This Time of Night

New Order – This Time of Night

Normally I am not around at 3pm on a Monday afternoon but there was no bus transportation for my daughter’s school today and my husband couldn’t pick her up so I took the day off and took care of some local things as well. I turned on the radio and hit the button for the local college station. The DJ said he was going to be down in New York on Friday for Peter Hook’s show at which he and his band are playing Low-Life and Brotherhood back to back. The DJ decided to play both albums in their entirety as a kind of tribute.

As “Love Vigilantes” started up I said, “Oh, I love this song!” and turned it up and started singing along. A surefire way to embarrass your young teenager.

I then launched into an unasked-for explanation about why I was not also going to this show. Lots of the usual logistical reasons but also I’m not sure how I feel about the whole Peter Hook playing New Order and Joy Division songs with the Light and New Order playing without Peter Hook thing. Bands break up all the time or kick someone out, get a new drummer, but this is weird and uncomfortable, like when a couple you know breaks up and you still want to be friends with both of them but they want you to choose sides. I can’t do it!

To say my daughter didn’t care in the least is an understatement. She was further perplexed by my insistence that the voice singing these songs should be Bernard Sumner, even though I acknowledged that he isn’t a “good singer” which is really all my daughter seems to notice at this point in her musical development. Then “The Perfect Kiss” came on and I said, “Oh, I love this song!” Eye-rolling in the passenger seat.

But she wasn’t asking me to change the station and any chance I can get to expose her to music that isn’t on the top 40 station is a good thing. I tried to explain how just because someone may not be a great singer doesn’t mean that the way they sing isn’t great. I don’t think I convinced her but I like to introduce the idea to her. I am not immune to the power of a beautiful voice, far from it, but I love a lot of bands with singers that would never make it in an a cappella group. And I love them, in many cases, not in spite of but because of that imperfect voice.

We made it home and I went in and turned on the stereo so I could pick up where we left off in the car. “Sunrise” came on and I heard her laugh as I said, “Oh man, I LOVE this song!” and she wandered into another room. Just wait, I thought to myself. Just wait.


  1. Yes, love a unique voice. And, I also find Peter Hook doing Joy Division uncomfortable. And perplexing. Why? Is there really a big demand for almost authentic renditions minus the person who really mattered? Hard to imagine it would be satisfying for anyone.


  2. Give it time…my eldest recently asked me to burn her a CD of my favorite New Order/Joy Division songs so she could rip them onto her iPhone. As for the divorced couple analogy: yes. Feels exactly like that.


  3. It’s the duty of every parent to embarrass their child(ren) by singing in public. Tell her she can be grateful you’re not like my dad, who used to break out into opera while we shopped at the mall… 😉


  4. Reading this, I had a moment and I muttered “Ian Curtis rules” under my breath. My boyfriend thinks I’m crazy. Thank you. 😀


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