Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sweetest Perfection - Violator at 20

March 19th and 20th marked the 20th anniversary of the release dates (UK & US respectively) for Depeche Mode's Violator album. For many it was their introduction to Depeche Mode thanks to the success of the songs "Personal Jesus" and "Enjoy The Silence." For others it was the next step for a band who had just about 2 years earlier had put on the concert of a lifetime at Pasadena's Rose Bowl with the 101st show on their Music for the Masses tour.
By the time Violator was released in 1990, I had been listening to Depeche Mode for 6 years. My introduction to their music came in 1984 with the song "People Are People." I still remember going to the record store and buying Some Great Reward on cassette. Soon after that came the purchases of Speak & Spell, A Broken Frame, and Construction Time Again, where I learned that I had also heard "Everything Counts" and "Just Can't Get Enough" on the radio long before PAP. I just never knew who sang them and was, I guess, too young at the time to have really formed a deep connection. But I soon became a devotee. Walls that were once covered in posters of Duran Duran became covered in posters of Depeche Mode. My first live show was on May 2, 1988 at the Seattle Center Coliseum on the MFTM tour.
I eagerly awaited the release of the follow up album, but I will confess that the first time I heard "Personal Jesus" I was less than impressed. It took me a few listens to warm up to it, but once I did, I was hooked. When Violator was released I was working at a record store so I was able to buy it right away. I was also able to play it when I worked - over and over. And over and over again I did. I loved this album. From the opening beats of "World In My Eyes" to the closing notes of "Clean" there was something special about Violator. The only song that didn't wow me was "Policy of Truth" - which to this day is still my least favorite song on the album. I don't dislike it, but it doesn't touch me in a way the rest of the songs do. Three of my Top 10 DM songs are on this album (Halo, Enjoy The Silence, & Waiting For The Night) with two others (Blue Dress & Clean) creeping in depending on my mood.
I wish Violator a very Happy Anniversary. It will always be a special album that will fill my life with incredible sounds and fun, exciting, and emotional memories. The subsequent tour found me traveling to both Vancouver, BC and Portland, OR to see them perform, and again, I was not disappointed. They remain, to this day, one of the greatest, yet most underrated (to non-fans) live bands around. And 20 years on, "Personal Jesus" and "Enjoy The Silence" remain concert staples - with occasional appearances by "World In My Eyes," "Policy of Truth," and "Halo" - always crowd favorites.

Thanks for reading from Rdwnggrl's World.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Are We Listening to Hymns of Offering?

The title of this blog comes from the "The World I Know" from Collective Soul, a song I love and that seems to ask questions about us and our role in this world we know. Seemed fitting for this blog post.

I wanted to do a quick spotlight of a few things/causes that are important to me. One is new, the others I've mentioned before but are worth mentioning again, as they should not be forgotten.

First I want to bring your attention to a young lady named Satori. She is the daughter of a friend I've met through Twitter, Melissa from @HautTotes. Satori, or Tori, has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (type II). She is going to be undergoing a full spinal fusion at the end of March. Her mom has started a campaign to gather (receive) as many postcards as they can, addressed to Tori, from all over the US and the world. Please read my friend's blog and consider sending them a postcard. The blog, Postcards for Satori, explains what Tori will be having done, what they hope to be learning with the postcards, along with the address to send them to.

Next I want to remind everyone about Bears On Patrol! They are working to make tough situations bearable for children in traumatic situations. When police officers respond to emergency calls and children are involved, wouldn't it be nice if they had a soft and cuddly teddy bear to give to those children to help calm them? That's the goal of Bears on Patrol. Through auctions, direct donations, and a special shop on Zazzle, BOP is raising money to purchase bears for local and distant police departments. Please consider visiting their website to find out more information and for ways you can help. And check out their Zazzle shop for awesome products with great designs by fellow Zazzle artist. On the website you will also find the link to their Facebook page.

While the climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro may be over, the need for clean water still goes on, thus the continued fight by Summit on the Summit to bring attention to the global clean water crisis. On Sunday, March 14th at 9pm ET, MTV will be airing the Summit on the Summit documentary which chronicles the need, the fight, and the climb. Thanks to Kenna, a group of artists, activists, actors, and more joined together, trained, and climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in January of this year. Inspired by stories told to him by his father about losing family to waterborne illnesses, Kenna knew he needed to do something to bring attention to this little known issue. Please visit Summit on the Summit for more information and to donate. Follow Kenna and Summit on the Summit on Twitter (@OKKenna & @SOTSK) and on Facebook (Kenna & Summit on the Summit).

Thank you for reading, thank you for supporting, from Rdwnggrl's World.