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Category: Goth Music (Page 1 of 3)

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.

A Lebanon Hannover Album That I actually Like? Sci-Fi Sky is good!

The song Come Kali Come off of their new album Sci-Fi Sky.

I have never been a huge Lebanon Hannover fan, mostly because their music usually sounds a bit like an 80’s video game soundtrack. However, on this new album they sound like a cross between The Virgin Prunes and Dead Can Dance. I can clearly hear the influence of both bands in this release and that can only be a good thing. I can even hear some Daniel Ash Love & Rockets style guitar playing.

Good on them for experimenting more with their sound instead of doing the same sound yet again. My respect for them has gone through the roof. There are people out there way better at reviewing albums than I am, but I can safely say that if you don’t like their earlier releases you will more than likely like this new one. Sci-fi Sky is available in a bunch of different editions on their Bandcamp page.

Don’t Listen To Actual Goth Bands And Call Yourself A Goth? That Would Make You A Poseur, Not A Goth.

How to pronounce the word poseur in case you don’t know already.

For years I have really disliked using the word ‘poseur’ because it would always end up being used against people who in no way deserved derision. However, given the climate that the goth subculture finds itself in right now, I really feel that the word needs to be used more often and with some intentional force.

There are many people right now who are calling themselves ‘goth’ even though they do not listen to the actual music at all. Most of the time they listen to rap/trap or metal music and think that just because they dress in black clothes that they are goth as hell. Nothing could be further from the truth. Angela Benedict put out a video the other day outlining why the overt sexualization and fetishization of goths is very bad and needs to be put to a stop. It is largely being perpetuated by sex workers, who are not in the subculture at all, playing goth dress-up and advertising their Only Fans accounts in actual goth spaces. She isn’t saying that sex workers are bad, just that they need to stop advertising their work within the actual goth community, because leg humpers then think that all goths are kinky and like rough sex. I totally agree with her.

In the comment section of Angela’s video somebody named Shino Tenshi took it upon themselves to state that goth is changing and that the subculture has got to accept it. I screen-saved all of their posts for posterity, so join me on a fun journey to poseurville. All aboard!

No, kids who don’t actually listen to goth music do not get a say when it comes to what is and is not accepted in the goth subculture. Why? Because they are not goth. Plus, these ‘sub-sub cultures’ that they are mentioning are the misused terms such as ‘trad’, ‘fairy’, ‘Victorian’, ‘vampire’, and ‘street’. Descriptors that were originally used as a joke in the 90’s. That’s right, if you use those terms you aren’t in on the joke and can be officially called a poseur. Trying to become a certain ‘type’ of goth to fit into the subculture instead of simply being yourself is sad and shows a lack of understanding as to what the subculture is about. It’s not all about how you dress, rather it is about actual goth music; goth rock, deathrock, ethereal, darkwave, and coldwave bands. Notice how rap/hip-hop, emo and metal are not on that list? It’s because those are not goth genres of music.

They respect the roots of the culture? Like hell they do. If they did then they would listen to actual goth music and not ’emo/goth/dark trap’ music. Hell, they don’t even know what music they are actually listening to! Those types of music are totally different from one another and are not related at all. Again, there is no such thing as ‘street goth’. Basically this person is wearing urban street wear, but because the items are black they think they can call themselves goth. That must mean nuns are goth because they also dress in black. No, we don’t not have to accept ‘deviations’ when they are not goth at all. Also, we don’t have to accept these poseurs into the subculture because they don’t listen to actual goth bands. This person has to deal with social stigmas because of the way they dress? Boo fucking hoo. Cry me a river. Some of us have been having to deal with it for thirty or forty years.

I thought they respected the roots of the culture? I guess not. If it is so terrible why the hell would they call themselves a goth then? Seriously, they are identifying with a subculture whose music they hate. To them goth is about fashion first, and the music is secondary. Music that is not goth at all. I would love to see this person go to an actual goth club and request their favourite ‘goth’ songs. I used to DJ and if somebody requested something like Lil Peep I would totally have a laugh about it because hell to the fucking no. It would be the type of thing I would share on social media the next day. Way to fucking go…poseur.

No, hun, you are also not ‘gothic’. That is unless you are a cathedral in Europe, so please correct me if I am wrong. No, goth is not just a ‘fashion statement’. See, this is what the person clearly doesn’t understand. They think that being goth is all about dressing in black and that the music is secondary. A person can be a goth if they don’t dress in black at all but listen to the actual music. If a person dresses in black, calls themselves a goth but doesn’t listen to goth rock, deathrock, ethereal, darkwave or coldwave music then they are a poseur. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it because it it simply the truth. It is not ‘gatekeeping’ to tell the truth. Listening to actual goth music is a very small hurdle to get over, and if people don’t want to do it then they deserve the poseur tag.

No, kid, you are not about to transform what goth is. Mostly because you have absolutely no say in the matter since you don’t listen to any actual goth music. Goth music sounds like ‘grandma’ music? Wow. This person is certainly out to win hearts and minds. So, everybody in the goth subculture dresses alike? Um…they would only think that if they only paid attention to the social media accounts of those who only dress in clothes made by dark alternative brands. These fashion victims think that dressing like a nu-goth witch automatically makes them a member of the goth subculture, when in fact it doesn’t. If they don’t listen to actual goth bands then that would make them poseurs. Again, it is not ‘gatekeeping’ to tell the truth.

As I stated above in my response to them it is perfectly okay to listen to other forms of music besides goth if you are a member of the goth subculture. However, that gets thrown out the window if you don’t listen to any actual goth bands at all. To call yourself a goth means that you listen to at least some goth music. You don’t even have to like all forms of it. You may just like deathrock or darkwave and that is perfectly okay. The people who think that they have to listen to only goth music are boring as hell and will probably drop out of the subculture sooner rather than later.

So, what can we learn from all of this? If you want to be a part of the goth subculture you have to listen to at least some actual goth bands. Metal, emo and rap/trap are not goth. Period. If you don’t listen to any goth bands and insist on calling yourself a goth then you are a poseur. Don’t want to be called a poseur? Then don’t call yourself a goth. The end.

Christian Death Are Re-Releasing The Wind Kissed Pictures (1985)

I found out about this yesterday and I am so excited! This EP was the first music released by the band after Rozz left and has not been re-released in any form since 1999. I have the CD from back then but I will be purchasing the green vinyl gatefold edition and t-shirt bundle which will be released on December the 17th of this year. There is also a regular black vinyl gatefold edition (19th November), a CD edition (19th November), and a t-shirt.

Season Of Mist has also re-released very nice editions of Ashes, Catastrophe Ballet, Atrocities and The Scriptures. On top of that they are have also released two different sets of CDs combining all of the albums of the Valor era of the band. In other words there are a ton of really nice Christian Death re-releases on their site, too many for me to link on here. Plus, there will be two different re-release sets coming in the next few months.

No, Post-Punk Is Not A Subgenre Of Goth Music

Boy(1980), October(1981), War(1983), and The Unforgettable Fire(1984) were all solid post-punk albums made by U2. Does that mean U2’s music is goth? Of course not.

Before I begin it would like it to be known that both the terms post-punk and goth were not used during the 80’s in the SF Bay Area. If they were I never heard them. I used to buy an 80’s music magazine called Star Hits back then that would feature a whole lot of alternative(post-punk) bands and they never used the terms ‘post-punk’ or ‘goth’ so take that for what you will.

You read that right, post-punk is not a subgenre of goth music. I can’t believe that I even have to write this post, but over the last few weeks I’ve seen younger people insist that all post-punk music is goth and that it has a place under the goth umbrella. NO.

The term post-punk is pretty new and wasn’t even used back in the 80’s. I was a teen then and never heard the term. In fact I don’t ever remember hearing it until the internet came about. The 80’s bands currently being given this name were called ‘alternative’ or ‘modern rock’ in the 80’s. Alternative in the 80’s meant that you were a band whose influence came from punk, glam, electronic or any other earlier genre of music. That is why so many bands sounded different from one another; bands would often have multiple genre influences and create their own sound. They did not sound like all of the pop and rock bands being played on mainstream radio stations during that time, and that is why they were all lumped together. The term ‘goth’ wasn’t widely used until the early 90’s. I personally didn’t hear it until 90-91. So all of the 80’s bands that are now considered goth were originally considered alternative(post-punk). Goth music came directly out of post-punk(alternative) music and morphed into its own separate genre. However, not all bands under the goth banner sounded exactly the same. So, goth is a subgenre of post-punk(alternative) that now has its own subgenres of music. The larger alternative(post-punk) bands, that are now considered goth, such as The Cure and Siouxsie And The Banshees, rode the line that divided alternative(post-punk) and mainstream type music. I saw The Cure in a big arena in 1987, so they have never been a lesser known band. Other alternative(post-punk) bands, such as U2 and INXS, morphed into totally mainstream bands by the late 80’s.

In the early 90’s record execs started to call bands such as Nirvana alternative in order to sell more records since the term exuded a rebellious mystique among mainstream music listeners. You too can be ‘different’ if you listen to these bands! There really isn’t anything ‘different’ about people though if they follow a trend that the mainstream record industry created out of nothing. Grunge wasn’t an actual subculture, it was pre-packaged rebellion. With all of that being said ‘grunge’ and goth never had anything to do with one another. So all of the people running around right now, and the clothing brands, calling themselves ‘grunge goth’ have no idea what they are on about. One is an actual subculture while the other is pre-packaged rebellion. By the time the internet became a ‘thing’ the term ‘alternative’ had lost its original meaning, so people started to call 80’s alternative bands ‘post-punk’ to fill the void that the loss of the tag ‘alternative’ created. Personally I find the term ‘post-punk’ to be kind of strange since punk music never went away, but that is a rant for another day!

So, what have we learned so far?

·  The 80’s bands now termed post-punk used to be called alternative.

·  These alternative(post-punk) bands did not all sound the same.

·  The term goth wasn’t widely used everywhere until the very early 90’s.

·  Not all 80’s alternative(post-punk) bands fit into the goth genre of music.

·  Goth music evolved into its own subgenre, but is still considered alternative(post-punk).

Right now there are many newer bands labelling themselves post-punk who outright try to sound like Joy Division or The Cure. This comes from the belief that all 80’s alternative (post-punk) bands had a similar sound. As you have read above that assumption is false. Since a lot of younger people seem to think that Joy Division is goth they automatically give these similar sounding newer bands the goth tag. Make sure you are sitting down before you read the next sentence. Even when the term ‘goth’ started to be widely used in the early 90’s Joy Division was not considered a goth band. Yes, they made some really dark music; however, just because a band makes dark sounding music doesn’t mean they are automatically a goth band. Danzig, Metallica, Slayer, and a countless number of other metal and thrash bands make dark sounding music. Are these bands goth? Of course not. Joy Division inspired a whole lot of 80’s post-punk(alternative) bands, some of which would later be labelled goth. David Bowie also inspired a bunch of these bands. Is David Bowie’s music considered goth? That would be a no.

All goth music, be it from the 80’s or now, can be considered post-punk (alternative). However, not all post-punk(alternative) music, be it from the 80’s or now, can be considered goth. Since the term ‘post-punk’ has become a very trend oriented tag to use the line between the truth and false assumptions about its meaning have been blurred. When this modern post-punk trend slows down, which is inevitable, the most positive thing to come out of it will be that it inspired some bands to create some original sounding music. Sure, you have to dig a little but that is part of the fun of discovering new bands.

Be Wary Of The Russian Goth/Post-Punk Record Label Black Kingdom

Notice the name of the band? No, you are not imagining it.

It’s not every single day that you get to argue with an edgy Russian label promoter/owner over a band’s name that appears on the goth/post-punk comp that they are shilling everywhere on Reddit. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

I clicked on the link to the comp that the Black Kingdom promoter posted on Reddit, just to see what kind of music it was because I was curious. I’m not the hugest fan of all of the repetitive post-punk bands coming out of that part of the world right now, but I believe in giving bands a chance before slagging them off. To my surprise I saw that the second band’s name on the comp’s track listing on Bandcamp was Pippi & The Faggots. I mean seriously, what in the ever living fuck? I immediately responded with the following:

The person responds, knowing exactly what the word means. Which makes me think that they are trying to be edgy and don’t really care what people who speak the English language think of the term. Since his/her friends are okay with the term that means that we must be too? Fuck that noise.

How completely edgy of them! Russia is very well known homophobic country right now because of Putin’s regime. That isn’t a secret at all, so trying to deny that is a huge insult.

Trying to push the blame onto somebody else when they are the person who decides what goes on the comp? Nah.

Now they are not making any sense at all, which is not surprising. After this exchange he responded maybe two more times, with a parting shot of calling me a ‘social warrior’. Yep, a person who tries to justify the use of the word faggot thinks I’m being a social justice warrior. Hmmmmm…..who usually uses that term as an insult when a leftist calls them out for being racist, homophobic, sexist, etc…. moron? The far right. So, what could we assume from this exchange? This probably isn’t the first time that this sort of thing has happened with this label, and it will probably continue because people like this are morons who think that their edgy crap doesn’t stink.

He/She actually changed the band’s name back to its native Russian soon after that last exchange, but I saw that he/she had posted the link to their comp on about ten other communities on Reddit. So I went to the post-punk one and warned them about the band name. What happened after that? He/she changed the name back into English and included my Reddit name in the title. A couple of minutes later, before I could take a screen shot, they not only blocked me on Reddit they also deleted the band completely off of the comp.

As you can see from the above screen shot they are still advertising that the band is on the comp. Will they put them back on it when nobody is looking? Possibly, because I wouldn’t put it past him/her. This kind of proves the point that there are new people coming into the goth/wave/post-punk subculture who hold homophobic and racist type views who will try to justify them in whatever way they can. When you see something like this going on you have to call them out on their bullshit, because if you don’t confront them crap like this will flourish.

Reviews Of Newish Albums: Volume 1

I usually don’t do masses of album reviews on here because there are a lot of people online who do it very well. I bought a ton of music on the latest Bandcamp Friday so I thought I would share these finds with you. I am only going to do two newish albums at a time because I like to listen to albums more than once before I talk about them. If I have bought more than one album from an artist I will touch upon those older albums sometime in the future.

OKVLTA – en Las enttranas de la bestia

OKVLTA is a band from Colombia that performs in Spanish. This is a good example as to why you don’t need to always know the lyrics of an album, because the intonation of the singing tells you exactly what is going on. They are a heavy deathrock style band with some pounding tribal drumming and experimental guitar playing. This album for me is the love-child of Sex Gang Children and 45 Grave. The vocals are sinisterly happy while the guitars echoing in the background set a driving pace along with the bass and drums. This album is best enjoyed if you listen to all of it at once rather than to just one song, because each one musically feels like it’s telling you a story that takes you to the next chapter. This is their first album and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

https://okvlta.bandcamp.com/album/en-las-entra-as-de-la-bestia

Postmodern Dystopia – Suzi Sabotage

Electronic music with a background of synthwave sounding keyboards: the title of this album fits the music perfectly. ‘Tonight we rise and see their demise’ lyrics on Persona Non Grata are very political and represents what is going on right now in society. Very timely. It’s cool that she is taking a stand against the fascist crap that is going on. There are a lot of bands right now who try to sound 80’s retro but she owns it by the synthwave angle and the lyrics. The song Frenzy includes the lyrics ‘We are the wild things with violent mood swings’, and it sounds like it should be playing in a club in the film Blade Runner. This album, essentially, is a soundtrack for the dystopian times in which we are living in. She also touches on the covid pandemic, the environment and the BLM movement. This is one of the most political goth albums to come out this year and it deserves a place alongside Sex Gang Children’s Oligarch and The Joy Thieves’ American Parasite.

https://suzisabotage.bandcamp.com/album/postmodern-dystopia

Nazi Goths Fuck Off — Suzi Sabotage

This is a single that Suzi has just put out and it rocks for all of the right reasons! It’s a political statement against all of the neo-nazi type people who have been trying to infiltrate the goth subculture lately. They have been coming out of the woodwork and this song tackles it.

https://suzisabotage.bandcamp.com/track/nazi-goths-fuck-off

I found a Spooky Band Called Fright Night Club And I’m Excited!

Their newest album.

I went down a rabbit hole on Bandcamp last night, and to my surprise I found a band that performs spooky Halloween music called Fright Night Club. Being a huge fan of Nox Arcana I got really excited because I think it’s great that another band is creating unsettling music.

They perform both instrumental and original songs. Some albums are filled with instrumentals, while others are packed with original songs about monsters, horror movies,etc… There are even a few cover songs which is pretty cool! I am currently listening to their album called Creepshow: Re-Scared, which as you can guess from the title is full of sonic landscapes that flesh out the scenes in the film Creepshow. It’s seriously good stuff! I love listening to this kind of music while writing because it gets me in the mood so that I feel extra spooky!

This band has a ton of people contributing songs to the albums, so it is a collective; a spooky version of a band such as The Joy Thieves. I honestly don’t know who the people listed are, but I am betting that at least a few of them are goth or horror-punk musicians. They put out one album every year and also some separately themed albums . They take an obvious cue from John Carpenter, which can only be a good thing! There are lots of keyboards and guitar mixed together which makes for a spooky unsettling journey through a horror filled landscape.

I seriously love this band, as you can tell. Surprisingly all of their albums, save one, are free to download off of Bandcamp. Sit down, because this next part is a bit shocking. There are NINETEEN of them! Their newest one titled Sounds Of The Season Part II, which was released last year, is a name your price album.

So, get your spooky behind over to Bandcamp and check this band out! It’s great spooky music to listen to all year, and to scare the kiddies with during Halloween.

Friends Don’t Let Friends Join A Modern Wannabe 80’s Post-Punk Band

The man, the myth, the legend.

First, let me start out by saying that I am not going to name a single wannabe 80’s modern post-punk band in this post. So, if you are looking for some spicy drama you ain’t going to find it here. If you are a person who has been trying to find new music in the modern post-punk genre you will know exactly what I am talking about. Same thing applies if you are trying to find good goth bands since the line between the genres is very blurred right now. Suffice it to say that this issue is very out in the open for anybody to easily observe.

In music there are always trend trains that some musicians want to jump on because they think it will bring them more attention. For the last few years the 1980’s have been very popular with teens and those who actually don’t remember the decade. It’s a nostalgia trip down memory lane based partially on the music that they think was popular at that time. Joy Division being featured on Stranger Things is a prime example of this. However, what these people don’t realise is that Joy Division actually wasn’t that well known back then. Chicks with huge perms and wearing neon workout gear were not Jazzercising to Joy Division. Trust me. I had a gym class back then that made us Jazzercise to Wham. Yeah, that’s right, most people back then listened to really corny pop music.

What these trend jumpers don’t understand is that not every single ‘post-punk’ band in the 80’s sounded the same. They weren’t all copying Joy Division and many had their own sound going on. Back then you could listen to the radio or a mix-tape and know what bands were being played just by their sound. Instead of trying to sound different from one another many of these modern self described ‘post-punk’ bands think that they have to lift Peter Hook’s bass riffs in order to be included in the genre. I am not saying that every single one of the modern post-punk bands does this, but enough do it to the point that it has become tedious having to wade through an endless number of clones to find bands that have the creativity to actually mix the now stereotypical sound with the music of other subgenres.

All of this has gotten the point in which people ask in online goth communities about how to start a post-punk band and how to copy the sound. I always tell people to create their own sound because there are way too many clone bands around right now. I think it takes a lot of creativity to start a band, however that creativity is thrown out of the window when the musicians in a band play the same bass and guitar riffs as Joy Division.

BE YOURSELF, NOT SOMEBODY THAT YOU THINK YOU HAVE TO BE IN ORDER TO ‘FIT IN’ !!!!! Screw fitting in. Screw music trends. Do you know what is going to happen? If the music industry tries to mainstream the goth subculture yet again I guarantee that they are going to sign these wannabe 80’s post-punk bands. Why? Because they are safe sounding and don’t challenge the listener in any way, shape or form. I was around in the SF Bay Area when pop-punk reared its ugly head, and tons of non threatening bands got signed to major labels. What is happening right now is very similar. Meaning that a more mainstream commercial type sound is being popularized and being promoted as being ‘different’ right now, when in fact it’s about as challenging as eating a bowl of cornflakes.

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