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Category: Goth Music (Page 1 of 4)

What The Series Stranger Things Gets Wrong About ‘Alternative’ Music From The 80’s

Did the guys who came up with this series actually remember the 80’s? No, because they were born in 1984. So, when you watch this series you are getting a version of the 80’s that never really existed. One in which ‘alternative’ music was listened to by everybody and played at school dances. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I was a teen in the 80’s that graduated high school in 1989 and who listened to a bunch of ‘alternative’ type music back then. You have to understand that in the 80’s the term had a different meaning than it did in the 90’s. In the 80’s alternative music was anything that wasn’t played on the mainstream pop stations. That covered everything from New Wave, to what would become Goth, Ska bands, etc….Punk was sort of under the same umbrella, but standing a bit to the side. It was connected but considered more ‘out there’ by a lot of people. So, alternative music in the 80’s was considered to be too strange to listen to by most people because only weirdos, who didn’t dress like them, liked it. In the early 90’s the record execs knew this and decided to call the Seattle ‘grunge’ bands ‘alternative’ so that they seemed more rebellious. Yep, Nirvana, and all of those bands, were sold as pre-packaged rebellion and all of the pop music lovers fell for it.

This would have never been played at school dances in the 80’s.

So now that I have laid out what things were actually like musically back then let’s get to the issue at hand, how Stranger Things gets all of this very, very wrong. The older brother character, I can’t bother to look up the name, talks about Joy Division, and yet he goes to a party and doesn’t know that a chick is dressed up like Siouxsie? Um….nope. Joy Division was a very underground band during the 80’s, one of those that you only learned about through other people. Their music was not played on mainstream stations, at dances or anywhere actually. The only place I ever heard them, outside of my own stereo, was at alternative clubs. That’s it. However, Siouxsie & The Banshees were more well known and they even got played on the mainstream stations once in a while. So, if you were any kind of weirdo in the 80’s you would have known who Siouxsie was, but there was a good chance that you may not have heard of Joy Division. Joy Division only got super huge when all of the hipsters started liking them to seem cool about 20 years ago.

Please don’t think I am against teens learning about 80’s music and enjoying it. My issue is that these kids are thinking how cool it must have been back in the 80’s to have been a weirdo. It was never cool in the 80’s, through to most of the 90’s, to be considered ‘weird’. If you didn’t want to conform you got shit on by just about everybody for not fitting in. I remember people in high school asking me why I wanted to look like a vampire. Having seen the 30th reunion photos they all look about twenty years older than me, so who is laughing now bitches? Alternative music would never be played at school dances because a lot of people thought only weirdos listened to it, and who would want to be one of those freaks?

This song was only played at alternative clubs in the 80’s.

In conclusion, alternative music was not mainstream popular in the 80’s and to say otherwise is rewriting history. All of this could have been avoided if the writers had actually done some research instead of putting out a version of the 80’s that never existed.

New Cover Of Bela Lugosi’s Dead By Chris Shape ft. Su Eko

I literally just heard this Bauhaus cover song today for the first time, and I feel obligated to share it with all of you. This is quite possibly the best Bauhaus cover I have ever heard. Until December covered Bela Lugosi’s Dead over thirty years ago, but their take on the song had a more traditional haunting quality to it. This version of the song by Chris Shape, featuring Su Eko, takes it into a more electronic beat direction. You know that club scene in Blade with the pulsating music and rain of blood? This song would perfectly fit into that scene. They add more beats, keyboards, vocals and a whole lot of distortion and it works. They added to the song rather than taking vital parts of it away, and that is how a great cover song is created. On top of all of this deliciousness is a very dystopian /apocalyptic themed video, which I love of course! Enjoy!

Songs That Were Played At The Alternative Clubs I Went To from 88-92 Part 2

Somebody’s heavily pixelated photo of a Twilight Zone shirt and member pass. Not my photo.

This is a second list of the songs that I used to hear in ‘alternative’ clubs from 1988 to 1992. The shirt above is from the alternative club The Twilight Zone that was in Alameda California. You had to have a member card to get in because of the local laws and it was an all ages club. These songs were either played there, at The Edge in Palo Alto or at One Step Beyond in Santa Clara. The music was always very eclectic. Enjoy!

Bigod 20 – The Bog (1990)

Divine – Love Reaction (1983)

U2 – New Year’s Day (1983)

Nitzer Ebb – Join In The Chant (1987)

Until December – Heaven (1986)

MC Shy D – Shake It (1987)

Visage – Fade To Grey (1982)

Killing Joke – Love Like Blood (1985)

Book Of Love – Boy (1985)

Madness – One Step Beyond (1979)

Ministry – Work For Love (1983)

Faith No More – We Care A Lot (1987)

Trans -X – Living On Video (1983)

Fad Gadget – Collapsing New People (1983)

Lords Of The New Church – Dance With Me (1983)

Skinny Puppy – Assimilate (1985)

NWA – Straight Outta Compton (1988)

Tones On Tail – Go! (1984)

Sex Gang Children – Deiche (1982)

Danielle Dax – Big Hollow Man (1987)

Meat Beat Manifesto – God O. D. Part 1 (1988)

Songs That Were Played In The Alternative Clubs I Went To From 1988-92

This was the inside of the alternative club One Step Beyond that I went to from 1988 till it closed in 1991. I vividly remember that head painting! Not my photo.

I went to my first ‘alterative’ club in early 1988 on my 17th birthday, and it was called One Step Beyond in Santa Clara California. For whatever reason their age limit was 17 and up instead of 18, and I had a friend that had a car so I know I was very lucky to get to experience this. My friend had graduated in 87 so I was the only teen from my high school that went. My mom was/is cool and never gave me a curfew and let me go.

What did I experience exactly? It was the tail end of new wave, so the older songs were still played regularly. Radio stations refused to play rap songs by certain artists like 2 Live Crew or NWA and alternative clubs such as One Step Beyond were among the only places that you could hear those bands being played. The American government was trying to get such bands banned for offensive lyrics so playing such music in a club setting was actually pretty forward thinking for the time.

That is me on the left at the Twilight Zone in early 1991 when I was 20. Yes, I did the jacket myself, it had a Fiend skull on the back.

Rather than me droning on and on I am going to be posting some songs that I vividly remember being played during that time at One Step Beyond, The Twilight Zone and The Edge. Each place had it’s own unique vibe. The Edge was close to Stanford University so it was where the wealthy students would go if they wanted to go slumming, but there was definitely a gaggle of weirdos that also went there. The Twilight Zone was in an old movie theatre lobby and had the best venue I have ever been to. It has sweeping staircases to a second level where you could look down on the dance-floor and it was all ages. Finally, One Step Beyond. It had the most diverse crowd out of the three. There were punkers, mods, skins, etc… and everybody pretty much got along.

These are in no sort of order and are songs that I heard during that time in the clubs. Notice how eclectic this list is? It’s why I loved these clubs. I think something was definitely lost when the goth nights started to pop up in the early 90’s and left a lot of this music behind.

Desireless – Voyage Voyage (1986)

Red Flag – If I Ever (1989)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZlO_T71Ncw

Digital Underground – Doowutchyalike (1990)

A Flock Of Seagulls – Wishing (If I Had A Photograph) (1983)

Virgin Prunes – Pagan Love Song (1982)

2 Live Crew – Get It Girl (1987)

My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult- The Days Of Swine And Roses (1990)

Christian Death – Church Of No Return (1989)

Ofra Haza – Im Nin’Alu (1988)

Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam (1990)

Billy Idol – Dancing With Myself (1981)

Specimen – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (1983)

Fake – Another Brick (1985)

Laid Back – White Horse (1983)

Blancmange – Living On The Ceiling (1982)

Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel – White Lines (Don’t Do It) (1983)

Deee-Lite – Groove Is In The Heart (1990)

Soft Cell – Sex Dwarf (1981)

Front 242 – Don’t Crash (1985)

Eric B. & Rakim – Paid In Full (1987)

Some Thoughts On The New Bauhaus Song Drink The New Wine

Meh.

So, the members of Bauhaus have crawled out from whence they came and got together to produce something that sounds like it came from an album made 40 years ago. There are tons of younger people excited about this because OMG Bauhaus are just sooooooo goth, but this song really reeks of dialling it in for me. Everything that Bauhaus did over 40 years ago is in this song and it really doesn’t bring anything new to the table. All I hear in this song are the gimmicks they used that sounded new and ‘different’ in the 80’s. When done 40 years later it just feels opportunistic because the members know how trendy anything post-punk sounding is these days.

Am I against legacy type bands making new music? Not at all. I actually think it is pretty cool when such bands still regularly put out music. However, that really isn’t the case here. Bauhaus are almost on the same level as the Sisters Of Mercy when it comes to touring and relying on old hits to sell tickets. They did put out that one album in 2008 so they at least have that going for them.

Am I going to buy this? Probably not because I want to support bands who actually care about their fans instead of leeching off of them to make a buck. Sorry not sorry.

A Goth Band Is Calling Their New Album American Gothicc And I Am So Confused

I’m guessing they are into Lycia?

This morning I was innocently browsing Facebook when a post about this band came up in a Deathrock group that I am a member of. I listened to the song and they sound like they are going for a cross of modern post-punk and ethereal goth. The song isn’t bad but it doesn’t stand out from the crowd; it’s going over territory that has been done many times before. Just this time it’s being done with some Autotune.

The thing that stood out more than their music for me was the title of their album; American Gothicc. This confuses the hell out of me because the term ‘gothicc’ is commonly used to describe curvy goth women and it is heavily used by those who love to objectify goth women. I’ve witnessed a countless number of goth women who have complained about this term being used to describe them. It is not a positive term used within the community and its use can actually mentally hurt younger goth women.

With all of this being the case who the heck is the audience that this band is catering to? Are they trying to cater to goth music fans, or to those who just lust after them? Do they think that using the term ‘Gothicc’ is going to garner them a lot of attention? Probably, but I think they may be surprised to find out that women in the goth community don’t really look at the term favourably.

When it comes down to it the band can call their music and albums anything they want, but this has got to be one of the most ill conceived album titles that I have ever seen. Seriously. EDIT: I’ve just noticed that I haven’t named or linked the band. They are kind of ringing my alarm bells so I won’t be giving them any clicks.

The Kardashianization Of The Goth Subculture Needs To Stop

Society’s wannabe ‘goth’ couple of the moment.

Kardashianization is a mighty long word, but I think it describes perfectly what has been happening within the last few years in the goth subculture. Unreal beauty standards, that are normal in ‘mainstream’ society, have wormed their way into the goth subculture. I think that has always been on the back burner, but lately it really feels like things have ramped up since everybody wants to call themselves a ‘goth’ these days.

Before the advent of the internet taking photos of yourself wasn’t really a thing. Friends would take photos of you, clubs would take photos of you, but would you take photos of yourself? Not really. Don’t get me wrong, there would be attention seekers in goth/alternative clubs who would always get their photos taken, but they were in the minority and usually thought of as uber goobers. I only have a few photos of myself from the 80’s and 90’s because I personally avoided people with cameras and I am okay with that. My hair was a mess most of the time and nobody needs to see that.

I have nothing against taking selfies of yourself, but what I do have a problem with are the people who manipulate their selfies to such a degree that it pushes an unrealistic standard of beauty. That is why I call this phenomenon the Kardashianization of the subculture, because younglings are doing the exact same thing as the Kardashians; posting photos of themselves that depict a fantasy rather than a reality. They create a ‘goth’ image of themselves that they think others will approve of, a judgement that will make them a ‘true goth’. I wish I was kidding about this, but I’m not.

Notice how this has nothing to do with the music of the goth subculture? They are basing their whole identity off of a dark aesthetic while listening to bands that are in no way goth at all. There is nothing the matter with loving different genres of music, but if you don’t like or listen to any actual goth music you aren’t a goth. An aesthetic does not a goth make.

The look that the modern wannabe ‘trad goths’ aspire to. How original.

For whatever reason many of these younglings are calling themselves ‘trad goths’. In their selfies they will have backcombed hair, Siouxsie clone make-up and at least one article of clothing that is fishnet in nature. To be included in their ranks you have to look like one another because that is how goths looked in the 80’s/90’s of course! Yes, I’m being sarcastic. Back in the late 80’s/early 90’s most of us didn’t look like that. I only ever saw that look at clubs, and it wasn’t done by a large amount of people. The most onerous aspect to all of this is that they will quite frequently lighten their face and blur it so much that their skin looks unreal, not a pore or realistic shadow to be seen. Again, how is this any different than what the Kardashians do on a regular basis?

Where do these younglings get these ideas from? The mainstream reporting of certain celebrities being goth because of them wearing black lipstick certainly doesn’t help at all. Many younglings think that they are automatically goth if they dress in black, not understanding that the subculture has always been centred upon the music. Material consumption is something that is encouraged in our society in general and these people buy into it and spend a ton of money to look like something that they really are not; a goth.

Don’t like being compared to the Kardashians? Then stop basing your identity on manipulated photos and how others perceive you. What you are doing is in no way original and the only people who will take you at all seriously will be the other people who also don’t know what they are on about. It’s a huge perpetuating circle jerk. This behaviour is in no way unique, in no way different as to how ‘normal’ society behaves and yet they will endlessly bitch and moan about how society sucks and how ‘normies’ are boring. All the while exhibiting the same exact behaviour as the people they supposedly dislike. What they are doing is not any different just because they are dressed in black and are wearing black lipstick.

When I see heavily manipulated photos in online goth communities I call them out because the only way this is ever going to change is if people speak out about it and challenge this behaviour. There are younglings out there that love goth music and yet they think they can’t be goth because they don’t look like said photos; they don’t have perfect white skin and they don’t have the money to buy clothes from a dark clothing site. I find this sad as all hell because the poseurs and wannabes who perpetuate this crap are stopping actual goth music fans from joining the subculture; blocking their way into it by means of selfie blurring tools and mum and dad’s money.

Instead of spending countless hours retouching and blurring the crap out of your selfies why not sit down and listen to some actual goth music. Don’t like being compared to vacuous ‘celebrities’ who have no discernable talent? Then be yourself instead of jumping on the goth train without paying your fare.

All of Lycia’s Digital Discography Is Up On Bandcamp for only $1.00

You read that correctly, all of Lycia’s digital discography is only $1.00. You can pay more of course, but if you are broke this is an insanely affordable way to purchase their music……and what music! For those of you who do not know they are an ethereal/darkwave band that has been creating music for about 30 years. Beautiful songs that transport you to somewhere dark and comforting. If you want to get into goth music this would be an excellent place to start.

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