Depeche Mode Imaginary Scoop New Order The Cure

3 High School Albums I Still Love {Vol. 1}

Oh 80s, how I love and hate that I grew up in your giant bang/legwarmer/off-the-shoulder culture. Some things never go out of style (especially according to Urban Outfitters)—even though they probably should—but even though my fashion sense evolved, my taste in music has stayed pretty much the same. Sure, I find bands I like now, but for the most part it’s because they all remind me of the bands I loved when I was a teenager.

Lace up your Docs and dive into a pile of nostalgia as I run through three albums that helped get me through the confusion and terror of my high school years, and which I still play on repeat 20-something years later.

The Cure: Disintegration
Affectionately (?!) titled  “the wrist-slitting album” by my group of constantly black-clad Goth-y friends, Disintegration is a depressing tearjerker of an album, meant for playing just after you’ve been dumped while you write long tomes of terrible poetry, burning that candle you shoved into a cheap Chianti bottle, next to the dead rose you still keep in a vase decorated by torn black lace.

The first strains of the opener, “Plainsong” tinkles in quietly, gradually building to an explosion of gorgeous notes that fall slowly, which make it the perfect sad movie song (major props to Sophia Coppola of sticking it into Marie Antoinette at just the right moment). And then Robert starts in with his mantra of heartbreak, and any hope you have of keeping it together totally crumbles. And that’s how the rest of the album goes: 12 songs of beautiful, amazing tunes focusing on love gone wrong, obsession, and pain. Even the strange “Lullaby”, about a frightening nightmare, is really about having your hopes dashed and your heart torn asunder. And everyone remembers sobbing through “Pictures of You”—while actually looking at photos of their exes, right? "I've been living so long with my pictures of you, that I almost believe that the pictures are all I can feel…" Oh Robert Smith. You get me. You really, really get me.

Anyway, what started out as an album to listen to while sobbing my 17-year-old heart out is now one of my favorite collections of tunes to listen to, just for the amazingness of it all. I love everything Cure, but Disintegration will always come first on my list of must-listens. I can’t even call out any standout tunes from this one, because you NEED to listen to the whole thing for the full effect.

New Order: Technique
It was hard to choose the New Order album that was most important to me in the 80s, but even though I think Power, Corruption & Lies and Brotherhood are better overall, Technique was a tape-deck staple, so I have to talk about it.

When Technique came out, I was a Senior who had recently broken free of a terrible relationship, so what I was craving was freedom and tons of fun—which more often than not meant driving my Mustang from Edmonds to Seattle late at night, all windows down with the tape deck blaring. And my recently-installed Bose speakers (thanks, Dad!) were perfect for handling all the bumping techno beats.

“You’re much too young, to be a part of me…” starts out "Fine Time," whose catchy beats are ideal for car seat dance parties and screaming out into the open air. My partner-in-crime at the time and I had the “That’s why I love you baby” part timed out in unison, and we played the hell out of our dashboard drums.

The lyrics on every song resonated with me strongly at the time, thick with teenage rebellion and regret (“But I don’t give a damn about what those people say, they pick you up and kick you out, they hurt you every day” – "All the Way"), while still somehow imparting hope and happiness.

Like all New Order albums, there’s also a healthy dose of longing, but still, every memory associated with this album is a happy one. Speeding through the black night on quiet back roads, one hand on the wheel, the other holding a Djarum clove out the window and smiling from ear-to-ear. And it still makes me incredibly happy! You know, minus both the speeding and smoking cloves part….because I’m old and stuff.

I urge all New Order fans to revisit Technique. Just remember: this is an album that’s meant to be played LOUD. Don’t mess around with anything under 11 on the dial.

Depeche Mode: Music for the Masses
The first time I saw DM live was during the Music for the Masses tour and OMFG you guys, it was so incredible that I will never, ever forget it. (May 2, 1988, y’all! At the Coliseum, aka: Key Arena, aka: no name now). I still have the ticket stub and program in my hope chest. Ahem

Every song on this album is a masterpiece, and together, they make up what I think is the tightest, most consistently beautiful collection of songs Depeche Mode has ever put out—and that definitely showed during the live show. “Never Let Me Down Again”, “Strangelove”, and “Behind the Wheel” were all big hits, deservedly so, and great, great songs. And Dave’s haunting vocals (especially on “To Have and To Hold”) never fail to stir up longing sighs over too much lost time and too many broken relationships. “I heard it from my friends about the things you said…” was able to reduce me to a complete meltdown within seconds.

My friends and I used to put this CD on and have drunken dance parties while screaming out the words “I’m taking a ride with my best friend! I hope he never lets me down again!”, which for some reason was really hilarious (probably because we were wasted almost all the time). We also had long discussions over which DM member wore their eyeliner best.

1988 was a really rough year for me, but even though this album is full of sad lyrics and despair (oh hey! Just like EVERY Depeche Mode album!), it still helped me work through being a total mess. So I listen to it fondly now, and try to remember how far I’ve come from that sad, scared little girl who drowned her sorrows in buckets of Bacardi and stupid displays of bravado the resulted in more than a few dangerous scuffles.

In other words, despite the memories attached to it, Music for the Masses is, was, and always will be, one of my favorites.

So, fellow Imaginaries, which albums from High School do you still spin regularly?

Depeche Mode Imaginary Scoop

Imaginary Linkage: Stuff We Spied Online This Week {1/28-2/3}

So much internet love this week! Here are the things that thrilled us so much we had to share.

There's not much we can add to the video above, except that the people at Archie McPhee clearly RULE. 

Ever wondered where the best of the worst roadside dinosaurs are? Now you know.

Rough breakup? Sell your ex's gifts on Never Liked it Anyway, or tell a story about items they left behind on I Still Have Your Stuff. 

Den of Geek put together a pretty good list of Top 25 Cult Film Actors – but Amie is upset that they forgot Jeffery Combs. I mean, SERIOUSLY

Cards Against Humanity: Our new favorite game (that you can download for free!)

The best cover of Depeche Mode's "Strangelove" on the entire internet. 

Low-Commitment Projects: Crafting for lazy people. 

{probably NSFW} Someone who calls themselves Dianne Amazeballs (rightfully so!) started a collection of Ridiculous Pregnancy Pictures on Pinterest, and we can't. stop. looking. at. them. 

What you'd see that's worthy of an Imaginary Shout-out? 

Depeche Mode Imaginary Scoop Live Show Review The Crocodile

Photo Essay: Dancing on the Valentine 6 – Strange Highs & Strange Lows

Dancing on the Valentine 2011 - photo by: Ben Haley

Fantastic news (just in case you haven’t heard) – Dancing on the Valentine 6 SOLD OUT The Crocodile for the 2nd year in a row on February 11th! Event organizers are still calculating the total donation monies, but we’ll keep you posted on the results. For now, enjoy a preview of the amazing work of photobooth master Ben Haley – I think this year’s B&W with pops of color theme is my favorite!

{Ben is working furiously to get all photos up, but with 500+, he’s got his work cut out for him. Check the DOTV6 flickr pool & FB page for updates}

Dancing on the Valentine 2011

Lesli Wood & Jupe Jupe @DOTV6

Dancing on the Valentine 2011

Dancing on the Valentine 2011

Dancing on the Valentine 2011

Black Swedes Brent Amaker Depeche Mode DJ Mike Steve Exohxo Hotels Imaginary Scoop Jupe Jupe Legion Within Lesli Wood Sean Nelson Ships The Animals at Night

Recommended Show + ticket giveaway: Dancing on the Valentine, Strangelove @The Croc {2/11}

Dancing on the Valentine 2011Every Valentine’s weekend, my lovely friend Jenny George celebrates another year on earth by flipping off the bastard that almost took her from it with a birthday cover show that benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. This year, please join us at The Crocodile this Friday, February 11 for Dancing on the Valentine VI: Strangelove and give cancer a big “F YOU” while listening to Depeche Mode covers by Seattle bands, buying raffle tix for awesome prizes, and you know, probably drinking a lot.

We can’t tell you who’s covering what (that would spoil the surprise!), but we can tell you who’s playing: Black Swedes, Hotels, Exohxo, SHiPS, Lesli Wood with Jupe Jupe, Sean Nelson & Phil Peterson, Legion Within, and The Animals at Night w/special guests Brent Amaker & Ruby Mimosa from The Atomic Bombshells!!! Tickets are $10 advance ($12.38 online w/fees from The Croc, $12 @Sonic Boom locations) or $12 at the door. Every bit of the $10 gets donated + all your raffle dollars!

Bonus: we’ve got a pair of tickets to giveaway! Send an email to us at tig {at} threeimaginarygirls dot com by Thursday 2/10, 6pm – subject line: Strange Highs and Strange Lows and we’ll pick a lucky winner at random and notify them Friday AM (that way you can spend all your donation $$ on raffle tickets!)

Dancing on the Valentine VI
Strangelove: A Depeche Mode Tribute & Benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Friday, 2/11/11
The Crocodile
Doors @8
Show @9
$10 adv (+ fees)/$12 at door

Depeche Mode iPod Roulette

Blasphemous Rumors

I read somewhere that Martin Gore picked up a paper one day, highlighted three stories, then wrote a pop song about them. The resulting track, from 1984's Some Great Reward, was banned from US radio stations because, I'd guess, it made disparaging comments about God. Wikipedia tells me it was allegedly the same girl in all three stories. It also tells me that Martin Gore recorded "Somebody" in the nude. So there's that.

That Depeche Mode is so edgy.

Of course, there is a bit of foreboding to the track, all haunting synths and serious vibes. My impression of Dave Gahan and the boys was never that they were cynical. Ever see Dave try to start the hand waving at a Depeche Mode concert? They're so happy to be up there, living the rock star dream, that they don't have time to be pissy about anything. So that makes "Rumors" an artistic stretch.

And it's still danceable, kind of. Not as much as "People Are People", but that's asking a lot. I can't imagine how much of a buzz kill it would have been to hear this come on at your standard 1984 goth club, but no one can really dance at a goth club anyway, right? And the beat, while hidden in the back of the mix, is massive and strong. That pseudo-industrial bass thump going into the verse is the stuff my young, synthy-goth addled mind loved. If my parents would have let me put all black on and dance around my room, I would have. I probably did.

The best thing about this track coming up in a random iPod playlist, however, is the reminder that the 80s greatest synthpop band wasn't completely cheesy. What made later albums like Music For The Masses and Violator so solid wasn't just a perfect combination of timing and 808s, but a natural talent for songwriting and the ability to turn an unwieldy chorus into a catchy hook. We could use a little more of that today.


Bauhaus Crystal Castles Depeche Mode Imaginary Scoop Interpol Joy Division Man Plus Nine Inch Nails Schoolyard Heroes She Wants Revenge The Cure

Looking for a great "Hallowindie" Mix

Hello, Imaginary World.

I make a point out of living up Halloween each and every year. My annual tradition is to create a Halloween mix CD- not one of those clichè ones with "The Addams Family Theme" and "Monster Mash", but a really good, unique one.

My past lists include songs by

  • Depeche Mode
  • The Cure
  • Interpol
  • She Wants Revenge
  • Bauhaus
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Joy Division

This year, however, I'm looking for a better mix, with as much Seattle Indie music as possible. And maybe less depressing Goth.

I'm going to start the mix with "Children of the Night" by Schoolyard Heroes, "Crimewave" by Crystal Castles, and "My Kind of People" by Man Plus. Maybe this will give you an idea of the kind of stuff I'm looking for. Remember, this is going to be played at a party! With costumes and caramel apples and cobwebs galore!

I want to hear your suggestions for more songs! Please, help me make the best Hallowindie Mix 2008?

Black Mountain Cat Power Depeche Mode Drive-By Truckers Imaginary Scoop MGMT

New releases from Easy Street Records

Some great new releases this week for sure!

Cat Power is back with her second record of cover songs (and one new Chan track!). Her cover of "Silver Stallion" makes the hair on my arm stand on end.

Black Mountain releases Into The Future today. It's a great record and I can't wait to see them live on the 31st with Yeasayer and MGMT.

Speaking of, MGMT has a new record out today as well. Big news for sure, especially since they are on NME's NBT list! Check out Oracular Spectacular!

Drive By Truckers also release Brighter Than Creations Dark today. I love it when the chicks sings!

Here's the rest:

Black Mountain – In The Future
Buzzcocks – 30
Cat Power – Juke box
Drag The River – You Can't Live This Way
Drive By Truckers – Brighter Than Creations Dark
Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Works Vol. 2
KRS-One – Adventures In Emceeing
Matt Costa – Unfamiliar Faces
MGMT – Oracular Spectacular
Pelican – After The Ceiling Cracked
Steve Aoki – Pillowface & His Airplane Chronicles
The Whips – Mission Control

There are also a bunch of Depeche Mode vinyl re-issues out today! Exciter, Music For The Mases, Songs of Faith & Devotion, Ultra, and Violator all are making an appearance on 180 gram vinyl today.

Remember that Easy Street's Queen Anne location stays open until after midnight on Mondays to bring you new releases in real time!

Depeche Mode Imaginary Scoop Liz Phair Pearl Jam Public Enemy The Cure

JITM: At it Again

Several months ago, KEXP DJ John in the Morning sent me spinning as he played an hour-plus of music all from 1987 – purely for the sake of answering a listener’s question (“What came out in 1987?”). 

Today, he’s at it again. John’s been playing tracks from stellar debut albums all morning…We’ve heard Depeche Mode, Sunny Day Real Estate, Public Enemy, Pearl Jam, Liz Phair, The Cure (from TIG’s favorite-ever collection, “Three Imaginary Boys”), and on and on and on. The music continues. I’ll update this with a setlist when he’s through – if he ever stops. I for one hope he doesn't – ever.

Update: Sounds like he plans to continue this tomorrow!