welcome to the abyss

Category: Post-Punk (Page 1 of 4)

Why I Have Decided To Leave The Goth Subculture

Infamous 1940’s photo of Nazis marching through the town in which I now live.

I have decided to write this because I think it is important to lay out exactly why I have left a subculture that I have been a member of for over thirty years. This will be a warning to those who want to enter the subculture; the truth as to what is going on within it right now. I know I am not alone in this and that there are others who feel that the subculture is heading down a road in which there is no return; protecting those who have an ideology that wishes harm onto others within the subculture.

First I am going to give a history lesson as to what I went through and witnessed back in the late 80’s and the early 90’s as to show exactly where I am coming from. Back then I lived in the San Francisco East Bay and there was a sizeable and well known group of neo-Nazis called the WAR (white aryan resistance) skinheads. Led, and created, on the US West Coast by the now dead Tom Metzger their goal was to push their way into punk spaces and take them over. As you can imagine this did not go well for the WAR skins because the punks and SHARPS(skinheads against racial prejudice) fought them every step of the way and eventually drove them completely into extinction. However, there were some spaces that they were more successful, and that would be the alternative clubs in which the emerging goth scene morphed out of.

I am on the left in this photo that was taken at the alternative club The Twilight Zone in early 1991.

The Twilight Zone was an all ages alternative club in Alameda in the San Francisco East Bay and it ran from around 1987 to late 1992. Unfortunately it had a bit of a WAR skin problem. I was tiny back then and weighed 110 lbs soaking wet and I had a good sense as to what I should and shouldn’t do in such circumstances. You have got to understand just how violent the WAR skins were; they had actually killed people of colour in Portland Oregon and in Olympia Washington. So, they wouldn’t have hesitated to beat the shit out of me if I had confronted them on my own and nobody at that club probably would have stopped them because they simply couldn’t be bothered to do the right thing. Because of all of this I started to stay away from there and attended 924 Gilman, the punk club in Berkeley, instead.

924 Gilman has always been a volunteer run club and the dude who headed it at that time was African American. I, and others, told him what was going on at The Twilight Zone and he actually listened to us and took what we said seriously. Everybody at Gilman had experience dealing with the WAR skins. In fact I witnessed the whole club emptying out one time, chasing them down the street and then beating the crap out of them. So, he and some others, showed up one night at The Twilight Zone and just sat there as a group; watching and waiting. Since there were obviously no cell phones back then I think somebody went to a payphone, called up the WAR skins and told them to not show up that night. In fact the WAR skins never showed up there again because of this show of force. That is all the WAR skins understood, there was no talking to them because it was useless.

So, when I see literal white nationalist sympathizers such as Madi Danger being accepted as a ‘force of good’ within the goth subculture I understandably get upset. We went through this shit over thirty years ago and nothing was learned from it? Nothing was even learned from the whole Sonsombre incident? Some are calling me a hypocrite because I originally had defended Brandon Pybus of Sonsombre. However, the moment all of the evidence against him was brought together in an cohesive manner on video I stopped supporting the band, destroyed all of their merch and I even made a public apology on this blog about it. That is what adults do; apologize when they are wrong. The HUGE difference between the two scenarios is that white nationalist sympathizers, such as Madi Danger, knew exactly what kind of band Burzum was from the very beginning. They didn’t just stumble upon Burzum, they made a concerted effort to listen to them and support them.

The major reason I have decided to leave the subculture is because of all of this. I cannot in good conscience be a member of a subculture that excuses these kind of beliefs away as if they are nothing more than a bothersome mosquito. Anybody with a pair of eyes can see that there has been a HUGE uptick of racist white nationalists entering the subculture lately. Those who choose to ignore it and say nothing are just as horrible in my opinion. There is a saying that is very apt right now. If there are ten people sitting at a table hanging out with a Nazi then there are actually eleven Nazis sitting at that table. You are the company that you keep.

Another reason why I am leaving is because of the do nothing attitude that is very prevalent in the subculture right now when it comes to kicking out rapists, racists and various other pieces of shit. Even though there has been documented proof that bands such as She Wants Revenge and Bella Morte have sexual predator members within them they are still booked for shows and people still pay to see them. Complaints are still being made against people such as DJ Panic. He is allowed to be a booker and promoter of shows in the Washington DC area despite credible allegations of mental abuse, among other things. I had run-ins with that asshole twenty years ago and it fucking sickens me that people still refuse to lift a finger to stop him.

Proof that the goth band Ashes Fallen from Northern California are still supporting Madi Danger, even after being given information that the bitch is a white nationalist sympathizer.

The final reason I am leaving is because of all of those who talk the talk but straight up refuse to walk the walk when their help is needed. I left the Sounds & Shadows community on Facebook the other day because quite frankly I can no longer take the bullshit excuses as to why some people there refuse to lift a finger to challenge the rise of racist white nationalists within the subculture. Afraid that it might hurt the feelings of others? Do you know what? Fuck the feelings of racist white nationalist sympathizers and the people who coddle them. The thing that pushed me over the edge in that community? When one of the people in charge there got pissed off at me for tagging them in a post on my Facebook page all about how the band Ashes Fallen was supporting Madi Danger. There were screenshots and yet I am the bad person for pointing this crap out? How dare I prove my case! How…dare…I? Apparently staying friends with people who have very questionable morals is more important than supporting antifascists. Go figure.

A continuation of that conversation with Ashes Fallen, who claim that they don’t support white nationalism, all while supporting a proven white nationalist sympathizer.

I have MS so my health has actually been negatively affected by the stress of all of this crap going on. My health and life are more important than those of racist white nationalist sympathizers and those protecting them so I am bowing out. The paradox of tolerance states that once the intolerant are tolerated within a group of people the intolerant will quickly take over said group. That is what is happening right now to the subculture. I will still listen to and support certain bands, but I refuse to take an active part in a subculture who thinks so little of protecting its most marginalized members.

The end.

Madi Danger’s Goth Discord History Raises Some Red Flags/ Part 6

I stand with Suzi Sabotage.

Welcome to the very end of my series of articles all about Madi Danger’s very problematic, and now taken down, goth Discord server. If you have not read parts 1-5 I would suggest that you check them out because what happens in this article is the culmination of everything that had happened previously. The links for them will be at the bottom of this article. Just a warning, some of the screenshots in this article can be distressing to read. In the almost twenty-five years that I have been actively online I have never ever encountered somebody with so little self awareness. So, with that being said let us begin our journey!

We start off with the continuation of the paragraph that C had started at the end of the last article. They are correct, the issues that they and others had in that server were not just about politics. They complain to Madi about all of the crap that the moderator G has pulled; banning people for no reason, and deleting topics that the members thought were important. As you have read in the other articles every single time that somebody tried to start a post talking about how racism doesn’t belong in the goth subculture G would delete them. I am assuming that HK is J, Madi’s now husband. Again, C mentions how it was a bad idea for both G and R, a couple, to be moderators of the server together; they backed each other up and created drama where there wasn’t any. I have been in communities online in the past where this kind of crap happened and it always sucked big time. Madi’s moderators pretty much didn’t know how to properly run an online community and should never have been given that kind of power. Especially since Madi wanted that server to be a place for people to learn about the goth subculture. Madi, if you want people who don’t know that much about the true history of the goth subculture to be in charge like that then that reflects badly on you because you are the one who created that space. The people trying to claim that it had nothing to do with her are delusional as hell.

As I have stated before in an earlier article C makes an accusation that G said some anti-Semitic crap to somebody and then banned them. However, there is not a screenshot of this so I cannot verify this accusation. Judging from all of the racist white nationalist flags planted all over the place on the server it really wouldn’t be a stretch to believe that something like that happened though. Come to your own conclusion. This next part very much angers me because I was diagnosed with MS just over five years ago. If a moderator of an online community tried to tell me that I couldn’t ever talk about it until I was officially diagnosed there would have been hell to pay. Somebody seeking a tourettes syndrome diagnosis needs support from the community, not told to shush up about it until an official diagnosis is made. That is just straight up cruel. Again, there is no proof that this happened, but yet again it’s not a stretch to think that it could have occurred. C then tells Madi that they have actually done academic research into music subcultures; metal, goth and punk included. They are saying that to show Madi that they actually are knowledgable on the subject; some facets of which Madi cannot truly understand. Her lack of self awareness cripples her and holds her back from developing into a meaningful participant of the goth subculture. Remember, you crack open her frippery and she is hollow inside.

It is pretty telling how incensed Madi appears to be over C and the others not approving of the supposed ‘changes’ that were going to take place on the server. Obviously the only correct action that should have taken place after the accusations of G being racist should have been G getting insta-banned from the community. They should not have been coddled by Madi and the other mods. Madi and J’s new ‘rules’ come far too little far too late, and remember that banning G for all of this crap was immediately taken off the table even before the others shared screenshots proving what took place. J, Madi’s now husband, cared so much about the safety of the marginalized members of the community that they didn’t think that taking away G’s moderating duties was the right thing to do. Considering that Madi took that server down sometime after all of this took place is very, very telling; she did not want all of this news coming out and reaching the wider public. Remember, she is a goth grifter and wants to become an influencer so that she can make money off of the community and gain subculture clout. All the while not truly understanding how the subculture has always had political elements and is not welcoming of people who actively defend friends wearing Burzum shirts. ‘That’ screenshot is coming up in a few minutes, I promise!

Again, C apologizes to Madi for still talking about this. Madi is the one who should be apologizing to C and to all of the members of that community; since she was the founder of it she had an absolute duty to protect her marginalized fans from racist white nationalist rhetoric. Madi took that trust that they had in her and ground it into the ground with the broken heels of a pair of Demonia boots. C even tells her that they could send all of the screenshots to her of when J argued with them over the issues that C and the others came forward with. Those screenshots are included within my articles so you can read them for yourself.

How dare they assume that your husband is a cis male…how dare they! After all of this and she gets the most angry over that? Do you know why all four of them left Madi? Because both you and J did not take their complaints seriously…at all. She actually admitted that she saw those screenshots and yet she still thinks J handled it fairly?

C continues that paragraph trying again to tell Madi that their concerns are serious and that she should at least try to understand where they are coming from. However, what C doesn’t quite grasp or understand about Madi is that she totally lacks self awareness. She doesn’t listen to advice from others, instead she loves to skip down her own little yellow brick road that is tarnished with pieces of misinformation that are detrimental to both herself and her followers.

Now we come along to a different discussion that Madi initiates with C. If you remember C talked about some online encounters in their story, which occurred a bit after those on the server took place. It was about how both Madi, her husband and their friends stalked C’s comments on different social media sites for any mention of the events that had occurred on that server. Madi claims that C called her a racist even though they didn’t. I also have not stated that she is a racist in any of these articles so if she is saying that I did she is a liar. All C said was that they had heard about Madi defending a friend who was being racist by wearing a Burzum shirt, and that she was gaining a problematic reputation in the online goth community. For those of you who do not know about the black metal band Burzum, it is a band that was founded by the murdering racist white nationalist Varg Vikernes. So, if a person is wearing a shirt with this band’s name on it you can quite easily conclude that said person also has racist white nationalist sentiments. Don’t want to be seen as a racist piece of shit then don’t wear a shirt representing that band. However, Madi is a person who lacks self awareness so she doesn’t see how badly this in turn reflects upon her. You are the company that you keep.

Madi actually goes full on into defending her friend’s choice of wearing a Burzum shirt. It does in fact make your friend racist Madi, since Burzum is a band founded by a racist white nationalist. I don’t care what that murderer sings about in his band, he is still a racist white nationalist. Anything that Varg sonically touches should be avoided because who the hell wants to be affiliated or associated with that piece of shit? Oh, apparently Madi thinks that somebody who wears a bootleg Burzum shirt, and who listens to the music, couldn’t possibly be racist! Madi actually thinks that the ‘logic’ that C is presenting doesn’t add up? Wow! Through the years I have heard idiots say much the same thing about the racist white nationalist punk band Skrewdriver. People would say things like ‘their first album isn’t racist and it’s good’. That kind of crap. C already knows that the other mods of that community weren’t racist too? Madi, that logic that you are presenting doesn’t actually add up.

So, because Burzum’s lyrics, in Madi’s words, are about ‘nerdy shit and a little paganism’ there is no way that Burzum could be considered racist. I’ll let you ponder that for a few minutes. Burzum have never been an unknown underground band. In fact there have been books, films and documentaries that have shown Varg Vikernes to be a murdering racist piece of shit, and yet Madi somehow doesn’t think that listening to his music or wearing Burzum band shirts is in any way racist? C then goes into how multiple people have tried telling her to not defend such things and she just ignores them. I have actually seen her in action online ignoring people when they try to gently correct her about things like bands. For instance, when others told her that certain bands were post-punk and not goth, what does she do? Totally ignores them and then deletes their comments. That might appear to be a minor thing but she does this over and over and over again creating a huge snowball filled with misinformation that is hurtling towards baby bats looking to her for guidance into the subculture.

Just like C I don’t want my goth scene to be infested with racist white nationalists. Her behaviour in the face of all of these red flags in my opinion is very, very suspect. C is right, racists aren’t always the ones who say overtly racist things. A lot of people, including myself, learned that from the whole Sonsombre debacle that happened almost two years ago. We were all used to racist Nazi skinheads trying to barge their way into goth spaces, not somebody who dresses like us and who makes music that we like. To be truthful the blending in that Brandon Pybus attempted is what made me look sideways at Madi. Here is a twenty-six year old metalhead woman coming out of nowhere making videos about ‘goth’ music and the subculture while only having a shallow surface knowledge of the topics. People try to help her and warn her and she puts her fingers in her ears and acts like a a toddler having a tantrum. She is not the kind of person who should be allowed to sit down with baby bats and tell them about the subculture, because she herself is tone deaf and lacks any kind of self awareness. That was the last screenshot in the info dump, but I took a very interesting screenshot the other day of something I found on Google when I typed in ‘madi danger burzum’.

Above is that screenshot in all of its glory. Spotify is notorious for being very slow when it comes to updating playlists and the information contained within them. See that black metal playlist that Madi has? Well, she apparently at some point had at least two different Burzum songs on it. I have underlined them in green. Sometime between then and now she took those songs off of her playlist because if you look at the current version of it they are nowhere to be seen. Did Madi wise up and finally realise that listening to that music made her look like a racist, or did she take them down because she didn’t want people going after her for liking the music of a racist white nationalist? Since Madi lacks any sort of self awareness I’m guessing that she got tired of people not believing her insipid explanations.

If you are online friends with her and are just finding out about all of this information I know how much it sucks when you put your trust in somebody and they betray it. It is never an easy thing to go through. The best way to move on from something like this is to see it as a lesson learned and to grow from there.

There are people and bands online trying to make me out as some sort of villain, that I am ‘bullying’ poor little innocent Madi. It is really obvious to me that they have not read any of my articles and probably never will; they are blinded by all of Madi’s frippery. Do you know what is even more sad than that though? The fact that none of these people learned any lessons from the Sonsombre incident. After a week I am going to make a list of every band and every ‘influencer’ who is still supporting her and put it on this blog. Why? Because others deserve to know the names of those who think that Madi listening to and supporting Burzum is just peachy-keen and a joke. EDIT: After talking to a friend I have decided to be more forgiving to people in this situation, especially to those same people who never forgave me in the Sonsombre conflict. Sometimes you get taken in by somebody and even though shown some evidence your mind can’t quite grasp what is really happening and you just can’t believe that somebody would betray you like that. If you want to talk and try to hash something out I am here and open to having a conversation.

EDIT: I totally forgot to thank all of the people before me who tried to make this information about Madi Danger known to everybody but who were shut down by threats of violence, among other things. All of you deserved to be believed by everybody, instead of being ignored by the majority. I did this partially for you so that you could have some justice. I have your back.

Again, I want to give a big huge shout-out to those who have been supporting me behind the scenes and whom I know have my back. Thank you so very much! I feel very proud to have you as friends. xxxx

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Madi Danger’s Goth Discord History Raises Some Red Flags/Part 2

I stand with Woody Guthrie!

Hello, welcome back to my series of articles about the troubled history of Madi Danger’s goth Discord server. If you are new here the first article in this series can be found HERE. I was so overwhelmed with all of the information that I found regarding this that I didn’t really get into the reason why she originally piqued my interest. What did she do to get my knickers in such a twist? The fact that she pretty much came out of nowhere and started making misinformed videos about the goth subculture in general; she was presenting herself as some sort of self appointed expert about the subculture. Yet apparently nobody really knew who she was before she arrived. She is basically a goth grifter, and you can read more of my assessment right HERE. All of the screenshots below are a continuation of the ones found in my last article. Again, they are in the order in which I found them.

Your political beliefs have nothing to do with the server or why you are there? Why is G so damn adamant as to why he doesn’t want to answer a simple question? Could it be because he has some racist white nationalist views? There is no other logical reason for it. Seriously. This is a giant red flag, that if it was planted on the moon you would be able to see it without a telescope. C is absolutely in the right here and they fully deserve to know if that space contains people with racist white nationalist views. They don’t want to be victimized because those type of assholes love to bully, harass and threaten people like them. Yeah dude, it is Madi’s server and your refusal to answer a basic question about your beliefs when it comes to racist white supremacist ideology speaks volumes about who you are in my honest opinion.

Holy shit this asshole! It’s really obvious that G is still not wiling to answer that same simple question, and then he quips about not recruiting for a ‘Aryan Super Soldier program’? Again, C asks G if he is a Nazi sympathizer. I applaud C for taking a stand against all of this and for having the courage to keep fighting the good fight. Jello Biafra would be proud of them.

It all moves to the music section, in which both moderators G and R try to shut down C’s concern as to how the Discord channel is run. As a person who used to be a mod for the largest punk community on Facebook I have to say that the power-tripping that these moderators are displaying is a bit over the top. Instead of answering simple questions they choose to just shut down conversations. As a moderator I would never dismiss somebody’s concerns, because if they are getting to the point of complaining about something then it is important to them. It wouldn’t be fair for me to do nothing about it. Where there is smoke there is usually a fire of some sort, so it is always important to look into it.

Back to the general channel we go! How the hell does asking a moderator a simple question about their beliefs, when it comes to racist white nationalism, become a problem on an all ages server? Deflection is never a good look, just answer the damn question! C answers back that they have been getting messages from others in the server who are also concerned and feeling uncomfortable. I don’t blame them because even seven months after the fact I am feeling uncomfortable as hell reading G’s dismissive comments.

Fucking hell! Isn’t R just a pleasant person; telling C to leave if they feel uncomfortable instead of tackling the issues going on. Who knew that asking somebody about their political beliefs would be controversial? R and G can dance around the question all they want, but it’s as if they have opened a red flag factory and are planting them all over that server.

C goes to town and makes perfect sense. How the hell is a marginalized person supposed to feel safe in an online community when the moderators refuse to answer a very simple and serious question?

C goes on to describe the entire situation that has been allowed to take place on the server. Then one of Madi’s deluded fans tries to deflect by saying that there are a lot of Nazi punk bands. Said by a person who obviously doesn’t have a clue about the punk subculture and its history of not tolerating right winged ideologies. C sets them straight, and of course they are correct.

This new participant, let’s call them Z, is absolutely correct in their sentiment because this is indeed how racist white nationalists act. They wiggle their way into subcultures, dress like members of it and then when they feel safe and protected they start using dog whistles to test out the waters. If nobody confronts them they then think that they can get away with anything. Most of the time they are easy to spot, and if you have been around for decades in different subcultures, like I have, you will see this sort of thing happen time and time again. It is why there has always been a tradition of beating the crap out of them when they are found. I actually witnessed this first hand over thirty years ago at the punk club 924 Gilman in Berkeley. A group of WAR(white aryan resistance) skins tried to push their way into Gilman and the entire club emptied and gave chase to them down the street. I wanted to join in but the volunteer who used to help run the club held me back because they said I could get killed. My fellow punks beat the shit out of them and they didn’t come back. Hooray!

I feel Z’s frustration when it comes to this entire situation. I too am tired of seeing this kind of crap happening yet again. They even suggest starting another Discord channel and inviting Madi to it so that they can discuss this situation with her away from the moderators. Making jokes about literal Nazi sympathizers in this kind of situation is indeed not funny and it raises yet more red flags.

Z again makes excellent points. Their assessment of G at the end is a logical one to make given the circumstances.

A history lesson by Z about why fascists have always managed to squirm their way into both the industrial and goth subcultures. It’s because some people in the subcultures have always adopted historically fascist looking fashion. The actual fascists see this and think that their views will be accepted into the subcultures. This is the main reason why I never got into that kind of fashion, because it just looks way too close to Nazi uniforms for my comfort.

This is the continuation of that same paragraph. Z is right in saying that the original reason why the early punks adopted Nazi imagery was to piss of their parents and the general public who all worshipped the Allied victory in WW2. They were basically being edgelords, and Siouxsie has apologized for her own part in it. Real actual fascists from metal, punk and other subcultures come into the goth community because they think that historically goths accept everybody and are not political.

Yet another continuation of the paragraph that Z wrote. They go into how online goth communities don’t push back against fascism hard enough, which leaves an opening for the fascists to sneak in under the guise of ‘acceptance’. No, the goth community is not obliged to accept fascists into the community because such people should by be punched. Remember it is a time honoured tradition.

A third moderator, who we will call J, enters the fray. C thinks this is Madi’s now husband, BUT they also hinted that they think this may actually be Madi herself. I have no idea either way so jump to your own conclusions when it comes to this.

After this series of articles about what happened seven months ago I was going to take a peak at the current state of her goth Discord channel, but I learned from a friend that she took the server down sometime between then and now. I guess she thought that people would forget what happened or something equivalent to that? I have no clue.

So this will be the end of the second part of my series. The next article, part three, will be published on Friday the 20th. Thank you for reading!

Part 1

Part 3

Part 4

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.

Thoughts On The Goth Grifter

Wednesday, the latest image that the goth grifter is poaching.

I can hear you asking, what is a goth grifter? To put it simply it is somebody using the goth subculture in order to make money, receive free gifts, or to gain popularity in ‘alternative’ subculture circles in general. Through my years of listening to goth and punk music and participating in various ‘scenes’ I have seen my fair share of them so it is fairly easy for me to root them out. All of the information included in this article is public and quite easy to find so I didn’t have to dig far to get any of it.

One year ago Madi Danger thought that all post-punk music was goth, as evidenced above. EDIT: As of 15/01 she has taken down my comment. Too late Madi, too late!!!!!

The most recent really obvious case that has totally jump started me into finally writing about this is the mysterious appearance of the self proclaimed metal and goth music lover Madi Danger. I first saw her on YouTube last year when she made a ‘intro to goth music’ video that misrepresented Echo &The Bunnymen and Joy Division both as goth bands. I corrected her just on the Bunnymen inclusion, because I didn’t feel like being called a gatekeeper. She came back with the whole ‘post-punk is a genre under the goth umbrella’ fallacy. I automatically thought that she must be really young to think that since it is surface level misinformation. Somebody older and wiser would know differently. Well, guess what? Imagine my surprise when I found out that she was twenty-four years old when she wrote the above misinformation.

The question that immediately comes to my mind is why would a fully grown ass woman in her mid-twenties suddenly hitch her trailer to the goth subculture? She obviously knows a whole lot about metal music and is a big fan of that genre. Yet, she all of a sudden likes goth and wants to share her surface level knowledge of it with everybody? It just really feels inauthentic, like she is hitching her identity now to ‘goth’ because it is what is very popular. She has the teased hair, the clothes, and all of the frippery, but it’s just really a shell that is easily cracked. She is using goth as an additive to her already metal identity, to gain more attention and more of a following. You know what? I wouldn’t hold anything against her at all if she was a youngster, but she is now twenty-six years old. This is a grift for subculture clout, and a painfully obvious one at that.

They quite frequently will call themselves a ‘trad goth’, which always makes me roll my eyes.

The next kind of goth grifter that I have run into a lot online are the ones who call themselves ‘trad goth’. They think that calling themselves such will gain them more goth community clout since the goth grifter feels that anything out of the 80’s is cool. They copy what they think the 80’s were like, but since they weren’t even born in that decade it just comes across as really shallow and reeks of desperation. They want what the 80’s produced, such as goth music, without any of the hardships that the people who actually went through that decade lived through. It’s the exact same crap as the wannabe hippies of the late 80’s; people longing for a decade, which in reality, they probably would not have fit into.

They link to an Amazon wish-list, because of course they do.

The goth grifter doesn’t really have any shame and will usually openly advertise their Amazon wish-list as the person above has done. They do this, of course, to receive free products. My huge question about this is why the heck do they think that they deserve free merch from complete strangers? What are they producing that is so damn special that they think that they deserve these goods? It takes some ego to think that their contribution to the goth subculture is that important and that worthy of attention, when in fact the information they share is usually limited and based off of misinformation. So instead of helping the subculture they hinder it, because all of the youngsters who follow these grifters head down the same path of outright lies and half truths. It’s a goth circle jerk.

Your ‘goth queen’? Oh FFS.

I feel kind of bad for calling out this particular person in the last three photos but they embody so perfectly the point I am making. I have been running this blog as a hobby for over two years now and never once did I think that it would be okay for me to throw up an Amazon wish-list so that I could get free crap. In fact I do not make a dime at all from doing any of this. I do this because I love both the goth and punk subcultures and want to share real information, not half truths and lies that I have pulled out of my ass. I was actually a teen in the 80’s who lived through that decade not somebody playing 80’s dress-up for cash and prizes.

Because of the mainstream popularity of the series Wednesday you now have numerous goth grifters who think that dressing in black and copying a dance makes them automatically a goth. It reminds me of when Mansonites in the 90’s did the same exact crap; copying an image that they think gives them an entryway into the goth subculture, when in reality the opposite is true. When people try so hard to match an image is just reeks of desperation. How is any of this different from the endless grifting that the Kardashians do on social media? It’s done for the exact same reason; to be popular despite not having a discernable talent. Oh wow, you can buy some black clothes online and do over the top ‘goth’ make-up. In the words of Teddy Roosevelt; bully for you. You don’t deserve special treatment for it, or over the top praise for doing what thousands have done before you.

What is the best thing you can do? Not give money or gifts to any of these goth grifters. Within a few years they will more than likely drop out of the subculture and pivot to another grift. Remember Sebastian Columbine? No? My point exactly.

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.

My Responses To The ‘Goth Tag’ Questions

That is me on the left in early 1991. I’ve posted this photo before but it is one of the only photos of myself that I have from back then. I didn’t like having my photo taken.

I have seen these questions making the rounds all over social media and I thought I would join in since my answers will be a bit different compared to a lot of the other answers I have seen. This is due to being old and also being heavily into punk music.

1. How long have I been goth? My area of the San Francisco East Bay did not start using the word until around 90-91. Some of my favourite bands in high school in the late 80’s, that are considered goth, were Specimen, Siouxsie And The Banshees, The Cure, Gene Loves Jezebel and The Cult. So I have been listening to the music since about 1986. During that time I also loved U2 and The Dead Kennedys so musically I was all over the place. I didn’t call myself a goth until about 92 because the people who used the term first in my area were the uber goobers and I did not want to be lumped in with them. They took themselves way too seriously, which I never did. I have also always had a foot in the punk subculture.

2. How was I introduced to goth? Nobody sat me down and told me what to listen to or how to dress. There was no internet, of course, and it could be kind of difficult to find out about bands. At the first high school I went to I was the only person in my friend group who listened to the music, and they thought the music was too weird. There was a Bay Area ‘modern rock’ station during that time that would play the more obscure stuff late at night and that’s how I learned about a few of them . At my second high school there were more weirdos, and some of them were quite helpful with bands. Back then the term ‘post-punk’ wasn’t used at all in my area, rather all weirdo music, except for punk of course, was called ‘alternative’ or ‘modern rock’. The term ‘alternative’ was ruined by the mainstream record labels who used it for grunge in their attempt to sell ‘weirdo’ music to the masses.

3. What gothic subgenre would you put yourself in? If you regularly read this blog then you know how much I dislike all of the ‘goth type’ crap. It originated as a joke in the 90’s, making fun of the stereotypes seen in clubs. For whatever reason a lot of younger folks, and some deluded old ones, feel the need to fit themselves into a box. I do tend to listen to a lot of deathrock music, probably more-so than any other ‘type’ but I refuse to call myself ‘deathrock’ because there is more to me than just one form of music, and I refuse to box myself in just to please others.

4. What do you believe to be the bases(basis) of the gothic subculture? First, I would love to point out how the person who wrote out these questions uses both the terms ‘goth’ and ‘gothic’. We used to always use both of the terms interchangeability way back when but now ‘gothic’ means spooky architecture, while ‘goth’ means the subculture. I think the basis of the subculture is the music more than anything else. Without the music there wouldn’t be a subculture. Period. The clothes and make-up are secondary. Anybody who calls themselves goth but who doesn’t listen to actual goth bands is more than likely a trend whore; a person who jumps from trend to trend. Since the term has been super popular in the mainstream for the last few years there are quite a few of these people floating around all wearing the same really shit Demonia boots and the same kind of outfits. I find them all boring, but it is rather entertaining when these fashion victims bitch about their Demonias falling apart within a week of wearing them.

5. What do I dislike about being goth? I know that a lot of goth women bitch about being sexually harassed by men who think all goth women are kinky, but that hasn’t happened to me at all in real life. I think it’s mainly because I look older and use a cane. There are some upsides to being diseased and middle aged. There really isn’t anything that I dislike since I am in my own bubble of existence. I am just me being me.

6. What do your parents think of it? My mom was with me when I got my first undercut in 88, so she has always been very supportive of me and has said that if she had been my age she would also be goth. I have a cool mom. My dad died back in 85. I honestly think that his death had a lot to do with me becoming a weirdo. I was already an outcast for being poor and having a dead parent so morphing into a goth/punk weirdo wasn’t a huge step for me to take. In fact just about everybody into goth/punk music back then was some sort of societal reject.

7. Eyebrows or no eyebrows? Eyebrows, because I look like crap with them shaved off.

8. What is my favourite band? I have a holy trinity of all time favourite bands; Samhain, Christian Death (mostly Valor) and The Dead Kennedys (Jello only). Those three groups have probably influenced me more than anything else. I actually got to tell Valor that in person the other month which was cool as hell. Uber goober Rozz fanatics may get mad at me for liking Valor’s music more than the music of Rozz but I just don’t give a shit. Seriously. Stay angry and irrational over something that happened about 40 years ago, it’s entertaining.

9. My opinion on Marilyn Manson? This question is a bit young for me since I was already in my twenties when he reared his very ugly head. I remember seeing people younger than me at the clubs in the late 90’s trying to look like him and it was hysterically funny. The fact that it came out that he is an abusive asshole didn’t come as a shock to me. In the wise words of Jello Biafra:

You ain’t hardcore ’cause you spike your hair

When a jock still lives inside your head

10. What were my baby bat days like? I didn’t really experience that because I was so all over the place musically. However, it kind of sucked being into both punk and goth bands at the same time back over 30 years ago because according to some people I was too punk for goth and too goth for punk. The punk subculture was way more welcoming to me and I actually gained the nickname Vampira because of dressing in all black and loving the Misfits, Samhain and Danzig. It was actually a bit tough being a woman into those three bands back then; they were considered ‘guy’ bands because of the violent imagery and horror content of the songs. I have always been into horror and sci-fi films and novels so I identified very heavily with those bands and they spoke to me a lot. Kids these days get into the fashion first and then the music, but back then it was the opposite. I listened to goth and punk music first and then slowly started dressing ‘dark’. Even back then I did a lot of DIY type projects so I always painted my own leather jackets and upcycled clothing. However, there was a US clothing chain called Contempo Casuals who sold a whole lot of weirdo friendly clothing. Just about every single person I knew back then had a least a few pieces of clothing by them. I had a pair of black crushed velvet leggings from there that lasted me about ten years. No joke! So the older people in the US saying that all they did was thrift is a total lie, and they know it. I even found a long multi-layer black lace skirt in a regular mall store back then.

So, that is it! I hope you had as much fun reading this as I had writing it. As you can see my experiences are a bit different since I was also into punk and got into the music first. It was a road of discovery for me, not a destination. Especially considering that the term ‘goth’ wasn’t even used in my area until after I was already listening to the music.

Concert Review: Christian Death At The Underworld In London 31/08/22

Going to this show was kind of like a pilgrimage for me because I had not seen the band live for about 25 years. This was due to a combination of living in places were bands generally don’t stop at and being perpetually broke. I saw them live twice in the 90’s when I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area so I at least got to see them perform before. I know how lucky I was. I currently live in the UK Channel Islands, which is far from just about everything. This means to see shows in England I have to fly into London, which isn’t exactly cheap. So for me to see a show there I have to really, really, really, etc.. be a huge fan of the band I am flying to see. Just saying this so that you know the viewpoint I am coming from; I am a huge fan of the band. I was diagnosed with MS about five years ago and I decided that I needed to see them again because I have no idea how physically screwed up I’m going to be in the future.

My husband and I were in the front of the line to get in, of course, and I met some very cool people and had some really good conversations about the band, the current state of goth music, the Dead Kennedys, Samhain and other subjects. I have forgotten their names because I suck in general at remembering such things so please do not be mad at me if you guys are reading this. You guys were awesome and it was very cool connecting with other people at a show.

The first band up was a duo named the West Wickhams who played a minimalist type of music consisting of guitar, a drum machine and some synth manipulation. I have to be honest, I am not the hugest fan of this type of goth music. However, the guitarist/singer was so earnest that they had me tapping my feet. That actually counts for a lot when you see bands live because you can instantly tell that they are really into performing their music and that they want you to go down a road of discovery with them. I hope that they keep at it and continue to do shows because their lyrics were really good.

Ghost Dance was up next and they were very energetic and looked like they were having fun. I only knew a few songs by them but they had me up from my seat and dancing, holding the railing for safety because my right ankle tends to give out on me. Anne Marie looked like she was having a great time and she interacted with the audience a bunch as evidenced by the photo above. She had some tech issues with her mic during the first song but that was sorted out and didn’t affect the performance at all. Their last song was Promised Land, which was a song that she originally performed with her earlier band Skeletal Family. I totally wasn’t expecting that so it was very cool hearing it performed live. Their performance was very good and if you have a chance to see them go for it because you will have a good time and not be disappointed.

Up next was Christian Death. Before they went on they had issues trying to set up their video on the screen that would be shown behind them. They ended up just removing the screen, which in the end didn’t really matter because their performance would have been great with or without it. I love their new album Evil Becomes Rule and they pretty much played the entire thing. The first two times I saw them there wasn’t a second guitarist so it was very cool getting to see both Maitri and Valor concentrate more on their parts within the songs. It enabled Maitri to put more emotion into singing songs such as Beautiful and it really showed off her vocals to a degree that I had never heard live before. In other words she was totally on fire during the show and she was more front and center than usual.

Valor also put on a really good performance because he got to concentrate on his singing and playing rhythm guitar instead of stretching himself too thin by playing lead guitar constantly. That is not to say that he didn’t play lead guitar at all, it just allowed him more of a choice as to what parts he wanted to perform. He has always been an excellent guitarist so I have absolutely no complaints about his playing at all. He even played some acoustic guitar which was very cool. Their other guitarist was Chuck Lenihan who also did an excellent job, along with their new drummer.

When you go to a Christian Death show you know that you are going to hear Valor railing against politicians, religion and the British royal family, and this show was no different. I actually really appreciate that side of his performance because too few musicians are using their platforms to say such things. He has always been outspoken and it is one of the reasons why I have always loved the band. It harkens back to how political punk was in the 80’s and it really shows the connection that he has always had with that music and subculture.

After they were done with playing the album they dove straight into Forgiven, This Glass House and then Sick Of Love. The audience was bouncing all over the place and there was such energy that you couldn’t help but join in. The audience was part of the reason that the show was so good. You could tell that all of them were into the music, and it was very awesome to see some teenagers in the audience also having a great time.

This next part still has me tripping out so please forgive me if I babble a bit about it and get disjointed. After Sick Of Love they left the stage for about five minutes and then came back out for an encore. I was very near the left hand side of the stage which was on the same level above the crowd. When Maitri came out she made a beeline towards me to the other side of the railing and asked if I was Megan. I responded that yes I was and she told me to come around the railing and get on stage with them. I was so surprised that I forgot my walking stick. I told her when I went around the curtain to the stage that I might fall and she said not to worry and reassured me that I would be okay. That relaxed me a bit which helped with my nervousness and it was a very sweet thing for her to say. I stood next to her while she told the crowd that I flew in from Guernsey; that I was a very supportive fan who defended them online and that I was very much appreciated for what I was doing for the band.

As you can well imagine by this point I was borderline teary but then something really astonishing happened. They announced that because of all of this I was going to get to join them in singing This Is Heresy as their encore. Holy shit! HOLY SHIT!!! I am not the greatest singer but by golly I belted my heart out! There were parts that I just let Valor sing because I previously knew that in live performances he sometimes goes off pace. However, by the last part of the song I was yelling ‘Soaked in the blood of men, not the body of Christ!’. After the end I gave them hugs, exited the stage and went to the merch area to wait for them there because they told the audience that they would come out for photos and autographs. Sure enough they did. My husband took a video on his camera of all of this, so once he figures out how to transfer it to me I will upload it in a new post.

I cannot overstate how much of a sweetheart Maitri is. She thanked me yet again, we got some more hugs in and I left her side just insanely happy knowing that I was able to make a difference as to how she is perceived as a musician.

Valor was absolutely no different. He is also a very nice and friendly person. We got to talking and I asked him if he had ever met Jello Biafra back in the early 80’s because there was a whole lot of cross pollination when it came to punk/deathrock type bands between San Francisco and Los Angeles during that time. Sure enough he told me about a car trip he took back then with Jello to San Francisco from Los Angeles. It made perfect sense since as songwriters they both write songs about pretty much the same topics. I mentioned Jello to Valor because him and Jello are the two lyricists who largely made me into who I am today; somebody who heavily questions politicians, religions and other such things. He was very grateful towards me for telling him that, which in turn meant a lot to me. The circle of life.

Without a doubt Valor and Maitri are the nicest musicians I have ever met. That is saying something because I met Henry Rollins over thirty years and he was a very cool person too. They definitely edge Rollins out to take the top spot on my list. If you have a chance to see this band live go for it because you will not be disappointed by their performance or by who they are as human beings.

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.

EMERGENCY BROADCAST ALERT: KILLSTAR HAS BLOCKED ME ON FACEBOOK!!!!

You read that correctly, I have been blocked by Killstar so that I can no longer comment, or even give a a laugh reaction on their Facebook page. Gee I wonder who else has done that to me before? Scammers that I report to Facebook. What do private equity firms love to do? Scam people. So, thank you Killstar for proving me right. By the way, here is a link to that article that has them so angry with me, and why they blocked me on Facebook. I’M NOT BACKING DOWN KILLSTAR!

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