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Tag: Punk

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.

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.

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.

No, It Is Not Edgy To Buy A Premade ‘Punk’ Jacket

The above photo has been making the rounds on the internet for the past few days. Somebody took the photo in a store called Box Lunch in a mall. Said store is owned by Hot Topic, which really shouldn’t come as a surprise since that company has had a reputation for profiting off of subcultures for about 30 years now. The thing that bothers me the most about this is that people are going to buy these atrocities without listening or even knowing about the bands painted upon them.

The first thing you notice about this jacket is that Agent Orange is shorted to Agent Ora and Dr. Know is changed to RX Know. Oh, and they messed up the name of Chaos UK. I don’t know if it was done out of pure laziness or that they didn’t want to be sued by said bands, but they got the names of the other bands correct so I’m guessing that they don’t really care about the whole getting sued thing. Somebody, in some factory in China or elsewhere, was told what to stencil so they probably had no clue that they were real bands. They have been exploited by whomever came up with this crap. Yes, I see the irony of using the word ‘exploited’.

I guarantee that people who buy this thing are going to get shit for wearing it when somebody goes up to them and wants to talk about the bands on it. It’s exciting to see somebody wear the merch of a band that you really like, and more exciting to have a discussion about them. However when these people are innocently asked about what their favourite band is on the jacket their eyes will glaze over in a panic because they didn’t realize that the names were of real punk bands. They bought the jacket because they thought it looked edgy.

I am all for people buying whatever they want to wear, and I’m realistic about the fact that not everybody can easily DIY clothing. I have multiple sclerosis and quite frequently I don’t have the energy to sew or paint. However, I feel that jackets are the one thing that should be personalized by the person who wears it. It’s a tradition that has been around since the early days of punk in the 1970’s, and something that means a lot to people in the punk, metal and goth subcultures. It shows other people in the subcultures what bands, films, or other things that you are heavily into. It even becomes a focal point of interest that will sometimes turn into a conversation with another person that is into similar things. Yes, sometimes ‘gatekeepers’ will be creeps and try to test you on your knowledge to make themselves feel superior. I’ve had it happen to me and it sucks. Not everybody is a creep though, and friendships can be started over a love of the same bands which is neat!

These days it’s really easy to learn how to paint on a leather or pleather jacket. There are tons of tutorials on YouTube showing you exactly how to do it and it really isn’t that difficult of a project to accomplish. You’re not good at painting? You can make a stencil out of cardboard, or any kind of thicker type paper, and do it that way. If what you create isn’t 100% perfect that is okay. You actually don’t even have to put band names on a jacket if you don’t want to. The latest one that I painted, shown below, doesn’t have a single band name on it. I am heavily into post-apocalyptic and dystopian films so I went with that kind of theme. There are also tutorials online that teach you how to stud a jacket and the studs are very cheap to buy on sites such as Etsy.

This is the best looking jacket I have ever painted and I used a combo of stencils and freehand.

When it comes down to it when you buy a premade ‘punk’ jacket you are being exploited by a company wanting to make money off of a subculture that they don’t give a crap about. They don’t care about the long history of the DIY ethos that runs through it. Instead they see you as a rube willing to spend your hard earned cash on their manufactured product in order to look ‘edgy’. Don’t be a victim of their avarice and greed. When you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything you want, including painting bands that you love on your own jacket.

Albums That Shaped Me: Samhain – November Coming Fire (1986)

This record has been in my top ten favourite albums for about thirty years, and it is frequently number one on that list. In my humble opinion this is the best album that Glenn Danzig has ever made, a pinnacle that he will never reach again. It’s the perfect blend of punk and goth music, and I would even venture to say that this is one of the best deathrock albums ever made. I would definitely place it above Specimen’s Batastrophe and Christian Death’s Theater Of Pain. Yes, I went there.

I found out about Samhain in a very strange way. I went to an amusement park a couple of weeks before I graduated high school in 1989 with some metal friends. I was wearing my Sex Pistols Holidays In The Sun shirt. Back then they weren’t as well known as they are now, trust me on that. With all of that being said a girl walked past me at some point while wearing a Samhain November Coming Fire shirt and called me a poser. During that time I was also into The Dead Kennedys and 7 Seconds, so I was in no way a poser. What she said didn’t affect me as much as the appearance of her shirt did. I stored the band name Samhain in the back of my brain for future reference because I thought maybe they would be as good as their shirt looked.

Later in 1989 I very briefly dated a guy who had a Misfits poster in his room even though he didn’t listen to them. I knew who the Misfits were during that time but I hadn’t gotten around to listening to them yet. I know that sounds strange but I was into so many bands at that point that it was difficult to buy all of that music and the albums of bands I wanted to try out at the same time. Back then you actually had to buy the music if you wanted to own it. I mean you could get some tapes off of your friends but it was always a goal to actually legally own the music and support the band at the same time. After I broke up with that guy I went and bought the Misfits album Legacy Of Brutality. My friend Sheri was also really into the Misfits during this time and she is the person that introduced me to the band Danzig.

The man, the myth, the legend.

I remember going to the Rasputin’s music store in San Lorenzo in early 1990 and buying the Danzig and Danzig II: Lucifuge cds. The store had separate sections for goth, punk and just about everything else, which actually made it really easy to find music. I remember looking through the punk section and coming across the name of a band that looked familiar: Samhain. I cold bought November Coming Fire on cd that day and it was quite possibly one of the best music based decisions I have ever made. I’m not overstating that by any means. Back then I cold bought a whole lot of music on the recommendation of other people or by seeing somebody strange wearing a band shirt.

Usually when you hear an album for the first time you will pick out certain songs above others or maybe not even like some of the songs. I liked every single song on this album the very first time I listened to it. The song order has a certain flow to it. For example the song To Walk The Night is slow and quite introspective, perhaps the most traditionally goth rock sounding song on the whole album. While the next song Let The Day Begin is more quick paced and takes you slowly out of the bleakness, all the while singing about darkness and the evil that is coming. The very next song Halloween II is a Misfits cover which is sung completely in Latin and takes you to the place where the last song’s events were leading you to.

I have always liked both goth and punk music but not that many bands have achieved the feat of seamlessly bringing the two genres of music together. The only other band that I can think of immediately is TSOL, whose two albums Dance With Me and Beneath The Shadows are also favourites of mine. However, what Glenn Danzig did with this album is bring it to a higher level by adding into the mix some very dark theming and lyrical content. It’s like the album is in its own dimension of darkness where no light can reach it. November Coming Fire taught me that it was okay to unabashedly embrace my darkness and relish in it. Don’t be a goth who claims that they are totally normal on the inside, because I’m not. Don’t be a punk who always thinks that non violence is always the answer, because it’s not.

If it wasn’t for November Coming Fire I wouldn’t be the very darkly inclined woman that I am today. Never heard of Samhain or November Coming Fire? Give the below a listen, you won’t regret it.

On Creating A Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian Clothing Style That Doesn’t Look Like A Costume

This would make a cool hideout in the wasteland.

As a lot of you know I am a total post-apocalyptic/dystopian genre fangirl. I’ve been into the genre since the early 80’s and I have always loved the way that the characters in such films look. For example, the baddies in The Road Warrior (AKA Mad Max 2) have always fascinated me. Where did they get all of the cool black gear from, and how the hell did they put their mohawks up in a desert wasteland with no beauty supply shops nearby? Also, where did the find the brightly coloured hair-dye at?

As I slowly discovered the joys of goth and punk music there was something in the back of my brain telling me that I should combine the two as to how I looked. There were some years I looked more goth and some years in which I looked more punk. I was never successful at combining the two together seamlessly into a cohesive look.

I got diagnosed with MS about 3 1/2 years ago and within a short time I couldn’t work any longer. So, I decided that I was going to start dressing how I really wanted to, and do whatever the hell I liked with my hair. I was going to start dressing in a post-apocalyptic/dystopian style by golly! As I searched Etsy for items, and ideas, I noticed that the clothes and accessories came in two different varieties; costumes for festivals and actual wearable items. The costume items are really over the top, such as heavily stained clothing, colourful gasmasks, home-made shoulder pads and jewellery . I’m not dissing those items because they are often very creative. However, you do not want to wear all of these kind of items together while shopping or walking about because it’ll look like you are just wearing a costume rather than wearing actual everyday clothing.

A very cool choker that I bought on Etsy.

A lot of the wearable items that I have seen on Etsy are made in small batches and can be very expensive. If you have the skill and patience to do so it is cheaper, and more original, to customize your own items. So far I have painted my post-apocalyptic pleather jacket and have stencilled with a bleach pen symbols onto some leggings. I plan on distressing a few knit items that I own and sewing some patches onto a black denim jacket and a plain black canvas messenger bag that I have purchased. I have bought quite a few pieces of jewellery because I don’t feel confident making such things myself. With some broken jewellery and wire I plan on decorating some of my items. Also, I have found some very fab bottle-cap keyrings on Etsy that I plan on making into zip pulls and decorations.

The balance between costume and clothing in this style is all about limiting costume pieces to maybe only one item in an outfit. Have a ripped up skirt? Wear it with a top that isn’t as damaged. Have an over the top choker? Pair it with an outfit that isn’t as decorative. I stay away from goggles, gas masks, and shoulder-pads because they all scream costume, and I don’t want to be mistaken for a cybergoth. I also stay away from tons of bright colours, so I will wear only one brightly object at a time if I wear any at all.

I hope this post inspires you to come up with your own individual style because it’s a very fun journey to take.

Why I Have Always Had A Foot In The Punk Subculture

That’s me on the left in early 1991.

I got into both punk and goth music at around the same time, and there have been years that I looked more ‘goth’ and other years that I looked more ‘punk’. Actually, I should replace the term ‘goth’ with the word ‘alternative’ since before 91 the term ‘goth’ wasn’t used in my area. No matter what I looked like I always still held the same beliefs. I heavily disliked the GOP and the Tories, thought all conservatives were assholes, and that neo-Nazi skinheads sucked and didn’t belong in either of the subcultures.

I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area back then. That area has always been known for being very left wing. However, there were some very conservative pockets, most of which were in the East Bay. This included Fremont, which back then, was mostly white and middle/upper middle class. I went to high school there and I would say that at least 80% of the students there during the 1980’s were white. I could literally count the number of African American students with only one hand. No joke. This was in stark contrast to my experience of being a child in San Francisco where most of my friends were Chinese and other people of colour.

Since I openly disliked Reagan I never fit in at all. If you weren’t conservative in the 80’s you got fucked with pretty much on a daily basis. How dare you not like Reagan, that means you’re not American!!! So, since I politically didn’t fit in it wasn’t a huge step for me to start embracing punk and what is now called goth music. I bought Beating A Dead Horse by The Sex Pistols and Specimen’s Batastrophe in 1986, That quickly pointed me into the direction of The Dead Kennedys, 7 Seconds, Gene Loves Jezebel, The Cure, U2, etc… I loved the Pistols, 7 Seconds and The Dead Kennedys because of the political messages and Specimen and Gene Loves Jezebel because the music sounded different and cool.

The outside of the punk club Gilman.

Thirty years ago I would go to Gilman, a volunteer run punk club that is still around in Berkeley, one night and then a goth/alternative club called The Twilight Zone in Alameda the next. Looking back on it there was maybe a handful of us who would do this so I never felt alone. The punk community embraced this way more than a lot of people in the emerging goth scene. There were quite a few people who called themselves goth back then who looked down their noses at anybody who didn’t dress a certain way. It didn’t matter that you loved goth music, to them everything was about how you dressed. People think there is gatekeeping going on in the subculture right now? It was ten times worse back then. I did my own thing and just ignored them. A lot of them ended up as either meth or heroin addicts so I think I ended up with the better end of the stick.

I didn’t do that much clubbing during the 90’s, I would only go to clubs maybe a couple of times of year, which I actually don’t regret too much because I avoided a massive amount of drama. During that time I saw the original line-up of Danzig and other acts such as Adam Ant so I didn’t miss everything coming out of that decade. After 2000 I moved around a lot and did some DJ work spinning everything from punk to goth, where I encountered a massive amount of sexism. Not that many people stood up and argued against it it back then because I think some people were afraid that their ‘goth’ status would be revoked. This would have never been accepted in the punk subculture. If a band said sexist crap on stage at Gilman they would be banned from playing there. People in the punk subculture would stand up for each other, while in the goth subculture twenty years ago people would work against each other, fighting for status.

Thankfully, it really feels like things have changed. Right now there are quite a few deathrock and goth rock bands who are openly political that question societal norms. I don’t feel that every single band in the goth subculture has to be political, because after all not every single punk band is political. However, along with this new awareness comes a downside. Some people, who are jealous of the success of certain bands, attempt to blacklist them by calling them racist even though there is no real proof of this. It’s petty goth subculture bullshit belittling the term and using it for self absorbed reasons. When I saw it happen to a band recently my punk side came out and I fought like hell against the witch hunters, because it was obvious that it was being lead by musicians/djs who were jealous twats. They expected me to go along with their hive mind mentality and were shook when I didn’t. Sorry kids, but the Subhumans taught me to think for myself. By the way, I have screenshots of all the shit that went down because I know that those twats are going to be the type to deny all of this within a year or two.

Think For Yourself by the Subhumans

I am very, very grateful that I never stopped listening to punk music, even when pressured to by the uber goobers at goth clubs. The music taught me that it is okay to question authority, be it a politician or a ‘leader’ in an online goth community. It also gave me the confidence to speak up when I know a situation is not what it seems. It also taught me that listening to my inner voice is more important than worrying about my social status. In the end I’d rather be able to live with myself than gain imaginary goth points. This is the reason why I have always had a foot in the punk subculture.

An Online Store Selling Painted/Studded Punk/Goth Jackets For Over £300.00? Yep.

The world is ending.

While I was innocently browsing Facebook today there was an ad that caught my eye. I normally call ads on there scams and report them, so I clicked onto the link and I was horrified to discover that there is a company charging over £300.00 for ready made denim battle jackets. Yep, that much money for a sewn on back patch, some studs and maybe some chains. I’m not joking, and that isn’t the worst of it. They are charging £666.00 for leather jackets with simple paintings of the Universal Monsters and some light studding.

All of this is basically the commercialization of traditionally DIY pieces of clothing. This kind of crap has been happening forever, but this site really seems to hit all of the sour notes of the most recent trend of wanting to be ‘goth’. A certain percentage of people who are curious about the goth subculture these days automatically think that it’s only about the clothing so they will drop hundreds, if not thousands, on ready made clothing that is advertised as ‘dark’ and ‘goth’. I have nothing against ready made clothes in general, and just about every single person in both the goth and punk subcultures own at least a few pieces. However, charging hundreds of pounds/dollars for a ready made jacket is really obscene because it is the one piece of clothing that has been traditionally DIY.

My peachy-keen post-apocalyptic themed jacket that is close to finished.

Before I go any further, if you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I have been working on my own jacket for months now. Since I have MS I frequently don’t have the energy to do much of anything, so I work on it when I physically feel like I can. If I can make the time to work on one, despite my medical condition, others really have no excuse. It doesn’t matter what you can and can’t paint, when you work on it yourself it becomes a part of who you are. Paint and studs can be found online for very cheap and you’ll end up with your own piece of wearable art.

Here is the link for that site. I am not going to post any photos from their site because I don’t feel like being sued. Get ready to cringe in pain. https://www.fortheflycustoms.com/store?category=JACKETS

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