Monday, April 04, 2005

Your Silent Face

Ah, I've reached the letter N: New Order.

"Temptation" and "Ceremony" are two of the most beautiful songs. Ever. I still like New Order an awful lot. When I was visiting my friends in Florida, one of them said, "If I ever got the chance to put music in a commercial, I'd use that single from the last New Order CD, because it's THAT GOOD." (That track would be "Crystal.") The Afghan Whigs covered 1993's "Regret" while on tour. "Bizarre Love Triangle" has been done a few times, most notably in the twee realm of Frente (and before that, the same interpretation from Devine & Statton). Moby's doing "Temptation" on his new CD. And I think their new single, "Krafty," is really cute.

It's amusing that there have been quite a few songs in the history of New Order that have been cute or silly, when they are always associated with their morose beginnings as the post-Ian Curtis Joy Division, and they have this stoicness about them. Just standing there, playing their instruments, seriously, telling sad love stories in their songs... when the songs had words. They are an electronic band with much emotional depth, which I think people take for granted especially when they are slamming acts that are way into drum machines. It's all in how you use it.

I saw New Order for the first time in 1986, when they were touring for Brotherhood. The Fall was opening for them (I had no idea who they were, tragically, but Mark E. Smith was ranting about something the whole time anyway). I was excited to see them, but that died away pretty quickly, because they were a bunch of assholes. I've seen them since (on other bills, because I was mad enough not to want to pay to see them) and they were nice again... but this evening? Well, they kept calling the crowd slags and fuckoffs, and American bastards and stuff. They played with their backs to the audience and cracked jokes to each other. This may have been funny to them, but to a 16 year old who bought the ticket with her babysitting money, it was more than a drag.

Well, I got over it, they got over it, and maybe it was just that they were playing in San Diego at SDSU. That crowd can be kind of lame.