As part of the "Ask Gordon Anything" series of posts, today is part one of a two-part series featuring questions from pal/near-twin Roger, whose first two questions are
When you're prone to melancholy, what gets you out of it? What musician/singer I've never heard of should I be listening to?To answer both questions....I usually listen to the music of Joy Division.
Granted, the band has gained notoriety for Ian Curtis' suicide, but this is some of the most emotionally engaging - and challenging - music ever recorded.
Part of the myth is due to the limited amount of music - two full albums, two compilations, a great documentary and Control (the obligatory biopic). It's not an easy listen - very minimalist, very existential....but this music is a great soundtrack for facing one's demons. (Even the surviving members - who went on to form New Order - have some qualms about performing. Here's a great interview with Peter Hook, the bassist, about the band's legacy)
Trust me - listening to Closer can be brutal, but there's something transcendent about the experience. It's as much about the "I survived the gloom" as it is "it doesn't get any worse then this."
It's a bit of a challenge, but Joy Division's music is worth it.
And soon, Roger, I'll answer your other questions - honest!