don't you tell me how i feel.

paging ian curtis by v
November 13, 2013, 7:10 am
Filed under: creepy in an awesome way, gothy shit, New music, Shit I Like

Holy Joy Division, Soviet Soviet.


flashback friday: “every day is halloween” by v
November 1, 2013, 7:22 am
Filed under: angsty boy alert, creepy in an awesome way, gothy shit, Shit I love | Tags:

Sadly, there’s no video to go along with today’s holiday flashback, but if it existed, I imagine it would involve lots of moody, soft-focus shots of smeared black eyeliner. Also, velvet.

For the uninitiated, allow me to cite the terse and (I suspect) entirely earnest Wikipedia entry on Ministry’s synthy little goth anthem:

“‘(Every Day Is) Halloween’ is a 1984 single by Ministry, re-released in 2010. The title and lyrics refer to goth subculture, particularly clothing, such as in the passage ‘I dress this way just to keep them at bay.’ It also questions the intolerance and lack of acceptance for others who are different.”

What it doesn’t mention is Cuban-born Al Jourgensen’s ridiculous faux-British accent, oh-so-critical to the song’s appeal.

cover of the day by v
October 9, 2013, 7:16 am
Filed under: covers, creepy in an awesome way, moody, New music, Shit I Like | Tags: ,

Anyone who dares cover a Smiths song has some nerve, but if you’re going for it, you might as well go big — in the case of Ebony Bones, get the London Children’s Choir to perform “What Difference Does it Make,” lending an even more horror-film-like cast to an already sinister song (and that’s to say nothing of the whistling). I was skeptical at first, but she won me over. If you were into Dead Man’s Bones, I suspect you’ll like this.

Moz, on the other hand, will likely have a different perspective.

flashback friday: “sweet dreams” by v
September 13, 2013, 7:22 am
Filed under: 80s, catchy as hell, creepy in an awesome way, flashback friday, Shit I Like

While in a cab last Saturday, a friend asked everyone to name one song in life they’d never gotten sick of. Without missing a beat, the driver chose “Sweet Dreams.” Although I don’t necessarily agree that I’d NEVER get sick of the Eurythmics’ 1983 breakthrough, it does have a certain timeless quality — the now-classic synth breakdown, the stunningly genderless vocal. And of course, that androgyny was played to the hilt in the video, which finds Annie Lennox and David Stewart bringing sharp suits and unnerving intensity to boardrooms and cow pastures.

As you may recall, this was later covered by Marilyn Manson in 1995 — a trudging, bilious version that, unlike the original, does not bear repeating.

mr. ed by v


This weekend I saw Ed Schrader’s Music Beat — the Baltimore duo who I praised on this blog not long ago — at 285 Kent in Brooklyn, which was as bizarre and riveting a show as expected. The band was second to last, sandwiched between headliner Ceremony, who I’d never heard of and didn’t stick around for, and Give, who were busy making everyone miserable when we arrived. Give were a clear grunge-era throwback, a bunch of guitar-wielding dudes in long hair and shorts thrashing around behind a singer whose range was limited, to put it nicely. I wish I’d left for the show about 20 minutes later, but Schrader, thankfully, didn’t disappoint.

Their setup is deceptively simple: Schrader plays a single drum that he lights from below, giving his face that classic haunted-flashlight effect. For accompaniment, there’s bassist Devlin Rice, shouting along as needed. At first glance, both look like they just got off of a shift at Kinko’s — Schrader with his tucked-in polo shirt, Rice in nerdy glasses. But the instant soundcheck ended, you could tell this was no joke.

Schrader slams out beats and sings with near-scary concentration, each song an intense sub-three-minute burst. It’s clear that much of the band’s appeal comes from Schrader’s theatricality (unblinking eyes and lots of shamanlike hand motions) and chameleonlike voice, which shifts seamlessly from a punk shout to a low, slow rumble. A man with a lesser set of pipes — or one who broke character, ever — couldn’t pull this off.

On another throwback note, during their set I found myself (inadvertently) in the middle of a mosh pit for the first time in years. Ugh.

More Ed Schrader here

flashback friday: “tear you apart” by v

Back in 2006, She Wants Revenge released “Tear You Apart,” notable for its manic Ian Curtis-like delivery and hilariously specific lyrics about high-school obsession (“There’s always repercussions when you’re dating in school” — so practical). Of course, the band name and album cover also worked seamlessly to support the notion of being completely off the rails.

What’s happened since? Perhaps the image was too one-note to keep up, but the group hasn’t done much that I’m aware of in the intervening years, and they’ve been on indefinite hiatus since 2012.

Fun fact: Joaquin Phoenix directed the music video, set at a school dance and rife with teenage alienation. Also, communism. Maybe.

wax idols, shea stadium by v

Every so often, you’re lucky enough to see a show that transcends instrument-playing and becomes some sort of musical exorcism. Of course, it helps if the bands in question lean noisy-slash-goth. Such was the case with Wax Idols and TV Ghost, who played the last show of their tour Saturday night at Shea Stadium (not the former home of the Mets, but a cheekily named warehouse space on a desolate Bushwick street).

I mentioned my newfound love for Wax Idols here recently, and am happy to report that they were every bit as no-bullshit rock-and-roll as their record promised, even with a substitute bassist (in an Iggy Pop tank top, naturally). Frontwoman Hether Fortune’s onstage presence was so fierce, I was actually scared to take any photos, lest she shoot me the same evil eye the photographer dude in front of me got — hence the pictureless post. Truly a lady after my own heart.

Opener TV Ghost was the ideal complement to the Idols’ moody sound, with singer/guitarist Tim Gick nearly swallowing his microphone and/or writhing on the floor as he wailed, red-faced, over end-of-the-world guitars. I realize that sounds pretentious, but I actually suspect that he (and Fortune, for that matter) is the same person offstage as on–no posturing here.