country-western, and we think of New Orleans and we think of all of that. And New York has a bit of jazz and a whole range of other things. But Detroit has a real musical tradition, I mean beyond Motown. The rap came out of Detroit, and you guys came out of Detroit. Who else?"
Our favorite part of that: "The rap came out of Detroit."
Approximate year "the rap" was invented in Detroit? Um, first we've heard of that, actually.
Number of direct questions about the long-debunked claim that Jack and Meg are siblings: zero.
Number of indirect questions about said claim: four.
Best of these: With his second question, Charlie asked Jack, "When did you two meet?" Jack's crafty dodge, "Well, we started the band in 1997 "
Factor by which Jack's face appears to have expanded laterally since the photo shoot for White Blood Cells: 1.5.
Factor of sun protection in Jack's daily moisturizing face cream, judging from his pearly complexion: Like, 2,000? We're ballparking here.
Number of questions phrased in the form of a statement: approximately seven.
Number of times Jack lamented the underappreciated genius of Orson Welles: one.
Number of results returned by Googling "Orson Welles" and "genius": About 152,000.
Proportion of those 152,000 results that directly deals with Orson Welles's influence on "the rap": zero, probably. But we're ballparking here. -- Dan Reines
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