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Category: Goth Music (Page 1 of 3)

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.

That Time Jack Grisham Of TSOL Pulled Me Onstage To Sing Part Of Code Blue

Jack is on the right wearing the glove. This must have been taken around the time I saw them because he was dressed the same.

The first time I ever heard TSOL’s music was when I was at a friend’s house watching the early 80’s punk film Suburbia. I’m pretty sure it was in late 1989 because I remember being just out of high school. Watching Suburbia was a right of passage if you were any kind of weirdo back then.

I love the film because there were some parts of it that were very relatable, such as metalheads, and other general assholes, who would give you shit even though you were just walking down the street, or shopping, minding your own business. Sure, the acting is pretty atrocious, but that is what makes it a cool film. Most of the actors were actual punks so they looked and acted more real than say the people in Return Of The Living Dead. Also love that film but one of the reasons why it’s so funny is because of the shit they got wrong in it.

With all of that being said the scene that really pulled me into the film and got to me on a deeper level was when TSOL took the stage at the club and started singing Darker My Love. At that time I was already listening to goth and punk music and that song spun the genres together into a sound that really hit me hard in a good way. I’m not going to lie, Jack Grisham was also really easy on the eyes! That same week I bought the soundtrack of the film, Dance With Me and Beneath The Shadows. Needless to say I was hooked. Watch it below.

The only sad aspect to all of this was by the time I discovered them Jack had left the band and without his presence they had morphed into a hair metal band; a music genre that I generally disliked. In 1999 the original members sued the hair metal singer for the rights to the band name, and for the right to perform their older songs. They won, and afterwards started touring again.

In 2001 I had just left my ex-husband so I was somewhat scantily dressed when I went to see them play at The Cactus Club in San Jose. It was a cool venue and I had seen 7 Seconds, Christian Death and some other bands there in the past. When TSOL started playing I was sitting on some stairs that were attached to the left of the stage. I was was only a couple of feet from the band so when Jack complained about the tour bus getting a parking ticket I took some change out of my purse and handed it to him. He gave a sarcastic chuckle, and soon afterwards came the familiar intro to Code Blue. The audience went really nuts and everybody was singing it together. Jack grabbed me and a guy and motioned us to get in front of the mic and sing some of the lines. I don’t have the greatest voice but I knew all of the lines and gave it my all! I had such a blast and after the show I shook Jack’s hand and thanked him. To this day I still smile when I think of that show, because it’s not every day that you get to sing a song about necrophilia with one of your favourite bands!

The song Code Blue.

Is The Goth Subculture Actually Political?

Sex Gang Children’s newest album is very political, which is a good thing.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about how goth music is political, which in turn would mean that the subculture is political as well. When it comes down to it is the subculture actually politically minded?

Everybody reading this knows that the goth subculture was birthed out of the punk subculture. The punk subculture has always been political to varying degrees. There are famous punk musicians such as Jello Biafra and Dick Lucas who have always talked the talk and walked the walk. When they write songs about supporting equal rights or about how evil corporations are they mean it. They aren’t being political to gain ‘scene’ points, they are being political because they think that speaking against injustices is important and something that must be done.

Do goth bands speak up about injustices? Sometimes, but not as often as their punk cousins. Sex Gang Children have recently put out the most politically charged album that I have ever heard come out from under the goth umbrella. It’s called Oligarch and it speaks up against corporations, religious hypocrisy and fascist politicians. I honestly hope that other goth bands listen to it and are inspired to make their own politically charged art. Christian Death is another band that has openly made politically charged music through the years. Both the Rozz and Valor versions of the band have done this. Then there are modern anarcho deathrock bands such as Mystic Priestess and the Creeping Terrors who make music with a political bent. With one foot in the punk subculture they are carrying on the tradition of speaking up against what is wrong in society.

If you spend any amount of time in online goth communities you will see people ask if they can be right wing and goth at the same time. The goth subculture has always leaned left because of the acceptance of those who society sees as the ‘other’. Are there racists within the subculture? There have always been those in the subculture who think that a person has to be white in order to be goth, which is a load of shit of course. Do some people wear white foundation and try to look as pale as possible? Of course but you don’t have to look like a Victorian ghost to enjoy the music. You don’t have to be a certain weight, a certain colour or dress a certain way to take part in the subculture.

All of this could be called political, but do people in the subculture actually stand up for the rights of others when it comes down to it? I would like to argue that there are some that do, but they are heavily outnumbered by those who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. The most important thing about being politically minded is standing behind what you say, even if it inconveniences you. A huge example of this are all of the people in the subculture who will be attending the Cruel World festival, even though the person putting it on is a proven homophobe. They will post about how they are for the rights of those who identify as LGBTQ, but they don’t want to be inconvenienced by missing a show. It’s hypocritical to not stand behind what you say.

Back thirty years ago the subculture was largely not political at all. To the point that Nazi skinheads would attend the clubs and nobody would lift a finger to boot them out. Seriously, I witnessed this shit myself. Back then I weighed 100 pounds and I knew that it would be impossible for me to do anything physically about it. However, there were several times back then that I told Nazi skins off because I didn’t like the crap that they were saying. I did all that I could do back then but when it came down to it there were definitely others who just didn’t care. As long as they could dance to their favourite songs everything was hunky dory.

When it comes down to it the goth subculture can be political, but there are many people in it who need to learn to stand up for what they claim to believe in. Supporting the LGBTQ community online is good, but if it is not followed through with some sort of physical action then that support becomes meaningless. Go to marches and events that are against racism and homophobia, and don’t attend events that are put on by racist or homophobic promoters.

London After Midnight’s Response To The News That Promoter Of Cruel World Is Anti-LGBTQ

I put a link to my last blog post about this whole Cruel World fiasco on multiple band pages and so far London After Midnight has been the only one to respond. It was such a cringe filled response that I made sure to take screen shots of everything, Good thing I did because Sean Brennan, the singer, deleted my post and his responses to it. Does that sound like somebody who is scared that their shit attitude is going to be seen by a whole bunch of people in the goth community? It sure does!

So Phillip Anschutz is an insane bigot but you’ll play the show anyway? Yes, the homophobic prick owns AEG who in turn owns Goldenvoice. Guess what that means? The guy is at the top of a pyramid and all of the money made from festivals such as Cochella and Cruel World is filtered up to him. In the end he is responsible for what happens, so by agreeing to do such a festival you are saying that it’s okay for the top dog to be a homophobe. As long as you gain some fans and some money it’s all good! Right? By golly, don’t you have a set of priorities!

Awwwww………look at all of the whatabouts and gaslighting! I feel like I should give the first part of this response a dog biscuit and a pat on the head for being such a predictable little deflection! No hon, this isn’t about me or Facebook. Rather, it’s all about your shit priorities and your inability to say no to playing a festival that is put on by a known homophobe. That’s it. You are around fifty years old, right? I just turned fifty and through the years I have learned that supporting homophobic creeps is something that a person shouldn’t do, because right wing people will think that being anti-LGBTQ is perfectly fine in the goth/alternative community. Plus, supporting such a person is just plain wrong. It’s only impossible for you to avoid right-wing bigots when you agree to play shows that they promote.

Bullshit. I’ve had people tell me that you used to be very active on Myspace. So, trying to gain credibility by saying that you hate social media is flaccid at best. Here you go again with the whatabouts pointed towards Facebook. What are you going to do once you hit that stage? Complain about how the promoter is a homophobic piece of shit? I really doubt that, because you will be too scared of being banned from playing Goldenvoice shows and venues. How do I know that? By the very fact that your responses are riddled with deflections. Oh, let’s all get together and try to figure out how to fight this? Do you know what would be the first step towards a solution? You not playing the damn show! If you really gave a shit about the LGBTQ community you would refuse to play it. Full stop.

Well, that all folks! I am not going to tell you to like or dislike this band. Judge for yourself how this band has responded to this situation and come to your own conclusions.

Guy Putting on Cruel World is Anti–LGBTQ

Everybody is losing their minds over this festival. It’s the culmination of all of the 80’s worshipping that has been going on for the last ten plus years in society. The fact that PiL and Morrissey are on the bill has scared some people off of it, but there is a HUGE issue going on behind the scene that is even more heinous. Philip Anschutz, the man putting this show on, has been donating money to anti-LGBTQ causes: Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Christian Foundation, and the Family Research Council.

The Washington Post broke this story about five years ago, and the Daily Beast three years ago also wrote about it. The Daily Beast story is damning and really dives deep into the issue. When confronted Anschutz claimed that he didn’t know about his money funding those groups and that he would end it. He stated that his company was diverse and that he is for equal rights. Then a year or two after that it was found out, through his tax filings, that he had indeed stopped donating to those three anti-LGBTQ groups. However, he was now donating his money to two other equally problemic groups Dare 2 Share Ministries and Young Life, a youth ministry. On top of that he has been donating millions to conservative and libertarian groups, including ones linked to the Koch family.

I am really disappointed that some groups that I love are playing this show. I won’t stop listening to them, but it makes me wonder whether they actually do care about LGBTQ rights or not. The same thing can be said for all of the people planning to go to this. I think it’s highly hypocritical to go to this while also supporting LGBTQ rights, because they are handing a wad of cash to a man who has been proven to not give a shit about LGBTQ folks. I’m going to give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to this because I know that not everybody has heard about it. However, if they learn about this and still go then I will be questioning who they really are.

I Love This Song By Go_A That Appeared on Eurovision

I watch Eurovision every year because it’s fun as hell. This year was special though, because this song really captivated me. It’s the combination of traditional Eastern European vocals and varied dance beats that got me. It’s all about calling a traditional god named Shum for Spring to arrive. I love learning about pagan traditions and I think it is awesome as hell that this song is getting the attention it deserves. I will be looking out for this band in the future because I have a feeling that they are going to do well in ‘alternative’ circles.

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