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December 2018 New Dark Age

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,live music,New Dark Age Monthly,Reviews — doktorjohn December 5, 2018 @ 7:37 pm

VNV Nation at Irving Plaza

Nov 24, 2018

Hamburg Germany-based electronic music project VNV Nation (“Victory Not Vengeance”) fronted by Dublin-born singer-songwriter Ronan Harris continued their 2018 tour with a performance to a packed and enthusiastic audience at NYC’s Irving Plaza in support of their latest album, “Noire.” They are famous for idealistic themes bordering on the sentimental and for passionate anthems.

New Dark Age doesn’t attend VNV shows because of Ronan’s unwarranted and incessant talking instead of singing, but we interviewed scene celebrity and event promoter, Lady Zombie, a big fan, who was attending her third VNV concert. She found the synth-wavers openers, The Rain Within, to be an awesome stand-alone act, capable of pulling off an amusing cover of Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” They were followed by Holygram, updated post-punks from Cologne, Germany whom she described as having “an 80s goth sound.”

VNV opened with the ominous-sounding “A Million” from their new album followed by “Retaliate” from their “Transnational” (2013) album, then went back to the new album with “Armour” which features soaring, heartening melody and lyrics.

Ronan was loquacious as always, expressing his love of New York and imploring the crowd to put their phones down and to sing along.

They hit a couple more tracks from the “Noire” album, concentrating their set on their fans’ beloved favorites from their historic body of work. Thus, “Space and Time,” “Farthest Star,” “Chrome” — Lady Zombie’s favorite — and “Resolution” were included in the regular set. After nineteen songs they took a break and the crowd chanted “VNV! VNV!” prompting a return, starting with “Nova,” the first of the three encores which concluded the show with “All Our Sins” from “Noire.”

An official afterparty was held at the Pyramid club at which Ronan and the opening bands socialized with the fans.
VNV Nation at Irving Plaza
Nov 24, 2018

Light Asylum at Synthicide

Brooklyn Bazaar
Nov 29 2018

And Harriman’s club night Synthicide hosted a performance by Brooklyn-based electro-darkwave band Light Asylum on Thursday night, Nov 29. Normally residing monthly at the Bossa Nova Civic Club, Synthicide was held this time in the underground space of Brooklyn Bazaar to a packed, sold-out audience.

The focus of Synthicide is on electronic music with frequent live acts, as on this occasion. The opening group was Ghost Cop, a spacey duo consisting of Lucy Swope and Sean Dack. Early in their performance they were joined by some technical and musical assistants who worked multiple sound boards and keyboards producing compellingly rhythmic, sometimes brutal noise, with some pre-recorded samples as well as, pleasurable, echoic, sung vocals.

Next up, androgynous synth wave duo Korine, from Philadelphia, now frequent flyers in the NY/NJ metropolitan area and coming off their well-received shows at Stimulate the week before as well as the Human Music Synthwave Festival in May of this year, put on an excellent example of that style. This was my fourth time seeing Korine and I had an impression that the they came across like New Order might have sounded if Ian Curtis had survived to sing for them.

Between the acts, hostess Andi Harriman manned the turntables with powerful, danceable tracks, but the packed crowd had little space to move other than to sway side-to-side or bob up and down. precisely because no one was giving up their place for viewing the upcoming, headline act, Light Asylum.

Led by female vocalist Shannon Funchness and accompanied by pre-recorded electro-industrial tracks, Light Asylum burst right on with the first five tracks from their eponymous album. “Hour Fortress” was followed by he funky “Pope Will Roll,” then “IPC.” The next song, “Heart of Dust” has a discordant and erratic vocal quality with a harshness reminiscent of Nitzer Ebb. So did the next track, “At Will,” also from the album.

A couple more tracks from that album were performed, and attention was turned to the “In Tension” EP, concluding with the overwhelming favorite “Dark Allies.” This masterpiece features bizarre minimalism combined with perverse gospel vocals that highlight Shannon’s frenzied, baritonal voice. The crowd of twenty-something Brooklyn goths and hipsters went wild.

The Red Party

Mercury Lounge
Sat Nov 10

The Red Party hosted the dark rock duo the Long Losts who performed selections from their album “Scary Songs to Play in the Dark.” Guest DJ Valefar Malefic joined regulars Jarek Zelazny and Sean Templar playing goth, death rock, post punk and cold wave.

QXT’s in Newark
Nov 16, 2018


The mid-November weekend was eventful at the premier alternative club in the metropolitan area, QXT’s in Newark. Friday Nov 16 saw an early evening presentation of Diva Burlesque, produced by Lady J in an effort at reproducing the atmosphere of early 20th Century strip tease in the tradition of Newark’s Empire live vaudeville theater.

At 10 pm, the dance area took off with a night dubbed “Cure/Mode” with emphasis on the repertoire of those two iconic post-punk bands and other 80s standards in the deejays’ sets. In Area 51 the theme was “Shelter” where one could hear German Industrial Techno, Danish Electro, French Industrial and more new contemporary artists.

Nov 17, 2018 saw Green Jello headline a list of live bands which included the Gothsicles, Singaya and the Broken Co., following which noted DJ Aengel joined forces with QXT’s regular DJ Mindsolvent for an edition of Blasphemy, the original goth and dark dance party on the main floor with the likes of Peter Murphy’s dance-conducive “Indigo Eyes.” Downstairs in Area 51 there was a variety of music with the likes of And One and Project Pitchfork, while DJ Victrola played 80s synth pop and Wave in the Crypt.

On Sunday Nov 18 Sunday Brave rattled the rafters in support of the release of their EP “Taking Over,” alongside noted soloist Constantine Maroulis and two of the hottest local bands, The Randy Haze Trio and Our Fears.

Dec 1, 2018 Q’s also hosted a performance by 80s superstars Anything Box to a packed audience with opening band, Philadelphia duo, Korine.

Stimulate

Drom
Nov 23, 2018

Producer and DJ Xris SMack presented an exceptional edition of the recurring dance and entertainment party Stimulate on Nov 23, Black Friday at the East Village nightclub, Drom., Featured were a synth wave-style original band and two renowned tribute bands as well as hours of ambient, alternative dance tracks curated by well-known metropolitan area deejays including DJs Paradox, Phoenixxx, Cyclonus and Xris himself.

The night was dedicated to facing industrial giant, NIN against PostPunk icons, Joy Division cover bands. The crowd’s choice was to be determined at the end of the show.

Philadelphia duo Korine opened at around 11:30 with catchy, electronic numbers and a pleasingly androgynous, New Romantic stage persona. They had just made a big splash at NJ’s Human Music Synthwave festival this past Spring and were performing in support of their debut full length album, “New Arrangements.”

Over the PA and between band performances we heard “Better Be There” by FunkyGreen Dogs and “Cold” by the Cure. Hot, live go-go action provided visuals through the night, spot-lighting at least three sexily-clad ladies who took turns on stage as the crowd of attendees danced to the likes of Marilyn Manson and Icon of Coil.

Next up, Nine Inch Nails tribute band SIN opened their set with “Pinion” in a 30-second intro, then quickly launched into “Terrible Lie” off “Pretty Hate Machine.” Frontman Byron did justice to the frantic style of early NIN with an uncontrolled performance that saw him strip to the waist and wrap his torso in strands of black tape as he sang and gyrated convulsively on stage. “March of the Pigs,” “The Hand That Feeds” and five more hits followed, for a total of eight songs. Included of course was the once-shockingly explicit “Closer” and concluding the act was “Head Like a Hole,” the milestone entry that brought industrial into the alternative mainstream back in 1989.

Finally, renowned Joy Division tribute band Disorder started their set with archival radio announcements of JD’s historic recognition in the U.K media, then fired up their performance with “No Love Lost” off their “Substance” collection. They moved steadily through eleven songs from the band’s body of work with such beloved selections as “Dead Souls,” “Ceremony” and the mega-hit “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Even “Blue Monday” by the successor band, New Order, got featured toward the end of the set. Approval from the audience was overwhelming.

Art Exhibit and Lecture – “Metaphysics in Everyday Life”

Center for Italian Modern Art
Antonio David Fiore & Paul Stiron
Nov 28, 2018

The Center for Italian Modern Art has been exhibiting and educating those interested in the peculiar, seminal school of Metaphysical Art for the past year and a half. The standard-bearer of that school is of course Giorgio de Chirico (1888 – 1978), whose works were on display early last year, followed by exhibitions of, first, Alberto Savinio, and – now, currently – collected works of Morandi, Sironi and Carra, all recognized exemplars of the style.

Having always been fascinated by the concept, I attended a lecture and slide show on a Wednesday evening at the Center lower Manhattan, hoping to get a grasp on what this artistic genre is really about and how to distinguish it from Surrealism, to which it is ancestral.

Rare and stunning works by the three above-mentioned artists are on display as well as one iconic piece by de Chirico which helps orient the viewer to the precise core of the artistic movement that arose in and around Italy in the very early 20th century.

A lecture by two scholars of art appreciation delved into the influence of Metaphysical art on realms of décor and architecture beyond the narrow field of painting. What I found most satisfying was coming to learn the philosophical and psychological substratum that inspired the movement, and it is – as I understand – as follows:

With the decline of religion at the end of the 19th century, the Western world – as often the case, led by Italy – was seeking a deeper, mystical meaning in the everyday world, something spiritual in the forms and objects of the real world. Thus, an abandoned piazza, a lonesome statue, an anthropomorphic mannequin, stark earthenware vessels with cast shadows might all evoke an otherworldly feeling that religious experience might have provided in the past or simply as a rebellion against Renaissance high art. Another source of such rebellion was found in ancient and medieval symbols, which got reworked by Metaphysical artists into decorative architecture and interiors for the same effect.

This erudite presentation and repeatedly viewing these artworks provided me with immense help in understanding an art movement with dark undertones that was, for me, previously a mystery.

Stan Lee (1922 – 2018)

By now everyone has read that Stan Lee died Nov 12 of this year at the venerable age of 95. Born Stanley Martin Lieber, he was the editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, its publisher and chairman. Collaborating with Steve Ditko, he helped create the immensely popular Spiderman; and with the late Jack Kirby, with whom he shared the prestigious “Disney Legends” award, Lee helped create a whole stable of comic book legends including Fantastic Four, X-Men, and the Hulk.

Noted for having brought the genre of comic book art to a more complex level that featured flawed heros, burdened with ambivalence and existential issues, Stan Lee is thought to have elevated the category to the level of 20th and 21st Century literature.

Alex von Nihil aka Oleksander Fushtey (1988 – 2018)

The No Return Post Punk Society, a twice monthly dance club night will now be without one of its resident deejays and co-founders, Alex von Nihil who died suddenly and unexpectedly a few days short of his 30th birthday. Partner and close collaborator of founder Ryan Walker, Alex was known and beloved of the NYC underground post punk scene for his sense of humor, warmth, openness and hospitality.

Alex welcomed all to the events he hosted, from die-hard Goths to casual clubbers, tourists, street people and even yuppies who often made their way down the steep staircase to the Pyramid’s basement level on the first and third Friday of the month where he served up the sounds of classic goth, death rock and synth.

In 2012 Alex won the Eklectik Poetry Contest with his poem “We the Villains,” reproduced here. He was remembered at various commemorative events held around town and in a eulogy written by Luna Pallida.

New Dark Age – Nov 2018

Filed under: Goth Stuff,New Dark Age Monthly — doktorjohn November 12, 2018 @ 3:03 pm

Concerts

Nine inch Nails
Radio City
Oct 13, 2018

Opening at 7:00 pm sharp was Kite Bass, a comely female duo consisting of a blond guitarist with a really nice voice and a brunette with a thunderous bass guitar. The vocals were beautiful, but the songs were definitely industrial, lacking true melody.

Second openers, The Jesus and Mary Chain followed at 7:50 pm, introduced by splashes of electronic static noise, that led up to almost an hour of hit after hit from their much-loved repertoire.

After they closed the stage was crowded with a throng of technicians, musicians and other support staff. The crowd was excited and restless waiting for NIN to come on. As the band set up on stage, strains of Angelo Badalamenti’s “The Fireman” filled the air. The arena swarmed with wandering light beams and the stage sparkled with glittering waves of dazzling LEDs in bizarre purples, magentas, yellows and blues that never occurred in nature. The opening piece was “Mr. Self Destruct” off the “Downward Spiral,” then on into one of the most popular of their entire body of work, “Wish” from the 1992 EP “Broken,” which created a roar of enthusiasm bringing many to their feet.

Their enthusiasm seemed to sink with “Less Than” from the 2017 EP “Add Violence.” It has the signature NIN sound, but the audience was there to hear classic NIN. They were charged back into a frenzy with “March of the Pigs” that followed. But “The Lovers,” and ”This Isn’t the Place,” two wishy-washy, predominantly instrumental pieces, also off “Add Violence,” had a sedating effect.

“The Perfect Drug” from the soundtrack of the motion picture “Lost Highway” and best remembered for its steampunk-style video extolling the alleged virtues of absinthe restored the crowd’s joy, especially by inclusion of a virtuoso drum solo. This was followed by a several pieces from the latest album, “Bad Witch,” including “God Break Down the Door,” which has a distinctive, erratic drum cadence.

The rapid techno mantra piece “Copy of A ” offered a pleasant return to a compelling rhythm, and was followed by the even more rapid, frantic “Gave Up” from “Broken.” ThenTrent Reznor took a moment to remember David Bowie and to perform one from the late rock star’s famous video, “I’m Afraid of Americans,” in which Reznor himself appears. It is always good when a giant celebrity pays homage to the greats of the past. To Reznor’s credit, the next entry was also a cover, the Joy Division tribute, “Digital.”

NIN was definitely on a roll at that point, nailing down two of its best, “The Hand That Feeds” and the trailblazing “Head Like a Hole,” which paved the way for industrial music to cross over into mainstream and alternative.
After a brief break, they returned with three encores, “All the Love in the World,” “Over and Out” and the grand finale, the low-key, passionate, “Hurt.”

The world of industrial and rock music is replete with flashy, raucous and bombastic shows, but there is nothing that quite matches NIN. That said, this groundbreaking, prolific and inventive project is in its creative twilight. The iconic masterpieces of the 80s, 90s and early this millennium stand the test of time, but the most recent entries seem to be pedestrian works with erratic rhythms, incoherent noise and meaningless lyrics. It will always be a delight to revisit “Head Like a Hole” and “Closer,” but we should stop asking Mr. Reznor to stretch his body of work into four more decades.


Stabbing Westward

Gramercy
Oct 20, 2018

Stabbing Westward was founded in 1986 before they dissolved semi-permanently in 2002. During those years they produced one EP and four studio albums. The reunion and revival of Stabbing Westward began in 2016 when they celebrated their 30th anniversary with shows at the Chicago Cold Waves Festival and Dracula’s Ball in Philadelphia. This October 2018 represents the first activity of the band – aside from the release of two recordings – since then.

As for the opening band, The Amatory Murder: the less said the better. But second openers, The Clay People, revived the crowd with mind-blowing industrial-strength punk metal on a par with giant rockers, Tool. The Clay People have been around since ’89. Why haven’t I heard them?


The main set of Stabbing Westward’s performance was drawn from their smash hit album “Darkest Days” (1998), playing all but three tracks, in the order in which they appear on the record. They opened with the title track, a lumbering piece that nonetheless affords Chris Hall opportunity to scream his rage and declare his pain as did the next selection, “Everything I Touch.”

“Drugstore” picked up the pace and did more to grant the instrumental accompaniment opportunity to shine as Hall screamed the rhetorical question, “How Can Everything Be Justified By You?” Next they went into what may be the favorite of many fans, the raucous ”Save Yourself,” unless, of course, your favorite is “Haunting Me,” which followed.
The show galloped along on “Torn Apart,” then slowed a bit for “Sometimes It Hurts,” and the creepily sedate “Drowning” and “Desperate Now.” Chris Hall found his spleen again with the rocking anthem, “The Thing I Hate” and “On Your Way Down,” then closed the set with “Waking Up Beside You” before taking a brief break.

They returned with five great encore pieces, namely “Nothing” off the 1994 album “Ungod,” “So Far Away,” from their final, eponymous album, and “Violent Mood Swings,” also off “Ungod.” Next came their iconic masterpieces, “What Do I Have To Do?” and “Shame,” both from “Wither Blister Burn & Peel” (1996).

It’s sad in a way that this brilliant and engaging musical group found it necessary to break up after four terrific albums. Stabbing Westward has done a great job of giving voice to anger and frustration in an industrial, yet melodious format. Whether they must continue to rehash their oeuvre from the 1990s or if they can – reunited – create new music in the same ferocious mode remains to be seen.

Halloween Specials


Endless Night : New York Vampire Ball 2018

Drom
Oct 20, 2018

International impresario Father Sebastiaan hosted the latest – and final – NYC-based, Halloween-season Vampire Ball and Long Black Veil Reunion on Oct 20 at Drom in the City’s Lower East Side, co-hosted by club scene veteran Chi Chi Valenti and backed by a who’s who of top class deejays, Aengel, V Christ, Xris Smack and Ian Ford. The dress code called for all-black with attendees encouraged to wear costumes, custom contacts, fangs and necklace ankhs.

Doors – manned by Victor Magnus and Mandana Banshie – opened at 11 p.m., and the crowd of dancers and imbibers grew rapidly. Enthusiasm swelled to a crescendo when, at midnight, Father Sebastiaan, with the support of Chi Chi Valente and the pulchritudinous presence of Sabrina and Claire, led the faithful in a warm and nostalgic “Howl and Toast.” In a healing ceremony, Sebastiaan spoke of the history of his Endless Night series with reference to the origins as Long Black Veil, the ancestral club event which launched himself, his Sabertooth Clan and Endless Night series into leadership of the Gotham – and later world-wide – vampire community.

Svelte Cassandra Rosebeetle performed an ecdysiast dance followed by K-Star who performed a belly dance wearing a long, sheer, wing-like cloak. As on all previous iterations of Endless Night, a costume contest was held, with winners selected by the crowd’s response. The dancers of Stimulate performed on stage between the major events while deejays filled the air with the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Bauhaus.

The party went on until 3:45 a.m. at which time there was a last call. Father Sebastiaan has since made it clear that New York City no longer provides venues of sufficient size to accommodate the massive crowd which Endless Nights draw, making this the last such event. Those who yearn for more such gatherings can keep track of and plan to attend Endless Nights in various locales around the USA and the world, or they can hope to be invited to exclusive invitation-only functions that hopefully will occur locally in the New York area.

Dracula’s Ball Oct 31, 2018
Patrick Rogers’s Dancing Ferret hosted Dracula’s Ball at Philadelphia’s Trocadero on Halloween night this year. The fact that Halloween occurred on a Thursday in midweek didn’t stop it from being a sold-out, all-ages event. Planners only allowed two-thirds of capacity tickets to be sold, so that there was comfortable space for attendees to enjoy. Plenty of NY/NJ’s Goth aristocracy showed up for the annual festivities.

Dutch darkwavers Clan of Xymox headlined the show with support from Baltimore’s Ego Likeness and coldwavers Curse Mackey from Texas. Costumes were encouraged but not mandatory.

Nights Out

Necropolis at Windfall
Windfall NYC
Nov 3 2018

Father Jeff Ward’s famous recurring dark dance event took place on the first Saturday of November at its regular location which was decorated for the Halloween season as shown in the photo. Jeff’s deejaying efforts were supported by his top tier associates, DJs Patrick, Templar and Aengel. Mandana provided hospitality at the gate and guests were greeted warmly by Windfall’s host Chris Savo. Celebrities in attendance included Hippocampus Press publisher Derrick Hussey, New Goth City’s Sir William Welles and the Long Losts, Anka and Patrick McGowan.

Museums


Alive! Frankenstein at 200

The Morgan Library and Museum
NYC

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s famous book, the Morgan Library and Museum is hosting an exhibition, “It’s Alive! Frankenstein at 200” until Jan 27, 2019. The universal appeal of this story, the landmark starting point for science fiction cannot be overestimated. As a book, it has spawned countless books, plays, cinema works and the other media. Commentary has been vast as have been imitations, sincere as well as plagiaristic.

As a story it surpasses others in that those who have not read it know the basic premises of the story almost as well as those who have. The story has penetrated down into the collective consciousness like few others have done. A significant segment of the population consider themselves “fans” of Frankenstein. Even the back story of how a nineteen year-old girl went into competition with some literary greats to write a gothic novel is pretty well known.

What is a gothic novel? Basically any novel that deals with the nightmare side of the world, whether supernatural or rational in its explanations. This exhibition gives credit for the first gothic novel to Matthew Gregory Lewis for “The Monk” (1796), but Horace Walpole’s “The Castle of Otranto,”(1764) is more commonly cited for that title.

This exhibit shows that despite the enthusiasm that we all share for “Frankenstein,” it has all been “tip-of-the-iceberg” knowledge, and that there is factual history as well as critical literary analysis still to be learned about “Frankenstein” and his girl-genius creator. From this exhibit we learn that Gothic style in the arts had been popular for centuries in the English culture in which Mary Shelley grew up. Also shown are books she read as the daughter of two writers and her father a publisher as well. All the reading and writing in which Mary Shelley was immersed paid off by providing her with creativity, style, knowledge and profound insight.

We learn that she first published “Frankenstein” anonymously. In the days when theater companies disregarded copyright laws, three Frankenstein plays plagiarized the story with variations on characters and issues. These boosted Mary Shelley’s creation from book to myth status.

And it’s not just scholarly stuff at the exhibit. There are colorful movie posters from early cinema and rows of comic books and graphic novels featuring the monster or the name. There’s a clip of stop-action animation from the Thomas Edison’s 1910 silent movie in which the monster “self-assembles.” An early edition volume of “Frankenstein” with notes in the margins in Mary’s actual handwriting is displayed in a glass case. Classic portraits and Richard Rothwell’s beguiling portrait of Mary Shelley in oils are on open viewing. Walls and shelves have images of gothic horror and even a display explaining the electrical discoveries that informed Mary Shelley at the time of her writing.

This is a must see exhibition, on display during what remains of the winter 2018 -2019. Otherwise one will have to wait until 2118 for the 300th anniversary of this immortal masterpiece.

Recordings



Ash Code

“Perspektive”
Metropolis Records
Italian darkwavers Ash Code’s third and newest album featuring seventeen tracks was released this month. A video of the ninth track “Black Gloves” gives a representative sample of the frenetic industrial rhythms and creative, layered electronic arrangements that typify their style. The video, available on Youtube, features some pretty edgy, sensuous and sado-horrific images while the sound track is compelling, mantra-like and repetitively hypnotic.
The album is available on CD, vinyl and download as of Nov 9, 2018.

NEW DARK AGE – OCT 2018

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,live music,New Dark Age Monthly — doktorjohn October 10, 2018 @ 3:17 am

A Murder of Crows – 2018

Recurring NYC summer music festival, A Murder of Crows – focused on Post-punk, New Wave and Death Rock – was held at Brooklyn Bazaar on the mid-month weekend of Sept 15 and 16, under the auspices of TempleChurch Entertainment. Festival-goers had access to sets by five different bands in the upstairs performance space on each separate night. On the ground level were merchants and curators manning booths to constitute The Dark Market where wickedly themed, crafted curiosities and more were on sale and where advocacy groups gave voice to their causes.

On the basement level, a nightclub disco dance party was also part of the festival. Famous deejays serving up tracks at this lower level dance party the first night included DJs Dave Bats, Martin Oldgoth, Patrick and the event’s impresario, Sean Templar himself. Lovely hospitality hostess Mandana Banshie greeted arrivals and oriented them to the various points of interest at the festival, offering one-day ($30) or two-day ($50) access according to their preferences.

Mandana Banshie and friends at the entrance gate

One of the themes was bidding farewell to the famous Goth party, Release the Bats in one of three end-of-an-era parties to conclude its run in LA on Oct 26.

After satisfying our curiosity at the Dark Market and making a small purchase, New Dark Age settled in to hear the live band performances that took place on Saturday. First up, Floridians Atari Nite opened with a pleasantly bombastic rock set. Next, Cemetery proved to be anything but dead, with an even more bombastic, even frenetic, driven, almost chaotic set, the vocalist jumping offstage into the crowd to supercharge up their energy.

Next, Dave Bats introduced Minnesotans, Rope who played an eminently danceable and melodious set. They were followed by The Last Cry whose emotionally wrenching, melodious hard rock was spear-headed by a highly dramatic, full-throated lead vocalist.

Ritual Howls on stage on first night of A Murder of Crows

Finally, headliners Ritual Howls opened with their hit, “Helm”, its incongruously Western style guitar strumming punctuating its pitch-black chanted chorus. Ultra deep bass, twangy guitars, and deep drones amplified the deliciously morose mood of “Nervous Hands,” “Final Service” and other such other favorites as “Scatter the Scars” which they played late into the morning.

The second date, Sunday Sept 16, saw Rhode Island’s post punk band Way Out open; followed by popular Brooklyn bands the Bootblacks and Azar Swan; then displaced Australians – now out of LA – the VOWWS, before headlining dark wavers, Actors from Vancouver concluded the show. The deejay party downstairs, termed Forever Young, was different the second day, featuring such top spinners as DJs V Christ, Angel, Jet and Ash. DJ Frankie Teardrop manned the mixer in the Dark Market on closing night.

New Wave/Goth/Post-Punk Tribute Nite at the Bowery Electric

Sept 7, 2018

The Bowery Electric is a bi-level nightspot with a nice bar upstairs and a cozy performance space downstairs featuring a raised stage and split level viewing and/or dancing. The usual bill includes live rock bands, punk, reggae and the like as well as deejay dance parties.

This first September Friday night provided an exceptional experience for fans of New Wave and Gothrock. Headlining the bill was the by-now famous Joy Division tribute band, Disorder stopping back at home base as part of a brief East Coast tour which recently included an August gig in Baltimore and a subsequent stop in Richmond Virginia to take place in mid-September. Superstar DJ Sean Templar manned the booth and spun iconic favorites of the genre with the likes of Bauhaus, Sisters of Mercy and Peter Murphy.

At 8 p.m. opening band The Scream paid tribute to Siouxsie and the Banshees, led by adorable Siouxsie lookalike Eva who, backed by guitar, bass and a spectacular drummer, did justice to such favorites as “Israel” and “Spellbound.”

The Scream

Next up, All Cats Are Grey, an all girl band (but for the aforementioned male drummer who stayed on from the first band) covered The Cure’s beloved opus, including “In Between Days,” “Just Like Heaven” and rendered a consummate performance of “A Forest.” Lead singer Mary Choselle Colbert relied upon her own singing voice and stage persona rather than attempt to effect a gender-contradicting imitation of Robert Smith.

All Cats Are Grey

At around 10 p.m. acclaimed tribute band Disorder opened their act with a montage of interview clips relating to the burst of enthusiasm over the early discovery of Joy Division before launching into the ominous “No Love Lost.” Then on to “Disorder” from which the band takes its name.

Disorder at the Bowery Electric

Interspersed amidst the eleven track set were more archival samples, some from radio host John Peel, a pre-eminent discoverer and admirer of Joy Division. In one of these samples Peel announces JD’s release of the much celebrated “Dead Souls” and it serves as the prelude to Disorder’s closely matched version of that masterpiece. On another, Peel announces the sad news of lead vocalist Ian Curtis’s death by suicide, and it serves as a lead-in to “New Dawn Fades.”

Yet another voice-over features a monologue of Henry Rollins discussing the influential importance of JD’s album “Unknown Pleasures,” several pieces from which filled out the set list with “She’s Lost Control” and “Shadowplay.”

By the time Disorder had reached the tenth song, “Love Will Tear Us Apart” and the eleventh, “Transmission,” the exhilarated crowd of young and not-so-young spectators, was not letting them off stage. A ferocious demand went out from the audience shouting for an unplanned encore, so Disorder pulled a tour de force with the emotionally apt “Ceremony” before being allowed to end their performance.

Stimulate 10th anniversary

Sept 22, 2018
Drom NYC

Stimulate, the notoriously edgy, recurring music party celebrated its 10th anniversary in September by bringing back the very first band that performed at their opening event in 2008, Imperative Reaction. Host and impresario Xris SMack welcomed the return of these L.A.-based electro-industrial veterans along with Brooklyn trio, NØIR who opened the live show. The anniversary was combined with a Gary Numan after-party following the New Waver’s sell-out performance at Irving Plaza.

As always there was a stellar lineup of deejays including Annabelle Evil, DJ Paradox, Jet of Vampire Freaks fame and the host, Xris himself who treated attendees to every kind of gothic/industrial dance-conducive music. Again – as always – there were sexily-clad dancers on stage overlooking the highly stimulated crowd on the dance floor below.

The trio of Metropolis recording artists NØIR came on around midnight – masked, as is their signature stage appearance. They performed several of their by now increasingly popular and familiar songs plus a special throw-back to frontman Athan Maroulis’s early career with a piece from his earlier association with the industrial band Spahn Ranch.

World-famous electro-industrialists Imperative Reaction were welcomed with enthusiasm and reintroduced to the crowd around 1:30 a.m. and performed a set including their hits as well as new tracks, in their characteristic style employing two vocalists, one of whom served at the keyboard as well, while both were backed by live drums and electronic percussion.

Imperative Reaction

A trample-enthusiast, wrapped in a carpet, lay adjacent to the bar, making his encased anatomy available to assist bar patrons to step up as they approached to get their drinks.

NYC goth scene celebrity Aurelio Voltaire accompanied by his lovely lady, was present as were Sean and Mandana Banshie Templar and delight-to-the-eyes, statuesque, red latex-clad beauty, Ashley Bad, who participated along with Xris, in presentation of the anniversary cake topped with a pyrotechnic sparkler. It’s hard to imagine a more fun and festive night than this, that continued well into the morning.

Vampire Freaks Presents

Friday Sept 28
The Knitting Factory
Brooklyn NY

The entertainment production company Vampire Freaks, along with three outstanding musical performers hosted a night of shows at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on the evening of Sept 28, headlined by the world-famous Aurelio Voltaire. The Knitting Factory is a grungy yet cozy venue that resembles the old CBGBs in spirit and mission. Indeed, its original location was in Manhattan’s Lower East Side like that venerable, now-defunct club to which comparison is often made. It’s on the ground level of what used to be the Brooklyn Luna Lounge and has a capacity of about 300.

This night, about 150 showed up to see the trio of acts introduced by impresario Jet VF, noted producer of such famed events as NY’s Cybertron and the annual Dark Side of the Con. Jet also curated the deejay set between acts with the likes of London After Midnight, Bowie and The Smiths.

Opening the night around 7:15 p.m. was the horror-punk duo The Long Losts, consisting of the married couple, vocalist Anka Jureña and guitarist Patrick McGowan. Their performance was nothing short of dazzling. Tambourine wielding Anka’s noticeable baby-bump, made her even more delightfully shapely than ever, while her beautiful features were under lit – cinema style – in brilliant and garish colors. The themes were – for want of a better word – “spooky.” Drawing from their popular album, “Scary Songs To Play in the Dark, they performed such gems as “Girl With the Haunted House Tattoo” and “Glow in the Dark.” In a twist on a classic scene from “Frankenstein,” a scantily clad dancer rose up from under theatrical wraps when they played ”Fritz Throw the Switch” off their “To Night” collection.

A tribute to The Munsters’ Lily Munster was introduced with the famous TV show’s musical jingle. Patrick’s electric guitar and a pre-recorded percussion track kept the set within the traditional hard rock & roll style.

An amazing performance followed, featuring North Carolinian, Crystal Bright, a gorgeous keyboard virtuoso and operatic vocalist who appeared in steampunk attire and performed a set of luscious, creative and amusing pieces accompanied by a drummer. Each gave her opportunity to showcase her amazing voice and stunning skills on both the accordion and a freestanding keyboard. In a twist on the old standard, “You Are My Sunshine,” Crystal Bright led the audience in a sing-along in the darker key of A minor (instead of the usual C major), reflecting her “Southern gothic” style. The combination of her vocal skill, musicianship and stunning stage persona were a rare treat and a source of astonishment to those present.


When the headliner, Aurelio Voltaire was introduced by Jet, the crowd roared to welcome him. He is known for interactive, tongue-in-cheek, clever and cutting narratives done along with acoustic guitar-driven Anti-Folk style. He quickly demanded – and received his consistent companion – a bottle of spiced rum from which to swig.

Playful pirate themes and social satire ran through the performance. Goths, small town America and the New York scenesters were targets of Voltaire’s sarcastic parody. His show was highly interactive with an audience that appeared to be composed of deeply committed fans that sang or lip-synced along with much of his set.

He told many an amusing anecdote and singled out birthday celebrants in the audience for good-natured ribbing. When a funny narrative about his Hispanic ancestry and the Mexican Day of the Dead prompted him to mock a meddling “Social Justice Warrior,” one angry protest was issued from an audience member who stated that she was from the U.K. She tried to instruct Voltaire that the term was used only by what she called “right-wing a—holes.” Voltaire leveled her, first, with a snarky reply, that this is America and that we give instruction on how to speak English. Then he went on to demolish the whole SJW attitude with a hilarious song off his newest album, “So You’re Offended,” mocking those who perpetually take offense.

Voltaire’s show had so many and diverse jokes, themes and tales that it is impossible to keep track and report all of them here. Suffice it to say that as always, he left the spectators, laughing, singing along and eager for every musical element and humorous yarn.

QXT’s 27th Anniversary

QXT’s 27th Anniversary Tee-shirt

Sept 29, 2018

Newark’s famous nightclub also celebrated an anniversary in September – its 27th! This makes QXT’s not only the foremost dedicated alternative dance establishment, but the longest running in the greater metropolitan region. To honor the occasion, entrance was $15 that night, and the first hundred attendees received a free, newly designed teeshirt. The line-up of deejays ran from A – Z, DJ Ash to DJ Zeitgeist including residents like Damian Plague and Mindsolvent plus frequent guests Helixx and Caelestka, fourteen in all! Videos were curated by TM5.

All three bars and dance spaces on both floors were open from an early 9 pm start, and festivities ran until 3 am in the landmark venue located in downtown Newark adjacent to the safe Ironbound section and provided with plenty of secure parking.

The legend lives on!

Gothic Vampire Cruise on the Hudson

Oct 6 2016

Passengers aboard the “Demeter” on the Gothic Vampire Cruise

The first Saturday in October kicked off the Halloween season with a special event, the Gothic Vampire Cruise. Hosted by Faunesk Productions, this represented the third recurrence of this event. Hostess Kai Irina Hahn arranged a unique variety show of entertainment including role-playing, costumed Count and Countess Orlok, belly dancers and a smashing performance by her own band, the electronic rock group The Sedona Effect.
Kai Irina Hahn of The Sedona Effect

The excited crowd was both Gothic and Victorian in looks and attire as they boarded the fully rigged schooner, the Demeter, via gangway at the Battery Park slip. Happily the weather held off, but the ship’s deck was well equipped with a canopy, just in case.
Besides playing their own hard-hitting industrial repertoire, TSE concluded their set with a tour de force, strong-female version of the iconic anthem, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.”
The piéce de résistance was a grand finale featuring Vangeline Theater Company’s Sindy Butz, who performed a riveting and poignant Butoh “dance” of sorts, that both touched and terrified the completely transfixed audience.

DJ Patrick kept the appropriate mood between acts with an ethereal, trip-hop blend that included Dead Can Dance and similar moody tracks. A well-stocked bar and hospitable crew made everyone comfortable as the Demeter hoisted sails and cruised the environs around the Stage of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Upper Bay area. The cruise went on from about 9 pm to 11 pm when the ship finally returned to dock.

Necropolis

An afterparty for the Gothic Vampire Cruise on the Hudson was held at Necropolis in its customary location, mid-town’s Windfall, where landlubber goths were joined by the recently disembarked vampiric cruise attendees. Upon arrival, they were greeted by Skinny Puppy’s “Smothered Hope” spun by master DJ Erik Aengel. DJ Patrick regained his land-legs and joined the stellar roster of deejays which included Sean Templar and host Father Jeff Ward spinning New Wave, Synth and dark dance into the night.

Morbid Anatomy Library & Green-Wood Historic Fund

“Bridging Two Worlds” Opening Party

Sept 21, 2018

Exhibit curators Joanna Ebenstein and Laetitia Barbier greeted and directed the dozens of Morbid Anatomy devotees who attended the latest exhibition and re-opening of the library’s new home in the enchanting Fort Hamilton Gatehouse of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. An outdoor wine reception was combined with a meet-and-greet, as attendees entered and toured both the first floor exhibition room, and then made it up the charming, antique spiral staircase to the newly re-stocked attic library.

Containing over two thousand books, Morbid Anatomy serves as an open-access research library and is also home to photos, artworks, ephemera, and artifacts. Starting out as the Morbid Anatomy blog run by author Joanna Ebenstein (“A Graveside Companion” et al.) in 2007, the library first found a home in 2008 in Proteus Gowanus, subsequently at the now permanently closed Morbid Anatomy Museum, before settling into the Green-Wood Cemetery’s historic gatehouse. All this while, it has hosted and produced lectures, presentations, exhibits, workshops and publications around NYC as well as organized tours to festivals and museums around the world.

The current exhibition and the focus of the event is housed on the first floor of the gatehouse and features art and artifacts that fit into the theme of “Bridging Two World: The Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead.” The centerpiece of the exhibit is housed in a glass cabinet containing statuettes, tiny dioramas, articles and artifacts mostly pertaining to the Mexican Day of the Dead and other folkloric traditions. Representations of shamans, spiritual mediums, rituals relating to ancestor worship, metaphoric and allegorical imagery of the interface between the living and the dead are on display on the walls. Besides their fascinating symbolic significance, these works prove to be of surpassing aesthetic appeal, even when somewhat gruesome.

Among the most gruesome of these was the large acrylic-on-panel painting, “Kingdom of Death” (1990) by Wolfgang Grass, lent to the exhibit courtesy of the Stephen Gallery.

“Styx” – Ink on fabric

An ethereal, black & white, Spiritualist-inspired artwork, “The Styx” by Sherry Kerlin portrays ghastly yet serene figures in Victorian attire aiding the transport of a recently deceased over the river that leads to the world of the dead.

The list of intriguing, emotionally moving and historically important pieces on display is too great to cover in this report. So too, is the broad and rare contribution which Morbid Anatomy has made and continues to make to our regional culture, exhibiting, educating and enthralling all who frequent this unique institution.

Visit the morbidanatomy.blogspot.com to learn more, and by all means get over to the Morbid Anatomy Library in Brooklyn on Saturdays and Sundays to view the exhibition and to peruse the library. It is to be found at the gatehouse by the intersection of Fort Hamilton Parkway and Micieli Place.

“De Glömda”
A Glimpse into Supernatural Scandinavia

t of Darby Lahger
Last Rites Gallery

One of the most prominent tributaries of Goth culture flows from the cold, dark land sunless winters, particularly the Nordic traditional folk traditions from the Middle Ages. These are the original Goths, whose sombre folklore has shaped numerous forms of expression from Existentialism to Black Metal.

Darby Lahger is an American-born transplant to Dalarna, up in the forests of northern of Sweden where, with her husband and three children, she lives a life heavily influenced by the history, legends and aesthetics of her adopted homeland. She is also noted photographer.

The Last Rites Gallery hosted Lahger’s first solo exhibition of 17 of her drawings in graphite and charcoal, depicting witches, giants, gnomes ghosts and the like, all culled from Scandinavian mythology. Some are portraits, other scenes and others still are surreal. All have a naive, art-brut style which is not to say that there isn’t some excellent draftmanship as well.

Artist Darby Lahger at Last Rites Gallery

We spoke to Darby who was enthusiastic in reporting on the legends and superstitions that inspired her work – ghastly night stalkers, practitioners of black arts and characters from nightmarish folk tales. Currently she is illustrating a book of stories with related fables being written by her Swedish husband. The exhibition opened Oct 5 and runs until Oct 20, 2018.

That’s The Way (I Like It) EP

Metropolis Records
Raymond Watts of industrial rock band in collaboration with author/singer/adult film star Sasha Grey issued this EP on Metropolis Records on Aug 31. Built around a cover of the 1975 disco hit by KC and the Sunshine band, it also contains remixes of three tracks off the recent (June 2018) album “Risen.” Two versions of “That’s the Way (I Like It)” appear on this EP, constituting the first and third tracks.

The first of these is dubbed the “rougher” version and the other called “PIG in the disco Remix.” The former is also available as a softcore video – believe it or not – on Pornhub! Musically, it is a down and dirty cover of the Sunshine Band’s original, complete with harsh percussion, growls and choral voices. Sasha Grey’s lead vocals have a sensuous, seductive quality, and are counter-posed to coarsely baritonal male replies. In second version (track number three) there is a weirdly ethereal intro with faraway vocals that rise gradually and distantly out of the wash of instrumental music. As this track progresses, it grows chaotic, yet retains a menacing, relentless cadence that suggests a plodding hoard of zombies on the march. Both tracks retain the familiar driving rhythm and backup vocals of the 1975 work but with sonic complexity galore.

Track number two, “Truth Is Sin” represents a Chris Hall remix of the song of the same name off the “Risen” album. It is a mean-spirited, hissing revisit of the album original but with bursts of guitar and a generally faster pace, giving it the Stabbing Westward signature sound.

Track four, the Hanzel und Gretyl remix of “The Revelation” has the same feel of post-apocalyptic funk as the original, featuring gravelly, croaking vocals, and swirling, repetitive guitar mantras that are on the “Risen” version, with little discernible difference from the original.

Finally, Ego Likeness has remixed “Cult of Chaos,” adding crackly deep male vocals, hand beaten percussion and tidal waves of pleasing, melodious, rhythmic sound.

Like the antecedent album “Risen,” this EP offers mesmerizing grooves, irresistible rhythms and creative electronica in both the original Raymond Watts compositions and the cover versions of the familiar 70s megahit. Be sure to check out the PIG & Sasha Grey video of “That’s the Way (I Like It)” which you can find on Youtube without having to navigate through Pornhub.

Dionysus

Dead can Dance

Neoclassical darkwave music project Dead Can Dance is about to release their ninth studio album called “Dionysus” after the Greek god of wine and religious ecstasy. Like much of their body of work, it will address its theme with folk instrumentation, field recordings and chants. The opus represents the myth of Dionysus in two acts of seven movements. The first movement of the second act, “The Mountain” has been made available to listeners on Pitchfork.

The myth of Dionysus, his birth on Mt. Nysa, where he was brought up by the centaur Chiron and ultimately, the chants and dances of the Bacchic rites are represented in musical form in this work. Listeners can expect the same gorgeous, powerful-yet-ethereal melodies, operatic-quality vocals and mesmerizing rhythms for which DCD is famous.

In support of this potentially monumental album, DCD will tour Europe in the Spring of 2019. The album will go on sale in November of this year. Pre-orders of the CD, vinyl, hardcover booklet, digital downloads and combinations of each are available through musicale.com

The Bela Session
Bauhaus

To celebrate Bauhaus’s 40th anniversary two companies, Leaving Records and Stone’s Throw Records are issuing an EP of largely unreleased tracks from the January 1979 session at which the defining anthem of Goth rock, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead,” was recorded. It opens with a nine and a half minute remaster of the work after which it is named.
The second and third tracks are the never-previously-released “Some Faces” and “Bite My Hip” which was later re-recorded as “Lagartija Nick,” the latter of which was included in the Singles EP. The fourth track is “Harry,” the Ska/Reggae-flavored piece named for Blondie’s Debbie Harry.

The fifth and last track is the original version of “Boys,” a very different version of which can be found in the Goth Box compilation.

It’s rare for something as monumentally iconic to arise from the corridors of time as far back as 40 decades ago, and this EP is sure to be a collector’s item when it comes out. Right now they are taking pre-orders and offering free download of the title track. A red vinyl version will be available as will the entire Bauhaus catalogue later this year to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the band.

“Ewige Eis”
Eisbrecher
Metropolis Records

Industrial, dark-electro rock band Eisbrecher released a 2-CD collection “Ewige Eis” (“Eternal Ice”) subtitled “15 years of Eisbrecher” with 20 tracks on the first disc and 18 on the second. This “best-of” set captures the German powerhouse band’s repetitive guitar riffs, deep dark vocals, with a smattering of choir singing and heavily cadenced military-march-percussion. Gravel voice vocals are the rule but occasionally more melodious male singing alternates with ritualistic and female choral sounds.
If you wish to sample the album, there are two tracks, namely “Verrückt” (“Crazy”) and “Was Ist Hier Los?” (“What’s Going on Here?”) that are both available as cinematic videos. The former mocks corporate board meetings. The latter displays disturbing, archival videos of examples of barbarity in war and everyday brutality that usually goes unseen. Both feature the driving beats, industrial guitars, chorals and danceable rhythms that are representative of the 2-disc Eisbrecher retrospective.

The War of the Worlds – The Definitive 80th Anniversary Collection 1938 – 2018

Stardust Records

All fans of radio and of Sci-Fi are aware of – and fascinated by – that wonderful historical event when eccentric media icon Orson Welles played a monumental prank on audiences when he broadcasted a show based on H.G. Wells’s “War of the Worlds.” He so structured the narrative as to leave it ambiguous to naive, radio-era listeners as to whether it was an actual news report or a mere tale of fiction. Mass panic ensued. It turned into one of the greatest spoofs of all time in 20th Century American culture.

Now Cleopatra Records exec Athan Maroulis (Spahn Ranch, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Noir) has gathered together a 2 CD collection that includes the complete original 1938 broadcast along with a 1940 conversation between Orson Welles and H.G. Wells and a rare 1955 broadcast. It became available Oct 19 on disc and on digital format in both the U.K. and the USA.

A must-have for students of weird history, 20th Century madness, Depression-Era eccentricity, media, sci-fi and general shenanigans.

Wave Gotik Treffen (WGT 2018) Handbrotzeit

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,My Art,Uncategorized — doktorjohn September 27, 2018 @ 3:13 am

This was a scene in a courtyard outside Taubchental in Leipzig during Wave Gotik Treffen

Oil on canvas 16″ X 20″

New Dark Age — August 2018

Filed under: Goth Stuff,live music,Movies,New Dark Age Monthly,Recorded Music,Uncategorized — doktorjohn August 6, 2018 @ 4:01 pm



Necropolis

This month’s edition of Father Jeff’s Necropolis truly lived up to its name by hosting an official book launch of Hippocampus Press’s “New York State of Fright,” an anthology of horror stories by NY authors featuring stories set mainly in and around NY.

Before the first music began , there were readings, book signings and trivia discussions. Then, after the first set of dance tracks, Windfall manager Chris Savo called a pause. Brooklyn horror author, Teel James Glenn, attired in tuxedo, manned the temporary podium and read a creepy, humorous vampire short story with an unexpected twist to great approval by the necropolis crowd.

Also in attendance was film director Jonathan Berman, visiting NYC for the premiere of his documentary about the UFO-cults of the 20th century, “Calling All Earthlings.”

Despite the heat, the humidity and the absence of numerous scene sustainers who were away in Ireland, Father Jeff and Patrick pulled off a rockingly successful episode of Necropolis with the assistance of DJs Joe Hart and TJ Lepore.

QXT’s Aug 3, 2018

Newark dance club, QXT’s nightclub hosted a free admission night called “2080” dedicated to 80s New Wave, Synthpop and Synthwave, at which DJs Ash and Damian Plague served up the requisite fare from 10 pm to 3 am the following morning. Heard was the softer stuff on which the crowd grew up like Depeche Mode, The Cure, Duran Duran plus Synthwave giants Lazerhawk and Dance with the Dead. About midway into the night, Damian concocted a beautiful mashup of Filter’s “Hey man, Nice Shot” and NIN’s “Closer” which set the dance floor into ecstatic frenzy.

Cabaret Voltaire


Cabaret Voltaire
Industrial Demos 1974 – 1976
Mataram Music (2018)

Cabaret Voltaire, the English industrial music pioneer group, formed back in 1973 before the era of digital media. Experimenting with cut-up technique, using audio tapes, sound samples, loops and the like, they introduced the world to a radical alternative to the conventional music based on rhythm and melody and helped create the industrial genre.

Still active in both performance and recording (although the personnel members have evolved) they just released a collection of their do-it-yourself works from the mid-70s entitled “Industrial Demos 1974-1976,” containing ten tracks from the era when they were musical icons of the Dada art movement. As far as I can tell, each of these have been released before amidst the myriad studio, live, remix, and compilation albums and numerous singles and EPs.

This album starts with “The Dada Man,” an erratically cadenced series of speeded up tape squeaks, metallic banging and sci-fi noises. The next track,“Ooraseal” has no recognizable rhythm and plays with vocal samples run backwards while an electronic chirp drones on. “A Sunday Night in Biot” features distorted, tinny vocals that pierce the waves of synthetic roars, beeps and burbles. The sound of a kazoo breaks in now and then.

“In Quest of the Unusual” is a brief piece that produces a chaotic wall of sound with clicks and snaps occurring without any regularity. Echoic roaring sounds and vocals are heard through the rhythmic, percussive “Do the Snake.”

“Fade Crisis” utilizes echoic, foghorn-like samples to create a spacy, faraway feel without anything resembling rhythm. “Doubled Delivery” is characterized by a double-speed marching cadence that is relentless, over which are layered synthetic burps and buzzes.

“Venusian Animals” is the track that most resembles the soundtrack of an early sci-fi thriller with loopy mournful electronica and sweeping wind-like noises. “The Outer Limits” falls into the same category but employs a painfully high-pitched drone behind the repetitive sound of a machine sloshing through an electronic swamp toward some remote destination.

The album concludes with “She Loved You,” an eight-minute largely empty track with sparse pounding sounds, backwards recorded voices and quiet blasts of synthetic growls and horns.

Credit where it’s due – this group took what limited technology was available and put it through every conceivable operation, thus helping open our minds to a new auditory experience that led to where we are now. It was more noise than music, but it served its historic purpose, and from it has flowed industrial, techno, electronic, EBM and more.
All these tracks can be accessed on Youtube.

Panic Lift


Panic Lift “End Process” 10 tracks
Metropolis Records

This is Panic Lift’s fourth album, released this Aug 24, two years after, “Skeleton Key.” There are ten tracks of essentially industrial electronic rock with elements of symphonic, synthwave and Linkin Park-like rap. It opens with an electro-industrial track that has interjected spoken word, The next several tracks contain some nice, melodious singing that alternates with harsh, hissing vocals, always to a compelling, rapid beat. Several tracks are at a slower, more moderately pace and feature eerie strings and hypnotic, synthetic arpeggios. Staticky voice samples make an occasional appearance setting a post-apocalyptic mood. Some of the electronica has a pseudo-aquatic, New Age feel even as it leads into a mechanized cadence and pleasant full vocal singing. Belching guitars form a frequent element that places the overall category of the album into hard, symphonic rock.

Sometimes the lyrics (all of which can be read on the included cover art) have an angry, accusatory sense, issued in a gravelly voice, but James Francis’s versatility is that he can switch to mellow crooning within the same track. The music is always inviting, pleasing to the ear as well as conducive to the dance floor. The appeal of this album was such that on first listening I was able to find each track immediately satisfying.

Panic Lift is on their “End Process” tour in support of this album.

Rated A
Beautifully brutal

The Ink Bats


The Ink Bats
“Loss”

The Oakland, CA-based Ink Bats are touring the West Coast in support of their nine-track 2017 disc,“Loss” and to promote the Youtube-accessible video of the album’s sixth track, “Caves.” The album starts right off with a rocking number with a driving beat and mournful, high-pitched wailing vocals. The pace slows a bit with the second track, but the beat is still compelling and vocals more controlled, though no less anguished. The third cut features a drawn-out, elongated electronic guitar droning and plaintive masculine vocals that evoke Fields of the Nephilim over a snappy cadence, The fourth track opens with an eerie, eloquent sample of a British patrician that contrast with the long instrumental intro and beautiful choral vocals supported by prominent drumming with – again – a driving rhythm.

By the fifth track begin to wonder if the Ink Bats are going to keep up the irresistible verve you have been listening to, and they succeed admirably. Luscious female vocals of rhythm guitarist Josie Dot have an operatic quality as they rise above accompanying mean-sounding instrumentation and male backup. Judge the deliciously dark sixth track, “Caves” yourself, by checking it out on Youtube. Rather than stand out above the other tracks, it rather epitomizes the richly textured gothic, PostPunk style of the rest of the album, which itself is a stellar entry into that beloved genre.

The last three tracks are three, four and five minutes long, respectively, and each presents a unique, work, consistent and well-situated within the traditions and conventions of the Goth Rock style. Except for the percussive elements, any of these ten tracks would make suitable soundtrack entries to mystery or horror cinema.
Find the album which is available via Bandcamp in digital download, on CD or even in vinyl edition, and don’t fail to check the “Caves” video on Youtube.

Cyborgs Among Us


Cyborgs Among Us (2017) 1:45 documentary

This film takes a serious look at the increasing interaction of humans with technology, with particular emphasis on implanted electro-magnetic and mechanical devices. The opening sequence seems, at first, to be a fantasy in which a young man with an antenna arising from the back of his head narrates his bizarre perception of the sights, sounds and aromas he experiences in a natural as well as urban environments. Shockingly, and amazingly, it becomes apparent as the narrative progresses, that he is in fact a real person, not an actor. Born without any color perception at all, he lived – prior to the implant – in a world of grays, blacks and whites. He had a real antenna surgically connected to his brain that allows him to experience the colors of the world – as well as electromagnetic wavelengths such as ultraviolet and infrared – in the form of sounds of different pitch and timbre. The implant collects colored light information and converts it to sound perception in his brain.

This is only one astounding example presented in this real-life documentary. A worker who lost his right arm in an accident is shown having had a high-tech, incredibly versatile arm connected to not only the remaining bone of his arm’s stump, but the actual nerves that allow him to control the movements, – some of them quite complex – of his elbow, wrist, hand and fingers – and to actually feel the touch and weight of objects he is handling!

Shown is a sort of Olympics of paralyzed and amputated individuals with devices that replace and/or augment their ability to ambulate, control artificial limbs and perform tasks.

A deaf gentleman who has had cochlear implants to restore hearing directly to the auditory area of his brain discusses the versatility of his sound perception, and the options it provides him to focus on various sounds, to filter out unwanted noise so that he can understand conversation in loud environments and to shut out sound completely when he chooses to do so.

The film turns to a workshop run by a small group of piercings-adorned cyberpunks who are engaged in high-tech body modification: the surgical implant of electronic devices into their hands and fingers that enable them to operate electrical sensors and devices and to perceive electromagnetic fields.

Finally the film calls attention to the growing political movement and in particular Mr. Zoltan Istvan, sometime-presidential candidate of the Cyborg Party, who expounds on his belief that immortality in some form or other will be coming soon as advances in technology make replacement parts and computer storage of brain functions a reality. The future – this film reveals – is now!
This film can be accessed on Amazon Prime and other sources.

Nico, 1988

“Nico,1988” (2017)
Written and directed by Susanna Nicchiarelli

Manhattan’s Film Forum held the US theatrical premiere of “Nico, 1988” – an unsentimental docudrama about the last years of punk-cultural icon, Christa “Nico” Päffgen. Model, singer, actress and Andy Warhol-designated celebrity, Nico gained recognizable status singing with the Velvet Underground on their 1967 debut album, “The Velvet Underground & Nico.” Prior to that she had been a model and had acted in Fellini’s classic “La Dolce Vita” and Warhol’s experimental film “Chelsea Girls,” roles earned in no small measure by her lanky 5’10” supermodel frame and exquisite, chiseled features. Musically, she is credited with a role in initiating both the punk and Goth-rock scene.

This movie is not about those joyful years of celebrity and triumph, but the sordid last couple of years, when Nico expressed violent objection to nostalgic attempts by interviewers and fans to reawaken those memories. Sometimes she even tried to reject the stage name Nico and demanded to be called by original name, Christa. Except when the need to finance her costly heroin addiction forced her to revive her chanteuse performances before rock music-thirsting fans in Italy and in Eastern Europe.

Danish actress Trine Dyrholm masterfully portrays Nico – aging, dissipated, hoarse from chain-smoking and booze, numbed with Methadone and hard stuff, reviving the stage persona that was Nico again.

We get a view inside her bitter decline during interviews and when she is interacting with her tour crew and her devoted, late-career manager, Rick, convincingly portrayed by Scottish actor John Gordon Sinclair.

The plot includes bizarre experiences touring in Italy and in dilapidated, police-state Eastern Europe. It shows her causing disillusionment of naive, nostalgic fans and making quick, necessary getaways from the law. It peers into the pathetic relationship she had with her estranged son. Thrown in are a couple of kick-ass, out-of-control and drug-infused band performances. Altogether it is a lurid story line that serves as a vehicle for spectacular, stirring acting and brilliant cinematic direction.

“Nico, 1988” acquaints the post-Millenial generation with an historic cornerstone personality from the countercultural 60s, as she coasts twenty years later into her final demise.

The Most Courageous Woman in the World – Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Filed under: My Art — doktorjohn July 20, 2018 @ 6:49 pm

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

NEW DARK AGE – July 2018

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,live music,Movies,New Dark Age Monthly,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn July 3, 2018 @ 9:00 am


Das Ich Besucht Amerika

STIMULATE
at St. Vitus/ QXT’s
Brooklyn/Newark

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Satanik Germanic
Hanzel und Gretyl

New Dark Age – June 2018

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,live music,New Dark Age Monthly,Uncategorized — doktorjohn June 27, 2018 @ 10:06 pm

2018

General Information

The world’s greatest festival of Goth culture takes place in Leipzig, Germany, during 5 days leading up to the Monday of Pentecost that follows Easter by 40 days. Wave Gotik Treffen begins on the Thursday and concludes on that Monday, which is an official holiday In Germany. Leipzig is an ancient city, a traditional commercial center since the Middle Ages, rich in European history, art, music and architecture, boasting famous medieval churches, two grand opera houses, ancient and modern town squares, the oldest restaurant in Europe and countless museums, music halls, cafes and entertainment establishments.

Attendees at WGT have to resign themselves to the fact that they will only be able to catch and enjoy a tiny fraction of the vast array of entertaining and educational experiences that the festival offers. This report is based upon our hectic experience in trying to see and do as much as humanly possible during the five-day festival.

The central theme of WGT is music. Although Post Punk, Goth and Industrial are the main agenda, dark electro, experimental, classical, baroque, opera, chamber music, church organ, folk, world, variety, modern dance, ballet and cabaret are all presented. Performances number in the hundreds. There are around thirty music venues, big and small, some of which have multiple spaces within, such as the fortress-like multilevel stronghold, Moritzbastei or the cavernous Agra. In addition to the massive music hall, Agra also contains a huge shopping mall where items of clothing, costumes, fetish accessories, footwear helmets, headdresses and the like are for sale. One of the great delights of the festival is to stroll through this section browsing and occasionally succumbing to make purchases of unique items. It also contains an ongoing exhibition featuring grotesque works of explicit art.

Besides standard music venues, there are churches, parks, theaters, restaurants, cemeteries, hotels, monuments, and even ancient ruins that serve as attractions and performance spaces, hosting exhibitions, lectures, films, shows and presentations. There are around ten participating museums to which there is free access for attendees ranging from fine art to Egyptian to a museum documenting the activities of the secret police, the Stasi, during the Cold War era of Communist domination of East Germany, the DDR. Even the main train station hosts opening events and concerts.

In addition to brochures outlining the many venues and participating institutions, and an exquisitely illuminated hardcover program book, there is an extremely helpful smartphone app that presents the entire schedule, lists the artists and the performances, providing samples of the music at each event and directions on how to get to each venue. Public transportation is free to WGT attendees wearing their identifying wrist bands.
Festivities began with welcoming parties at Moritzbastei, the multilevel complex very near the town center and other venues on Thursday May 17, the night before official opening of the festival. Free entry to the various museums also became available that day.

A nice place to ease into the WGT scene is the Absintheria Sixtina, a friendly bar that is open 24 hours a day and features a small menu of beers and wines, but over 250 types of absinthe and a near infinite variety of cocktails derived from them. One afternoon we sampled some absinthe while a rock band, Nietzsche and the Wagners, performed on the small indoor stage. Outdoors, in back of the bar is a yard where beverages bratwursts and similar fare are served at tent-covered picnic tables.

Performances and Events

Victorian picnic

On Friday things got serious. That afternoon we attended a massive gathering of thousands of festival-goers, with a sprinkling of tourists and local gawkers gathered at the Clara Zetkin Park for the annual Victorian Picnic. Participants wearing their finest appropriately-themed attire settle in groups on blankets to socialize and dine in highly civilized fashion from picnic baskets while around them is a promenade of costumed strollers wearing Gothic styles ranging from Victorian, Steampunk and Baroque to the most outlandish sci-fi, fantasy and fetish outfits.

By the time we found our way to Taubchenthal, a large music hall with a resort-like courtyard and surrounding food stands, the Beauty of Gemina, a Swiss gothic rock band was underway and sounded fantastic. The venue was so packed, however, that the crowd couldn’t enter, blocked the entrances and milled about outside, unable to get in and see the stage. We met up and socialized with our New York celebrities, Sean Templar, Matt V Christ and glamorous Serena Goss while sampling the local fare.

Boy Harsher

From there we headed over to see dark electro duo Boy Harsher at the Stadtbad, a large building that had once been an enclosed official public swimming pool now paved over and serving as a music hall. This dark electronic duo, with roots in the US South mesmerized us with Augustus Muller’s minimal dance beats and grinding synths and with Jae Matthews’s eerie, ethereal vocals.

At 11 pm we caught the avant-garde, neofolk (or “apocalyptic folk”) combo, Rome, out of Luxembourg. Singer-songwriter Jerome Reuter plays acoustic guitar while crooning deliciously morose, and poignantly poetic, English-language lyrics in his emotionally-wrenching baritone, supported by emphatic percussion and occasional industrial samples.

Oomph! on stage at Agra

Things really got rolling on Saturday down at Agra. Having taken the twenty-minute tram ride it takes to get from Leipzig town center down to Agra, we were treated to the onstage performance of German industrial hard rockers, Oomph! whose bombastic style enthralled the crowd with high-energy, Rammstein-style rock. The audience revealed their devotion to Oomph! by knowing and lip-syncing the lyrics to most of Oomph!’s songs, while frontman Dero Goi energetically led the crowd like a conductor as he sang in clear, perfectly enunciated German and in English.

Oomph! was followed by Canadian electro-industrial originals, Front Line Assembly, whose underplayed performance fell below our expectations.

The reward for the night came with Norse ceremonious, traditionalist ensemble, Wardruna, whose grandiose use of ancient instruments and solemn chanting enraptured listeners with ominous percussion and pompous horns that are recognizable to those who are familiar with their soundtrack contributions to the series “Vikings.” Great music by which to burn witches!

Arcana at Kirchenruine performing at Wave Gotik Treffen

On Sunday we took the 12.5 km (a 25 Euro cab ride) to an event at Kirchenruine Wachau, the magnificent, still-standing ruins of a gothic-style church, the interior of which has been entirely gutted to serve as a meeting place and music venue. Tall, ivy-overgrown stone walls bearing the remaining framework of pointed-arch cathedral windows towered over the crowd and the Swedish neo-classical, darkwave band, Arcana. The audience was tightly crowded into the capacious space under a blistering sun. Peter and Cecilia Bjärgö, supported by guitar, percussion, keyboards and backup singers, took turns thrilling those within and those gathered in gardens and cemetery grounds outside the walls of the church ruins. Medieval, ecclesiastical and oriental style songs were sung – mainly in English – creating a transcendent, otherworldly atmosphere that was both somber and uplifting.

Afterwards, back at the Stadtbad we caught three great EBM/industrial acts back to back. Spark!, from Sweden featured a lovably clownish duo whose irresistible, compelling music caused a wild mosh pit to form. Next, Sturm Café continued in the same style, but darker and even more furious. The third was an original industrial pioneer, Belgium’s Vomito Negro, whose delightfully nasty, deep bass beats and vicious, repetitive lyrics were perfectly matched by creepy, projected video images.

De/Vision at Agra

On Sunday evening, the next to last day of the festival, German 2-man synthpop group De/Vision took the stage at Agra, and it was a welcome experience to hear Steffen Keth’s smooth and pleasing vocals as he belted out songs with inspirational and positive lyrics.

During late mornings and early afternoons we took the opportunity to visit museums and galleries. The Egyptian Museum (Aegyptisches Museum) had extraordinary pieces, grand and small. The most remarkable of these was a perfect cast of a Mesopotamian stone column bearing the text of the legendary Code of Hammurabi, carved into the stone in cuneiform script.

On Monday the last day we toured a local gallery where one section featured acrylic paintings with mildly transgressive imagery and another, more secluded section, displayed small, life-size and larger sculptures representing female genitalia, some crafted in metal to serve as costume jewelry such as pendants and brooches.

Composer Felix Mendelssohn’s Leipzig home has been preserved as a museum of his life and work. It is not an official, free-admission item in the WGT festival, but was well worth the small charge for a visit that shed light upon this remarkably gifted human being. Mendelssohn’s masterful paintings and drawings came as an unexpected surprise to those of us who only knew of his great musical compositions. In previous years we have toured Leipzig’s spectacular Johann Sebastian Bach Museum, which likewise is a non-participant, therefore , requires a small admission fee.

The last night at Agra provided a sensational experience which included Dutch band Grendel, whose thunderous EBM style was electrifying, highlighted by superb, savage vocals. They were followed by Floridians, God Module, whose pitch-dark, demonic growling vocals, grim themes and pounding rhythms were occasionally spiced with cinematic samples and grisly backdrop videos. For lovers of this kind of entertainment, this provided the perfect conclusion to the five day festival.

Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera
The Majestic Theater
NYC 2018

Although Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” premiered in the U.K. in 1986, it made its Broadway debut in 1988, making this year its 30th anniversary in the States and the 30th anniversary of winning the Tony Award for Best Musical. It is arguably the most successful work of gothic-themed-mainstream-crossover performance art ever, as it continues to extend the longest run of any show on Broadway.

It is based on the long out-of-print, Gaston Leroux novel (1909). It shares, with other stories of the gothic genre, the theme of a flawed, demonic-yet-sympathetic villain who threatens to corrupt an innocent woman. The time setting places the action in the turn-of-the-century world of Steampunk. The gothic status of the work is established early when in a parody of a scene from the opera “Hannibal,” a diva strides to the front of the stage displaying a decapitated head with simulated blood dangling from it. As in most gothic drama, there is a suspicion of the villain’s having supernatural powers, but his ability to appear and disappear is explainable as theater tricks and pranks of a deranged but focused mind. A piano plays by itself. He employs his “Punjab lasso” to ensnare and kill with lightening agility. The final resolution of the love triangle that constitutes the plot is both touching and tragic.

This musical leads – and has eclipsed – a long list of works of literature and drama that are definitely categorized as horror. The vast scope and depth of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s adaptation goes farther than any prior versions, including Lon Chaney Sr’s famous silent movie; the 1943 Technicolor motion picture with Claude Rains; the Hammer production from 1962; Dario Argento’s Italian movie; as well as a musical by Ken Hill who wrote English lyrics to the music of classical and opera composers. Some have suggested that Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score can be classed as rock music, and at least one aria, “Point of No Return” has a rhythm that fits the description. But not all goth is rock and not all rock is goth. Certainly the heavy, minor key melodies place the score of “Phantom” music into the category of gloom and melancholy.

Thus, despite the overwhelming mainstream success and acceptance of “Phantom of the Opera,” it seems appropriate to place it squarely in the pantheon of Goth Icons.

Disorder at the Red Party

On Saturday, May 12th , The Red Party presented the 10th Annual Joy Division party at Mercury Lounge! Called The Atrocity Exhibition, there was live music at Midnight, Back on stage was Disorder, “A Tribute to the Sounds of Joy Division.” This edition of the Red Party served as a pre-Wave Gotik- Treffen warm up party!
As usual the Red Party was hosted by the Red Queen, Mandana Banshie Templar. As always it featured Goth, Post-Punk and DeathRock with special attention given to the music of Joy Division and wasserved up by DJs for the evening, Sean Templar, Jarek Zelazny and special annual guest, Frank Deserto, aka teardrop (The Harrow).

Excitement occurred when a disorderly (no pun intended) patron began to mess with the stage equipment, specifically the stand and cables serving the keyboard. Vocalist Mike Strollo proved up to the task of neutralizing the would-be vandal with one hand while still manning the microphone with one hand. Stage manager Pete Mele quickly removed the stage crasher, and with the assistance of yours truly, had him escorted from the premises.

The show went on without interruption and concluded with enthusiastic approval by the audience.

Florence Bullock of Glitbiter

Plague Productions
and NewRetrowave presented the second, two-day Human Music festival on Saturday may 26 and Sunday May 27 (the night before Memorial day) at QXT’s Nightclub in Newark, featuring line-ups of top listed, international artists who are prominent in the Synthwave scene.

Synthwave is the relatively new and post-millenial genre of music that distinguishes itself by emphasizing electronic, mechanistic, and computer-based sound, drawing heavily from the aesthetics of the 1980s and the sonance of popular music during that era. Thus analog synthesizer instruments and samples from video games, synthpop recordings and sci-fi film soundtracks are reintroduced, but updated to the 21st century sensibilities. Thus, the term “retrofuturistic” is applied. The emphasis is on rhythmic, danceable cadence with a fabricated, computer basis, in which the human participation is cyborg-like, almost a mere option, in support of the over-arching electronic entity. Calling it “human” seems to me to be ironic use of the term.

The opening performer on the first night was Glitbiter, a one-woman project of gifted vocalist Florence Bullock from L.A. Those who arrived early were treated to original and mesmerizing beats, ethereal melodies and operatically-trained vocals as well as the appealing stage presence of a stunningly attractive young woman. This set the stage for one spectacular band after another.

Korine’s androgynous look brought a New Romantic flavor to the Synthwave style and the Encounter was admirable in their mastery of the electronic instrumentals. Brooklyn-based Aeon Rings, just back from conquest of Wave Gotik Treffen, brought ferocious energy and dance-burner intensity to their performance. Protector enhanced the theatrical aspect by wearing a flying saucer-like helmet with laser light adornment that went further in emphasizing the predominance of sci-fi and computer electronics over flesh-and-blood participation.

[caption id="attachment_2763" align="alignnone" width="520"] Protector


Over the course of the evening, Neoslave, Betamaxx and headliner Timecop1983 turned in mind-blowing and energizing performances of equally enjoyable sight, sound and rhythm.

Time constraints made it impossible to attend the second day of Human Music 2, but reports are that the nine-band line-up of groups from the US, France and Mexico met with equal success and were as well received as those of the first night.

NEW DARK AGE – MAY 2018

Filed under: Goth Stuff,live music,New Dark Age Monthly — doktorjohn May 23, 2018 @ 9:21 am

COVENANT AT QXT’S


Covenant at QXTs
April 13, 2018
Newark NJ

This world famous electronic group performed to a packed house at QXT’s, the local venue with an international following on Friday April 13 in support of their latest album, “The Blinding Dark,” their ninth studio album. Tracing their origins to a collaboration of three teenagers in a medium-size town in Sweden, Covenant consists of vocalist Eskill Simonsson, Daniel Jonasson and keyboardist Daniel Myer. The band stands foremost amidst the dance club genre termed EBM, characterized by heavy, relentless and irresistible cadence. What makes Covenant stand out is its cold, sci-fi and existential themes linked to compelling, danceable rhythms.

The opening bands deserve special mention. From Elizabeth NJ, the synthwave artist, Encounter was purely (electronic) instrumental and mesmerized the audience with dark melodies and intense rhythms. They were followed by Korine, a delightfully sad, synth pop duo from Philadelphia who will soon be embarking on a nationwide tour with Timecop1983 an Aeon Rings.

Covenant blasted on stage after an eerie sci-fi-tinged intro – an excerpt, “Death of Identity” from their new album. Taking the stage, they opened the live performance with “Like Tears in Rain” then hit “Bullet,” “Ritual Noise,” “We Stand Alone” and “Call the Ships to Port” (not in that order) to recall a representative sampling from their past hits. “Sound Mirrors”, “Morning Star” and many others from the new album were performed in what turned out to be over a two-hour set, that was understandably received with vociferous approval by the sellout crowd, although a few were heard to voice disappointment over the failure to include “Dead Stars.”

This was the exclusive New York-area appearance by Covenant on its national tour of the USA. The takeaway is that QXTs has become increasingly identified as the local club which hosts performers of international stature.

[Below is the page as it appears in the Mat 16, 2018 issue of the Aquarian]

Ministry
Wellmont Theater
Montclair NJ

Ministry is recognized as one of the most ferocious and foundational post-punk bands, initially founded as a dance-oriented, synthpop group in 1981, but in the late 80s and early 90s converted into an especially radical version of industrial. Album releases during that era went gold (selling 500,000 copies) and platinum (1,000,000 copies). Many of us developed our love of and taste for the genre with immersion in Ministry’s output. Like many groups in the industrial scene, Ministry has had a huge number of in-and-out musicians and production team members, has collaborated with a vast array of other bands and has participated in numerous festivals. Al Jourgenson remains the consistent vocalist and frontman.

Montclair NJ was the 21st stop on a twenty-six US city tour that began in CA and the Pacific Northwest before crossing the country to our area and then on down to the South. The main focus has been the 2018 release, the “Amerikkant” album., the theme of which is – like much of Ministry’s output – leftist and anarchist politics with a particular focus on the presidency of Donald Trump.

We missed the first opener, but caught the second performer, neofolk vocalist Chelsea Wolfe and her goth-metal band whose morose, mournful, symphonic music was well-received by the audience.

Headliners Ministry are noted for their visuals and graphics in addition to their creative and complex use of every imaginable audio, electronic, distortional, and sampling technique to enhance both their music and their message. A giant screen went up behind the band setup and displayed the band’s name, having appropriated the encircled “A” symbolizing anarchy, but doubling the letter within the circle to change it into an “M” to serve as the initial letter of their name.

The opening song , “Twilight Zone” featured sounds and visual images from the famous TV series, intermingled with distorted voice-over and crackly videos of our current president, cutting into melodious and bombastic industrial metal and Jourgenson’s raspy vocals. quite convincingly portraying Trump as both looney and malignant.

The pace picked up in the next piece, “Victims of a Clown,” with the participation of Fear Factory’s Burton C. Bell on stage. Both songs are from the new album. Next up, the frenetic “Punch in the Face” from their next to last album captured the band’s signature sound from the 90s and seemed to be an endorsement of personal violence and was followed by “Senor Peligro,” a pure speed metal piece reminiscent of “Jesus Built My Hotrod.” A boost to conspiracy theories was the mission of rapid-paced “Lies, Lies, Lies” which also hearkened back to previous Ministry’s classic industrial sound. It was followed by “Rio Grande Blood, “ the third of three consecutive tracks from the 2006 album of that name. In it, images of George W. Bush make him the target of Ministry’s contempt.

Then it was back to the current album, “Amerikkkant” for “We’re Tired of It,” “Wargasm” which compares war to sex, and “Antifa,” a paean to anarchism in opposition to authoritarianism. What do we want? Violence! When do we want it? Now,” was the repeated chant in this intentionally offensive track.

To the joy of everyone in the audience, what followed next was a medley of classics: “Just One Fix,” “NWO,” “Thieves” and “So What?”
After a short break they returned with an encore, “Bad Blood” from the soundtrack of movie “The Matrix”.

Despite all the noise and chaos, Ministry manages to captivate with actual melodious hooks, monumental arrangements and mesmerizing rhythms, especially live. It is impossible to report on all the indescribable sights, sounds and special effects, both audible and visible during this extraordinary show which is definitely in the long tradition of Ministry’s live and recorded music and videos, but enhanced to a new, even higher level through today’s technology.

Skeletal Family at the Red Party

Goth Icons

Filed under: Goth Stuff,My Art,Uncategorized — doktorjohn April 23, 2018 @ 1:30 pm

The 2017 Series “Goth Icons” – a rogue’s gallery of fine characters who are admired in the Goth scene.

CAN YOU NAME THEM ALL?


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