New Dark Age – March 2018

Nights Out

Sun Feb 18

Dancer at Procession

Sunday night need not be a stay-at-home and vegetate in front of the boob tube night. At least one Sunday per month can be salvaged by attending the uber-Goth dance night called Procession held in Manhattan’s Soho, at Home Sweet Home on Chrystie St.
Deejays Joe Hart and Mark Cage Knight host this monthly event that draws a crowd of black-clad locals and out-of-towners. Doors open around 10 p.m., and the festivities last into the wee hours. Home Sweet Home has been renovated, but not actually spiffed up since the last time New Dark Age attended about a year ago. A previously broken floor has been repaired, so there are no longer any puddles of condensation, but the cement pavement remains charmingly—er—wavy.

This night the music agenda began with DJ Joe Hart in the booth, followed by Mark. Mesmerizing, irresistible dance tracks, many from newer, more obscure bands prevailed at the outset. It was a distinct pleasure to hear selections by Ladytron and by Turkish darkwavers, She Past Away and to see those selections energize the dance floor. There was no neglect of great classics like “Isolation” by Joy Division and “She’s in Parties” by Bauhaus, nor was there a shortage of Depeche Mode or Sisters of Mercy. The crowd included stunningly beautiful models of goth grooming and fashion in ghastly as well as clerical attire.

The atmosphere is still dank and dungeon-like at Home Sweet Home. Disturbing video images flicker on a peeling-paint-surfaced brick wall. Vicious-looking taxidermy specimens are still present, and the bar is illuminated by kitschy chandeliers. The restrooms are cleanly and serviceable, but the feel of the place remains that of a dive bar where all conventions and inhibitions go out the window, or – more appropriately in this space – down the drain. The gothic, punk and industrial clientele wouldn’t have it any other way.


Sun Feb 18

Flyer for Stimulate Valentines Blood Massacre

Xris Smack of Mindswerve Studios and STIMULATE hosted a Valentines celebration titled “Valentines Blood Massacre” at the Delancey, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, taking over all three floors in consideration of the Monday holiday that was to follow. Besides presidents’ birthdays they were celebrating beautiful-but-bad Ashley Bad’s and that of DJ Cliff Cage. What’s more, the party was livened by the presence and participation of NY Fetish Tribe who conducted, well, fetish play including suspension on the top(third) floor of the venue.

Entertainment was by ZGRT and Hot Pink Satan. Deejays included Xris Smack himself, Paradox, Annabel Evil Zvetschka, JeffO Bang and Johanna Constantine.

Stimulate is a recurring performance-and-dance entertainment night and will be holding seven more events in the city, including their 10 Year Anniversary in September; Halloween, near the end of October; Black Friday in November; and the Triple-XXXmas Ball in December. The schedule is easily accessed on Facebook and their website or by contacting Xris Smack.


QXT’s Cure Tribute Night

Fri March 2

DJ Ash (left) and DJ Damian Plague (right)

Periodically, QXT’s, the all-alternative music club in Newark NJ runs a special night dedicated to – or in tribute to – a great artist or band. On March 2, the night of the nasty nor’easter, the theme was “The Cure Party.” Few is any bands in the alternative scene can claim the significance, the devoted following or the unparalleled recognition that the Cure commands.

Up on the main floor DJs Ash and Damian poured forth the hits by this celebrated band and similar artists from their heyday. Siouxsie, the Smiths and Joy Division tracks were interspersed with beloved works of the Cure including – but by no means limited to – “Lovesong,” “The Walk,” “Hot Hot Hot,” “Lullaby” and the monumental “A Forest.”

Downstairs in Area 51, DJs Mykill Plague and Wintermute churned out industrial pandemonium with the likes of Eisbrecher’s “This is Deutsch” in the aptly-designed techno-industrial environment installed by diesel punk artist CharleSilas Garlette.

Over in the Crypt, DJ Helixx enhanced the gloom of this shadowy cavern with dark dance tracks by the Sisters of Mercy, Peter Murphy and London After Midnight.

Considering the inclement weather, the turnout was good, owing to the zealous following of QXT’s and the appeal of a theme night filled with sounds of the most revered of all alt-rockers, the Cure.



Sat March 3

Dance floor at Necropolis

Father Jeff’s big-draw, monthly dance night takes place on the first Saturday of each month at Windfall. This installment of the venerable New Wave/Dark Dance party is the spiritual and cultural descendent of the foundational event Necromantic, Father Jeff’s early entrant into the NYC goth event cycle. His stand-up crew of deejays included Patrick, Templar and Aengel. As always, it was $10 at the door, $8 with pre-distributed flyer.

This special night as featured CD giveaways of last year’s Empire Hideous’s “Remixes Through Time,” a variety of sweet desserts by Annabel Fagan and crafted soaps and the like by Kitty.

Mandana manned the gate, Gerard was absent behind the bar, but Julia bravely endeavored on. Hilda cheerfully handled coats and Chris Savo oversaw the efficient running of things with his usual charm and hospitality. Songs heard included Siouxsie’s “Happy House,” “Transmission” by Joy Division and “I Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash.


The Red Party
“Welcome to the Reptile House”

Saturday March 10

A special edition of the Red Party dedicated in tribute to the Sisters of Mercy and billed as the 10th anniversary of “Welcome to the Reptile House” took place at Mercury Lounge on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The name comes from the second independent EP by the Sisters of Mercy, released on 12″ vinyl in May 1983. Never released as a stand-alone CD, it was included on the “Some Girls Wander by Mistake” collection.

Representative couples at the Red Party

There was live performance at midnight by Rhode Islanders Way Out, a hard rocking and appropriately paired Post Punk trio. A fabulous night of dance and socializing went on into the night. We left around 2 a.m., but then Daylight Savings kicked in, tele-transporting those who stayed later straight into the mid-morning of Sunday March 11.
The band Way Out performing live at the Red Party

During the dance sessions before and after the live performance, videos of Andrew Eldritch and the Sisters of Mercy played silently on the back screen. DJs Sean Templar, Jarek Zelazny & James David spun out Goth and Deathrock, finding time during the early festivities to play “Sex on Wheelz” by My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, and “Bad Trash” by Switchblade Symphony. I estimate that every third song played was by the Sisters of Mercy, which is – let’s face it – the best band to dance to.

Mandana Banshee (left) and Sean Templar (right)

Celebrities present at this Red Party included Ana Vice, Xris Smack, Ashley Bad, Paradox were joined by the usual suspects who will remain nameless at this time.


“Desenstized Parallels”


Cleopatra Records

March 2

Album cover art “Desensitized Parallels”

North Jersey-based Industrial duo, Xentrifuge has released “Desensitized Parallels,” a new album – their third – on Cleopatra Records.
Ten tracks are contained in this all-platforms release, each in its own way fulfilling the reputation of Xentrifuge for harsh, techno-goth dance music. Many a track will start slowly, then inevitably will pick up the pace as increasingly complex percussion beats will speed things toward a frenzy. Angry, hissing vocals allude to “darkest decay” and “nothing to believe in.”

Some tracks feature ethereal, minor key string melodies that contrast but integrate with electro-mechanical, rhythmic percussion. One example is track seven, “Unknown Divine.” A couple of tracks proceed in jerking, start-and-stop rhythms, but generally the cadences are steady, mechanized and relentless. The eighth track plays off the pronunciation of its title “N.M.E.”

The ninth track, “Circles of Dust” employs synthetic, erratic arpeggios that mingle along with rapid, repetitive percussive beats that intervene.

This album, like previous work by Xentrifuge succeeds in creating an alternate reality of a deliciously dismal, sci-fi world, driven by electronics and sunk in pessimism. The grim lyrics are poetic, carefully chosen and artfully composed. Their message is delivered not in full-throated vocals but in a raspy, theatrical whisper – as if in desperate protest by a dehumanized, computer-like being. I only wish that it were easier to discern the lyrics by close listening.

In any event, these tracks and this album are available from many sources. Several tracks can to be viewed in creatively visual Youtube videos. The album can be obtained from Bandcamp, Cleopatra records and various internet sources.


Grant Wood and “American Gothic”
Whitney Museum of American Art March 2 – June 10, 2018

“American Gothic” with a few parodies

“American Gothic”, is the most recognizable of American works of art, painted in 1930 by 39 year-old Midwesterner Grant Wood. It portrays a serious, no-nonsense farmer and – contrary to popular misconceptions – his daughter, not wife – as icons of America’s traditional agrarian roots. It is the centerpiece of an exhibition at the Whitney down in Manhattan’s Meat-Packing District, where it is surrounded by nearly 120 of his works that extol the charm, beauty and character types of Wood’s midwestern world. His accurate, low-key portraits are starkly realistic and capture the honest simplicity of people from the American heartland, including a telling self-portrait and one of the artist’s mother (shown nearby).

Grant Wood’s Self-portrait (left) and mother (right)

By contrast, Wood’s farm landscapes offer bird’s eye views of idealized, fantasy dreamscapes that are studies in curvaceous three-dimensionality.

Typical Grant Wood landscape

The exhibition clearly demonstrates the supreme artistry of this master artist. Most importantly, it shows that Grant Wood was definitely not a “one-hit wonder,” but excelled in all aspects of his art and his craft. Monumental stained glass designs and found-object pieces are on display along with stunning paintings in every medium. The iconic portrayal of the farmer and his daughter is so powerful, however, that it will overshadow all the rest of Grant Wood’s work for the foreseeable future. A tiny sample of the countless parodies inspired by “American Gothic” is shown nearby.

Goth Culture/Literature

Revisiting Frankenstein
“Victor Frankenstein is the Real Monster” – or –
“Mary Shelley’s Misunderstood Masterpiece Turns 200”
By Ronald Bailey

Boris Karloff’s portrayal of Universal Studio’s version of Frankenstein’s Monster

Science correspondent Ron Bailey has an important 5-page essay in the April issue of Reason Magazine asserting that complete distortions have been imposed by the innumerable retellings of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel. In the original book, Frankenstein’s creature was anything but a monster. At 8 feet tall, with “beautiful features,” more agile, “able to [bear] the extremes of heat and cold” and far more intelligent than human beings, the creation is wantonly abandoned by Dr. Frankenstein and meets with uncomprehending revulsion despite these favorable traits. This turns him to a life of vengeance and violence. It was by the irrational revulsion of mankind and by Dr. Frankenstein’s irresponsible behavior that his creature was turned into a thing of horror.

When Mary Shelley’s cautionary tale of irrationality and irresponsibility got inverted, Frankenstein’s creature was portrayed as monstrous. This began in an 1823 play and continued through some 400 movie adaptations that, contrary to Mary Shelley’s proposition, render a narrative of dangerous and uncontrolled science. Countless spin-offs have further reinforced the slanderous notion that science is immoral, out-of-control and meddles in things that should be “reserved for God.”

This meme, Bailey asserts, has poisoned the popular discourse against advances in science and technology that offer the promise of immense good for mankind. He cites historical opposition to artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, cloning, egg donation, gene splicing, recombinant DNA, disease resistant biotech crops, vaccines and the potential to delete disease genes from humans as ongoing scientific endeavors that can benefit individuals and populations at large. He points out the example of genetically engineered strains of rice that are made to produce precursors to Vitamin A so as to prevent blindness in developing countries. Childless couples and families burdened with serious genetic diseases might be relieved of certain ailments through gene manipulation in the future.

But these advances often meet with what Ron Bailey sees as knee-jerk opposition and irresponsible revulsion from activist opponents. Those who seek to hinder such efforts do so mainly on moral grounds. That, in his opinion, deprives individuals and populations of potential benefits that newer technologies can afford them. Bailey insists that the lesson of Frankenstein is not about the peril of science loosing a monster upon the world, but about the danger of failing to recognize and nurture new technologies that can benefit mankind.

February 2018 New Dark Age

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,Live Music,New Dark Age Monthly,Recorded Music,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn February 21, 2018 @ 11:01 pm

First, the actual pages as they appear in the Aquarian, probably too small to read here, but text will appear below:

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Nights Out

Late January and early February offered nightclub goers plenty of events to attend. Those within striking distance of Brooklyn attended DJ Cyclonus‘s night, Arkham and saw a return of DJ Jose Francis. The setlists which covered everything from Ian Hunter to Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails to Covenant and Project Pitchfork while classic horror movies played on the main screen as well as the brick wall including “The Shining” and “Devil Takes Five.”

DJ, writer and historian Andi Harriman¹s Synthicide, a monthly Thursday EBM night at Bossa Nova Civic Club in Brooklyn, was held Feb 1, hosting ­ as is the mission of this project – a group of deejays that might not always have a platform to spin their magic, namely Squarewav, Rexx Arkana, Zvetschka along with the erudite promoter herself.

QXT’s So80’s

Jan 26, 2018

Newark NJ

Every 2nd and last Friday of the month QXT¹s, the metro-area¹s singularly dedicated alternative dance club holds an 80s night called “So80¹s” following their weekly Happy Hour Karaoke. DJs Ash and Damian Plague play every danceable genre of music from the 1980s in the upstairs, main floor. On this “So80’s” night the theme was nostalgia, with hours of such iconic remnants of that era as Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Relax” and Talk Talk’s “It’s My Life.” Also heard were “Old” Ministry’s “Everyday is Halloween,” Gary Numan’s “Cars” and Flock of Seagulls’ “I Ran.”

The moving image of Molly Ringwold in cinema classic ³Pretty in Pink² played silently on the big screen and was conducive to transporting the dancers on the utterly packed floor back to three decades ago, when the whole world of music seemed to have moved in a new direction. VJ TM5 curated the nostalgic visuals.

Meanwhile, down in Area 51, special guest DJ Stalagmike of Defcon at the famous Pyramid alternated with DJ Mykill Plague playing industrial powerhouse tracks such a Combichrist’s “This S— Will F— You Up” to a crowd of serious pavement pounders. Eerie electronic wall designs in unworldly hues outlined their animated silhouettes as fabulous beams of laser light cut wildly through the darkness of this post-apocalyptic vault. DJ Victrola in the Crypt – the other downstairs hall – played classic goth, darkwave and alternative tracks.

Iron Garden 3rd Anniversary

QXT’s ­ Iron Garden

Jan 26, 2018

Newark NJ

Iron Garden held a celebration of its third anniversary earlier in the evening, just prior to opening Area 51 to dancers. This is a NJ-based organization providing a social setting for discrete, mature denizens of the dark demimond calling themselves “Nightkind,” and their various allies in the pagan, vampire, witch, and other esoteric communities. The idea is to promote and provide conducive haven for those pursuing creative lifestyles which include metaphysics, philosophy, arts, poetry and scholarship of various sorts.

Iron Garden¹s founder – Primus and Matriarch ­ Madame X, of the House of Dreaming, is a major figure in all aspects of nightlife and related culture in the Greater NY/NJ dark scene, and she opened the meeting with a discussion aimed at orienting participants to the terminology of covens, houses and guilds that they may encounter in this subculture. This was followed by invocation and triumphant celebration of the anniversary led by host Jabbar Martin in his role as Trismegistus Aga Khan, a title signifying his literacy in sacred texts.

The walls were decorated with the artistically designed announcement flyers from the past three years’ Iron Garden events. Various consecrating ceremonies and the yearly renewals of citizenship in Iron Garden took place. Entertainment was provided by violin virtuoso Liz Gonzalez who treated those in attendance to masterful performance of pieces by Bach, Irish reels and original compositions.

Ward 6

January 27 saw another iteration of the long-standing, recurring, Fr. Jeff Ward dance party, Ward 6. As ever of late, it was held at the upscale bar/dance hall Windfall on east 39th St in NYC.

Besides Jeff’s and collaborator Patrick¹s providing the very best selection of New Wave, Dark Wave and Industrial tracks to which to dance, this night they hosted a solo performance of Caroline Blind of the band Sunshine Blind. Starting around midnight, she took the stage and performed her set of folksy acoustic Goth rock, relying on guitar strumming as the only accompaniment to her extraordinarily beautiful voice. Opening with a blues-inflected version of “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Caroline proceeded into a number of original songs from back when Sunshine Blind performed regularly as a group which included Caroline’s then-husband, now occasional collaborator, Charlie as well as members of Faith and the Muse. To wrap up the well-received set, Caroline concluded with the late Dolores Riordan’s tour de force, the Cranberries hit “Zombie,” that left the crowd satisfied.

The rest of the night was spent dancing to the likes of the Cure and Cold Cave, whose little-played “Confetti” was a welcome rarity. The party was just heating up with Apoptyma Berserk when we left a little after 1:30, with a who¹s who of NYC night scene celebrities still pouring in. Among the notables in attendance were (in no particular order) Sean Templar, his lovely wife Mandana Banshee at the booth, Erik Aengel, Sir William Welles, Matt V Christ, Joe Hart, Jane “Paradox” Smith, reliable clubber Jorge Obando, DJ Arsenal, Annabelle Evil and Photographer Dario Valdivia, accompanied by lovely veteran of the music scene, Roe Paolino. Coat check girl Hilda was looking as beautiful as we¹ve ever seen her.

Some strikingly beautiful “Goth girls” (“girl” is not a put down!) remain unfortunately nameless at the time of this report. Likewise there were some well-groomed and smooth dancing Goths of the male persuasion whom we never get to know by name. Bill, beret-and-pony-tail wearing, perpetual and omnipresent pencil artist Bill, sat drawing images of the participants of Ward 6 by the illumination provided by his small flashlight. Gerard and Julia saw to it that everyone¹s thirst was quenched, and Chris Sabo saw to the details of running things and house hospitality.

Necropolis Feb 3

Jeff Ward¹s other long-standing dark dance event was packed almost to Windfall¹s capacity on Saturday night Feb 3. The same staff and many of the same attendees as Ward 6 from the preceding Saturday, one week earlier. First-up DJ Sean Templar, had earlier that evening attended the Town Hall appearance of Norwegian group Wardruna whose music would seem to resurrect the medieval, runic sounds of ancient Scandinavia with ribcage-rattling, vibrating percussion and ominous, vocal duets.

Never one to get stuck with musical cliches, Sean enriched the setlist with “Helvegen” by Wardruna and with an early play of “Hate Us and See If We Mind,” a seriously powerful piece by brilliant experimental neofolk group, Rome. Both Wardruna and Rome have met with spectacular success at Castle Party in Poland, I can attest first-hand.

Host DJ Jeff and regular DJ Erik Angel made their contributions to keep the dance floor activated with the likes of Wolfsheim, Chameleons UK, Sisters of Mercy and the Psychedelic Furs.

High-powered intellectuals huddled at the bar were overheard discussing the philosophical controversies of Nietzsche and Hegel as the music played on.

The Red Party Feb 10

A special edition of the monthly Red Party took place Feb 10 at NYC’s Mercury Lounge to celebrate the weekend closest to St. Valentine’s Day, called the 10th Annual “Love Will Tear Us Apart” St. Valentine’s Ball. Featured were a night of tragic love songs mainly in the dance category.
DJs Annabelle Evil and Sean shared the booth with an assist by Matt V Christ. DJ Jarek was scheduled but hadn’t appeared by the time we left at around 2 a.m. Hospitality hostess Mandana Banshee circulated and took photos of the attendees, among whom were such celebrities as gorgeously decked out Kai Irina Hahn of The Sedona Effect and Ana Vice of Memento Mori. Xris Smack and the stunning-in-pink Ashley Bad made a late appearance.
Remorseful, romantic tunes such as “I Was Wrong” by the Sisters of Mercy played and the exceptionally dark dance floor was illuminated by a large, rotating, reflective disco ball that showered dim purple spots around the room creating an atmosphere of festive gloom.



Trisol Music

Project Pitchfork

The just-released new album by Project Pitchfork bodes well for the Goth/Industrial music scene in that this iconic band, no entering its 28th year and with sixteen prior albums under their belt has the creativity and ingenuity to produce yet another major work. Frontman and creator Peter Spilles has apparently taken inspiration from modern scientific concepts and applied that inspiration to the dark, rhythmic style of synthpop for which his group is famous.

“Akkretion” is presented as a 2-CD set with 15 tracks. The last four,- the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th – are remixes of four tracks earlier in the album. The eleventh is listed as a bonus track.

Science and science fiction as well as morbid philosophy play a role in setting the themes of this opus. The term “akkretion” in German ­ or “accretion” in English ­ is used to describe “the coming together and cohesion of matter under the influence of gravitation to form larger bodies,” i.e. the process of forming stars and planets.

Other tracks with suggestive titles include ³Gravity Waves² (just discovered in 2017), “The Collision,” “And the Sun Was Blue.”

The musical features are of course similar to what fans of Project Pitchfork have come to love and expect, namely well-defined, mesmerizing cadences, minor-key melodies and occasional, spacey, ethereal elements. On most tracks there is an intriguing introduction, followed by slowly accumulating beats until complex rhythms are formed, then Spilles’ hoarse, growling vocals, sometimes broached by spoken word narratives. The second track, “Good Night Death,” offers a peaceful, resolute acceptance of mortality.

“Akkretion” is a must-have set for fans of Germanic darkwave and represents the continuing growth and accomplishment of this exemplary representative of the genre.

Goth/Rock Art, Fashion & Culture

The Salons- “Dressing the Underground: Fashion for Subculture”

The Beauty Bar, NYC

January 25, 2018

Goth scene luminary and subculture historian Andi Harriman participated in a panel discussion hosted by Lady Aye of The Salons at Beauty Bar just off Union Square, “a series of learning and networking events dedicated to the history of beauty and fashion,” aimed largely at beauty-industry professionals. The topic of this night’s discussion was “Dressing for Subculture.”

Other panelists included Sonya Abrego, visiting assistant professor at The New School for design, who, in classic 40s pin-up style hairdo shed light upon hybrid rockabilly and mid-century fashion culture. Fashion designer and NYC nightlife legend Tobell von Cartier spoke about the evolving club scene styles that came and went, from grunge to the ascent of increasingly glamorous evening wear and over-the-top cosmetic application.

New Dark Age’s attention was focused on Ms. Harriman¹s presentation. Asked to define Goth culture, she offered the insightful “Three Ds,” namely Drama, Darkness and Death as foundational. She went on to point out the origin of Goth style in the era of British rockers and the punk scene. When questioned about the “cannibalization” of Goth style by mainstream entities such as Hot Topic, she further emphasized commitment to the dark music of 80s New Wave and paying homage to the creators of the scene to distinguish authenticity from poseur appropriation.

In tracing her roots, Ms. Harriman pointed out that she had emerged from a rather stultified, Southern background, but had become enraptured by the music of Depeche Mode and the discovery of the look of Goth on music videos. Her personal bio proved to be the most interesting topic covered that event.

There was much talk about the value of do-it-yourself attire in establishing the individual style in order to counteract the sameness imposed by mass production of clothes and accessories as available in mall outlets. The panel¹s overriding conclusion gleaned was that the underground fashion evolves by building upon rather than abandonment of preceding style.


January 25, 2018 marked the 40th anniversary of Joy Division’s debut performance under that name. Prior to that date, the quartet of Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris had performed under the name Warsaw. JD formed in 1976 by Sumner and Morris in a clumsy effort at emulating the Sex Pistols. Instead of continuing in the punk style of the Sex Pistols, with the drafting of vocalist Ian Curtis and bass player Peter Hook, the group launched the post-punk musical movement with its unconventional, slowed-down rhythms, amateurish command of the instruments and home-made synthesizers.

Joy Division is credited by many authorities on the subject as having been one of the two essential, post-punk bands to have spawned the genre of Goth Rock, the other being Bauhaus. Curtis – influenced by Jim Morrison of the Doors – gave voice to themes of darkness, pressure and crisis. Characterized by sparse, baritonal vocals, gloomy lyrics and a melodious bass line, Joy Division, is distinguished from the punk style by their use of electronics and by their emphasis on mood and expression rather than anger and energy.

Critically acclaimed – potentially the next Beatles – Joy Division was to tour the U.S. in 1980 when Curtis committed suicide on the eve departure.

The poignant sadness surrounding the brief life and untimely death of the band and its frontman mysteriously crystallized at that moment into a new musical genre and a new subculture built around darkness, introspection and death – that comes to us now, four decades later – and that we presently recognize as Goth.


Mark E. Smith
, singer and the only consistent member of Manchester based post-punk band The Fall, has died Jan 24, 2018 at the age of 60. One of the earliest and most influential British post-punk bands, noted for retaining the repetitive, guitar-driven feel of original, confrontational punk while expanding the musical and lyrical armamentarium with challenging topics and literate lyrics as well as creative musical originality.

The Fall released thirty-two studio albums, most recently, “The Fall Live in Manchester,” in January 2018 on Cherry Red. Sadly, they were set to tour the US for the first time in twelve years.

Jeremy Inkel, keyboardist and programmer of Front Line Assembly passed away on January 13th 2018 at the age of 34 due to complications from asthma. Inkel joined FLA in 2005 along with Jared Slingerland, and is credited with co-writing and producing the full length album Artificial Soldier.

July 2017 New Dark Age

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,live music,New Dark Age Monthly,Uncategorized — doktorjohn July 21, 2017 @ 9:41 pm


Blackthorn 51
Elmhurst, Queens NYC
June 24, 2017

Vampire Freaks, the large entertainment and specialty clothing organization regularly sponsors music events with a dark, futuristic theme, labeling such events Cybertron, connected—as it portrays itself—to the concept of the sci-fi oriented Transformers theme. Release of the motion picture “Transformers—The Last Knight,” served as an inspiration for the latest Cybertron, a night of dance music and live performances by three techno-industrial bands.

Doors opened at 9 p.m. at Blackthorn 51, a bar and performance venue that usually features heavy metal, situated deep in the heart of the borough of Queens. Our crew from New Dark Age was the first to enter, and we took note of the selections being aired by the assigned deejay—mainly electronic, goth and industrial, featuring Aesthetic Perfection, NIN, Manson and IAMX.

As the guests showed up, they presented an array of dark, sexy and elaborately attired fashionistas, predominantly black-clad, sporting leather, vinyl, metal spikes, two-toned stripes and high makeup. This was particularly true of the several dancers who had been engaged to entertain between band acts. Much focus was directed at one tall, statuesque beauty in a red wig who beguiled the crowd from her lofty place on stage. The room stood in awe when the gorgeous Ashley Bad made her grand entrance accompanied by famous impresario, DJ Xris Smack, who was eager to promote upcoming Stimulate events.

Several other celebrity deejays were present to spin dance tracks including Vampire Freaks’ own Jet VF himself, Matt V Christ, Annabelle Evil, and Shadownightz.


First up at 10 p.m. was the nasty, punk/industrial trio, DeathMaschine, that put on a powerful performance, with a ruggedly handsome vocalist, hovering over the crowd, naked from the waist up but for wrap-around shades and a leather, suspenders-like harness. He was accompanied by digital rhythm tracks, keyboards and by guitarists, one of whom served to also shower the stage with sparks off a metal grinder. The pounding beats and menacing, defiantly screamed lyrics were not for the faint-of-heart.


Next up at 11 p.m. came NJ-based, but internationally acclaimed harsh industrial duo, Xentrifuge, a rivethead-styled couple whose high-tech appearance is in accord with their robust aggro-tech sound. We were familiar with them because they had been selected as Fan Favorite at the recent Darkside of the Con this past spring. Severe and intensely colored lighting glared through an intermittently thick cloud to reveal the stunningly attractive pair. Black leather-clad and sporting shaved sides, Chris Xentrifuge took center stage to issue hissing, nihilistic vocals backed by his gorgeous better half Lisa Helen, who stood behind playing a keyboard and regulating the complex synthetic accompaniment consisting of catchy, mantra-like, repetitive melodies woven into hypnotic, mechanistic rhythms. Their set consisted of seven songs with titles like “Cerebral Ruins” and “Machine Winter,” which go a long way toward characterizing the motif of their style. They are perfectly suited for their next gig which will be to open for Stabbing Westward at the Gramercy this August.

Velvet Acid Christ

Finally, at midnight, headliners, Colorado-based techno-industrial trio, Velvet Acid Christ, came on stage. They performed for at least an hour and a half, touching on most of their popular repertoire of EBM, darkwave and techno while projecting videos on a backdrop screen showing everything from kaleidoscopic, geometric animations to cartoon images with sociopolitical messages. They dedicated one song to Fox News, although it was difficult to parse the lyrics. One can assume it was critical of the Right that Fox represents, since this is the take on politics that has become almost a cliché in the alternative music scene these days. The beautiful female vocalist who remains nameless on the website and VAC’s Facebook page, sang a song in German about “being a loser.”

Although one could detect a certain sameness to much of their signature sound, VAC’s total repertoire is quite large, standing at 10 or so albums under the Metropolis label, and includes a fair enough variety with captivating melodies and cadences to make for a great body of work suited for goth/industrial dance.


Northwell Health At Jones Beach Theater
Wantagh, NY
June 25, 2017

It is indeed a challenge and all-day commitment to trek out to Jones Beach given the unavoidable disaster that is traffic encountered when crossing from NJ to the outer reaches of Queens, NY. The stature of this industrial metal giant, however, compelled us to make the pilgrimage, knowing the band’s reputation for spectacular visuals to accompany their thrilling and spectacular musical performance.

The show commenced when giant numbers were projected onto a dark screen that shrouded the stage. The audience participated in a countdown beginning from “8” and ending with “1” and the Rammstein logo. With that, the recognizable, syncopated beat of “Ramm 4” burst from the suddenly illuminated stage, and at the same moment there was the explosion of multiple Roman candles into the sky over the heads of even those in the loftiest stadium seats at this open-air theater.

Next came the slow paced, guitar-driven “Reise Reise,” “Halleluja” in which the band accompanies with a falsetto chorus, then the rapidly paced “Zerstören (Destroy).” “Keine Lust (No Desire),” another heavily syncopated song, followed. Next was “Feuer Frei,” a galloping piece with lyrics that play on the two meanings of the word “Feuer” (fire) to denote both the heat of fire—of which there was plenty on and around the stage—and the verb “fire” meaning to shoot a gun. Eight more songs followed, including the hugely popular “Du Riechst So Gut (You Smell So Good),” “Links 2-3-4,” “Du Hast” and the uniquely stylized cover of the Depeche Mode classic, “Stripped.”

It was impossible to keep track of the many and mind-blowing visuals which included flames and smoke belching from the stage ceiling and floor, explosions issuing from two tall towers that straddled the ground level audience seating, clouds of sparkles and confetti, instrumentalists lifted aloft by stage devices, guitars and personnel that distributed smoke, flames and mighty explosions, and rockets that flew across the crowd to ignite blazes on the two aforementioned towers.

A brief intermission was held after “Stripped,” and then they returned with “Sonne (The Sun),” then the rather tedious, yet well recognized “Amerika,” and the harsh and cynical “Engel (Angel).” For the second time, the band members took their bows and the sad strains of “Ohne Dich (Without You)” closed the show.

Seated up high in the outer and upper tier of this gargantuan, 15,000-seat theater gave us a great vantage point from which to view the overall spectacle, but deprived us of being able to appreciate the fine details of the various costumes and theatrical personae of the performers on the distant stage. Two large “Jumbotron”-type screens that should have shown video projections of the stage performers sat dark and unused. This failure to accommodate the ten or so thousand spectators in faraway seats of this gargantuan theater was, in my opinion, inexcusable. At all recent outdoor concerts I have attended recently, excellent use of the jumbo screens allowed the entire audience to enjoy the visual details of the stage performance, which was in Rammstein’s case extremely essential to appreciation of the special effects and costumes.

One more pet peeve: Why, in a vast audience of attentive and devoted fans—who have paid good money and suffered through the inconveniences of travel—do a handful of inconsiderate and hyperactive morons find it necessary to remain standing throughout the performance, essentially ruining the experience for those seated directly in back of them?!

The Red Party

Mercury Lounge
Manhattan, NY
July 8, 2017

Saturday, July 8, saw a spectacular recurrence of the iconic dance, social and entertainment event Sean templar’s Red Party. Once again it was held at the Mercury Lounge on East Houston St., itself a kind of monument to the punk music scene in the greater NY/NJ region.

Speaking of punk, the live performance this night was provided by Argyle Goolsby and the Roving Midnight, an energetic and energizing punk group just back from an overwhelmingly successful stint at the worldwide Wave Gotik Treffen festival in Leipzig, Germany. Coming on shortly after midnight, Argyle Goolsby proved their credentials not only in the old school punk category, but suffused the music with an element of horror. Front man Steve Matthews, in white contacts that emphasized the deep, dark circles surrounding his ghastly eyes and sporting a variety of shocking masks, cavorted on stage with a variety of props and an amazing facility for levitating himself to upstage heights.

Argyle Goolsby

Besides terrifying the delighted crowd with such pogo-punk pieces as “The Brides,” “Spiders and Flies” and “The Uninvited,” this guitar-driven sextet showed themselves capable of changing the pace and performing a pleasant, but dark-themed ballad or two.

Queen bee of the social scene, Mandana Banshie, greeted guests as they arrived. At the merch stand was Rusted Autumn hawking one-of-a-kind jewelry and, of course, Argyle Goolsby’s latest CD, shirts, posters and the like. Host and impresario Sean Templar was present in force, spreading hospitality and warm welcome to old friends and newcomers alike. Ana Vice, famous for her role bringing the notorious Memento Mori night to the city for the past year and a half, was first up at the deejay board, providing a mix of irresistible death rock, goth rock and esoteric post-punk that kept the dance floor active. Sean and Jarek later took turns at the turntable.

Eye-candy was provided by a crowd of extravagantly gorgeous creatures of the night as documented in the nearby photos, and included such models of festive gloomy style as DJ Alex (Bela Lugosi) Zamora, Valefar Malefic and Luna Pallida. Special guest Myke Hideous, famous for his ’90s goth-metal project The Empire Hideous, was present accompanied by his beautiful fiancée, Kyly, and both enjoyed renewing acquaintances whom they rarely get to see, having relocated outside the metropolitan area.

The Museum Of Natural History

The most fascinating exhibition at New York’s Museum of Natural History is on mummies. Although mummification has been practiced in many and diverse parts of the world, and although mummification sometimes takes place naturally because of climate conditions, the focus here is on the highly developed methods of mummification involved in burial rites by two distinct civilizations: the Egyptian and the Peruvian.

It goes without saying that man has struggled mightily and pretty much in vain in his effort to deny the finality of death. In the case of these two cultures, whole technologies developed to create the illusion that the human form could be pretty much preserved and supplied with provisions after death. The Egypt and Peruvian practices of mummification were somewhat different, but both date back many thousands of years. Peruvian mummies dating back 7,000 years have been discovered, and the Egyptian practice began over 5,000 years ago.

Using today’s technology, particularly CAT scanning, scientists have been able to uncover much of the condition of the deceased, without disturbing the fragile and delicate condition of the bodies within adhesive, resin-caked linen wrappings. In many cases, the state of health, diet, lifestyle and family social structure has been pieced together by visually stripping away layer by layer with CAT scans, from the artistically painted wooden coffins, down through the layers of wrapping, then the skin, the bones and the remaining internal organs.

We learned that the brain and visceral organs were removed as part of the mummification process; the latter being preserved in sculpted ceramic jars. The brain was discarded as insignificant in the afterlife. Arthritis, tuberculosis, childbirth and childhood mortality were common. Bone and dental health were often poor. The teeth of Egyptians appeared to have been worn away by the sandy grit left over from grindstones that were used to mill flour into their bread.

Despite these sobering observations, what most stands out is their knowledge of anatomy, their refined dissection and chemical preservation methods, their masterful artistry in the handling and decoration of the bodies and coffins as well as the magnificent stone sarcophaguses in which the coffins were encased.

The Chinchorro of Peru and Chile started mummification thousands of years before the Egyptians. They painted their mummies and encased the head in clay, fashioning clay masks representing the dead person in an acceptable appearance. Few of these fragile masks are intact, but reproductions are on display at the museum. Some people kept mummies of deceased family members in their homes and brought them to festivals.

The Cult Of Victorian Mourning

Green-Wood Cemetery
Brooklyn, NY
June 10, 2017

The much acclaimed and sorely missed, now-defunct Morbid Anatomy Museum, lives on in spirit if not in its real life, brick-and-mortar existence. Leading figures from the former museum, including curator-author Joanna Ebenstein, antiquarian scholar and museum co-founder Evan Michelson, art historian and former museum librarian Laetitia Barbier and lecturer-teachers Stanley Burns M.D. and Karen Bachmann joined with others of like interests to present a program on the topic of rituals surrounding mourning in the Victorian era under the auspices of Green-Wood Cemetery’s events program. The program echoed the very first exhibition, “The Art of Mourning,” held in 2014 at the opening of at the Morbid Anatomy Museum.

Dating back to 1838 and designated a National Historic Landmark, Green-Wood is a treasure trove of magnificent monuments, mausoleums, markers and graves of the famous in a rural setting of surpassing beauty of landscape and architecture. It welcomes visitors and offers self-guided walking tours.

Laetitia Barbier giving opening remarks

The Chapel at Green-Wood

The symposium was held in the Chapel, a magnificent example of flamboyant Gothic style. Opening remarks were by art historian and author Laetitia Barbier, Harry Weil, Manager of Programs at Green-Wood and creative director of the museum, Joanna Ebenstein who welcomed the sold-out audience and set the tone for what was to follow. Evan Michelson and Karen Bachman, Professor in Jewelry Design at Fashion Institute, exhibited and spoke on the peculiar practice of weaving commemorative jewelry from samples of hair of the deceased.

Jessica Glassock of the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art presented the historic and highly specific attire worn during a widow’s period of mourning in the era from 1815-1915 in a slide show.

There was a casual interview with author and archivist Stanley Burns M.D., who talked about his lifetime of collecting historic photographs, including post-mortem photos and other topics from his 46 books and 1,100 articles written on related medical, military and cultural topics.

The most moving part was the aloud reading of letters of condolence from the Victorian era, and included poignant and eloquent examples from Abe Lincoln, Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens and others.

Readers with interests in gothic and morbid preoccupations are advised to visit Green-Wood Cemetery and to follow the Morbid Anatomy blogspot for future events.

February 2017 New Dark Age

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,New Dark Age Monthly — doktorjohn February 7, 2017 @ 1:38 am

February 2017 New Dark Age

Friday the 13th of January saw two noteworthy scene events in NYC. Christian Dryden’s recently reorganized band, the Ritualists performed a set of nine or ten original pieces plus a George Michael cover, “Father Figure,” at the Delancey under the Williamsburg Bridge. They opened with pop-sounding “Say Yes” off their EP, then moved into a piece with a Led Zeppelin-meets-Echo & the Bunnymen feel, and a third song which featured Dryden’s spectacular, soaring vocals over a tribal beat.

Christian Dryden leading The Ritualists

The set featured a variety of styles to please a variety of musical tastes including psychedelic, Brit-pop and Post-Punk with New Wave and pop hooks thrown in. They introduced a new piece to their repetoire, “She’s the Sun,” a 60s-sounding combination of psychedelic with New Wave , followed by the George Michael tribute, and ending with Dryden’s flagship anthem, “I’m With the Painted people,” a geographically well-situated ode to the Lower East Side’s glam and punk scene.


DJ Eisdriver and DJ Arsenal held the second edition of BodyLab, an industrial/EBM purist’s dance night in the dim backroom of the Parkside Lounge on East Houston where black-clad and boot-shod enthusiasts punished the dancefloor to the sounds of Skinny Puppy, Front 242 and Ministry as well as less-identifiable harsh electronics . Fascinating, yet disturbing music videos from the Cleopatra Records collection flicked silently of a large screen as backdrop visuals to the heavy-duty soundtrack curated by these two rivet-head deejays and late-arriving guest DJ Wendy Blackwidow, late of Philadelphia’s famous Assimilate night. Free giveaways included packaged CDs of techno-electronic music.

Inclement weather and hazardous driving conditions prevented us from attending birthday parties at QXTs for Damien Plague and Krys P. With apologies, New Dark Age extends very belated Happy Birthday greetings to both.


DJ Paradox (right) and admirer

The recurring alternative music party hosted by impresario Xris Smack was held on the eve of MLK Day, Sunday night, Jan. 15 jointly with a NYC-based alternative-lifestyle organization calling itself Fetish Tribe at Manhattan’s Lower East Side club, The Delancey. A Who’s Who of famous deejays from the metropolitan area including Sean Templar, Paradox, Eric Aengel, Michael T, and QXT’s birthday boy Damien Plague enlivened all three floors of this venerable nightclub, where dance spaces were available in the basement and main bar area on the ground floor levels.
For an extra $10, one had access to the third floor indoor garden where Fetish Tribe put on X-rated displays of “suspension” and more on gorgeous and lingerie-clad volunteers, the details of which I will leave to your imagination.
Denizens of NYC’s dark demimonde came in all kinds of transgressive attire and costumes, from old-school punk to bizarre outfits befitting the theme denoted in the event’s subtitle, “Wicked Winter Wasteland.” Notables of the scene, including William Welles, Ashley Bad (in a crème-colored latex body-suit), Athan Maroulis (Spahn Ranch and Noir) and Kai Irina Hahn (The Sedona Effect and Noir) were on hand.
Acclaimed tribute band Disorder packed the basement performance space at around 1 a.m. for a flawless set of Joy Division’s history-making, Post-Punk repertoire. Enthusiasm shown by the mixed audience of goths, punks and plain music-lovers has to be termed “over-the-top,” as lead singer Mike Strollo succeeded in capturing the earnest and anguished vocal style of the tragic Ian Curtis with masterful instrumental accompaniment.

Memento Mori

This last Thursday night of the month event continues to flourish under the auspices of deejays Ana Vice, Valefar Malefic, Mike Stalagmike (Defcon) and Bela Lugosi Alex. The creepily gorgeous décor of Bedlam, the bar at which it is held provides a unique and just right environment decorated with antique anatomical models and medical charts and a massive, mounted moose head. Artificial cobwebs are strewn about and hung from the numerous lamp-shaded wall sconces that provide conducive, dim lighting to the venue. Countless and various colored tea-lights everywhere – on the bar, on tables, lined up along baseboards – add a sense of dark glamour. Tatters of shrouds dangle from the ceiling in the he small, but sufficient, strobe-lit dance floor.
The musical selections vary with each of the deejays and can range from such obscurities as Cold Cave to such standards as Sisters of Mercy. Whether it’s Death in June or Ex-VoTo, attendees at Memento Mori are sure to have their taste in dark music not only broadened, but darkened!
This night we found Ana Vice, one of the original founders, opening the night from her statioin at the deejay booth. Charming and gorgeously attired/groomed Bela Lugosi Alex acted as a sort of host, entertaining guests with friendly conversation while both snapping and posing for photos alongside his better half, meta-beautiful Catgirl Morales. The Catgirl was just back from having been to North Dakota where she had visited to support the indigenous people movement, a cause with which she strongly identifies. To everyone’s delight, Catgirl had brought along her bewitching cousin, Sacramento Samantha, fresh from the West Coast, wide-eyed and enthusiastically touring New York and the East for the first time. Fabulously attired, statuesque Valefar Malefic floated about – preened as always like an androgynous vampire, the very epitome of Goth.
Besides bar seating, Bedlam also provides comfortable, upholstered booths where attendees can give their dance feet a rest and engage in intimate conversation. One on such booth we found DJ Mike Stalagmike entertaining some attentive members of the opposite sex early in the evening. Goth celebrity Aurelio Voltaire was observed huddling and snapping selfies with friends in another booth somewhat later in the evening.

Ward 6

Father Jeff Ward and DJ Patrick Cusack hosted the latest edition of this, the longest running Goth dance night in NYC on the last Saturday of January. Doors opened at 11 p.m. and attendees got the warm welcome by Mandana Banshee. Entry to what has become one of the all-time favorite venues for such events, Windfall, was $10 at the door, or $8 with flyer. The night takes its name from the Chekhov short story about an insane asylum, with a play on the main host’s surname.
By all accounts this was the most heavily attended event in this category at Windfall, drawing such scene luminaries as deejays Arsenal and Ash, William Welles, “Bent Nail Studio” artist CharleSilas Garlette and his significant other, Sirma as well as scene regular “Tragic Doll” Shirley Alvarez accompanied by a beautiful entourage of female family members.
Jackie Rivera had a stand set up where she hawked her crafted, morbid jewelry and accessories under the label “Jackie Hates You.” Pencil artist Bill sat in his usual station making candid sketches of those in attendance who danced before him or stood still long enough to be captured on drawing paper. Mixologists Gerard and Julia kept imbibers satisfied despite the seemingly overwhelming demand. The dance floor was crowded like never seen before owing to the draw of the extraordinarily appealing mix issued forth from the booth. Windfall manager Chris Savo took a moment out from his house duties to pose with Father Jeff for a photo.

New Recording
Peter Murphy
Bare Boned and Sacred

Metropolis Records

This latest Peter Murphy release is a compilation of the somewhat variable setlist presented during the recent “Stripped” tour, complete with audience reactions. The feeling of “live” is amplified and rendered unique by the fact that the “Stripped” tour was predominantly in the acoustic mode. Thus the versions heard on this CD come across as loud, clear and up front, similar to the way it was experienced by front-seat attendees at the concert performances themselves.

The first track is the acclaimed “Cascade,” the consistent opening track during this long “Stripped” tour, which begins with an electronic instrumental riff reminiscent of the dots and dashes of Morse code, onto which Murphy speaks in low mystical tones about “twilight.” Then it takes off into off into an irresistible, rhythmic set of arpeggios and a powerful, melodious song.

The second track, “Secret” was less frequently presented during the tour, heard also on “The Secret Bees of Ninth,” a 6 song EP, and is played with Murphy’s self-accompaniment, strumming on an acoustic guitar plus thje backing of a solo piano. “All Night Long” is performed in a style that all fans will find delightfully familiar, but “Marlene Dietrich’s Favourite Poem” gets a novel and innovative treatment as far as the accompaniment, while the vocals are faithful to the original.

Just as he did on the tour, Murphy pays emotion-laden tribute to David Bowie with “Bewlay Brothers” on the next track. Then the acoustic guitar proves especially apt as accompaniment to “A Strange Kind of Love,” because of the measured pauses between widely spaced lyrical lines.

“The Rose” off the “Lion” album gets a fuller instrumental backing on the following track in keeping with Murphy’s fuller, soaring vocals. The high point for Bauhaus fans on this album, as during the live shows, is the “Bauhaus Medley” of minor key masterpieces that begins with “King Volcano,” runs through “Kingdom’s Coming” and ends up with “Silent Hedges.”

“Never Fall Out” was frequently performed during the tour, but we who attended the late night performance in NYC didn’t get to hear it, so the CD provides an opportunity to enjoy this piece off “Ninth” in stripped-down style with mere guitar strumming accompaniment and some subtle male vocal back-ups.

“Gaslit” off of “Ninth” was performed at virtually every stop on the “Stripped” tour and serves well as the setlist draws toward a beautiful climax, just before “Lion” – also missing from both NY City Winery sets – leads to the final entry on this album that was not part of in the “Stripped” tour setlist,, the languid, mystical, Near Eastern hymn, “Your Face” from the 2002 album, “Dust.”

This album is a must for Peter Murphy/Bauhaus fans. Although many of the titles will already be in their collections, they will hear them sung with his voice now thoroughly mature as never before in – as we say – “close up and personal” versions Close listening will reproduce the experience of witnessing it in intimate proximity to the artist, with just enough instrumentals to highlight his rich vocal style.


The Whitney Museum of American Art

The first week of February was the last chance to see the mind-bending and dazzling video/light-show exhibit called Dreamlands at the Whitney in NYC’s Meat Packing district. Large format screens showed everything from actual 1950s Pacific nuclear bomb tests to slo-mo images of glittering, costumed characters, to human puppets and psychedelic patterns. Here there were imaginative flashing neon signs and there, rooms full of competing screens with films, slides and colorful images to hypnotize viewers. A sampling of images are shown in the Aquarian edition.

The Metropolitan Museum

Max Beckmann

Self-Portraits of Max Beckman

This venerable mother ship of art had two exhibits of interest to the Goth crowd. Upstairs was a retrospective on Max Beckmann, 20th century artist from Leipzig, whose success in his Weimar Germany was short-circuited by the rise of Nazism, forcing him to emigrate to Amsterdam and then later, New York, where he continued his career as an acclaimed Expressionist painter, a label he thoroughly rejected.

Bird’s Hell – Max Beckman (1938)

When he wasn’t painting introspective self-portraits, he often produced grotesque, sometimes distorted images of his wife Quappi and some seductive women as well as puzzling tableaux of people engaged in casual violence.

Masterworks – Unpacking Fashion

Downstairs in the Anna Wintour Costume Center, the Met put on a display of sixty, chronologically arrayed fashion masterworks, from the 18th Century through the present, with an emphasis of design and materials. What we found fascinating from our particular point of view, was the presence of numerous works with a transgressive, in-you-face attitude. I’d like to see some of these outfits, shown nearby, at the next Goth gala, Endless Night or Dracula’s Ball. Some of the frankly absurd shoe designs reminded me of footwear that might have been featured in fetish mags.

Like to see these at the next Endless Night Vampire Ball

Punk ain’t (comp[letely) dead yet

What everyone’s wearing at the Annual Fetish Ball

Not exactly “sensible footwear”

An absolute “must” for the Anti-Valentine’s Ball

December 2016 New Dark Age

Filed under: Goth Stuff,live music,New Dark Age Monthly,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn December 8, 2016 @ 3:50 am

Layout 1


Swedish Shock-rockers Ghost performed a 15 song set at the King’s Theater in Brooklyn on Saturday night Nov 12, which served as unofficial “pre-party” to The Red Party in Manhattan, inasmuch as a large contingent on NYC Goths were in attendance at the former concert before heading over to the latter dance club (More about this below).

This horror metal group is characterized by two features. First, they affect a Satanic routine, dressed in devil masks or monks’ hooded robes, except the frontman who is attired as a kind of anti-Pope, wearing a bishop’s headdress and vestments, topped with skull-face make-up. The band members maintain personal anonymity, but the frontman calls himself Papa Emeritus III, and the tour, of which this was the final stop, is termed “Popestar.” The other outstanding feature of this band is the exceptionally melodious quality of the music, a break with the metal tradition of minimizing melody among the progeny of Black Sabbath.

Photo by Dan Ambrose

Photo by Dan Ambrose

They started their set with some mournful chants creating a creepy, church-like atmosphere. They moved then to a rapidly-paced traditional rock piece called “Square Hammer” featuring a driving beat. The group has been around since 2008, but tonight’s selections were mainly off their 2015 album “Meliora.” Many of their songs have Latin names in dubious imitation of Roman Catholic liturgy. Much of their set is as melodious and beautiful as something by Boston or Foreigner in the 70s, but with decidedly minor key, power chord accents. They stepped out of the rock formula many times with eerie, ghostly pieces, or during bridges within heavy metal hymns. At the end of highly varied, wide-ranging musical set, they encored an “audience join in” choral anthem called “Monstrrance Clocks.” Those with transportation and freedom to do so, headed over to The Mercury lounge in Manhattan’s Lower East Side for the monthly Red Party.

The Red Party

The monthly event was lifted to new heights on Saturday Nov. 12 by the appearance of The Sedona Effect, electro-industrial project of exotic diva Kai Irina Hahn. Deejays Sean Templar, host, and Joe Hart, guest, warmed the audience from 11 pm to midnight with a connoisseurs’s mix of goth and darkwave, which included, besides the usual Sisters of Mercy standards, but a respectful inclusion of several tracks by Leonard Cohen, closing the night with his “Chelsea Hotel #2.”

Even watching Kai arrange the stage for her quintet was riveting as the statuesque diva flitted from one musician’s station to another in her feathered headdress and gorgeous outfit like a force of nature or a regal presence establishing her realm. The set began with a “Evolve Devolve” a slow, ponderous ode, heavy on percussion and bass. It was then we noticed that Kai was performing while entwined by her faithful and sometime restless, live boa, Loki who twisted frequently to gaze lovingly at his mistress.The pace changed to rapid with the second number, rousing anthem, “Cross the Line,” off her introductory CD.

Kai Irina Hahn of The Sedona Effect

Kai Irina Hahn of The Sedona Effect

“Delicate Silence” followed, featuring hissing, whispered vocals paired with those of keyboardist Nicole Eres. In the middle of her set, Kai gave us the theatrical “Gloomy Sunday,” in which inverted arpeggios on synthesizer and a plodding,, relentless cadence created a feeling of madness and anguish. With the 6th selection, “Ghost,” Kai took to the keyboard herself and showcased her wide-ranging and melodious vocal command, as she paired in duet, this time with guitarist Phyzal Alhammdani.

Twice during the performance, Kai graciously called attention to her accompanists, introducing each by name. Eventually she passes off the boa, Loki whose weight must surely have been somewhat of a strain, even for Kai’s distinctly stacked, feminine physique.

The last two songs, “I Burn” and “I Lose Control” were both heavy-duty, industrial rock numbers as well as recognized standards in The Sedona Effect repertoire, concluding a notably theatrical and musically impressive set that had some in the crowd calling for more.


The party went on well into the morning and was crowded with celebrants and with celebrities of the Goth Scene including fangmaster Fr. Sebastiaan; DJ Raven; Xris Smack of Stimulate and dazzling beauty Ashley Bad; DJ Patrick of Salvation; Chris Savo, friendly host and manager of Windfall; and noted music patrician, George Grant. The bar was congested, but never too crowded to get service. Those in the back were able to place orders that were relayed to the bar without having to leave the dance hall. The Mercury Lounge once again proved to be an ideal spot for gatherings of this type. Announcements were handed out promoting a New Year’s after-party at the Mercury lounge courtesy of The Red Party, scheduled to commence at 1 am on January 1st,, where party-goers could spend the morning after having celebrated The Eve elsewhere. See you there!

A Tribute to the Sounds of Joy Division

Joy Division tribute band Disorder continues to be highly in demand in this the greater NYC metropolitan area. Dingbatz is famous for its exceptional sound system and for hosting well-known as well as up-and-coming bands ranging from punk to metal to Goth.

Photo by E. Palazzo

Photo by E. Palazzo

A crowd of about 30 filled the small SRO space and included some of the most fanatical and enthusiastic Joy Division buffs I have ever noted at these events. Two young ladies, known only as Gabby and Eva appeared to know the lyrics of every song and to respond with squeals of joy and recognition as the band struck up the first notes of each piece. Notables in the audience included multi-instrumentalist Christian Dryden, front man of The Ritualists and participant in numerous other music projects; Deejay Lily-Stephanie Horreur; and ubiquitous scene veteran, Torrin Krrell.

NJ-based Disorder reprised their renditions of some of Joy Division’s most beloved repertoire, coming on about 11:30 pm, after the Dingbatz staff attended to every last detail of audio perfection. Disorder’s set list that night, like much else about Joy Division, really merits close scrutiny.

The show opened with snippets of crackly, historical radio commentary and early recognition of Joy Division as an exceptional and potentially scene-changing band. Twelve songs followed, starting with the eponymous “Disorder,” the first track off of the debut album, “Unknown Pleasures.” Next came “Digital.” originally recorded on a 7” LP called “A Factory Sample,” and later included in the compilation “Still.”

The next song “Warsaw” is a mystery to most listeners. It was intended for an album of the same name, which never got released until 1994, although it appeared on the compilation, “Substance,” and tells the peculiar story of Hitler confidante, Rudolf Hess, who defected to the U.K but was taken as a prisoner of war by the British. The numbers one hears recited refer to Hess’ assigned P.O.W. number.

“Atmosphere,” was originally a single released in 1980 with “Dead Souls,” (the song that followed in the set) as the flip side, then later included in the “Substance” compilation. Next up, “Twenty-Four Hours” and “Means to an End” both came off the second album, “Closer.” “Dead Souls” is perhaps Joy Division’s most mesmerizing song. It is an outstandingly eerie and haunting piece with nightmarish lyrics and a polyrhythmic tribal beat that has captivated generations. It was covered just as dutifully by Nine Inch Nails for the soundtrack to “The Crow.”

“She’s Lost Control” comes from “Unknown Pleasures,” and seems connected with a scene in the movie “Control,” in which Ian Curtis witnesses a seizure by a client while he was interviewing her in his capacity as an employment clerk. Curtis, himself – it is well known – was subject to seizures.

“Shadowplay” off the debut album followed and then Joy Division’s more recognizable hit, “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” a hit single from 1979, which is considered significant of Ian Curtis’ deteriorating marital situation that may have led to his suicide in 1980. It made its way onto the “Substance” compilation.

When the crowd demanded an encore, Disorder complied with the tragic “Ceremony,” a song Joy Division only recorded live, but never as a studio track. It was subsequently recorded by the surviving members as the sequel band, New Order.

Contemplating Ian Curtis’ esoteric poetry and listening to the scrupulously faithful covers by Disorder, one has the revelation that Joy Division was much more than just another post-punk band, but a significant entry into the post-modern movement that continues to permeate our culture today. Which explains why this group of musicians draws such intense inspiration and sense of commitment to their tribute project. It also explains their phenomenal popularity within the greater metropolitan music scene.

The Black Lodge at Arkham

Arkham is a Brooklyn Gothic Party that takes place in the dark bowels of Brooklyn on the last Saturday of every month since 2012 at Don Pedro on Manhattan Avenue since 2012. The theme on Nov 26 was “The Black Lodge a Tribute to David Lynch.”
Besides the customary darkwave/deathrock served up by hosts and resident deejays Cyclonus and Jose Frances there were live performances by openers Canter, a moody trio from Chicago and headliner, Metropolis Records artists, Noir performing their first area show in over a year.

Photo by Eric Thorpe-Moscon

Photo by Eric Thorpe-Moscon

This was the fourth David Lynch tribute edition of Arkham, and everything from his Mulholland Drive to episodes of Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet was shown on a giant flat screen over the bar or on the projector screen in the dance hall. DJ sets following the live performances included the Smiths, Wumpscut, Ministry and Lords of Acid as well as many more standards as well as rarities.

Ward 6

Nov 26 2016
Famous deejay and impresario Jeff Ward hosted guest deejays Negrarose, Jaycee (Shadow Nightz) Cannon and D.J. Arsenal for the late November installation of recurring Ward 6, an event of “dark dance, Industrial, New Wave, Synth and Goth” music at midtown’s Windfall. Ward 6 takes its name, not only from the host Jeff Ward, but from a short story about a lunatic asylum in Russia by Chekhov. The atmosphere at the event, while not quite lunatic, runs to the extreme of enthusiasm, owing to the over-the-top feeling of closeness among long-time, faithful attendees and the gala atmosphere produced by the dark and rhythmic musical dance selections. Careful attention to hospitality issues by Windfall manager Chris Savo, plays no small part in making Ward 6 a must-attend event.


The Fr. Jeff Ward’s three resident deejays, Patrick, Sean and Angel were in rare form, Dec 3, putting dancers through non-stop sets of New Wave, dark wave, Goth and industrial that kept the floor crowded and animated the entire night. Annabel Fagan maintained a stand selling delectable cupcakes until they were sold out, just behind gate-keeper Mandana Banshee’s post. Windfall manager Chris Savo floated both behind and in front of the bar to assure a comfortable and conducive atmosphere as seems to prevail at all Necropolis events. Scene regulars Carmel Carmel, Sir William Welles and Diana Cannone were, of course in attendance, but Shirley Alvarez and her entourage were notably absent and missed this time.

Record Reviews

Three artists/albums deserving special mention came to our attention this month.

Trees of Eternity
Hour of the Nightingale

Svart Records

Scandinavian doom-metal quintet Trees of Eternity, organized 2009, has just this November released their first full album called “Hour of the Nightingale” on Svart Records and totally available for listening on Youtube and for purchase on Amazon. It features ten tracks with titles like “My Requiem” and “A Million Tears.” These are songs of sorrow and loss. The lilting, echoing female vocals, the baleful tolling bells and the dark, symphonic guitar accompaniment place Trees of Eternity into the company of such successful bands as Evanescence, Lacuna Coil and Nightwish, but with sufficient distinction to stand alone.

The songs are notably slower, more melodious, more mournful and to some extent, more reliant of instrumental accompaniment than others mentioned above. On the last cut, “Gallows Bird,” an ominous baritone male voice takes over for a slow-paced and menacing dirge. With that sound fresh in mind, I would say Trees would be perfect to tour with another Scandinavian band – Ghost. Another match would be Antimatter.

She Past Away

Volume I – II
On Bandcamp


Also just out this year comes an interesting darkwave release out of Istanbul, Turkey. Yes, they sing in Turkish, which doesn’t seem the least inconvenient because of the rapid rhythm anthems, sung in deep baritonal vocals. The mesmerizing cadences and the dark vocals keep the listener fascinated and every so often forgetful of the language barrier, half-grasping to understand the mysterious Turkish lyrics. The peculiarities of Turkish language diction actually suit this type of gothic synthpop very well, especially sounded through an echo-chamber setting.

There doesn’t seem to be a way to buy the CD at this time, but it’s available as download and can also be enjoyed on Youtube. She Past Away provides a deliciously gloomy musical experience. It is easy to compare them with those masters of the Dutch DarkWave, Clan of Xymox, whose sound She Past Away closely resembles – or even to The Cure at their most somber.

Untitled Art

The End
Line2 Records

Among the most irresistible music I’ve run into in years comes from an indie/goth project called Untitled Art which appears to be a resurrected 90s indie/alt rock band gone electro-industrial. Brainchild of singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist Dave Sempier and engineer James Linton on their label, known for the moment, as Line2 Records.

I was first taken in by the wild, psychedelic video art accompanying an equally mind-blowing trip-hop piece called “Philly To Long Branch.” Equally infectious was “A Fighter’s Heart,” the vocals of which have a belligerent edge, and rhythm of which was already captivating in the original version, but even more so in the EDM remix. “Shutdown” was more melodious and more symphonic, once again featuring Sempier’s signature aggressive vocals. “Darker Days” with its a growling, minor-key instrumental accompaniment fit his accusatory lyrics and strident, gratifying alt rock tenor style which remains a constant through the wide ranging forms that his music takes. “Perfect” has a retro-90s quality that warmed my heart with nostalgia – the good kind – for the era that opened the gates to the musical age that some consider the fulfillment of New Wave.

These and more are presently coming together in an EP titled “The End” but most are already quite accessible for listening, and two of the tracks are able to be downloaded on SoundCloud where Untitled Art has a site with seven tracks. “Philly To Long Branch” will be on iTunes as of Dec 12 and official electronic downloads become available in January. Do not fail to check the video out on Youtube! The CD will be available for sale around the same time through cdbaby or possibly a major label depending on pending negotiations.

September 2016 New Dark Age

Filed under: Art Reviews,Live Music,live music,New Dark Age Monthly,Uncategorized — doktorjohn September 20, 2016 @ 7:55 pm

Layout 1first-column-of-first-page-09-21-new-dark-agesecond-column-of-first-page-of-09-21-new-dark-agethird-column-of-first-page-09-21-new-dark-agefourth-column-of-first-page-of-09-21-new-dark-age

New Dark Age July – August 2016

Filed under: Goth Stuff,Live Music,live music,New Dark Age Monthly,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn August 17, 2016 @ 12:39 am

Layout 1Layout 1Layout 1Layout 1

New Dark Age June – July 20 in The Aquarian

Filed under: Goth Stuff,live music,New Dark Age Monthly — doktorjohn July 20, 2016 @ 11:58 am

Layout 1Layout 1Layout 1

Wave Gotik Treffen 25th Anniversay

Filed under: New Dark Age Monthly,Uncategorized — doktorjohn June 14, 2016 @ 9:27 pm

06-15 logohorned redheadFirst columnlofty hairlobby2nd columnOutside Leipzig in SchwarzLeipzig in Schwarz3rdMoritzbastei4th columnhorned black hairsixtina continuedAgraFelsenkeller6th columnPublic Image Ltdstasi