The Ocean Blue?

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what has happened to them, i loved them dearly.

simona, Monday, 25 February 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

"Happened?" They're on March now. They have a new record out. I can't imagine that it's much better than "unnecessary," but there you have it.

I'll just be content with my old copy of Cerulean.

Nitsuh, Monday, 25 February 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

The sweetest, gentlest homophobes around. Hrm.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 25 February 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I think that category includes basically all Mennonites, Ned. But wait: what was the consensus back when we hashed that whole thing out? Did they get the IL* pass or the IL* condemnation?

Nitsuh, Monday, 25 February 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I thought they were hardcore Catholic, actually.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 25 February 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Homophobe? What's the story? I remember hearing "Between Something And Nothing" (or whatever the hell it was called) briefly years ago and then nothing... Didn't know they had an agenda outside of Blind Mr. Jones knockoff songs

Chris Barrus, Monday, 25 February 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Others' help would be appreciated -- the story As Heard A Long Time Ago: the Ocean Blue were and presumably are gentle Anglophile Christian lads, which is quite alright, as anyone judging quality of music based on the creators' religious background or lack thereof needs a talking-to. Alas, sometime around 1993 or 1994, one of the members came out of the closet, only to be sacked by the rest of the band for doing so, as somehow they were under the mistaken impression that being gay automatically makes one a bad person. The usual story -- *but* one that could well be untrue, that's why I'm posting this with huge qualifiers. If this was in fact not the case, I'll happily retract all this and write this off as a rumor that should have died. If this is true, though, then my respect for the band as people is rather dim if not nonexistent.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 25 February 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I apparently wasn't remembering the story correctly. Ned's account explains why the out-coming Steve Lau (it was Steve Lau, right?) immediately went off to produce an album by the band Riverside, who sounded exactly like the Ocean Blue except some of them were gay.

So problem solved: just listen to Riverside.

Nitsuh, Monday, 25 February 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Got all there cd's right here. Steve Lau, was his name and he did produce riverside. Which was a great cd in its day. I still dig cerulean. Drifting, Falling off of the self titled debut, is one of my all time favorites. What I did hear is that they and steve did have a falling out of sorts, but i guess they are on each others good sides now. Of course I heard this 3 years ago.

poops mcgee, Monday, 25 February 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

three years pass...
So I dug up my cassette copy of "Cerulean," and my opinion is unchanged: nice guitars and tunes, quite unmemorable. Singer sounds like he's suffering from acute Morrissey envy (I remmeber their note-for-note cover of "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out").

Was that story about Steve Lau ever confirmed?

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 7 June 2005 22:37 (sixteen years ago) link

Cerulean is in my permanent cd collection.

h0t h0t h0rsey (Carey), Wednesday, 8 June 2005 03:48 (sixteen years ago) link

i asked about the steve lau story on the indiepop list once and it wasn't pretty. it is supposedly discussed in a short interview with lau in a back issue of out magazine, but i could never find it. i would understand if none of them wanted to talk about it, as it's arguably none of our business. but it sure does tarish their image.

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Wednesday, 8 June 2005 05:02 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm with Hot Hot Horsey on this one. I was bummed when they kicked the gay guy out. Not cool.

BlastsOfStatic (BlastsofStatic), Wednesday, 8 June 2005 13:06 (sixteen years ago) link

Totally wierd, "Mercury" just came up on my IPod just after I submitted my last response. Creepy.

BlastsOfStatic (BlastsofStatic), Wednesday, 8 June 2005 13:15 (sixteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Has anyone ever pointed out that their entire early sound was basically just a variation on "Love Plus One" by Haircut 100? (Them and the Railway Children both, kinda.)

nabisco (nabisco), Friday, 4 August 2006 18:58 (fifteen years ago) link

Obv. a pattern EVERY BAND IN THE KNOWN UNIVERSE should follow.

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Friday, 4 August 2006 19:00 (fifteen years ago) link

Pleasant, and completely unmemorable. Alfred OTM once again.

Wine in the morning, breakfast at night (Bimble...), Friday, 4 August 2006 19:27 (fifteen years ago) link

I did like the one about the ballerina.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Friday, 4 August 2006 19:37 (fifteen years ago) link

TS: Ocean Blue vs. Left Banke. Heh.

Rickey Wright (Rrrickey), Friday, 4 August 2006 20:29 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, well there were a few I liked, too, but damn if I can remember a thing about what that band sounded like. I mean I know the STYLE but can't remember any songs, can't remember what the vocalist sounded like, can't remember the lyrics...although ballerina rings a bell.

Wine in the morning, breakfast at night (Bimble...), Saturday, 5 August 2006 06:38 (fifteen years ago) link

"Between Someting & Nothing" was their big hit, no?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Saturday, 5 August 2006 12:37 (fifteen years ago) link

seven months pass...
I'm feeling early nineties nostalgia tonight, it seems. Just heard Cerulean's title track. "Blu-ue sk-i-i-es, surrounding m-e-e-e..."

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Monday, 26 March 2007 02:06 (fourteen years ago) link

It was so-so-so-so-so-subl-ime.

Great song!

MusicQuizKing, Monday, 26 March 2007 16:52 (fourteen years ago) link

two years pass...

I was listening to Cerulean for the first time in years and suddenly realized: some of the lyrics are pretty judgmental! All about people who don't understand, like, the true path in life. (See: "Ballerina out of Control.")

Haha also watched a video of theirs in which Schelzel, between the chili-bowl haircut, facial expression, and extremely dated jeans, looks rather (I'm sorry) like he has some variety of developmental disability

nabisco, Monday, 18 May 2009 20:52 (twelve years ago) link

one month passes...

Rocking out to the s/t debut for the first time in FOREVER & am struck by the precision with which the guitarist out-shimmers Will Sargent while simultaneously totally ripping him off! No hate here, though. Those guys knew exactly what bands they wanted to sound like & proceeded to fashion their sound as such w/ German precision. And, twenty years later, it still sounds fantastic!

RE: Cerulean lyrics - I recall being 15 & a little embarrassed over liking that song about various types of flowers when most of my friends were listening to things like Pantera & Rage Against the Machine.

gayest flash mob pillow fight yet (Pillbox), Monday, 13 July 2009 05:58 (twelve years ago) link

I liked the first two albums so much but they were (are) faintly boring.

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 July 2009 11:35 (twelve years ago) link

Ah, but its banality is part of its charm somehow. It is comfortable music, like a reliable old pair of jeans or something. Anyway, reviewing my last post, I don't know how much "rocking out" I was doing - more like plaintive nodding? I'd like to listen to Cerulean again as well. I remember that one as being all around the better of the first two, no? I never paid attention past that one. Could there be some relevatory experiences tucked away in late-career Ocean Blue albums? They seemed to put out quite a few, if I recall correctly.

gayest flash mob pillow fight yet (Pillbox), Monday, 13 July 2009 12:54 (twelve years ago) link

Speaking of Steve Lau, try his organic wine.

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 July 2009 13:05 (twelve years ago) link

one year passes...

Heard "Ballerina Out of Control" at CVS tonight!

The Edge of Gloryhole (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 1 July 2011 02:15 (ten years ago) link

christ I used to post such bullshit.

buffandmaxsgaydad (Pillbox), Friday, 1 July 2011 07:44 (ten years ago) link

one year passes...

Up this one goes and OUCH, I must say.

As they are one of my all time favorites.

The band v. Steve Lau "being gay" was a misunderstanding of epic proportions by everyone except the band and Steve Lau. They wanted to go in a more guitar oriented direction, Steve wanted to produce. So, that's what they did. A much forgotten fact is that bassist Bobby Mittan left the fold around the same time for a lot of the same reasons (differences of opinion about the direction of the band). There may have been some bitterness at the time, but it had nothing to do with anyone being gay. There are Ocean Blue bootlegs from about a decade ago (Davy Jones' Locker era) where David Schezel sees Steve Lau in the audience and introduces him very cordially. So, consider the hatchet —if there ever was one— long buried.

Anyway, sorry to seem defensive, but they really are a fantastic band and they just released a new album that is easily their best since Beneath the Rhythm + Sound (which is my hands down favorite). Here's the leadoff single:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcSYb8fCIOY

Austin, Monday, 25 March 2013 14:07 (eight years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Another track from the new album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjJa1atS694

Turkey, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 23:53 (eight years ago) link

my friends the orange peels are doing 4 shows with them in CA next month, go if you can (2 in SF, 2 in LA; I think half of these shows are already sold out)

akm, Thursday, 25 April 2013 14:19 (eight years ago) link

the city pages has a new local music videos column each week and the head line said the ocean blue and i was like LoL some younguns didn't know that was already a band but i guess it's THE ocean blue and they relocated to Mpls and started a record label here! weird.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vB2gg-42EtY

jay-z's ansari (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 3 May 2013 19:17 (eight years ago) link

seven months pass...

This Ultramarine is friggin good. Been years since i listened to them...

Nerd Trombones (thebingo), Monday, 9 December 2013 13:25 (seven years ago) link

Too bad they seem to have been blacklisted 'round these parts because it is definitely a winner of an album. One of my favorites of the year, easily.

Austin, Monday, 9 December 2013 17:26 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...


In 2015, the band’s first 3 albums for Sire will be reissued on vinyl, and the band will be performing their first 2 records in concert, in their entirety, as part of a limited number of special shows to mark the occasion.

A new full length record is in the works and slated for release in 2016.

TOUR DATES:

11/15 – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
11/19 – New York, NY – Mercury Lounge
11/20 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
11/21 – Washington, DC – Jammin Java
11/22 – Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club

never heard of them before but the debut is very nice late 80s indie guitar pop.
as said above : comfortable.

mark e, Sunday, 25 October 2015 16:26 (six years ago) link

I head "Cerulean" at a Publix last month.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 25 October 2015 16:31 (six years ago) link

Very excited for a new record from these guys.

austinato (Austin), Sunday, 25 October 2015 18:23 (six years ago) link

Just found digital promos of the reissues in my inbox (I find this idea odd, digital promos of vinyl-only reissues, but whatever, I'll take it!). I don't really remember them, but these guys are great.

Ys Man a.k.a. Have One on G (geoffreyess), Monday, 26 October 2015 04:13 (six years ago) link

Bought a fairly expensive copy of their debut on vinyl last year ($25), but the first two albums are both great. I once wrote to them and asked them about the Smiths, before they covered There Is A Light, and one of their Mom's wrote back to me, included a signed picture and promo cd. Pretty cool. Then I heard they were homophobes and stopped listening. Was that just a rumor or is it true?

brotherlovesdub, Monday, 26 October 2015 17:59 (six years ago) link

Then I heard they were homophobes and stopped listening. Was that just a rumor or is it true?

answer in the thread.
summary : no(well, my reading of the thread)

mark e, Monday, 26 October 2015 18:01 (six years ago) link

It seems completely at odds with the band, their image, their sound etc, to have them fire someone for being gay. I hope it was a misunderstanding but how do you go from creative differences to fired for being gay? Worst game of telephone ever.

brotherlovesdub, Monday, 26 October 2015 18:17 (six years ago) link

probably wouldn't have happened in the Internet era

erry red flag (f. hazel), Monday, 26 October 2015 18:34 (six years ago) link

I was mistaken about Bobby Mittan above, think I got 'im confused with Rob Mining.

But all the other stuff RE: Steve Lau is accurate.

Steve produced one of my all time favorite albums right before the time he left tOB with Riverside's One. It's a bright, jangly album with slight shoegaze influences:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAzb-fFCrH0

austinato (Austin), Monday, 26 October 2015 18:52 (six years ago) link

The band v. Steve Lau "being gay" was a misunderstanding of epic proportions by everyone except the band and Steve Lau. They wanted to go in a more guitar oriented direction, Steve wanted to produce. So, that's what they did. A much forgotten fact is that bassist Bobby Mittan left the fold around the same time for a lot of the same reasons (differences of opinion about the direction of the band). There may have been some bitterness at the time, but it had nothing to do with anyone being gay. There are Ocean Blue bootlegs from about a decade ago (Davy Jones' Locker era) where David Schezel sees Steve Lau in the audience and introduces him very cordially. So, consider the hatchet —if there ever was one— long buried.

i took this as the definitive say so in this ..

mark e, Monday, 26 October 2015 19:21 (six years ago) link

Well, thank you very much.

austinato (Austin), Monday, 26 October 2015 19:27 (six years ago) link

sorry, did not mean to come over as hardcore, just my interpretation of the thread to date.

mark e, Monday, 26 October 2015 19:29 (six years ago) link

No, that was a genuine thank you.

austinato (Austin), Monday, 26 October 2015 19:32 (six years ago) link

ahh phew.

have really succumbed to their delicate 80s indie groove of late - new moodswing and all that ..

mark e, Monday, 26 October 2015 19:34 (six years ago) link

I currently prefer Horsebeach when I want to put on some 80s style indie jangle, but there was a time when the Ocean Blue dominated my listening time. I should give their albums post Beneath Rhythm & Sound a spin.

brotherlovesdub, Monday, 26 October 2015 20:25 (six years ago) link

The Planetarium Scene + Emotions Ring both sound pretty fantastic today.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Monday, 26 October 2015 20:47 (six years ago) link

Beneath the Rhythm and Sound is my favorite, but Ultramarine is their best later period work.

austinato (Austin), Monday, 26 October 2015 22:17 (six years ago) link

four weeks pass...

The band v. Steve Lau "being gay" was a misunderstanding of epic proportions by everyone except the band and Steve Lau. They wanted to go in a more guitar oriented direction, Steve wanted to produce. So, that's what they did. A much forgotten fact is that bassist Bobby Mittan left the fold around the same time for a lot of the same reasons (differences of opinion about the direction of the band). There may have been some bitterness at the time, but it had nothing to do with anyone being gay. There are Ocean Blue bootlegs from about a decade ago (Davy Jones' Locker era) where David Schezel sees Steve Lau in the audience and introduces him very cordially. So, consider the hatchet —if there ever was one— long buried.

i took this as the definitive say so in this ..

I guess I have a different definition of "definitive." "It was a misunderstanding" is the band's explanation, which Austin repeats here. How is that definitive?

I know Steve. After he left the group, he told me it was because he was gay. To me, that's definitive, unless Steve tells me otherwise. Doesn't have to be definitive to you, because you don't know me. (He also said the same thing in a 1995 Out magazine interview, according to multiple references online, though I couldn't find the original via Google, which casts some doubt on its existence.)

The Ocean Blue started as a Christian band. That's a fact. Followers of Christ often don't like gay people. That's a fact. Bands sometimes lie about their history in order to make themselves seem like better people, or because they're embarrassed at something they did when they were young, or because time has scrambled their memories about how certain things happened. That's a fact.

The fact that they're now cordial? That could just be forgiveness.

But IDK, maybe Austin is saying Steve misunderstood why he was kicked out of the band. Or maybe Steve misunderstood sexuality and isn't actually gay.

Ernie D, Monday, 23 November 2015 02:05 (six years ago) link

Hey Ernie,

Tell Steve he's a good man. He probably already knows it, but it certainly doesn't hurt to hear it from a stranger from time to time.

Every version of the story I've ever heard has Steve leaving the group of his own accord. I'm not saying anything other than just that: he left. Maybe he was asked to leave, I don't know. That's a bad situation indeed if that was the case. Inexcusable even.

But I'd like to think that we grow up and learn from our mistakes. I certainly regret many things I did ten, fifteen years ago even though I had to do those things in order to learn they were mistakes. If we just go on living the same life and never learn anything, it becomes apparent to those around us who were wronged and they eventually leave. But the fact that Steve is friendly again with his old band mates tells me that mistakes were indeed made, but wrongs have since been righted and people are older, wiser. Imperfect and flawed, just like the rest of us.

Austin, Monday, 23 November 2015 02:49 (six years ago) link

five years pass...

idk anything about the above controversy and i don't care tbh

posting because this band played at the venue attached to my workplace last night and i snuck in for a couple minutes to see if i could hear a song i recognized and i did! i walked in right as "drifting, falling" started and had a massive flashback (not really a bad one just a weird shimmery time warp), enjoyed the very jangly guitars for a minute, and went back to work.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 22 November 2021 14:47 (one week ago) link

I like to put on Cerulean in the autumn and think about lazy days when I left my high school at lunchtime and listened to my walkman in a park somewhere.

Jaime Pressly and America (f. hazel), Monday, 22 November 2021 16:32 (one week ago) link

I won that album off my local college (actually k-12) radio station before they banned me from winning bc I won too much. It’s how I learned the word “cerulean” but honestly I found it mostly kind of uninspiring bc I was very angry at the time. It’s much more pleasant as an adult!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 22 November 2021 16:38 (one week ago) link

Hearing "Sublime" on heavy rotation in fall '93 during the season of In Utero was one of those glimpses into a college radio world already vanishing.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 22 November 2021 16:43 (one week ago) link

Ocean Blue are miles better than Nirvana. Actual melodies, decent lyrics, no heroin addictions, no abandoning a little baby because you're privileged life as a millionaire is so hard.

brotherlovesdub, Monday, 22 November 2021 17:04 (one week ago) link

Sure! And Benjamin Harrison was a better man than FDR.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 22 November 2021 17:10 (one week ago) link

I remember someone saying one of the songs off Beneath the Rhythm and Sound was an anti-Bill Clinton screed, that's some classic 90s Internet. Could be true though!

Jaime Pressly and America (f. hazel), Monday, 22 November 2021 17:30 (one week ago) link


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