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SOP029 – Podcast of the Universe

May 1, 2009

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Show Notes
In May there’s a whole lotta time traveling going on!  Neil breaks down the various timelines in the world of Terminator and gives a peek into the Battlestar Galactica follow-up, Caprica. Laura shares some time travel fiction. Depeche Mode reaches into the past and uses vintage synths on their new album, Sounds of the Universe. Fast forward to the future where we premiere the long anticipated first single from Das Shadow.  And if that weren’t already enough, we pause in the present long enough to interview the editor of a beautiful new Depeche Mode book. Too bad in seven days this podcast will be so last week! With additional music by Neil Smith, Venus Hum and Otto Sharp.

Music Guide

Artist: Neil Smith
Podsafe Music Network

“Pink Champagne”
Artist: Venus Hum
Album: The Colors in the Wheel

“Ocean Mustangs”
Artist: Mari Smith

“Navigate the Menus”
Artist: Das Shadow
Link Coming Soon!

“Creature of Habit”
Artist: Otto Sharp
Album: Truth of Lies

Misc. Goodies and Links
I’m done asking for iTunes reviews. Really. You’ll never hear me ask again. Probably. But if you felt like going here and leaving one I can’t really stop you now can I?

Do you Twitter? Swell! Follow us at

Books discussed in the Episode:
The Time Traveler’s Wife
By Audrey Niffenagger USA

Martin L. Gore: Lays

By Jururtha Harchaoui
Jugurtha’s Website USA

Movies Discussed in This Episode

Terminator Salvation

Let the Right One In

Gallery of Guys Neil Finds Attractive

Depeche Mode Prize Packages
As mentioned on the show, we have two prize packages to give away.

To enter, leave a comment on this blog entry below. Tell us what you think of the new Depeche Mode album. Also, please let us know which track is your favorite. (Please choose from the main album tracks only. NO BONUS TRACKS.) We will announce the favorite track, as well as the contest winners on the June podcast. DEADLINE TO ENTER: MAY 22, 2009.

The obligatory Depeche Mode Link

24 Comments leave one →
  1. May 2, 2009 3:42 am

    1st time listening to your podcast (waited until the BSG chat was done with so I wouldn’t have spoilers), I did skip the review of “Let the Right One In” since I have yet to watch it. Loved Mari’s song, will she be on the next Sleep album, oops I mean The Sleep ;P (Asinine Amazon!)

    Have you seen the fan edit of Terminator 3? I have not, but plan on soon.
    From the website “What is it about? This is a serious take on TERMINATOR 3 to be more in the tradition of its prequels. Lots of cheesy and unnecessary elements were removed as well as all the references to dates and ages that contradict the previous two films.”
    The fan edit of Star Wars is incredible!

    As far as the new Depeche, one of my favorite tracks so far is “Perfect” and now I see it is the next single.

    And @Muserrr says stop Hatin’ on Duran! Actually we are both fans of Duran Duran, she’s more fanatic than I (and I HATE HATE HATE the song “The Wild Boys)! And we are both big fans of Depeche Mode.

    See ya on Twitter!

    • May 2, 2009 6:33 am

      Hi jim! Thanks for commenting and entering our little contest! And hurrry up and watch BSG already – Hee Hee! I wll pass the Terminator stuff on to Neil. He’ll be very interested! i am marking down on vote for “Perfect.” I love that one, too, but don’t know if I can ever choose a favorite. It’s going to be hard. I’ll see what I can do about the Duran Duran situation, but I’m not promising anything. I did go see them live once, and it was a good show. How’s that?

  2. May 2, 2009 2:25 pm

    Neil’s birthday is the same day as my father in laws and 12 days before mine! Yay May babies!

    I liked Terminator 2. Maybe because I was 13 and wanted to marry Edward Furlong and have his babies.

    A pal of mine was at the Depeche Mode gig for Jimmy Kimmel and said that they kept advertising it as a full blown concert, but only played 6 songs and it wasn’t so hot. I don’t think she’s a hard core fan though.

    • May 5, 2009 8:55 pm

      Hey Nessa! I’m so jealous of your friend who was at the Kimmel show to see Depeche Mode! It sounds like those tickets were wasted on her! I can’t believe she expected a full length concert! They were great from what I saw!

      Again, thanks for the tip! I love the Smiths!

  3. Leah permalink
    May 5, 2009 4:42 pm

    I enjoyed your podcast – a fun listen. You guys crack me up. I love that a husband & wife can make Depeche jokes with each other. And for the record, I’m with you Laura – I LOVES me the Prada cape. haha…

    Oh, and I wasn’t really interested in buying “LAYS” but thanks to your podcast, I am now putting in on my birthday wishlist. (btw, U did a great interview, Laura)

    It’s hard to pick a favorite b/c I’m still in “discovery” mode with SOTU and I really like everything. But right now I find myself going to “In Sympathy.” It really grabbed me from the beginning and I like it’s upbeatness.

    I agree with what Neil said about “Perfect” it sounds totally like a Duran song. Although I like Duran, it kind of bothers me that Depeche sounds like Duran. (I also think a couple of tracks on Exciter sound DD-ish)

    All in all, I love SOTU. It’s so different than Playing the Angel. What I am enjoying so much are the actual SOUNDS that come from this record. ALL the tracks have wonderful things going on that just make my ears so happy ^_^ It’s a delight to listen to… well maybe except for “Spacewalker.” LOL! I think Mart’s buying binge of all that vintage equipment really paid off. I can’t wait for August to witness the real deal!

    Happy birthday Neil and Happy Mother’s Day, Laura!

    • May 5, 2009 5:08 pm

      Leah – Now that I am forcing people to choose a favorite I should do the same. So far I can’t. It may be years before there is one standout. But I’ll choose a favorite-of-the-moment by next month. Glad you liked the show! And thanks for the kind words about the interview. He made it easy for me!

  4. May 5, 2009 8:29 pm

    I just started listening to your podcast this week. Nessa recommended you because we have Depeche Mode in common. I love your show and love that you include Mari!

    I’d love to be included in your contest! I’ve been a Depeche Mode fan since about 1984. In fact, I met my husband, David, on the Depeche Mode Message Board in 1998! We’ve got 5th row tickets for the Toronto show! Yay! And we received our box set on the release date too! So here’s my take on it:

    It is growing on me. I made the mistake of having my first listen on my ipod! It didn’t do it justice, of course! But I learned my lesson and have been blasting it in the car and on our stereo, and it is really growing on me. I wouldn’t say it’s Violator…but then, that one was a grower for me too! My favorite track on the album is “Miles Away/The Truth Is” but I’m sure that’ll probably change as I continue to let it sink in.

    Nessa has a link on her blog to one of your songs and I listened to it and really liked it a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t even know you were DM fans at the time, either!

    I loved the song “Pink Champagne” that you played in this episode too. You’ve got great taste in music!

    Looking forward to your next episode (and catching up on the old ones in the meantime!)…

    Michelle (happiestgirl69)

    • May 6, 2009 6:00 am

      Hi Michelle and welcome to the show. That Nessa is the best virtual daughter I’ve ever had! Thanks for your take on SOTU. It really is a slow-grower. I think that means it will have staying power in the long run. You have me beat by 1 year of DM fandom. And 5th row… I am super jealous. Have fun catching up on past episodes!

  5. May 10, 2009 5:10 pm

    Hi Smiths, sorry for the delay. Loved the podcast, made me laugh a lot. The opening tune was lovely Neil, wouldn’t mind an MP3 of the full track, electro joy!

    So a few comments, questions and musings. Firstly, the thing you call a Chamois (think you pronounced in Shamwah) is pronounced Shammy here, I wasn’t sure what you were talking about at first! Secondly, it is insane that Amazon can’t have the word THE sorted, I share your pain and wonder how Matt Johnson got around it with his many releases for the fabulous ‘The The’.

    Great to hear Venus Hum are active again, love them, can’t wait for some new stuff. Went to see Star Trek today and thought the end credits would have been better with their music.

    Depeche Mode: I am still getting to know this album, I like it but I need more time and I still hate the design. I shall not rant but – STOP IT Anton, stop it now. Your crayons were better. Martin’s hair is awful (sorry Laura) he needs a new stylist, maybe this is something you could offer? Ditto with the Prada cape. Loved your interview with the book author, it was really interesting hearing the story behind the book, shame Anton was so mean about the pics, he was probably jealous that the book is beautifully designed 😉

    Finally, the end bit of the show was very funny, Well done Neil for capturing some really silly but very funny audio there!

    Best wishes from this bit of the universe. Live long and prosper… x

    • May 10, 2009 5:46 pm

      I never feel the show is a success until I hear from Andrew. Thanks and glad you liked it. Here’s a link to Sham-Wow! Consider yourself lucky if you aren’t subjected to these horrible advertisements in the UK.

      It’s funny how Amazon has managed to get THE Cure on, too.

      I know what you mean about the album. I haven’t gotten together a review yet. I was still processing it. I am glad that it is a “grower.” If we all loved everything about it immediately, we’d be sick of it now, 3 weeks later. Have you seen Martin’s outfit for the warm-up gig in Luxembourg? That was fabulous! All glittery and totally rock star. The best yet, I think.

      I’ll pass your compliments on to Jugurtha. I know he’ll appreciate it. Thanks for weighing in on everything! And we’re waiting not so patiently for your new show!

      • May 11, 2009 2:53 am

        My Podcast is nearly ready, that is conceptually! It has a logo, the content is written, the theme tune done and the website under construction. The domain is bought and the outline of show one is there. Now I have to put all the bits together. It will happen! I miss Podcasting and am looking forward to doing it again, need to stick to a monthly routine like at the start. It’s great that you are so consistent and manage it with everything else going on in your lives.

  6. May 19, 2009 5:52 am

    Ok here we go, a lil quickie..

    “Ground control we have lift off”

    The +Positive+ Sounds Of The Universe.

    From the beginning- ‘Lift off’ 10-9.. sliding into orbit -In Chains, then making approach channeling into each and every other… Each song holds it’s own little Universe of sound and auora, as i set afloat into the great unknown atmosphere listening to the album it’s like being on a journey ‘Songs In The Key Of space’ bouncing from planet to planet across the star glittered solar plane..

    Depeche Mode has delivered us another timeless classic set of songs in words and sounds. Listening to the album closely i can hear each detailed birth of new sounds that caress the words that Martin and Dave conjured up deep in thier imagination’s.
    Channeling the Sounds brings me to another world by another star at another place in time…in another state of concienceness in another state of mind. Being on another parelell Universe and the taste of time traveling back to the past of familiar pops- crackles- and dings- a small venture to albums past and the legacy Depeche Mode has created.

    Sound Of The Universe has left a footprint on my little soul, “Cleaning out my mind this time” taking me ‘Miles Away/The Truth Is… Its’ bright and strong and speaks of elequance, I feel ‘Peace’ i am left with feeling nothing ‘Wrong’ in the end some might say it’s ‘Corrupt’ but i say it’s ‘Perfect’.

    The greatest Depeche album yet.


  7. May 19, 2009 7:27 am

    Rock on! I am just listening to this podcast… wow the discussion of the album… -I think it’s Perfect 🙂

  8. May 19, 2009 10:14 am

    SOTU shouldn’t be described. “Words are very unnecessary” here. The album should be felt. But if I must say what I think of it…I’ll say this: It’s aptly named. It’s otherworldly, sensual, and seductive.

    My favorite track is “In Chains.”

    Good luck everybody!

  9. May 19, 2009 12:05 pm

    I never expected Depeche Mode to release, at least to my ears, an average record. I certainly don’t love it but certainly don’t loathe it, this is just… average.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect the band to repeat the same formula over and over again (they mainly never did) but I confess this has been the first time since I jumped onto the Depeche bandwagon (1989) I feel myself disappointed. Was I expecting too much? I really don’t know what I was expecting at first. Even Exciter is doing more for me thanks to its first 4 tracks!

    This is too mellow for my current tastes: the production, the songwriting, the infamous analogue extravaganza of this record and so on… I miss the edge of Playing The Angel in this follow-up. Too soft, too…mellow again.

    I feel some songs have potential but the way they’ve been produced is just anti-climatic in my book ie In Chains, Perfect, Corrupt.

    12th studio album? Certainly not in my top 5, barely in my top 10, sadly…

    Ghost is for me the standout track of this release but since we can’t pick up a bonus track (lame), I would go for Wrong.

    • May 19, 2009 12:42 pm

      I enjoyed reading your thoughts, Bruno. Thanks for weighing in. I find it interesting that many people like the demos and in-studio “minimalistic” versions of the songs rather than the album versions. The songs are strong – it’s just the production choices that take them in different directions. We’ll do a poll for favorite bonus track, too. So I’ll save your vote for “Ghost.”

  10. Curtis Armstrong permalink
    May 19, 2009 4:40 pm

    Well, I’ve been listening to the album relentlessly. Switching back and forth between it and Pet Shop Boys new release Yes (it makes for a great contrast). I love the way that In Chains starts with the “tuning” of the electronics, like they are getting ready for flight.
    The album for me gets stronger as it goes on. In Chains serves as a great introduction, Hole To Feed is fair, probably the weakest on the the album though. But then Wrong kicks in and things start moving! I am usually not a fan of the first singles from the more recent batch of albums, but Wrong I love! I turn it up so loud in the car that my ears ring afterwards (they sort of just ring all the time now anyway). And now that I have the lyrics down, it is so much fun to belt out in a ticked-off-with-the-world tone.
    The more I listen, the more I hear pieces of other classic DM songs. Fragile Tension has some sounds I swear are right off A Broken Frame, while Perfect sounds a lot like Puppets in the beginning (seriously, try singing Puppets to Perfect…it works).
    Little Soul sounds better every time. On first listen, it was probably my least favorite, now it is very close to the top.
    Peace. Peace kicks the frak out of every other song on the album. My son is starting to get a little sick of it, but he is only 3 and his favorite song is Kung-fu Fighting, so what can I say. By far my favorite on the album.
    Now I will mention that Ghost and Oh Well are incredible, even though I not supposed to. Best bonus tracks (b-sides) since Happiest Girl and Sea Of Sin.

    • May 19, 2009 4:57 pm

      It is so fun to hear what everyone has to say – I’m with you Curtis, on “Wrong.” I’m still working on the words, but it is so fun to belt out in the car! I agree, the bonus tracks are quite good. I’m off to sing “Puppets” to “Perfect” now…

  11. Brody permalink
    May 20, 2009 3:21 am

    I’m am back, I just read my crazy mispelled review, lol.. but i can’t help to comment again because the first words Jennifer wrote are exactly what i wanted to put down when i posted here yesterday. This album it can’t be descibed in words and it’s all about what you feel when you listen to it. My true review is that i am left speechless with Sounds Of The Universe because it’s Perfect. 🙂

    • May 20, 2009 11:05 am

      Well, we hard-core DM fans are all soulmates…so we naturally think the same things 😉

      Is this Depechebrode from MySpace? Must be.

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