doktorjohn.com

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

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Clash Bar Cover Band Night

Filed under: Events,Live Music,Uncategorized — doktorjohn August 3, 2016 @ 12:59 am

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Attack of the Clones

disorder copy
Featuring

Flaming Youths
Disorder
Street Walking Cheetahs
Pulp Flannel

Clash Bar

June 3, 2016

By Doktor John

Clifton NJ

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Christian Dryden hosted a particularly spectacular night of cover band performances at the Clash Bar, a nightspot famous for exceptional entertainment in the punk genre. Most all my readers are familiar with this venue, noteworthy for its well-stocked bar, reasonable pricing (both entry charges and libations), great shows and the friendly supportive management of that patron of the punk arts, Bob Clash.

Openers Pulp Flannel served up a nostalgic mix of 90s grunge rock – Seattle style – with covers of Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, Alanis Morrisette, the Cranberries, et al. They took a while to warm up and their performance was somewhat uneven with regards to quality and authenticity. However several songs, female-fronted by the adorable Kitman, really hit the emotional bulls-eye for us aficionados of pre-millenial alternative rock. Kitman also happens to be the name of a famous Hong Kong songstress to whom Pulp Flannel’s vocalist bore a striking resemblance, though decades younger.

Next up, The Street Walking Cheetahs put on an eye-catching as well as musically spot-on rendition of Iggy & the Stooges’ repertoire. Uncanny in his resemblance, both in sound and in visual terms, the lead singer of this Asbury quartet went beyond entertaining to actually transporting us all back to that special era in the early days at the inception of punk.

Disorder takes up the challenges posed in paying tribute to the oeuvre of Joy Division, whose iconic status attains to heights approaching mysticism for having ushered in the prolific era of Post-punk. There are other Joy Division tribute bands, but it’s hard to imagine a more perfect capture of the dark, enigmatic ambience of this archetypal band than that achieved by Disorder. Not only did they pay tribute to Joy Division’s beloved standards like “Dead Souls” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” but also they dug deep into their repertoire including such lesser-known gems as “Warsaw” off the “Substance” album. I have followed this combo ever since I adopted Joy Division as my religion, and I have seen the guitarist, John Costa and bassist David Id attain ever higher levels of skill in perfectly reproducing the sound of the original albums and the feel of the few surviving live performances. Vocalist Mike Strollo and percussionist Chris Mele bring a level of obsessive professionalism to the task of reproducing the experience of this tragically short-lived yet monumental band.

The night concluded with the KISS tribute band – The Flaming Youths – in full black & whiteface make-up, and organizer Christian Dryden sat in the esteemed position behind the drum kit for hard rock covers of the infamous 70s & 80s idols. Opening with the typically feel-good “Deuce,” Flaming Youths proceeded through a thirteen-song set and concluded with the emblematic “Rock’n’Roll All Night.” They touched upon and delivered the best of KISS’s mother lode of defiant party anthems, a perfect culmination to a night of tribute to rock music’s ancestry.

Goth 101 with Andi Harriman

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn June 28, 2016 @ 7:29 pm

This is the newspaper print version of the report. The searcheable, internet-based version can be found by scrolling down two entries to http://doktorjohn.com/?p=1612

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Autodrone – “This Sea Is Killing Me”

Filed under: Recorded Music,Uncategorized — doktorjohn June 23, 2016 @ 6:18 pm

Autodrone
“This Sea Is Killing Me”

Autodrone - This Sea Is Killing Me

Listen on Soundcloud or contact autodrone@gmail.com

By Doktor John

Lovers of ethereal, trip-hop and similar styles should check out this second album by Autodrone, a project of guitarist Jeremy Alisauskas, formerly of Projekt group Unto Ashes. This 10 track album, written by Alisauskas and keyboardist Angel Lorelei, appears to have aimed at relieving some personal grief and even despair as embodied in the plaintive vocals by the lyricist Katherine Kennedy, whose singing suggests Kate Bush calling from captivity, perhaps trapped in a cave.

The opening track, “Corvus” (crow) begins with a simple organ riff, the keyboard manned by second guitarist Markus Fabulous , formerly of Psychic TV, and introduces the faraway-sounding female vocals that set a melancholy mood for the rest of the album. A similar pattern is heard on the 2nd track “Exit Ghost” but with a little more rhythmic complexity provided by drummer Terry Taylor. Percussion complexity intensifies in the next track “Le Voleur” (The Thief) and serves in this and further tracks as a vehicle for the deliciously sad, yearning female vocals.

The 4th track “The Way Way Down” is more upbeat – to the point of being very danceable – with enthusiastic drumming, synthesizer and organ riffs, still in the service of Angel Lorelei’s disconsolate voice, and the 5th track even more rapidly paced into an actual gallop. The vocals soar to heart-rendering heights.

With the 6th track “Thunderbolt,” the cadence slows to a lumbering trudge through emotional pain and a sense of resignation. In the 7th track, the vocals become intentionally muddled and begin to merge with the instrumental accompaniment which comes to the fore, and presents a couple of captivating hooks.

A deep drone opens the happily gloomy 8th track, the “Lay of the Land,” but it turns into a structured mantra with – again – amazing cadenzas by Katherine Kennedy, who matches her melodious wailing during the 9th track as well. The 10th track is two and a half minutes of voiceless electronica, in keeping with the tradition observed by many electronic-based groups.
If you are a fan of shoe-gaze, mystical sounding, new-age-y music; if you are looking to expand your appreciation beyond This Mortal Coil, or supplement your desire for more in the Cocteau Twins genre, this album is for you.

The Burning Bridge

Filed under: Recorded Music,Uncategorized — doktorjohn June 11, 2016 @ 10:50 pm

NoirThe Burning Bridge (cd cover)
The Burning Bridge
Metropolis

by Doktor John

This is Noir’s fourth release and it is dedicated to David Bowie. Noir consists of frontman Athan Maroulis, formerly of Spahn Ranch and Black Tape for a Blue Girl and keyboardists and backup female vocalists Kai Irina Hahn and Demetra Songs. In this collection they continue in what Maroulis terms the “Electro-Gothic” style. Isn’t that what the rest of us call “industrial?”

With this EP, he has re-interpreted a number of lesser-known classics from the New Wave era and added a brilliant original piece, namely the title track, “The Burning Bridge.” For this, track, he took a 40 second techno-instrumental groove by associate Erik Gustafson, digested it and set to it lyrics that envisioned himself or something like his ghost soaring through the night as a disembodied spirit. This artistic concept allowed him to look back beyond bridges that he had burned behind him to revisit experiences and repressed personal situations long since forgotten. He set this narrative to a perfectly danceable, electro-industrial rhythm track, richly overlaid with menacing deep, dark synthesizer melodies and his undulating, plaintive, yet angry vocals.

Noir turns Ministry’s pre-“With Sympathy,” 1982 upbeat obscurity, “Same Old Madness,” into a downbeat, lumbering slog through a knee-deep techno-industrial swamp, the heavy trudging paces marked by the mantra-like repetition of the title.

“The Chauffeur” continues in the persevering, slow trudge mode, not as ponderous, but still It retains the eerie negativity of the Duran Duran original, largely by unusual and somewhat discordant arpeggios and a zombie-paced cadenced percussion.

“In Every Dream Home a Heartache,” recorded live off a WFMU broadcast session, Noir’s version of Roxy Music’s creepiest piece, Noir slows it down even further to a funereal pace accompanying his mournful vocals with distant, echoing chimes, noise effects and instrumentals that might serve as the soundtrack for a horror movie.

“The Burning Bridge” offers musical pleasures of several varieties. First, there is an excellent new and original title track. Then there is the guilty pleasure of enjoying re-invented covers of lesser-know works from well-known artists. Finally, there is the unique, undulant vibrato vox of Goth-industrial pioneer Athan Maroulis to add a novel and classic touch to each of these tracks.

Rating: A
In a word: Short’n’Bittersweet

New Dark Age in the April-May Issue of The Aquarian

Filed under: Art Reviews,Events,Goth Stuff,Live Music,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn May 18, 2016 @ 2:03 pm

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Procession

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,Reviews,Uncategorized — doktorjohn March 15, 2016 @ 7:25 pm

Procession at Home Sweet Home

At least one Sunday night a month can be salvaged by taking a plunge into the dark-dance night calling itself “Procession.” It is held in the depths of a dank, underground basement called Home Sweet Home on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. bartenderThe long bar, manned by a beautiful androgynous bartender, is well enough lit by battered, kitschy and mismatched chandeliers, and livened by a mounted taxidermy specimen of a menacing carnivore, but the dance area is gritty and unselfconsciously punk – a lumpy stone pavement.Joe Hart
DJs Mark Cage Knight and Joe Hart spun out popular pieces from Nick Cave and obscurities like O. Children. Mark, Joe and Joe’s gorgeous girlfriend, Rachel welcomed arrivals – both friends and newcomers, warmly.
Rachel
About 30 late nighters filled the cellar-like space. A melange of genders and sexual persuasions were in attendance. There were 3 bathrooms – one for men, one for women and one “take-your-pick.” Patrons were a mix of jeans/sneakers-clad hipsters and High Goth fashionistas. About ten people were present on the dance floor at any given time. Those elegantly attired in stunning black outfits, sinuously undulating to the rhythms made a splendid sight, dimly seen through the fog, through which the flash of a projector cut to throw disturbing videos on a peeling painted brick wall.club

Memento Mori

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,Recorded Music,Reviews — doktorjohn February 26, 2016 @ 8:07 pm

Club Night

Memento Mori

Bedlam
Feb 25 2016
By Doktor John

New York, NY

Bedlam bar

Since sometime late last summer, promoter Ana Vice has been hosting a small group of DJs for a mid-week monthly Goth social and dance night at a uniquely eerily decorated bar, appropriately called Bedlam, in Manhattan’s Alphabet City. The night is called Memento Mori” and it is held one Thursday a month. Bedlam, as is well known, was a notorious old school mental hospital, and this namesake venue lives up to both the medical and the mental reputation of the institution. Antique anatomy charts and gruesome anatomical models adorn the walls. Facsimilies of human bones are distributed at each of the sitting booths where ornamental cobwebs are strewn.Moose head
Among the DJs, Mike Stalagmike of Defcon has a modest, low-key and friendly aspect about him, but Mexican import Bela Lugosi Alex and stunningly androgynous Valefar Malefic go all the way with their looks, each manifesting monumental coiffures and morbidly beautiful male vampire appearance. DJs
The music is decidedly of the darkwave/coldwave dance variety, but there was no place for the conventional classics. No Sisters of Mercy. No Cure or Depeche Mode. Nor were they missed, because these DJs dug deep into the realm of Goth, with selections from such rarely played artists as Xmal Deutschland, Black Ice and Virgin in Veil. A fair number of tracks were unidentifiable, but nonetheless as pleasurable and hypnotic as they were melancholy.ValefarMalefic
Doors opened at 10 pm and about 30 or so patrons were in attendance, most arriving between 11:30 and midnight. All were decked out in blackest of black finery, boots, veils and fishnets as well as high make-up and serene attitude. Not more than a handful of dancers were on the floor at a time. Most attendees stood at the bar and engaged in conversation where a surprisingly festive undercurrent pervaded the generally restrained gathering. A more beautifully attired and groomed crowd is rarely seen, even in the bowels of New York’s deepest, dark demimonde.

Endless Night Anti-Valentine’s Vampire Ball

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,Reviews — doktorjohn February 20, 2016 @ 12:14 am

Feb 14, 2016
at Slake

New York, NY

A spectacular event – the last of its kind – was hosted by impresario and fangmaster Fr. Sebastiaan on Sunday, Valentine’s Day, at Slake (formerly Downtime at the Batcave) calling itself the 20th anniversary of the annual “Anti-Valentine’s Vampire Ball” – up to now a regular, recurring event.

Gatekeeper Victor Magnus, prolific writer on various dark subjects, and celebrity co-host greeted the 400 or so revelers who attended the occasion – newcomers as well as habitual, perennial attendees. Impresario Fr. Sebastiaan van Houten has been hosting Goth and vampire-themed events going back to 1997, at which time they were termed “Long Black Veil” nights, and originated at the famous Mother club in Manhattan’s Meat-Packing district. His skill at crafting wearable, vampire-like fangs under the auspices of Sabretooth, the association he founded, placed him at the pinnacle of the metropolitan vampire fan community that had been growing alongside New York’s dark music scene. When Mother closed in 2000, he moved his events, first to Club True, then to Rare, the Bank, Drom and most recently to Jekyll & Hyde. Presently he hosts too many events and club nights – in the U.S. and various cities in Europe – to catalogue for this report.
AntiValentine's

Fr.Sebastiaan and opera diva Ariel De Ment

Belly dancing, striptease and even lyric opera performances provided the entertainment interludes for the evening. Since there is a strict dress code (vampire, steampunk, fetish or all-black), and since many of the more imaginative and exhibitionistic guests far exceed the standard, there were, as always, two costume contests, one for women and one for men. The two winners were awarded tickets to the Vampire Ball in New Orleans this upcoming Halloween. Besides presiding, along with some of his inner circle at the costume judging contests, Fr. Sebastiaan took ample opportunity to address the crowd, warmly expressing appreciation for their attendance and support. He led the audience of devotees in the ritual howl, by which all paid homage to some departed members of the Sabretooth Clan.AntiValentine's2

These ladies performed in cages high above the dance floor

Music was provided throughout the three-story Slake. On the main, ground floor spinning was by DJs Aengel, V Christ and Xris Smack. Up on the third floor was the uncomfortably chilly Red Room where Sean Templar and Jeffo played a different selection of the classic Goth. Skinny Puppy, Joy Division, Depeche Mode and Bowie got ample airing in both dance areas, and alternated with U2, the Psychedelic Furs, Ministry and Dead Can Dance and more.
Fr. Sebastiaan announced that this would be the last ever Anti-Valentine’s Vampire Ball he would host in NYC, having made arrangements to move to San Francisco, where he intends to become involved in similar events. So all good things must eventually come to an end. This last entry in the twenty-year series provided a joyful grand finale for all who attended and participated.

Noir at Arkham in Brooklyn

Filed under: Events,Goth Stuff,Live Music,Uncategorized — doktorjohn January 7, 2016 @ 5:08 pm

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