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Category: Post-Punk (Page 1 of 2)

List Of Items That I Use In DIY Projects

Photo of one of my boot boxes filled with DIY materials that I use for projects.

I originally shared this over in several goth communities on Reddit but I thought that my darklings who read this blog was also appreciate it.

I do a lot of DIY projects. I get my ideas from films, dark clothing websites, Etsy and even Vogue magazine. Don’t ever dismiss something outright as inspiration because there are techniques that you can glean just from the construction of ‘regular’ clothing. I actually taught myself how to dart clothing and I was able to make two different corsets fit my chest better by doing that technique.

Personally, I have never felt comfortable using a sewing machine so I hand sew everything. That may sound daunting but once you practice enough it can be done fairly quickly. All clothing was hand sewn before the invention of the sewing machine, so if somebody stitched a hem by candlelight you can also do it! Honest! All it takes is some practice.

With all of that being said I have two boot boxes filled with the supplies that I use in DIY projects. I have purchased most of them from Etsy. That website is a treasure trove of DIY supplies. I will not name the companies I have bought from because it costs a fortune to ship items across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans right now. Always buy from stores on Etsy that are on, or near, the same continent that you live on. Almost all of my items come from the UK or the EU.

I hope this inspires you to start some DIY projects because it is a lot of fun and you end up with an item that is uniquely yours.

STUDS/SPIKES There are a ton of stores on Etsy that sell these and most of the time they are very affordable. They even come in colors which you don’t actually see on most ready made studded and spiked items. I own a wide variety of them: green pyramids, black pyramids, silver pyramids, skulls, silver studs, black studs,etc… Some Etsy stores also sell beginner kits that include instructions and tools. I also own an awl to punch through leather and a flat headed tool for pushing the ends of them down upon the object.

FISHNET I bought multi-packs of fishnet tights in different colors and with holes of different sizes. These can be used to make fishnet shirts. Just cut out the crotch, put it over you head, put the legs on your arms and make holes for your fingers. A much cheaper option than paying £30 for a ready-made fishnet shirt. I also will be using them in other projects, such as layering a jacket collar with it, and safety-pinning it to the sleeves of a jacket.

Some of the many different pairs of fishnet tights that I have for my DIY projects.

NEEDLES AND THREAD You can get small kits that include different colors of thread, multiple sizes of needles, thread rippers, small scissors, measuring tape, etc… I personally always double my thread when I hand-sew anything because it will guarantee that the object will stay together rather than rip easily.

A GOOD PAIR OF SCISSORS Those small scissors that come in a kit are okay for cutting thread but you are going to need a good pair of scissors if you want to cut material. You can get decent ones for fairly cheap.

PATCHES Whenever I see a patch I like I buy it and add it to my collection because I know that I will use it in a project in the future. Many dark clothing sites, and other online alternative stores, will quite frequently have them on sale. However, I have bought most of mine from, you guessed it, Etsy. I have my own post-apocalyptic/dystopian goth kind of style going on and Etsy is a treasure trove filled with patches from films such as Terminator, Blade Runner and They Live. You can find band, horror and anything else you like on there. If you are more brave you can even make your own with fabric paint.

ACRYLIC PAINT, BRUSHES, AND STENCILS An acrylic type paint is what you should use on leather and pleather materials. I bought a kit by Angelus specifically for leather and pleather. You can also use just regular acrylic paint, whatever brand you like the best. I also have some stencils of things such as mushroom clouds and pandemic symbols. You can find a lot of them on Etsy, or you can make your own stencils out of cardstock.

BLEACH PENS AND FABRIC PAINT Bleach pens are seriously awesome because you can either stencil or freehand designs onto any fabric object. They were a game changer for me! Fabric paints are very cool as well. Using them is an easy way to instantly change the look of an object.

FABRIC SCRAPS I never throw away any fabric that I cut off of clothing. The reason being is that you never know what you can use it for in the future.

HALLOWEEN RIBBON I live in the UK where Halloween isn’t as popular as it is in the US. I spent my first 40 years in the US and Halloween has always been my favourite holiday. Whenever I see Halloween themed ribbon on sale online I buy it and add it to my stash, because I know that I will use it in my hair or on an item.

SAFETY PINS You can buy boxes of different sizes or packs of the sizes that you really like. I use them to attach items or as decoration on items.

SPOOKY KEYCHAINS I attach these to zipper pulls, belts, purses,etc… You can buy these in bulk for fairly cheap.

That’s all for now. You do not need a lot of money to do DIY projects. Just buy a little here and a little there and soon you will have a whole collection of things you can creatively use.

Early U2 Albums Are Post-Punk? YES

You might be wondering why I am stating something that is very obvious. The reason is because there is a pretty large swathe of younger post-punk fans who throw a fit when you post early U2 songs in online post-punk communities. In fact I have had posts taken down in such communities when I have shared early U2 songs or videos, or my posts have been downvoted to oblivion.

Boy(1980), October(1981), War(1983), and The Unforgettable Fire(1984) are all solidly great 80’s post-punk albums. To think otherwise is just living in a state of ignorance, because most of these said people have never actually listened to these albums. They are judging their opinion on what the more modern U2 albums sound like and consider them to be a ‘dad rock’ band. I personally only like their post-punk albums because I don’t like the direction they started to take with The Joshua Tree. I like some of the songs off of that album, but it was their transition from post-punk to a different sounding kind of band. In fact they have completely changed their sound multiple times through the years, but in my opinion those early post-punk albums contain their best songs.

New Year’s Day, a song off of their album War, is very haunting and used to be played at the alternative clubs I went to in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Some goth and post-punk DJs include it in their sets because of its melancholic tone.

The really sad thing about this whole state of affairs are the bands that these same people will post and praise; the Smiths and PiL being the most controversial. I actually was a fan of The Smiths before they broke up, but after that happened I totally stopped supporting the band and Morrissey because he treated other musicians like crap and was a raging piece of shit. Through the years it has been shown time and time again that he is a racist and classist twat burger and yet these people still happily support him time and time again. John Lydon within the past few years has shown himself to be a Trump supporting right wing moron who believes that he is still a part of the working class even though he owns multiple homes and is married to a wealthy heiress. Yes his wife has alzheimers, but that is no excuse. I was a HUGE PiL fan in the 80’s right up until recently when that whole shitshow happened. Some people claim that you have to separate the art from the artist, but when racism and right wing crap is put into the equation that train of thought should be thrown out of the window like a pot of piss.

This song, Gloria, from their album October(1981) has a prominent bassline, echoing guitars and a driving drum beat, all characteristics of post-punk.

I think part of the issue as to why all of this is happening is that the term ‘post-punk’ has become a very trendy and popular music genre. It all started with hipsters popularizing Joy Division and it is currently being used by bands today because they know it will bring them a larger audience than just calling themselves goth or alternative. As I said in my last post there were many post-punk bands back in the 80’s that didn’t sound exactly like The Cure or Joy Division; U2 was one of those bands and they had their own unique style that didn’t sound exactly like other post-punk bands of the time. U2 had the common characteristics of the genre but made it their own. In fact they were copied by some other bands at the time such as Skeletal Family, who are now considered to be goth in nature. Listen to the song below. It is very obvious that the guitar player was heavily influenced by Edge’s playing style. In fact if Bono’s vocals were on it you would think it was a song by U2.

If you like Skeletal Family you should give early U2 a listen because the guitar playing is very similar.

Hating on a band without actually listening to them is never a good look. The only positive thing to come out of all of this is that you can still buy 80’s U2 albums and singles for fairly cheap. I have actually purchased some lately that are cheaper now than they were in the US during the 80’s due to the heavy import costs back then. Below are some more early U2 songs that are my personal favourites. Give them a listen because you might actually like them and find out that your assumptions about their early 80’s albums have been wrong.

Is That All, a song off of their second album October.
Another Time Another Place off of their first album Boy.
The Unforgettable Fire a song off of the fourth album of the same name.
Like A Song off of their third album War.

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.

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.

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.

The Reasons Why The 80’s Actually Kind Of Sucked

Within the last few years there has been a resurgence of interest in anything having to do with the 80’s. Everything from endless posts about mediocre 80’s ‘post-punk’ bands to people asking questions as to how to directly copy the look of ‘trad’ goths litter the internet. Then there are the truly special individuals who constantly talk about how cool the decade was and how they wish they could have lived back then. They should never wish that. You want to know why? Because for the most part the 80’s was a hellish landscape of conservative neo-liberal politics mixed in with a highly conformist society that punished those who were in any way different.

I was a teen in the 80’s and graduated high school in 1989, so I spent pretty much the entirety of my teen years in that decade. I was very politically aware during that time and paid attention to the world events going on around me. For example, I went on a trip with some classmates to Washington DC in late 87 that was called Close Up. Teens from all over the US go every year to learn about politics. You get to meet your representatives and talk about important issues with others. We got enough free time to wander about the area exploring and one day two friends and I were walking near the Capital Building when a motorcade appeared. During that week Soviet officials were there to draw up the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty along with officials from Reagan’s cabinet which included the Secretary Of State George Shultz. I hated, and still hate, Reagan with the burning heat of a thousand suns so I was obviously not a fan of anybody serving under him. The first limos going past us had Soviet flags attached to the front, rolled down windows and Soviet guys waving at us with smiles on their faces. Seriously, it was as cool as it sounds. We smiled and waved back of course. Then the limos infested with the lice off of Reagan’s head rolled by and not one of them rolled down their windows. However, it was easy to see through the tint that one of them contained Shultz. I started yelling to him that he sucked and gave him the finger with both hands. Yes, I told a high ranking US official to basically go fuck himself. My friends were panicking telling me to stop but I wouldn’t. To this day I am still proud that at the age of 16 I had the balls to do something like that.

Now that you have learned a little bit about me I will now tell you a little bit about what it was really like to live in the 80’s.

THE COLD WAR AND THE CONSTANT FEAR OF NUCLEAR ANNIHILATION

I don’t think that younger people right now quite realize just how close we came to all being killed in a nuclear war. This fear was largely due to the constant posturing of Reagan. He would call the USSR the evil empire and threaten them on a very regular basis. Frankly I was way more afraid of Reagan back then than I was of the USSR. To the credit of the USSR back then they didn’t give in to Reagan and start a war. I honestly think the professional war mongerers who stood behind Reagan wanted an all out war with the USSR because they would have made billions from that. Both empires fought a proxy war in Afghanistan when the USSR invaded the country while the US backed and trained the rebels. By the way one of those rebels was Osama Bin Laden.

Scene from the UK film Threads.

Nuclear war was such a possibility at the time that two powerful tv films were made about it happening. Threads in the UK and The Day After in the US. Since I was living in the US at the time I saw The Day After when it was first aired in 1983 when I was in the 7th grade. It freaked my friends and I out so much that we went to our vice principal and asked about whether the school had a nuclear fallout shelter. Think about that for a second. Imagine being a young teen and having that kind of fear hanging over your head on a constant basis. It sucked. A few years ago I finally saw Threads and it shows the reality of a nuclear war; people being burned alive and the unsanitized reality of what would happen after a nuclear conflagration. If I had seen it back in the 80’s I would have had full blown nightmares.

IF YOU WERE IN ANY WAY ‘DIFFERENT’ YOU GOT CONSTANTLY SHIT ON AND CONFORMITY WAS A WAY OF LIFE

I always see younger people in online goth communities say that they wished that they could have experienced an ‘alternative’ subculture back in the 80’s. With confidence I can say that the vast majority of them wouldn’t have been emotionally equipped to have handled all of the shit that they would have gotten from others. It wasn’t just the ‘normal’ people that you had to deal with back then, you also had to deal with intense pressure within the alternative community to fit in by liking the same bands and behaving the same way. Woe onto you if you actually acted happy or liked a band that wasn’t considered cool. People think that ‘gatekeeping’ is bad now? They have no idea.

Jello even wrote a song about the pervasive conformity.

There was a huge amount of pressure back then by society to fit in. Reagan constantly preached about how America was better in the good old days, which were actually not good for anybody who wasn’t wealthy and white. If you didn’t go along with his not so hidden racist agenda you were seen as unpatriotic and a traitor. I am not exaggerating. You had to hate the USSR, be scared of black people, and look just like everybody else. If you didn’t have a perm, didn’t dress in the trendiest clothes and didn’t listen to the latest pop bands you didn’t fit in so you were considered fair game to tease and even physically attack. Luckily I was never physically attacked but I know that lots of people were. Far more violence happened back then than now. However, I had things yelled at me on a constant basis, for doing such things as simply walking down a street. In high school I was even told by a teacher that I wouldn’t have as many problems if I just dressed like everybody else.

IT WAS DIFFICULT AS HELL FINDING OUT ABOUT BANDS AND SHOWS

There was no functioning internet back in the 80’s. There were some bulletin board type communities but computers were expensive as hell so most people did not have them. There were thee ways of finding out about bands back then. You could be one of those lucky people that lived near a radio station that actually played alternative and punk music. These were usually college radio stations, but sometimes pop stations would play less popular music in the the middle of the night. There was a pop station in my area that did this. So much so that by the very late 80’s they became an ‘alternative’ station. However, by that time they played more radio friendly bands than experimental ones. However, I did learn about some bands by listening to them. Another way to learn about bands was by getting mix tapes from your friends. In early 86 I got one from a guy, who then ghosted me. There was no track listing written down so it took me literally years to figure some of them out. However, I had another person introduce me to Joy Division by handing me a tape with Unknown Pleasures on one side and Closer on the other. The last way to find out about music was by cold buying it. You would see somebody cool wearing a mysterious band shirt and you kept a log of those band names in the back of your head. I actually cold bought November Coming Fire by Samhain using this method, and more times than not I had really good luck.

You probably wouldn’t know who this band was back then if you had been around.

On top of all of this there was a code of silence that the uber goober type people would pull when you would ask them about what bands they liked. Seriously. There was some sort of strange code that some weirdos lived by that made it very uncool to share musical knowledge with anybody. It was as if they were going to be killed by an evil cabal if they dared to utter the sacred names of bands. These were the same types who would try to dictate how you behaved in clubs.

Wanted to see your favourite band play a show? Good luck! Most of the time the only way you would find out about shows was at club nights, but if you were under 18, and sometimes 21, you weren’t allowed in them. I actually went to one that let you in of you were 17 or older and another that was all ages so I was lucky when it came to that. However, that didn’t mean you would find out about all of the shows because venues were usually total shit at advertising shows unless they were some of the better known ones that also hosted metal shows. There were some ‘alternative’ weekly papers where I lived so I would find out about some of them that way, but there were two times that I accidentally saw bands because I thought it was going to be a regular club night. I saw Meat Beat Manifesto and The Call that way which looking back on it was pretty darn cool.

Well, that’s it for today. I realise that I have probably broken some hearts and crushed some dreams but the amount of misinformation about the 80’s really needs to be balanced out with a reality check. I don’t look back at that decade with rose coloured glasses, even though I lived through those years. It could be fun, but it was also really difficult. If I had the ability to go back in time to those years I wouldn’t.

Albums That Shaped Me: U2 – The Unforgettable Fire (1984)

The album that lead me down a cool weird path.

Before I begin I would like to state for the record that I know that Bono is an immense egomaniac and that the band hasn’t made a really good album since the 80’s. I only like their music up to and including this album so I am not one of those modern delusional U2 fans who think they can do no wrong.

I’m pretty sure I bought the cassette of this album in late 1985. It was before Joshua Tree was released and before I transferred high schools so it kind of had to have been that specific year. None of the friends that I had at that first high school liked them so I kind of got into them on my own. I remember hearing New Year’s Day on the radio a few years before and seeing that video on MTV as a young teen. By the time the song Pride, which is on this album, came out they were already on my radar and I decided to take the plunge and buy one of their albums. Thank you mom for giving me the money to buy this!

I can in no way overstate how important this album is to me, because it lead me into liking other bands. I remember reading somewhere about members of The Virgin Prunes growing up with the members of U2. So, I bought one of their albums and instantly got hooked. That in turn made me more open towards other ‘weirdo’ bands like Specimen. Also, I got into a lot of Irish post-punk bands, such as Blue In Heaven, that all had connections with one another or with U2.

So musically what makes this album so darn special? The entire album has a very haunting quality to it. There were hints of this on some of their earlier albums, such as New Year’s Day on War, but they went full force into it on this one. I think the pinnacle of this style on the album is the song The Unforgettable Fire. It’s my all time favourite U2 song and it still gives me major goosebumps.

I know that it’s really ‘in’ to hate all of U2’s work these days, which I think is a shame. Their first five albums are post-punk perfection. If it wasn’t for this album I wouldn’t be the mildly dramatic weirdo that I am today. It made me evolve my musical tastes and widen my horizons.

Goth Music Is Undead And Here Is A List Of Newer Bands To Prove It Part 2

I Ya Toyah, a one woman force of nature.

A while back I listed some of the newer goth type bands that I found to be interesting. There are so many good bands coming out with excellent music right now that this second list really needed to be made. This time I am also including electronic/industrial bands. They may not be strictly goth but they are definitely goth adjacent. These bands are not in any particular order. All links will take you to the relevant Bandcamp page. Bandcamp Friday is on March the 5th, a day in which 100% of the sale of music and merchandise goes to the bands.

Jay Draper And The Subterraneans This is a hybrid band that contains elements of goth rock, darkwave and post-punk. I love the the soaring vocals, they are very distinctive.

The Last Of Us They play very heavy traditional goth rock, but with a feel of urgency. Keyboards are artfully added for atmosphere. Reminds me of Fields Of The Nephilim crossed with early Danzig because their music has a slightly sinister feel to it.

Corlyx Post-punk meets darkwave. This is a hybrid band that makes some very danceable tunes.

Stoneburner Steven Archer’s solo project that is at once industrial and electronic with other bits tossed together to make for some very interesting sounding music.

Dead Cool They don’t have a lot of music out yet, but what they have put out so far I really enjoy! A post-punk and darkwave hybrid band.

Rosegarden Funeral Party This is a post-punk band with some darkwave thrown in, surrounded by one of the most distinctive female voices out of all of the modern genre bands. The lyrics sound very personal in nature and give the music a deeper meaning.

S Y Z Y G Y X Mainly an electronic and darkwave band. Very driving beats and interesting vocals.

I Ya Toyah This is a one woman band that is fiercely industrial and electronic. Beautiful vocals paired with an urgency and great lyrics.

The Long Losts Very spooky sounding deathrock mixed with some touches of metal. The lyrics are very haunting!

Abu Nein Darkwave and electronic music with a flourish of post punk. Nice vocals and driving beat.

Music Review: David Long & Shane O’Neill – Moll and Zeis

I don’t normally do music reviews, mainly because it’s kind of daunting since there is so much good music being made right now. However, I have decided that I could make it less difficult if I only review albums that I really connect with on a deeper level.

For those of you who don’t know who these two musicians are here is a rundown. They have been friends since childhood and were briefly in a band called Amuse before they set out on their own paths. David Long used to be in the Irish 80’s post-punk band Into Paradise, and Shane O’Neill used to be in the Irish 80’s post-punk band Blue In Heaven. They have collaborated before on the album Supernaught. I can honestly say that Shane is one of the most down to earth musicians I have ever had contact with, and I think its cool as hell that the both of them are still actively making music instead of only relying on their past output. Moving forward instead of living in the past.

When I first listened to this it struck me as sounding ‘dreamy’. Meaning that the guitar, bass and keyboards moved here and there in the songs in a smooth motion instead of in jagged breaks. It instantly reminds me of the more rhythmic albums by Lycia which can only be a good thing. The guitar in the songs tends to have some reverb while the bass is more straight forward and linear. It’s a nice contrast that really works well and it helps bring everything together. Musically this album fits into an indie box, but not strictly as there are definitely some touches of post-punk and even a little bit of ethereal goth thrown in for good measure.

The lyrics on this album are gorgeous. I’ve always been attracted to bands whose lyrics are on a level playing field with their instrumentation, and this album is a good example of that. My favourite lines have to be from the song Far From Home.

You said I was strong, and I would never break
It’s not that easy, it’s not a choice that you make
That day when the trucks arrived, I knew I had to leave
Never saw what life could be and it brought me to my knees
Makes me scared for what’s coming
Makes me scared for what’s coming
now

I burnt your name on my skin to remind me
Walk the roads far from home far behind me
Do you still remember me?
I’m not sure if i remember you
I have got, nothing that I need

Moll & Zeis is available right now on Bandcamp. As an added bonus the lyrics are also on there, which I wish more bands would do.

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