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Category: New Wave (Page 1 of 2)

My Dystopian Life Alternative Club Classics

EDIT: It is now 84 songs with no repeated bands. I hate the heck out of Spotify, and don’t use it, but I have decided to start creating a playlist based on the music that I heard in alternative clubs in 88-92. It is a work in progress so this isn’t its final form. During those four years I went clubbing on a pretty regular basis, even multiple times a week. So, these are actual songs that were played back then not some fever dream of somebody who wishes they lived back then. Yes, rap/hip-hop songs were played at all of the alternative clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area back then, and I had a whole lot of fun dancing to them! From what I understand this was not as common in other areas of the US, so this list only represents what I experienced and is not indicative of what happened elsewhere.

Hope you have fun listening to this and discover songs that are new to you.

My Thoughts On That ’50 Best Goth Songs Of All Time’ Rolling Stone Article

Strawberry Switchblade was not a goth band just because they dressed strange.

There is a recent Rolling Stone article titled The 50 Best Goth Songs Of All Time making the rounds, and my goodness are people pissed off about it. The main reason being that the author of the article is a noted historian on the goth subculture, Andi Harriman. Personally I think she is full of shit, based mainly on the fact that she writes for post-punk dot com, a very problematic website that I have covered on here before. It is run by a trust fund guy who is actively buying his way into the subculture. You are the company that you keep.

I read somewhere yesterday that dearest Andi has claimed that she was told by Rolling Stone to expand the list with famous bands that maybe weren’t goth in order to appease their audience. Instead of having standards she gave in and wrote it. I guess getting her name on the byline of a Rolling Stone article was more important than telling the truth of things. Go figure. So, come wander down this path of half-truths and outright lies with me. This is going to be fun! I will quote sections of the article and then give my response.

‘The scene was a torch passing of sorts. Murphy’s Bauhaus had helped invent goth during the early Eighties; Way had brought it to stripmalls and arenas in the 21st century. And, still, neither could answer a question that has haunted people for decades: What is goth?

Woman, My Chemical Romance is not a goth band. I repeat, My Chemical Romance is not a damn goth band. Just because a band dresses in black does not automatically mean that the band makes goth subculture music. It wasn’t passing a torch from Murphy to Way, it was more like Murphy spitting up in the air and his phlegm landed on Way. What is goth? A question that she sure as hell also doesn’t know how to answer.

Let’s travel back to 1983. A time when London’s Batcave club was in its infancy. There, the aesthetics of goth were cultivated—a love for horror movies and Gothic novels, a sickly pallor and a koosh ball of hair, pointy winklepickers and a mish-mash of fetish materials, and most of all, a romance with melancholy. ‘83 was also the year that vampire-thriller The Hunger, co-starring David Bowie, hit the big screens. Vampires, Bowie,  Bauhaus – it was the perfect trifecta, beautifully bound in an orgy of tragic eternity.

Um…on the US West Coast during the same time there were bands doing the exact same thing. The Batcave was not the only place where goth music came into being and was born; it’s just the obvious easy answer that people repeat over and over and over….again. So much of this is repeated elsewhere that there are tons of people who weren’t even alive during the 80’s running around wearing Batcave shirts and patches right now. I was a teen in the 80’s in the San Francisco Bay Area and even though I was alive during those Batcave years I wouldn’t sport a shirt or patch of a place that I never went to. An orgy of tragic Eternity? It’s not an orgy if it is only attended by three people. Just saying.

The first batallion of dark 1970s post-punk bands fed off the energy of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character, an androgynous creature who didn’t quite seem human. The allure of Ziggy, mixed with the magnetism of Dracula (namely Christopher Lee, Udo Keir, and of course, Bela Lugosi) helped to assemble the essential iconography of the subculture– at once dreadful and oozing with sex appeal.

A whole lot of those bands came out of Los Angeles and not the Batcave; specifically Christian Death and 45 Grave, who both used darkly themed aesthetics in their stage performances. Alice Bag, who was in the early Los Angeles punk band The Bags with Patricia Morrison, actually goes into detail in her book Violence Girl as to how everything creatively morphed after the early punk scene there imploded due to the violence that was happening at shows. I highly recommend her book, because she was best friends with Morrison and her insight is very valuable.

And the sound? It’s atmospheric. Somewhere between a banshee scream or a bellowing, reverberated howl that could part the Red Sea, goth began as a transition point from the jaggedness of punk’s confrontational simplicity into an elegant darkness, one cloaked in sorrow and so much emotion. In order to achieve goth status, there must be as much drama as possible: the music, in true Hitchockian fashion, must be as frightening as a spiral staircase in a creaking haunted house.

Again, a whole lot of early goth bands were anything but elegant. Sex Gang Children, Virgin Prunes, Christian Death, etc…were all very confrontational and anything but elegant, but that was the appeal. You could speak up about how fucked up the world was along with looking like you were mourning it. Personally, that is one of the reasons why I have always been into goth music along with punk; they can be on different sides of the same coin.

Think of this list as a roadmap to that sound—from B-movie horror thrills, to reanimated rock and roll rituals, to complete sacrilege, bulging with blasphemy, bondage, blood and lots of bats. It’s a history that touches on subgenres like dream pop, hard rock, synthpop, and glam, that makes pit stops in Spain and Germany, pays homage at the doorsteps of black-clad country heroes and spooky blues legends, and dives into seedy art rock grottos and DIY punk venues. So pour yourself a goblet of red wine and hold your rosaries tight. It’s gonna be a long, dark night of the soul.

A roadmap to the sound? Then why the hell would you call this list ’50 Best Goth Songs Of All Time’? It should have been titled ‘music that influenced goth bands’ instead then. She should know better than to mislead people with this article, because right now there is a ton of misinformation about it. So much so that teens, and even adults, are running around calling themselves goth without listening to any of the actual music. Instead of trying to stop this crap she is doing her part to perpetuate it. Awwww…….how peachy-keen of her!

I am now going to briefly comment on each band on that list that are in no way goth, and give my reasoning for my opinion on each.

50. Strawberry Switchblade They were basically a pop band who happened to dress in a lot of polka dots. Seriously, that’s it. Plus, Rose McDowall got all cozy with Death In June, a very problematic band. A big huge thumbs down from me.

49. AFI This one is a huge WTF. I actually used to go to the punk club Gilman in Berkeley during the same years that Havok went there before he got famous. I just remember that he had the cover of TSOL’s album Dance With Me on the back of his leather jacket. The dude does like some deathrock music, but that doesn’t mean that he actually makes deathrock music. Their sound has morphed multiple times over the years, but it has never been strictly goth.

47. She Wants Revenge Members of this band have been accused of sexual assault. They opened a ‘goth’ club in Los Angeles and preceded to do nothing about their workers being sexually assaulted by their guests. Fuck this band up the ass with no lube. I guess our friend Andi is perfectly okay with all of this. Good to know.

45. My Chemical Romance Not a goth band folks. A band isn’t goth just because they dress in black and whine about their lives. The song she chose sounds like straight up pop punk, which is a music genre that really needs to jump off of a cliff.

44. Type O Negative This is one of the big bands that is always called goth by people who don’t know any better. Andi should know better, but apparently she thinks misinformation is okay as long as she gets the clicks. They are straight up metal and that is it.

43. Echo And The Bunnymen If I had a dollar for every single time a misinformed kid calls this band goth I would be a wealthy woman. They were never goth….at all. I actually saw them live in 1987, so I was around when they were big, and they were never called goth. The internet has been spreading this misinformed crap for the last decade. Sorry kids, just because a post-punk band made maybe one or two sad songs in the 80’s doesn’t make the band goth. Period. Thanks Andi for perpetuating this bullshit.

41. Suicide They have always been considered punk. That’s it.

38. Fad Gadget Their songs used to be played in the alternative/goth clubs I went to over 30 years ago, but that doesn’t mean the band was goth. I have always considered them to be a new wave band more than anything else.

36. Nine Inch Nails Seriously? Wahahahaha!!!! Industrial music, maybe, but definitely not a goth band. Nope, just a trust fund dude whining about how shit his life is while playing a keyboard.

33. Depeche Mode I have always loved their album Black Celebration, but is it a goth album? Synthpop definitely, but not really goth. They were an important goth gateway band for me in the 80’s, but they themselves were not a goth band. They could lead you down a road of discovery if that is where you wanted to go. A lot of people would just stop at them and not go any further, and I found such people to be boring as hell.

32. Johnny Cash I love some Johnny Cash, but was the dude goth? Nope, he was solidly a country musician who sang about dark subjects. Then again a lot of old school country bands did the same sort of thing and they don’t appear on this list. I think Andi only included him because of his Nine Inch Nails cover song, a band who is also not goth. Way to go Andi!

21. The Velvet Underground Definitely a proto-punk band, that is in no way goth.

12. Iggy Pop Again, a proto-punk band and not goth….at all. Iggy Pop’s music isn’t goth just because Ian Curtis hung himself while listening to one of his albums. I saw Iggy perform in the late 80’s and it sure as hell wasn’t a dark romantic performance; it was aggressive, energetic and punk as all hell. If he tours near you go and see him, he puts on an excellent show.

7. Joy Division They were a solid post-punk band and that is it. Ian Curtis killed himself before the subculture was even fully formed so I think sticking the music of the band into a goth box does it a disservice. Retroactively calling bands goth is just lazy and trite journalism. I wrote a whole article about how they were never a goth band. The only people who think they are goth are the kids running around who think that all sad songs must be goth. They couldn’t be more wrong.

6. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins Not a goth musician at all. I wouldn’t even call him proto-goth. However, I think the dude influenced the hell out of horror punk and shock rock. The Misfits even played some shows with him over forty years ago. Just because a musician uses dark theatrics doesn’t make said musician goth. That is unless you want to call both the Misfits and Alice Cooper goth.

4. David Bowie Again, yet another musician who was in no way goth but whose music influenced both punk and later goth musicians. His music is very important but it just isn’t goth, and that’s okay.

Well, that’s it folks. What lesson can we learn from this whole mess? That to some people getting an article in a mainstream music publication such as Rolling Stone is more important than actually telling the truth. Sad but true, and it is this attitude that is really hurting the subculture right now; fame at all costs, and if you have to step over people and lie to achieve it then so be it.

The Ongoing Saga Of Alex Baker And Post-Punk Dot Com

Back in July the website tried to promote the very problematic band She Wants Revenge. Money is more important than the safety of women apparently. It was only taken down when enough of us complained.

I can well imagine that some of you are wondering why I am feeling the need to write out a post about such a peachy-keen site that promotes so many bands within the goth community. Well, sometimes things are not all that they seem to be; scratch the surface and sometimes you will find something very onerous underneath. Since I am not one to shy away from controversy I immediately knew that I has to write about this and tell people the truth as to what kind of website they are actually supporting.

So what kind of website is it and who originally started it? The original founder of post-punk dot com was Joshua Pfeiffer, and he started the site around 2004 to share information about the lesser known goth, post-punk and alternative bands that he was discovering. He couldn’t find a site online that was a repository of information about the music, so he scoured the internet, asked people, interviewed musicians and did a whole lot of independent research to create a site in which he could share his love of the music. He is also a musician and a DJ who has worked with a lot of people within the goth, alternative and punk communities. In other words the site was a work of love for him and the others who also participated in the day to day running of it. He did not do it for the money, and since it started to take more and more of his free time, which he didn’t have much of to begin with, he handed over the site to somebody who promised that they would run it in the same manner; Alex Baker, a promoter who was at the time living in New York.*

Who is Alex Baker? Where do I even begin; should I start off on what he claims he is or what he really is? Here are the basics. Our boy Alex is the son of a famous mainstream record producer. Who? At this point I really don’t care. I only know of this because our little Alex brags about it and shows 80’s photos of his dad with various famous musicians of the decade. I’m going to let Alex tell us what happened next, according to an interview that he gave in 2020.

In 2012 I started the process of taking over Post-Punk.com and relaunching it, which was done in 2014. Prior to this I had been doing event promotions in NYC, at clubs like The Limelight, Pyramid, CBGB’s, Knitting Factory and more, and had also ran a print publication.

Redakce / proti sedi

Funny how he doesn’t mention Joshua Pfeiffer, the person who actually created the site. Relaunching it into what exactly? Why would a website that is there to only share information need to be relaunched? Didn’t he promise that he wouldn’t change the site? Oh dear!

In the same magazine article quoted above he goes into how he moved to Berlin but it got too techno for him so he decided to move to Los Angeles part-time to be closer to all of the post-punk/alternative bands there. Oh, and he can travel to Europe to catch all of the music festivals there too. Needless to say the guy has a serious amount of cash. The kind of cash that you can’t make from running a website or from being a promoter within the subculture. He has to be getting money from his father to afford all of this. I’m not going to put him down for that because plenty of people that receive an inheritance or an annuity aren’t totally self absorbed liars. Rather, it is how he uses his money, or doesn’t, that I would like to have a chat about.

So, we have established that Alex is in no way broke and has a considerable amount of money that allows him to regularly travel to Europe. Since this is the case why does he charge bands for album reviews and always begs for money to support the site?

Let’s tackle the whole pay to play scam first. I know that some of you won’t know what this means, so I’ll explain. Back in the 50’s-70’s it was very common that when a music producer or record label wanted singles played on the radio they would quite often pay the radio stations to play the songs. So, whomever had the most money came up on top. It didn’t matter what they sounded like, as long as the radio stations received the cash they got played. Since I know all about how this pay to play scam works I was a bit shocked to see our little friend Alex pulling this shit right out in the open. Not only does he charge bands money to be reviewed, he also charges them money to get such things as an Instagram boost. As a person who has run my own blogs on and off for almost twenty years I know that you can link your site to your social media accounts so that you don’t have to bother doing it manually. Charging a goth/alternative/post-punk subculture band money for all of this feels as dirty as a rolled up dollar bill on the floor of a bathroom in a goth club. So, who gets the most coverage? Any band that has money. Right now that means all of the Joy Division/Cure clone ‘post-punk’ bands, because the youngsters really dig them and buy a lot of merch and music from them. I’m not knocking all of those bands, but how is it fair to the bands that are broke and trying to get their music out there? It isn’t and it sucks.

I took screen shots of the whole band submission process on post-punk dot com. Come with me on a voyage of greed on the HMS Post-Punk! I will post a photo and explain what you are seeing underneath.

Awwww……how sweet they want to give us high-quality video content. We are pretending we are a band right now so go along with it. We are in hiding.

I just picked that we wanted an article published about us. Why? Because we play good music and are cool. Don’t forget that!

Would we like our music reviewed? Of course we would because we play good music and want people to find out about it. Wouldn’t our review just automatically appear on their Instagram page when they post it onto their site? WHAT!!!!! A ‘contribution’ amount of $150 for them to write a review and create an Instagram post of us? Why should we be contributing any money to a website that was meant to just be a central repository of band information in the first place? Oh wait, that’s right, when our friend Alex took over the site he decided to turn it into something that his daddy would be proud of; a mainstream endorsed music website that is all about the cash and who you know, rather than simply being about the music. I have even heard talk from different people who ‘know’ that Alex is also only allowing bands on the site that he deems ‘attractive’, that they need to have a certain ‘look’.

This doesn’t stop out dear Alex from regularly asking for yet more money to run the site, even though the dude is loaded. So, not only is he a liar he is money hungry as well.

Awww….look at Alex. He’s started a fundraiser for the site even though he is charging for reviews AND is loaded.

He even tried to crowdfund over £20,000 to start a print magazine, and it failed. Finally some good news.

What is the real reason behind why he took over the website in the first place? He wants the power and clout that owning a popular site within the subculture gives him. He wants to be the person that the mainstream music press goes to when they want their questions about goth/post-punk music answered. He wants to be the person who appears on podcast shows talking about the bands that he ‘discovered’. He wants his head up on a post-punk Mt. Rushmore sandwiched between Ian Curtis and Peter Hook. For him this is all a means to an end, with the help of his dad’s money and connections.

The last thing I want to discuss is something that really cracked me up. Since I knew that I was going to be writing this I kind of paid attention to the website’s Facebook page. The other day the below post appeared, and by golly do I have a lot to say about it!

Can you imagine somebody being so out of touch with reality that they would think that posting about the Dead Kennedys would give them some punk cred? Wonder no more because Alex has struck again! This has proven to me that he has never actually ‘listened’ to the Dead Kennedys. Jello Biafra would verbally demolish him because he has ALWAYS been against the mainstream music industry and what they represent. So much so that he wrote a song on the subject called Anarchy For Sale, about how corporations steal ideas and try to sell them back to the subculture that they stole them from in the first place. Sound familiar?

More and more people are whispering about all of this and are genuinely scared to say anything because of the power that he is currently holding over every single musician in the subculture. I have no doubt that Alex really enjoys holding the sword of Damocles above their necks, In fact he probably gets off on it.

I’ve been into goth/alternative/punk music for over 35 years now. Over that time I have witnessed some very egregious shit go down, but I must say that this is the first time I have seen somebody with obvious mainstream ties try to buy their way into the subculture. You can have all of the money in the world, but that won’t make you ‘authentic’. Do you know the people who are actually authentic within the goth/alternative/punk subcultures? The people who actually ‘listen’ to the music and love it for what it is; not for some perceived clout. They can be broke as hell and dress in clothes they got from Walmart but because they actually ‘listen’ to the music that will always make them more authentic than our boy Alex will ever be.

I was originally going to make that last paragraph the end of this article but since little Alex seems to love posting about the Dead Kennedys without actually ‘listening’ to them I thought I would help him out. These are all of the songs from their album Bedtime For Democracy that really fit into this entire situation quite well! Remember, these songs are just from one of their albums. Enjoy Alex!

Anarchy For Sale (1986)

Chickenshit Conformist (1986)

Hop With The Jet Set (1986)

Macho Insecurity (1986)

I Spy (1986)

*I’m now told that Alex actually bought the site in an auction when Joshua couldn’t afford the website any longer. Alex still ruined the site, so this doesn’t make any real difference.

A Sounds And Shadows Interview In Which I Am Mentioned? You Don’t Say!!

This is an interview between Ken of Sounds And Shadows and Jose Hernandez Riwes Cruz of Hueco. Jose has been into goth/alternative music since the 80’s in Mexico and has just written a book called Jumping Someone Else’s Train in which he explains how the subculture formed there. A while back he asked us in the Sounds And Shadows Facebook group what we were called before the term ‘Goth’ was used in our areas. I mentioned to him what my friends and I were mostly called way back in the mid to late 80’s in the SF East Bay and some more information.

Most, if not all, of you know my real name on Facebook is Megan Wood McGuigan so that is not a secret. It is just so cool to feel appreciated, especially by people who are very knowledgable about a genre of music that means a lot to me. I am not giving the exact time of when I am mentioned because it is a very cool video that should be seen in its entirety. A huge thanks to both Ken and Jose.

Why Are Predators Supported Within The Goth Subculture?

She Wants Revenge, whose members have been accused of perpetuating sexual assault. being supported by post punk dot com. The post only got taken down when people complained.

Have you heard about how the members of She Wants Revenge didn’t really give a crap when people employed in their wannabe goth club were sexually assaulted? Remember the LA Times article detailing what occurred in 2021? To refresh your memory here is a free version of the take-down. All of this is public knowledge and I remember this being discussed in tons of goth online spaces during the time the article was released,

Since all of this crap happened She Wants Revenge were effectively cancelled, as well as they should have been because fuck these assholes. That is until Post punk dot com got it in their heads that it would be perfectly fine to promote them. Why would they think that? Mostly because they care more about scene cred than anything else. They have to put up the latest ‘news’ to look like they are on the cutting edge of promoting whatever shit band they are calling ‘post-punk’ these days. Women sexually assaulted at a club that the band members ran? Who cares about that! What is more important is having scene cred so that all of your young readers will buy whatever crap music from whatever crap band you are promoting before they move onto something else.

This is not the first time this kind of the thing has happened. Time and time again musicians, DJs, and promoters within the goth subculture are given a free pass to do heinous acts.

Up next, let’s talk about the singer for the bands Bella Morte and The Rain Within; Andy Deane. The allegations against him are so many and so credible that some of his ex band mates have dropped him as a friend. He emotionally abused multiple women by cheating on them, stealing their money and giving some of them STDs. There were so many women involved in his web of bullshit that there used to be a website dedicated to telling their stories. I’m not joking, this asshole has a long and rich history of pulling this shit, and yet he still gets invited to play gigs and some goth musicians still support him. Remember kids, scene cred is way more important than protecting the lives of women. Fuck this guy.

Lastly I want to talk about a promoter in the Washington DC area named DJ Panic. I have first hand experience with this steaming pile of shit because I moved to the area without knowing anything about anybody back in 2003. We messed around a bit BUT he started ignoring my phone calls and pretended I didn’t exist. Seriously. When I went to his job once to ask him what was going on he started to call me crazy. Ummmm….I don’t know…..but when you are act like a gaslighting little bitch you deserve to be confronted and treated like the piece of trash that you are. This serial emotional abuser did the same thing to other women right after me. Imagine my surprise twenty years later when I learn of this asshole being in charge of booking goth/industrial gigs in the DC area. I’m being sarcastic, because I actually wasn’t surprised at all. He has claimed that he is a changed person and that he has apologized to all of the people he hurt. Funny, I never got one even though I am easy as hell to find online. It shows you just how much that area cares about the safety of women. They don’t at all.

What can we lean from all of this? That scene cred is much more important than kicking somebody out of the subculture. If the abuser has ‘connections’ with club owners and bands then they are usually deemed too important and their behaviour is excused away. The DJs and musicians who support these assholes are just as bad in my opinion because they know exactly what is going on but don’t lift a finger against them. This has been a dirty little secret going on in the subculture for decades and one that almost nobody tells baby bats about. If a baby bat asks me about going to goth clubs I always tell them to act like it’s any other kind of club because there will be predators there.

The goth subculture has never been a safe space for everybody, especially women and it’s about time that the truth comes out about this HUGE issue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bigod 20 – The Bog (1990)

Divine – Love Reaction (1983)

U2 – New Year’s Day (1983)

Nitzer Ebb – Join In The Chant (1987)

Until December – Heaven (1986)

MC Shy D – Shake It (1987)

Visage – Fade To Grey (1982)

Killing Joke – Love Like Blood (1985)

Book Of Love – Boy (1985)

Madness – One Step Beyond (1979)

Ministry – Work For Love (1983)

Faith No More – We Care A Lot (1987)

Trans -X – Living On Video (1983)

Fad Gadget – Collapsing New People (1983)

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

Skinny Puppy – Assimilate (1985)

NWA – Straight Outta Compton (1988)

Tones On Tail – Go! (1984)

Sex Gang Children – Deiche (1982)

Danielle Dax – Big Hollow Man (1987)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Desireless – Voyage Voyage (1986)

Red Flag – If I Ever (1989)

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

Digital Underground – Doowutchyalike (1990)

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

Virgin Prunes – Pagan Love Song (1982)

2 Live Crew – Get It Girl (1987)

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

Christian Death – Church Of No Return (1989)

Ofra Haza – Im Nin’Alu (1988)

Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam (1990)

Billy Idol – Dancing With Myself (1981)

Specimen – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (1983)

Fake – Another Brick (1985)

Laid Back – White Horse (1983)

Blancmange – Living On The Ceiling (1982)

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

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

Soft Cell – Sex Dwarf (1981)

Front 242 – Don’t Crash (1985)

Eric B. & Rakim – Paid In Full (1987)

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.

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.

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