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Music / Information Society

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Jim Cassidy, Kurt Harland, and Paul Robb.

Information Society (a.k.a. InSoc) is an Alternative Dance/Synthpop/Dark Wave/Techno/Industrial/Latin Freestyle/Futurepop band from Minnesota. Best remembered for their incredibly '80s hit, "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)", and for "Ozar Midrashim", the theme of Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, a series frontman Kurt Harland would compose.

Tropes Society:

  • Cover Version: several. ABBA's "Lay All Your Love On Me"note , Tubeway Army's "Are 'Friends' Electric?"note  and "I Die: You Die"note , Madonna's "Express Yourself"note , U2's "One"note , Prince's "Controversy"note , Tuxedomoon's "Dark Companion" and "What Use", Aretha Franklin's "14 Angels"note , Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft's "Kebabträume"note  — and finally a full cover album, 2016's Orders Of Magnitude.
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  • Cyberpunk: Kurt has confirmed that "Mirrorshades" is about Molly Millions, a character from William Gibson's Neuromancer.
  • I Am the Band: Temporarily. For the 1997 album Don't Be Afraid Kurt Harland Larson, lead singer for most of Information Society's history, was the sole member of the band.
  • Madness Mantra: "Ending World 1.1"'s lyrics are nothing but these. Between them, the dialogue clips, and the ominous marching instrumentals that steadily degenerate into noise, it's painfully clear just where he's headed.
    I am absolutely right. I am absolutely certain I am absolutely right. I am absolutely certain I am absolutely right. I am absolutely certain of all the mistakes I've made.
  • Peace & Love, Incorporated: "Peace And Love, Inc." is the Trope Namer.
  • Sampling: Very often.[1] Not only from existing musical works, but vocal samples from various media.[2] For example:
    • "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)", "Walking Away", "Something In The Air", "Over The Sea", "Come With Me", and "Hack 1" sample the 1966 TV series Star Trek.
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    • "Attitude" samples the 1940 animated movie Pinocchio
    • "Think": the album version samples a Brazilian radio ad for an Information Society concert. The music video reuses the same Star Trek sample as "Hack 1" instead.
    • "Still Here" samples the 1963 TV series The Outer Limits (1963), along with Star Trek.
    • "Mirrorshades" samples the 1989 movie Moontrap.
    • "Ending World" samples the 1976 movie The Man Who Fell to Earth
    • "The Prize" samples the 1984 computer game Impossible Mission.
    • "Where Were You?" samples the 1951 movie Show Boat.
  • Shout-Out: Quite a few. Besides the aforementioned Star Trek reference, there's also "White Roses," whose lyrics seem to be inspired by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. However—unlike most other songs about Lewis Carroll's books—Kurt Harland does not insert any very obvious references to Alice's dreamscape (this song is about depression, not hookah-smoking caterpillars). This makes looking for the connections even more fun. (The line "can't get from here to there" might be a reference to the scene in Through The Looking Glass And What Alice Found There in which the Red Queen explains to Alice how it's often impossible for Looking Glass World's inhabitants to move from one chessboard square to another of their own accord.
    And you know that her tears were taken
    And cooked up for the queen
    …And every single moment feels like everything is wrong
    And everything around you says that this is not your home
    And everybody else just seems to be already there
    And you can't get from here to there
    Without some sort of help you've never seen
    It's the white roses
    It's a spinning sky
  • Stage Names: the band's members used fake surnames early on. They dropped the idea before hitting it big... except for Kurt Harland, who was stuck with Tolkien-inspired "Valaquen" for years.[3]
  • Step Up to the Microphone:
    • "Running" is sung by Murat Konar.note 
    • James Cassidy sang "Can't Slow Down", "Mirrorshades", and "If Only".
  • Subliminal Seduction: their cover of Gary Numan's "Are 'Friends' Electric" contains a backmasked message: "Obey your parents. Do your homework. Winners don't do drugs."
  • The Band Minus the Face: In 2007 Kurt Harland Larson temporarily left the band and new frontman Christopher Anton took his place.
  • The Chick: Amanda Kramer in the 1980s. While other female musicians have toured and performed with the band at various times, Kramer is the only one to date who has been credited and promoted as a core member of the band.