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Vanessa Carlton Goes Goth
October 20, 2003 8:55 AM   Subscribe

"There's nothing piano recital-y about it. It's goth." Not only has Pop Princess Vanessa Carlton declared herself Goth-for-a-Day, she has also decided (rather cluelessly) she is wiccan. Somebody call Vanna, 'cause this girl needs to buy a clue. *twitch twitch
posted by evilcupcakes (148 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Sounds like the biggest production of +1 Coasters of Boredom ever undertaken. Counterspell: a tea of chamomile and some good porn.
posted by scarabic at 8:59 AM on October 20, 2003


Ahem.
posted by Ryvar at 9:00 AM on October 20, 2003


"I believe in like spells and stuff like that... I've been able to kind of just merge the Wicca and the Eighties chick... I'm twenty-three now, and I think I'm more evolved, more secure in who I am."

*spits pepsi on monitor, spills coffee in keyboard, rolls on floor laughing and scares the cat, head explodes*
posted by quonsar at 9:02 AM on October 20, 2003


I see this as a good thing. The more ridicule heaped on goths the better...
posted by PenDevil at 9:02 AM on October 20, 2003


I'm glad no-one was writing down what I was saying at 23, because I might have said something similar. Actually make that 14. Actually no, forget it, I was never this stupid, not even when I was colouring my white jewellery black with felt tip pen and listening to the Mission.
posted by Summer at 9:09 AM on October 20, 2003


Not only has Pop Princess Vanessa Carlton declared herself Goth-for-a-Day,

Yes, because if there's one thing the world needs, it's another bubblehead poseur in a black dress. Just another idiot kid playing dress-up.

I'll be in the corner drinking paint thinner and mourning the death of rock and roll.
posted by jonmc at 9:14 AM on October 20, 2003


Goth AND Wiccan? This girl is in for some serious atomic wedgies.
posted by bondcliff at 9:18 AM on October 20, 2003


I smell a poser! Or is that loser?
posted by Foosnark at 9:22 AM on October 20, 2003


Who? I'm thinking I'm older than thought...
posted by sharpener at 9:24 AM on October 20, 2003


She totally fucked up on the goth thing. You're supposed to talk about how unique you are and how you're not goth. Someone take away her license, stat.
posted by angry modem at 9:25 AM on October 20, 2003


So how is the mainstream going to cash in on the all the neo-post punk? It's pretty hard to be an monotone, sickly and misanthropic leftist and fabulous at the same time. But if Justin can sport an MC5 shirt, can name dropping the Fall or ESG be far behind?
posted by bendybendy at 9:27 AM on October 20, 2003


Can't we just kill everyone in their 20's & be done?
posted by i_cola at 9:28 AM on October 20, 2003


The kids on the Rolling Stone message boards are just as clueless, but where Ms. Carlton is kind of lovably naive, their mixture of ignorance and bile eliminates all sympathy. Consider:

It was only a matter of time before the Industry got a hold of Goth and turned it into something trendy and "cool."

oh it's sad first punk became a style now goth! I knew it I knew this was going to happen

Oh, yeah. It's so sad, because it's, like, the first time this completely pure musical subculture has ever been pulled out into the mainstream and commercialized for a few years, only to be dropped back into obscurity when the latest generation of teenage kids decides they're bored of wearing nothing but black.
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:39 AM on October 20, 2003


Rasputina came to mind reading this. I find them a bit "posey" also, but there is musical value to it, and their appearences tend to bring the goth girls out in droves. . .
posted by Danf at 9:41 AM on October 20, 2003


Can't we just kill everyone in their 20's & be done?

and do what, sit around listening to led zeppelin's latest cadillac ad?
posted by quonsar at 9:49 AM on October 20, 2003


Famed Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant once introduced himself to Bob Dylan at a party in Los Angeles. "I'm Peter Grant," he said, offering a warm handshake, "manager of Led Zeppelin." Dylan's reply? "I don't come to you with my problems, do I?"
posted by Satapher at 9:55 AM on October 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


I was always wondering what would happen if one of these pop princesses caught the subculture. Yeah, yeah, probably a marketing gimmick, but shut up, I want to keep my illusions for a couple hours. 23 is a little late for a goth conversion though.

Having one of 'em go metal would, obviously, be ideal, but this was always a more likely scenario, and least she's not going all world music or something.
posted by furiousthought at 9:56 AM on October 20, 2003


Hell q, the Led Zep live album is probably the best thing I've bought this year. And Justin probably thinks MC5 is a brand of hair gel or a sperimicide or perhaps a combination of the two.
posted by jonmc at 9:56 AM on October 20, 2003


"I belive in, like, spells and stuff..."

Like, totally.
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:58 AM on October 20, 2003


true story: yesterday i encountered an under-driving-age lad on the sidewalk wearing one of those classic stegasaurus punk do's - a single row of longish spikes running fore to aft (shaped and set using MC5 spermacidal hair gel?) - a large nose ring and black mascara. i just KNOW he was reveling in the alienation stirred by my stare, i just WISH he'd known i was staring because he's a parody of the youthful memories of some 40 year old british accountant with 3.2 kids.
posted by quonsar at 10:02 AM on October 20, 2003


"the kind of the euphoria that someone gets when they're tortured by being dead"

Huh?
posted by nickmark at 10:02 AM on October 20, 2003


Well, if Avril LaVigne can call herself a punk, then there's really no telling anymore. They're just recording company creations. The big lables are trying to squeeze every last drop of cash from the clueless youth. Everytime I see one of these idiots talking about how 'totally rebellious' they are after having gotten out of a warner communications limo I have the uncontrollable urge to scream:

"First against the wall, scum! FIRST AGAINST THE WALL!"

But I know that's just a beautiful dream.....
posted by lumpenprole at 10:06 AM on October 20, 2003


I love it. The music industry may suck at producing music, but they're peerless at producing pure comedy gold.

I knew all along that Vanessa Carlton was the kind of girl who thought she had "really deep thoughts." She's a Gen-Y Tori Amos. Give her a few years and she'll sport a faux English accent.
posted by keswick at 10:10 AM on October 20, 2003


She can be Wiccan if she wants, maybe one day she'll figure out what it actually means.

But shouldn't a pop princess be someone I've actually heard of, even if I try to prevent it? Who the hell is this person?
posted by nyxxxx at 10:10 AM on October 20, 2003


My favorite part of her website is the bit where it says < % response.buffer=true %> on every page.
posted by wobh at 10:19 AM on October 20, 2003


Among the tracks completed are... "She Floats," about "the kind of the euphoria that someone gets when they're tortured by being dead"

Is she being haunted by Jerry Garcia?
posted by zaelic at 10:21 AM on October 20, 2003


< % response.buffer=true %>

and here she is demonstrating for all the world that in reality, her < % response.buffer=NULL %>
posted by quonsar at 10:28 AM on October 20, 2003


Well, I just think it's good that the goth community is trying outreach. (TeenPeople.com, okay? Can't actually read it without buying it...)
posted by Samizdata at 10:39 AM on October 20, 2003


"She floats down here! And soon you'll float too!"

Sorry, it was stronger than me. Anyways, if only. I can imagine her angst at a bad manicure, and the corresponding hit single composed about said experience. Featuring, like, Christina. Oy.
posted by Iosephus at 10:43 AM on October 20, 2003


Hmmm... I wonder if she listens to Cradle of Filth. Maybe she can collaborate with them.
posted by mkn at 10:48 AM on October 20, 2003


would anybody care so much if she had come out as a born-again Christian? a lesbian? are Xians and gays immune to the bashing that she gets just b/c she says she's influenced by wicca (but probably doesn't even know *that* much about it)?

how many 23-year-old homosexuals don't even know about Stonewall, and should they be crucified (or not allowed to come out) b/c of it?

(imo) this world needs more pagans, wiccans, and alternative ultimate wavers, period. if this is the reception they get when they come out, no wonder most of them don't.

i guess it's safer and smarter to just keep your mouth shut and keep praising the baby jesus.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:51 AM on October 20, 2003


**watches with binoculars as entire conversation flies over mrgrimm's head**
posted by dhoyt at 10:57 AM on October 20, 2003


After the whole Laurie Partridge thing in 1972, I vowed I would never again be sucked in by a pop star who claimed to be "going goth."
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 10:57 AM on October 20, 2003


WiccaFilter
posted by cinderful at 11:02 AM on October 20, 2003


i'm with nyxxxx and sharpener. who the fuck is this broad?

mrgrimm, i don't think the problem is that she's wicca or goth, it's that, as she come across in the article, she's clueless.
posted by dobbs at 11:03 AM on October 20, 2003


"Morning Sting," about "emotions being so raw in the morning"

Is this how we guys should refer to that whole wood thing now?
posted by LinusMines at 11:05 AM on October 20, 2003


mrgrimm--

do you really think this response is because of her 'coming out' as wiccan? did you read the article? because it seems quite apparent to me that she's just a moron who's regurgitating something she doesn't come close to understanding.

and the gay thing? not relevent. to be homosexual means only to be sexually attracted to members of the same sex. it is not needed to know the history or the subculture or the struggles other gays have been through (though it's a good idea). to claim a religion as your own, you pretty much should understand what it means. and i would think any pagan would be insulted by her describing wicca as "like, spells, and stuff."
posted by nadawi at 11:09 AM on October 20, 2003


this world needs more pagans, wiccans, and alternative ultimate wavers, period.

At least Christians are sincere in their beliefs. The last pagans who weren't in it to piss off their parents/teachers/classmates were 15th century Livonians. I'd say as modern wiccans/pagans go, Ms. Carlton's as authentic as anyone.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:10 AM on October 20, 2003


"Morning Sting," about "emotions being so raw in the morning"

it's about herpes...
posted by luckyclone at 11:11 AM on October 20, 2003


Speaking on behalf of the entire Goth community:

We don't want her. Thanks ever so.
posted by webmutant at 11:12 AM on October 20, 2003


The worry of goth culture being co-opted by empty marketing forces is pretty funny. If Malcolm McLaren and Bernie Rhodes handn't wanted to sell t-shirts, neither punk nor goth would ever have existed.

(That doesn't mean that the Clash aren't The Only Band That Matters. It just means that the rebellion in these alleged subcultures was for sale from the absolute beginning.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:20 AM on October 20, 2003


She's really not fat enough to be goth.
posted by the fire you left me at 11:22 AM on October 20, 2003


mkn: Hmmm... I wonder if she listens to Cradle of Filth. Maybe she can collaborate with them.

Hey! I like cradle of filth. Ah, the memories.
posted by jaded at 11:27 AM on October 20, 2003


would anybody care so much if she had come out as a born-again Christian?

Christianity isn't funny anymore. Just a cold sore.
posted by Satapher at 11:27 AM on October 20, 2003


oops. wait wait. No - I was thinking of another band - a deathmetal group with the word "cradle" in their name....Cradle of thorns...
posted by jaded at 11:29 AM on October 20, 2003


At least Christians are sincere in their beliefs.

Until, you know, the lawsuits and stuff.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:36 AM on October 20, 2003


At least Christians are sincere in their beliefs.

*John Ritter-esque (RIP) spit-take back into cup to save keyboard*

you've got to be kidding (or at least simply trolling). i can't even begin to fathom that remark. you think most Xians believe that "it's easier for a camel (or rope) to pass through a needle's eye than it is for a rich man to get into heaven"? you *don't* think 90% just use Xianity as an insurance policy against hell?

I'd say as modern wiccans/pagans go, Ms. Carlton's as authentic as anyone.

i'm not sure how you define "authentic" (anything not from the bible?), but i'd say you're dead wrong. i would say someone who's been practicing for 30+ years is more "authentic" than Vanessa Carlton, regardless of how valid you might deem his/her beliefs and practices.

by the way, in the article i read, she doesn't even call herself a "Goth" or a "Wiccan." we should remember that we're forming a lot of opinions about a six-paragraph article. yes, i can read six paragraphs! - ;)

i would say i'm influenced by Buddhism, though i know maybe .0001% of what many other people do. to me Buddhism is (partly) "a loss of ego, a holistic universe, primary truths like suffering and compassion, and jazz like that" - i hope Buddhists aren't offended by that comment, and i hope Wiccans weren't offended by Vanessa's.

she certainly never claims the religion as her own. that is, unless you think she's an "Eightiest" as well. ha!

loads of laughs in this thread ... keep it up. Goths don't want Vanessa Carlton. too bad! she's yours now!
posted by mrgrimm at 11:42 AM on October 20, 2003


On general principle, I can't get behind anyone who titles their debut album with such a foolish double negative.

Other proposed Vanessa Carlton album names:

Don't Eat Hungry
Unscrew the Uncorked Bottle
Wear Your Shirt Shirtless
Fruitless Fruit Basket
Erase My Blank Memo
Hate That Beloved Enemy
posted by ed at 11:45 AM on October 20, 2003


isn't cluelessness pretty much a requirement of wiccanism?
posted by delmoi at 12:02 PM on October 20, 2003


Listen folks, what's with the anti-wiccan vitriol? I'm well aware that many practitioners of neo-pagan religions are ultra-flakey, but the level of hostility here is remarkable.
posted by Fenriss at 12:11 PM on October 20, 2003


Almost ten years of doing this and still I wonder about the strong connection of goth and Pagan beliefs. Well, other than to use the two to Piss Off Authority™.

Seriously, though, for those who don't frequent goth clubs or what-have-you: the whole Pagan thing is about as daring within the scene as, say, claiming you're a Christian at a suburban PTA meeting. I guess it's one of those cards that's played to look oh-so-edgy, but in the end makes one seem all the more vapid.

(no offence intended to the goths who are serious and learned about their faith, whatever it may be. wheat from the chaff and all that.)
posted by sigma7 at 12:11 PM on October 20, 2003


mrgrimm

Just wait until the promo for her next album when she claims, "I'm, like, so into chicks and rioting."
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:15 PM on October 20, 2003


say what you want.... but goth (even the posers...) chicks are hot...
posted by LoopSouth at 12:15 PM on October 20, 2003


The ironic thing is that your average goth wouldn't scare a three year old. They have a TV movie grasp of what adults find scary*. You wanna be a scary band, dress like bill collectors or IRS auditors. Otherwise getcher dumb ass back to Hot Topic, where you belong. Buncha life-shocked "let's play dress up" morons.

*don't even get me started on "dark," the most overused word of the century.

On preview: but goth (even the posers...) chicks are hot...

hahahahaha!!!
posted by jonmc at 12:19 PM on October 20, 2003


sldt, i can't wait! can you believe that i'm into chicks and rioting too?

i also agree with LoopSouth. i'm sure mileage varies from city to city, but goth chicks are hot. that's probably b/c they're all 17 years old (or trying to look that young)!
posted by mrgrimm at 12:25 PM on October 20, 2003


At least Christians are sincere in their beliefs.

How droll.
posted by rushmc at 12:28 PM on October 20, 2003


When you follow the links from Vanessa's page to the msn music 'rate it' page you find all sorts of "greatest", "loved it" etc... fairly intelligently written praise reviews. Then you see a "hate it" (one star) and think to yourself "finally, someone with some sense, maybe these reviews have some truth to them after all, gotta read it, quick..."

she has a gr8 voice and every thing, but i like the rolling stoners version of paint it black better the guitar is awsome, o yeah listen to jimi hendrix. o yeah and Randy Rhoades and Edward Van Halen r accually god for all the christians out there, just wanna make the clear


Dear God. Of course the writer makes sense in their judgement call on good music. But to come across as this much of a screaming drug-addicted (obviously not 'goth') 70's era music hippie? Made up Made up Made up....
I just know Bill Gates gets his kicks writing these fake msn music reviews.
posted by Cedric at 12:31 PM on October 20, 2003


/tangent: people defining themselves as "pagan" has always struck me as odd, as the term was originally applied to any set of beliefs which weren't christian, jewish or muslim, and especially to polytheistic beliefs. It was applied to celts and africans and amerindians indiscriminately.
So it's a catch-all tag, like "gentile" or "infidel". It seems odd that somebody would call themselves something which essentially means "none of the above", and not use a more specific and appropriate term.
posted by signal at 12:33 PM on October 20, 2003


Um, could someone explain to this person who has been spending the last 5 years hiding out from top 40 radio why I should know her name?
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:41 PM on October 20, 2003


Buncha life-shocked "let's play dress up" morons.

hahahaha! of course, they're *completely* unlike the zombies in three-piece suits i see everyday. classic!

keep it rolling! there's comedy gold in these here hills.

here are a few more "let's play dress-up" morons to laugh at. are they any worse than this "let's play dress-up" moron?

on preview, signal, you're right about "pagan," but the RS article never uses the word. when i used it above, i did mean it as a collection of non-mainstream, polytheistic, (perhaps) semi-organized religions.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:52 PM on October 20, 2003


So she got dumped...she'll get over it.
posted by Mick at 12:55 PM on October 20, 2003


People still read Rolling Stone?
posted by mikhail at 12:57 PM on October 20, 2003


I don't know from Goth, but I'm buying Wear Your Shirt Shirtless as soon as it comes out.
posted by UncleFes at 1:04 PM on October 20, 2003


hahahaha! of course, they're *completely* unlike the zombies in three-piece suits i see everyday. classic!

Classic, my ass. They traded one uniform for another. I myself wear none of them and find all cliques stupid and exclusionary,(and when all is said and done, that's what they all are(or eventually become): yuppies, punks, goths, whatever; just another stupid clique.
posted by jonmc at 1:21 PM on October 20, 2003


Listen folks, what's with the anti-wiccan vitriol? I'm well aware that many practitioners of neo-pagan religions are ultra-flakey, but the level of hostility here is remarkable.

Don't feel special, personally I like to shit on any pseudo-belief equally with the others.
posted by angry modem at 1:22 PM on October 20, 2003


here are a few more "let's play dress-up" morons to laugh at. are they any worse than this "let's play dress-up" moron?

K, how weird is it that I, the originator of this thread-cum-firestorm, works with the person who maintains http://pucker-up.net/jcm/. It's a great site.
posted by evilcupcakes at 1:36 PM on October 20, 2003


jonmc belongs to that stupid withdraw from all cliques clique.
posted by quonsar at 1:36 PM on October 20, 2003


On behalf of my three-piece-suit-wearing clique-brothers, I hereby declare that my clique is superior to your clique.

Because Zegna, the God of Suits, wills is so! That's why!
posted by UncleFes at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2003


The ironic thing is that your average goth wouldn't scare a three year old.

That's not at all ironic, since your average goth isn't trying to scare anybody. The aesthetic isn't about horror; it's about sensual, morbid, decadent romance.

It's also a subculture that is, in general, fully aware of its own absurdity...
posted by Mars Saxman at 1:39 PM on October 20, 2003 [1 favorite]


I am a clique of one. And, no, you're not cool enough to hang out with me.
posted by jonmc at 1:42 PM on October 20, 2003


it's about sensual, morbid, decadent romance.

It's about eyeliner and trying to pretend you're somehow "cooler" than the people who beat you up in high school. get over yourselves.
posted by jonmc at 1:44 PM on October 20, 2003


by the way, in the article i read, she doesn't even call herself a "Goth" or a "Wiccan."

Ms. Carlton could have been talking in some sort of "Buffyspeak," referencing some larger concept so as to imply a group of traits -- so when she says her next album is going to be sort of goth, she really just means it'll be dark and brooding, not literally tinged with bat's blood and lace.

But no, I think that's giving her too much credit. And I think you're being disingenuous when you calim she doesn't call herself goth or wiccan, mrgrimm. She refers to her music as goth in the cited quote -- are you telling me this is the rare musician who doesn't consider her art to be a reflection of her? And she offers a crude and naive definition of wicca as an explanation of her beliefs. Her descriptions of her songs also hint at her interest in those groups -- who but a goth would say something like "the kind of the euphoria that someone gets when they're tortured by being dead?"
posted by me3dia at 1:45 PM on October 20, 2003


A few things:

1) Rolling Stone sucks

2) Vanessa Carlton sucks

3) Goths suck, but are often nice

4) There is no God or Goddess

I could elaborate, but am not sure if it's necessary.
posted by dhoyt at 1:45 PM on October 20, 2003


Zegna is going to throw a Saville Row-sized smiting on your ass for such blasphemy, dhoyt, mark my words.
posted by UncleFes at 1:51 PM on October 20, 2003


Aw, I'm not worried about Zegna.
posted by dhoyt at 1:56 PM on October 20, 2003


their appearences tend to bring the goth girls out in droves. . .

Mmmmm, goth girls... ;)
posted by starscream at 2:09 PM on October 20, 2003


I'm entertained by all the people who see this as an opportunity to attach goth and wicca along with this airhead. How can you take anything she says seriously when she uses "wicca" as a common noun - i.e. she thinks that's the word that describes her?

"The Wicca [read: Wiccan] in me has come out."

"I've been able to kind of just merge the Wicca [read: Wiccan] and the Eighties chick"

There are plenty of good reasons to have fun with both goth and wicca, but an idiot poseur (poseuse?) who can't even research them enough to learn how to refer to them - that ain't one of 'em.
posted by soyjoy at 2:26 PM on October 20, 2003


jonmc, differentiate your attitude from the clique attitude you revile so much, please. Specifically, proving you're cooler than someone else. Also, please tell us how we should act and look to qualify for awesometastic status in your eyes. If someone just thinks goth dress looks cool, can they do that - or do they have to forego it because it doesn't meet with the patented jonmc cool standards? 400 words or less.

Is there anything wrong with playing dress up on the weekends and going to your local goth/industrial club? It's just good fun, albeit steeped in Depeche Mode remixes.

This Carlton chick (chalk another one up for the "never heard of her" camp) does seem pretty vapid, and I think vapidity is something we can all laugh at.
posted by kavasa at 2:31 PM on October 20, 2003


jonmcIt's about eyeliner and trying to pretend you're somehow "cooler" than the people who beat you up in high school. get over yourselves.

Ohhh, you are so steeped in cynical know-it-all coolness. Can I touch you?

Please, most of the people I'd describe as goth don't look very different from the average person. It's their relentlessly cheerful joy in dark unsettling music and in exploring topics that would give the average housewife nightmares that makes them goth.

Back almost 20 years ago, when I was in high school and goth was referred to as "death rock" it was more about having fun with iconography that represents "the dark side" to the average person - more of a "wooowooh...bats...creeepy monsters (giggle)" than a "I am Azriel, prince of sorrows" thing. I still regard Goth as the ultimate inside joke. Plus, the fabrics and accessories are pretty fab if you take away all the bad pewter "D&D" jewelry.
posted by echolalia67 at 3:01 PM on October 20, 2003


Does anyone cluefully call themselves Wiccan? Isn't that pretty much for teenage girls caught in a growing phase?

Wiccans. ha ha!
posted by xmutex at 3:15 PM on October 20, 2003


who but a goth would say something like "the kind of the euphoria that someone gets when they're tortured by being dead?"
Someone who finds death their resource for living.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:21 PM on October 20, 2003


So someone found the Hot Topic store while wondering around the mall. And...who?
posted by soren at 3:35 PM on October 20, 2003


So it's a catch-all tag, like "gentile" or "infidel". It seems odd that somebody would call themselves something which essentially means "none of the above", and not use a more specific and appropriate term.

The whole point of it is being none of the above. You can be religious and not be part of one of the big 3 religions.

And xmutex, witchcraft is a specific religion revived by Gerald Gardner. The word has been co-opted by everyone with a sage wand and a book by Raven Silverwolf.
posted by nyxxxx at 3:36 PM on October 20, 2003


Wait a minute, is this the chick that sang the almost good song at a piano in front of bluescreen of highway scenes before ending up in her garage? (Amazing what you find to watch when you are hosted in a hotel room in Indianapolis with no spending money to get some sanity.)

And how is this news if it is? It seems like that at some point it becomes necessary for young performers to redefine themselves. Alanis Morisette got anrgy, then artsy. Tori Amos graduated from metal to just plain weird (I must admit that the Little Earthquakes tour was just plain awesome). Jewel went from folk to sexy. Perhaps the only suprising thing would be if she announced that she was going to do the same songwriting formula on the next album.

Speaking of redefinition, Brittney Spears went pantless on the cover of Esquire. I made the mistake of picking it up at the library, an act that made me want to tear my eyes out in raw horror. I don't know which was worse, the interviewer blabbing at length about how he didn't get the oportunity to see the "Brittney's bush", or Spears going on and on about how she keeps wearing less and less clothing but it just doesn't mean anything.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:38 PM on October 20, 2003


As a collector of early Goth rock, (most of the bands only got the label in retrospect, and many of the best never adopted it) it seems that the genre really started going downhill when it became a "scene" and then flew over the cliff into disaster once Anne Rice became required reading. (Can't stand her myself.) For a while, it seemed like every other song had to have something to do with vampires and ghosts until it devolved into self-parody.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:53 PM on October 20, 2003


jonmc, differentiate your attitude from the clique attitude you revile so much, please

Easy. I hate all cliques equally.

Is there anything wrong with playing dress up on the weekends and going to your local goth/industrial club? It's just good fun, albeit steeped in Depeche Mode remixes.

Clubs and Depeche Mode alone make it wrong. Clubs are where people flock together like the silly herd animals they are and pay to hear someone else play their choice of music. Plus, I hate dressing up and costumes and all the vanity and me-me-me ism that goes with it.

And Depeche Mode, The Cure, Morrissey and the rest of those art farts, I hold personally responsible for destroying rock and roll back in the 80's.

Back almost 20 years ago, when I was in high school and goth was referred to as "death rock"

When I was in high school this was death rock. All goth (and industrial, and most hardcore for that matter) ultimately is is heacy metal for people who don't like the cultural connotations that are attached to metal. Plus they add extra political or literary pretensions and wussy, self-pitying vocals.

And to pre-empt you all, I don't consider myself a member of the metal tribe either. They're just as parochial as anyone else. Just pointing out that all the above linked bands do what goth claims to do, and does it better, but it's exactly the kind of stuff gothfolk tend to look down their noses at.
posted by jonmc at 3:54 PM on October 20, 2003


Speaking of redefinition, Brittney Spears went pantless on the cover of Esquire. I made the mistake of picking it up at the library, an act that made me want to tear my eyes out in raw horror.

A semi-naked chick makes you want to tear your eyes out in horror? Your Web page implies you're not gay, so I'm confused.
posted by wackybrit at 4:02 PM on October 20, 2003


So, jonmc, I guess you won't be going trick or treating? Were you the inspiration for that Ministry song "Why are you dressed like it's Halloween; you look so absurd, you look so obscene." Oh no, it's stuck in my head now... um, bob bop, um bop bop...
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 4:41 PM on October 20, 2003


kids find comfort in cliques and groups, and dress up and act in a way to reflect that, to be a part of something. i don't know what vanessa carlton's deal is, but it's normal enough among kids. sure it's (quite often) stupid, but i don't think it was any different twenty years ago. if kids these days want to spike their hair and drop names like mc5 and joy division, i don't see why they shouldn't. the music and attitude is still there for anyone to enjoy.

i'm barely old enough to drive myself, and so i could be completely wrong, but i don't see how kids calling themselves "punk" or "goth" these days is anything besides trying to fit in with people they relate to, like the first punks or goths. or maybe a way to get attention, i guess.
posted by jimmy at 5:00 PM on October 20, 2003


A semi-naked chick makes you want to tear your eyes out in horror? Your Web page implies you're not gay, so I'm confused.

Actually, I'm Bisexual, YOU are confused. ;-)

After living with a woman for a few years, the appeal of "semi-naked chicks" is highly overrated. Especially when you can find the "semi-naked chick" just about everywhere except for the high-brow political mags and the children's section. With the semi-naked chick used to sell everything from baby formula to video cards, it has become something of a cleche. For women, you are not anyone in movies or music until you have been a "semi-naked chick" on a cover.

Since it has become something of a commodity, the quality of the "semi-naked chick" depends a lot on the interview it is supposed to draw the eyes to. Susan Sarandon talking about motherhood, domestic partnership, literature and breaking the 50 barrier for actresses coupled with a nude in Interview is sexy. Britney Spears imitating Marilyn Monroe cheesecake, and arguing with a borderline pedophile that she is not making herself into sex symbol is beyond unsexy, beyond banal, it is downright apalling.

posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:12 PM on October 20, 2003


Ok, ok, calm down.

[/b] please
posted by dhoyt at 5:32 PM on October 20, 2003


but i don't see how kids calling themselves "punk" or "goth" these days is anything besides trying to fit in with people they relate to, like the first punks or goths.

Jimmy, the first punks were explicityly about NOT fitting in. Calling the whole stupid horse race what it was and flat out refusing to fit in. Now, it's nothing but another fashion demographic as well.
posted by jonmc at 5:36 PM on October 20, 2003


Now, it's nothing but another fashion demographic as well.

I dunno. The cynic in me says Punk Rock was about being Punk Rock for about a day, while the subsequent 25 years of Punk were in many ways a huge fashion demographic spun quickly out of control. People are ruled by vanity. It's a theory I will sadly never abandon. It permeates nearly everything.

/obligatory "some of my favorite bands are punk" disclaimer
posted by dhoyt at 5:43 PM on October 20, 2003


In addition, the "punk" genre has frequently been relabled and co-opted. A must-see movie for any music lover is "Hype" a documentary of how East-cost record companies and magazines co-opted West-coast punk to create grunge. One of the best scenes involves the secretary of a Seattle record company admitting to inventing grunge slang off the top of her head during a telephone interview with a major news weekly, that ran the story without fact checking. That, and the wonderful scene of a camera panning over racks of pre-faded flannel with muzak "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in the background.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:03 PM on October 20, 2003


Jimmy, the first punks were explicityly about NOT fitting in.

hmm maybe but i'm not sure. i think it's about the music, that is all. if the mohican kids today listen to punk music and go to punk clubs then they are punks, otherwise they are fashion victims.
posted by carfilhiot at 6:04 PM on October 20, 2003


When I was in high school this was death rock. All goth (and industrial, and most hardcore for that matter) ultimately is is heacy metal for people who don't like the cultural connotations that are attached to metal. Plus they add extra political or literary pretensions and wussy, self-pitying vocals.

Just pointing out that all the above linked bands do what goth claims to do, and does it better, but it's exactly the kind of stuff gothfolk tend to look down their noses at.


Well, it's a good thing that you didn't mention Iron Maiden, or Ronnie James Dio or I'd have pissed myself laughing. Sorry, jonmc but it seems like you haven't gotten past the high school, "Metal rocks, dude. All that new wave shit's for fags" mentality.

The Cramps, Dead Can Dance, and Sixteen Horsepower could be considered "Goth" - and are often also considered respectively, rockabilly, classical, or country/folk. There's not a specific genre that encompasses goth.
posted by echolalia67 at 6:16 PM on October 20, 2003


Well, it's a good thing that you didn't mention Iron Maiden, or Ronnie James Dio or I'd have pissed myself laughing. Sorry, jonmc but it seems like you haven't gotten past the high school, "Metal rocks, dude. All that new wave shit's for fags" mentality.

Thank you for proving my point about snobbery and cultural connotations for me. I own close to 3000 records and have roughly 7000 mp3's on my computer and less than 10% of them are metal (although the metal have I love). Hell, as I type this I'm listening to Cibo Matto. Does that break your stereotype enough for you?

Besides, what're you saying that Heavy Metal is juvenile? And Goth isn't?


The Cramps, Dead Can Dance, and Sixteen Horsepower could be considered "Goth" - and are often also considered respectively, rockabilly, classical, or country/folk. There's not a specific genre that encompasses goth.

I haven't heard enough of DCD and 16 Horsepower to pass judgement on them. The Cramps have Charlie The Tuna Syndrome: They Have Good Taste, But they Don't Taste Good. I share their love for rockabilly, surf and garage, but they're performance comes off so affected that it seems like a crude parody.

And Iron Maiden made some great music. "Number Of The Beast" holds up better than most of what I've heard lately.

Goth for my purposes is what most self-described goths I've met listen to: The Cure, the Smiths, New Order, Depeche Mode. I found that stuff pretentious, twee, and most of all boring and the crowd who patronized them to be snobby pretentious poseurs. But don't tell the goths that, because while they feel perfectly comfortable looking down their nose at your taste, they get all sensitive and shit when you make fun of they're little shtick.

Hey, i'm a rock and roll traditionalist. Along with disco, techno and synth-pop, goth has helped to destroy that tradition and that's why I loathe it.
posted by jonmc at 6:29 PM on October 20, 2003


my rock's better than your rock.
posted by quonsar at 6:39 PM on October 20, 2003


*eyes quonsar's rock*

Damn right it is!
posted by Ufez Jones at 6:54 PM on October 20, 2003


jonmc, I was just pointing out that pretentious and silly is not the exclusive domain of any genre of music. And I'm not particularly fond of The Cure (I like the first few albums, late 70s/early 80's stuff), the Smiths (first album is pretty good, though - Johnny Marr is a kick-ass gitaurist) , New Order (again, the first album is pretty good), Depeche Mode (them foofy-haired boys get on my last good nerve), but then again, other than The Cure, I wouldn't consider any of them to be goth per se.

Goth to me is less about a particular sound and more about a mood, lyrics, or imagery. The Carter Family - totally goth. Black Sabbath - way goth. Opal, The Gun Club - goth.

The Cramps have Charlie The Tuna Syndrome: They Have Good Taste, But they Don't Taste Good. I share their love for rockabilly, surf and garage, but they're performance comes off so affected that it seems like a crude parody.

Well, they've pretty much become a parody of themselves, true, but the same could be said of AC/DC. Still, you haven't lived until you've seen a stripper do her routine to "I was a Teenage Werewolf" ;)
posted by echolalia67 at 7:25 PM on October 20, 2003


And I'm not particularly fond of The Cure (I like the first few albums, late 70s/early 80's stuff), the Smiths (first album is pretty good, though - Johnny Marr is a kick-ass gitaurist)

Morrissey and Robert Smith are twin anti-Christs.

The Carter Family - totally goth. Black Sabbath - way goth. Opal, The Gun Club - goth.

smile when you say that,partner.

I'm simply at war with the modern world ultimately. I'm gonna go grab some Bobby Fuller Four, Sly & The Family Stone and Sprit records and remeber that rock-n-roll was street music not drama club music.
posted by jonmc at 7:31 PM on October 20, 2003


I'm simply at war with the modern world ultimately. I'm gonna go grab some Bobby Fuller Four, Sly & The Family Stone and Sprit records and remeber that rock-n-roll was street music not drama club music.

Which fictional time period was this? From what I can tell, rock-n-roll has pretty much allways been a show put on by the people who sell the music using the people who make the music. I don't think it could be anything but a show coming on the heels of masters like Calloway and Waller who found themselves made into "product".
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:02 PM on October 20, 2003


kirkjobsluder-wipe my point off the wall, it just flew over your head.
posted by jonmc at 8:05 PM on October 20, 2003


Working in San Francisco with producer, boyfriend and Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins...

BWA HA HA HA HA
posted by UKnowForKids at 8:13 PM on October 20, 2003


jonmc:smile when you say that,partner

Oh, I do.

After much urging, and strategic placement of CD in the car during a long road trip, my S.O. has recently decided that he really likes the Velvet Underground. Why did he stay away so long - he hates Andy Warhol. Thought that VU were a one-trick pony product of "The Factory".

Which illustrates my point - making a judgement on a social/music phenomena based on obvious, but possibly erroneous, associations does it an injustice.

All the goths I know are some of the most chipper, (intentionally) funny, and musically well-rounded folks I know. A lot of them share your loathing of The Cure, the Smiths, New Order, and Depeche Mode and share my attraction to louder, faster, heavier and more raw music. Maybe it's because they, like me, are older and have been exposed to more types of music. I dunno.

I just think that judging all the music related to a sub-culture by the tastes of it's least sophisticated and least mature members (high school thru college age) is not giving you a full feel for what it's about.

BTW, I'm not a goth, I just share some of the same interests. If you were to force me to pick a music genre to identify with, I'd have to go with "alt.country by way of the early 80's LA 'paisley underground' ".
posted by echolalia67 at 8:26 PM on October 20, 2003


If one finds oneself justifying love of a musical genre more because of the fashions it affects or the attitudes it espouses or the people it attracts than because of the music itself, one ought to just shut the fuck up about music already. It started before Video Killed The Radio Star and that fuckstick Malcolm Mclaren, for damn sure, but it's reaching a cool-hunter-driven, marketing-fueled head at these days (matched as always by the reaction to the marketing, which moves just as many rebellion-fed units, of course), and it never ceases to annoy me. Goth? Punk? Emo? Techno? What-fucking-ever. These shorthands for lifestyles and belief systems as opposed to actual musical styles are buzznoise to simplify expression of the tribal impulses (and target the disposable income) of Joe MusicFan, not useful descriptors his love for music.

/rant

Not that I'm speaking of anyone specifically here, just a general observation that I had when I was like 17.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:24 PM on October 20, 2003


You all really take this seriously, don't you?
posted by moonbiter at 10:28 PM on October 20, 2003


" I see this as a good thing. The more ridicule heaped on goths the better..."

I agree. 98% of goths have no idea what being a goth is about and basically anybody can start being a goth by wearing dark makeup and black clothes and being sad. Those who really do know what being a goth is about deny that they currently are a goth. Slit your wrists or shut the hell up. Fish or Cut bait....
posted by Fidel at 10:54 PM on October 20, 2003


Taking it really seriously is what goth's for dontcha know.

I just think that judging all the music related to a sub-culture by the tastes of it's least sophisticated and least mature members (high school thru college age) is not giving you a full feel for what it's about.

But but but but but musical subcultures of any stripe basically are high school through college age people! Unless my peers are more frightening than I realize. That's what's made this thread so bizarre, everybody's turning all the bad parts of nineteen years old.

Besides, who the hell wants a sophisticated and mature musical subculture?
posted by furiousthought at 11:00 PM on October 20, 2003


"Back almost 20 years ago, when I was in high school and goth was referred to as "death rock" it was more about having fun with iconography that represents "the dark side" to the average person - more of a "wooowooh...bats...creeepy monsters (giggle)" than a "I am Azriel, prince of sorrows" thing. I still regard Goth as the ultimate inside joke. Plus, the fabrics and accessories are pretty fab if you take away all the bad pewter "D&D" jewelry."

Well, that's what we were like - we being me and the sometime goths I hung out with. We're all still closet goth, only it's hard to have the look and keep the day job. And I didn't know anyone who took it so seriously. We mocked everything including (and especially) ourselves - "alas, woe is me, for I am a tortured soul!" And Death Rock was definitely tied into metal - that was what I was into, more emphasis on guitar.

Most of us were more into 17th century poetry and the literature that sparked the term, btw. English lit lovers with a sense of fun and a love of black clothes, reading way too much Poe and debating the merits of Dracula and Varney the Vampire cheese. And watching way too many Hammer and Vincent Price films.

Now I have to go listen to the Hoodoo Guru's I Was a Kamikaze Pilot and Ministry's Every Day is Halloween (remember when Ministry churned out boppy lil tunes? very funny to look back on).

And this whole Vanessa thing should be terribly amusing to watch - can you imagine what Brittany and Christina would like like if they followed along and went goth as well? That just screams for a photoshop moment. And who will be the first to duet with Christian Death... Or (snicker) Gene Loves Jezebel?
posted by batgrlHG at 11:30 PM on October 20, 2003


You all really take this seriously, don't you?

Depends on what you mean by 'this'.

Fashion and marketing, no, which was my point above. Music, yes.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:32 AM on October 21, 2003


You all really take this seriously, don't you?

Depends on what you mean by 'this', my supercilious friend.

Fashion and marketing, no, which was my point above. Music, yes, because I love it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:52 AM on October 21, 2003


Heh. The power of my mighty editorial sword, exposed to the world.

How the heck did that happen?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:53 AM on October 21, 2003


My favourite memory of Vanessa Carlton is being in the Erotic Museum in Copenhagen, simultanusly (sic) watching sixteen screens of hardcore human, animal, god knows what porn. And there was MTV on a TV on top of these playing 'A Thousand Miles' by Vanessa Carlton. From then on I have always associated her with being buttfucked by a donkey, so this is a huge inflation of my opinion of her.

She is a faker though. I bet she hasn't even seen 'The Wicker Man'...
posted by boneybaloney at 3:52 AM on October 21, 2003


johnmc:

I didn't miss your point, I just found it to be self-congratulatory BS to spend so much time bashing "Goth" music while idolizing an ideal rock and roll of the streets that never really existed. It just means that you are in different herd competing for mindshare, writing posts with a spooky similarity to the ubergoths that you dispise (just search and replace the names of the bands). I suppose the next generation of reality show would involve dumping self-proclaimed rock&roll elites with ubergoths for the conflict. On the other hand, they are likely to do little more than shout things like "...remeber that rock-n-roll was street music not drama club music" which would set a new low for how pathetic television is becoming.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:41 AM on October 21, 2003


I can't believe people are mentioning bands like the Smiths and New Order in a goth thread. When I was a nipper goth was the Sisters of Mercy, the Mission, the Cult and Bauhaus. And the Cure for the mini-goths. I hate it when people change the rules.
posted by Summer at 5:21 AM on October 21, 2003


On preview, Summer just beat me to the admittedly late punch - whilst a lot of goths I knew sort of liked bands like Joy Division and The Smiths, the progenitors of the goth scene were the Sheffield bands (Mission, SOM etc) and people like Bauhaus and Alien Sex Fiend.
posted by johnny novak at 5:30 AM on October 21, 2003


To quote some actually interesting music:

All you know about me is what I've sold you,
Dumb fuck.
I sold out long before you ever heard my name.

I sold my soul to make a record,
Dip shit,
And you bought one.

So I've got some
Advice for you, little buddy.
Before you point your finger
You should know that
I'm the man,

If I'm the fuckin' man
Then you're the fuckin' man as well
So you can
Point that fuckin' finger up your ass.

posted by signal at 6:49 AM on October 21, 2003


I'd like to take all goths, tie them down and force them to listen to Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Foghat, Status Quo, Ten Years After, Kiss, and The Who until they were successfully deprogrammed of chewed they're own ears off, whichever came first.
posted by jonmc at 6:59 AM on October 21, 2003


what's wrong with the who, jonmc?
posted by pxe2000 at 7:06 AM on October 21, 2003


wait so you guys really hate the cure?
posted by glenwood at 7:07 AM on October 21, 2003


pxe2000, I love all those bands, but you're average goth hates 'em.

and before everybody goes ballistic on me. I'm just having fun here. The types of music I like are either ignored by the majority here(garage rock, old blues and soul, country) or openly reviled (heavy metal, 70's hard rock, novelty records, bubblegum) or "ironically" embraced as "kitsch objects." So I'm just having some half-assed revenge

glenwood: with a passion, but I hate the Smiths even more.
posted by jonmc at 7:10 AM on October 21, 2003


jonmc: just because liking (your version of) "traditional" rock and roll is incompatible with liking more modern bands who do something different with the music in YOUR world (and I'm sure purists would use your own argument against you to argue that the 60's-70's bands you hold up as bastions of rock and roll are just poseurs to the legacy of even EARLIER rock and roll bands), doesn't mean it's emprirically "right", or that anyone who likes the Smiths couldn't possibly like Foghat. Dude...nobody wants to take your ZZ Top away from you, the world has room for Skynyrd AND every other band, even (shocking as it is) those you don't like - the mere presence of Cure CD's doesn't make Kiss CD's disappear. Get a grip, there are plenty of people who like the music you like AND all kinds of other bands, and some people just don't like your music, that's okay isn't it? I mean, since your argument implies that it must be a limited supply, that means there's all the more for you. I must again quote Lemmy's wisdom: "there's only two kinds of music, the kind you like and the kind you don't". Get over it, really, you'll feel much better. :)
posted by biscotti at 7:28 AM on October 21, 2003


again biscotti, I'm just havin' fun here. The MeFi crowd tends to lean towards the arty type stuff more than the stuff I like, and it's fun to watch everyone get into a lather when I proclaim the opposite to be true, and trust me I'm a huge fan of the progenitors of 60's-70's stuff as any trip through my record collection would tell anyone. I just chose those bands as examples since they've been openly reviled here before and their (to my ears) antithetical to what's commonly accepted as "good" here.

Plus most people assume that people who like the aforementioned bands are all mulletheaded morons, so I like to stand that stereotype on it's head.
posted by jonmc at 7:36 AM on October 21, 2003


with all due respect to jonmc, i'm amazed people still listen to skynyrd. give me the band any day. :)

though (just so i'm not yelled at for shitting on a thread) live at leeds-era who kicks mighty god of thunder ass. it resides happily in my record collection next to the first new order album.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:56 AM on October 21, 2003


Hey, I consider my copy of The Band one of my prize possessions. But Ronnie Van Zant was an underrated songwriter. "Curtis Lowe" and "Needle and The Spoon" are gems.
posted by jonmc at 8:05 AM on October 21, 2003


I don't think we should omit mention of "I Know A Little" either.
posted by UncleFes at 8:11 AM on October 21, 2003


http://ney.frota.net/coisas/2troublegirl

http://www.everything2.org/index.pl?node=Losing%20My%20Edge

I heard you have a compilation of every good song ever done by anybody
I heard that you have a white label of every seminal Detroit techno hit from 1985, '86, '87
I heard that you have a CD compilation of every good sixties cut and another box set from the seventies

posted by ifjuly at 8:23 AM on October 21, 2003


Hey, Fes, I gotta bottle of Boones, some weed and a copy of Second Helping, let's get high behind the bike shed and crank it up.
posted by jonmc at 8:30 AM on October 21, 2003


jonmc: fair enough. robertson et al's version of americana has a greater appeal to me (yes, i know they were canadian), but it's all good. :) what did you think of the movie the last waltz? if scorsese focused on the rockin' instead of the interviews, it would have been amazing.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:38 AM on October 21, 2003


I am so there, dude. Gimme five to ditch study hall and pick up some smokes.
posted by UncleFes at 8:40 AM on October 21, 2003


Plus most people assume that people who like the aforementioned bands are all mulletheaded morons, so I like to stand that stereotype on it's head.

But in all my twisted fantasies you always have a mullet...

*sigh*

I'm shaken to the core
posted by Mick at 8:55 AM on October 21, 2003


what did you think of the movie the last waltz?

It was life-changing for me at 16. But while I still love the live footage, Robertson does come off as an egomaniac. Levon and Rick are still the acme of cool, and the Jack Ruby story is still funny.

Mick: I did have one as a teenager, if that makes you feel better.
posted by jonmc at 8:58 AM on October 21, 2003


(imagine this came earlier in the thread)

"arty" "goth" rock? you mean like this?
posted by pxe2000 at 9:15 AM on October 21, 2003


jonmc:I'm just having fun here. The types of music I like are ...openly reviled (heavy metal, 70's hard rock, novelty records, bubblegum) ....

I loathe much of that stuff because it was crammed down my throat by AOR radio stations and my peer group throughout the late 70s through the mid-80s. It took me years to get over my aversion to Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and like the music on it's merits. I suspect that your aversion is for similar reasons.

I was drawn to punk because of the energy and fuck you-ness of it, it's art-school offspring because of the willingness to toss anything into the mix (those first two Psychedic Furs albums are a great example - it was all downhill after that;( )and the gothier stuff because of the tounge-in-cheek quality of much of the music. SOM's version of "Gimmie Shelter" rocks because of the slow, sexy beat AND the giggle factor of whatshisname singing it at about 16.5 RPMs.

I'd love to tie you down, make you listen to The Smiths minus Morrisey's whiny vocals, until you admited that sans Sir Wussiness, The Smiths was a pretty rocking lil' band, or until you cried like a little girl, whichever came first.
posted by echolalia67 at 10:21 AM on October 21, 2003


"When I was a nipper goth was the Sisters of Mercy, the Mission, the Cult and Bauhaus."

Same here. And I still love the Sisters.

"I'd like to take all goths, tie them down and force them to listen to Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Foghat, Status Quo, Ten Years After, Kiss, and The Who until they were successfully deprogrammed of chewed they're own ears off, whichever came first."

I've listened to most all of them - how could you not when they got radio play like crazy? I find Kiss hysterical and love em. Why is this supposed to make a goth's head explode? Kiss's sound, makeup and costumes? Goths who are more into rock like that stuff. As for me, the only reason I hate Skynard - well, it's only one song, really - I was over exposed to Sweet Home Alabama while living in Alabama for several years. ZZ has been around forever in Texas and are loved as "local boys." I admit, I liked them most because I dig the 1930s Ford they used in their videos.

Most people like a variety of music. It's never bothered me if people want to tell me they didn't like something I was into - mostly I've noticed that if I talk to anyone we can find one or two groups we both like. Goths did not burst forth from the womb liking certain bands - they had to grow up listening to something.

And I really wish we could have the Smiths without Morrissey's vocals - that got ooold for me. Tying someone down and forcing them to listen to some of the Smiths for hours on end is much greater torture than any of the bands jonmc listed.
posted by batgrlHG at 10:33 AM on October 21, 2003


Yeah, I'd love to tie you down and... oh, wait, um, wrong thread.
posted by kaibutsu at 10:39 AM on October 21, 2003


I loathe much of that stuff because it was crammed down my throat by AOR radio stations and my peer group throughout the late 70s through the mid-80s. It took me years to get over my aversion to Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and like the music on it's merits. I suspect that your aversion is for similar reasons.

I listened to the same AOR stations you did, and I still love all that stuff. You gotta remember the eatly-to-mid 80's were the age of synthpop, which for a testosterone-filled teenage boy ain't cutting the mustard, so it was heavy metal for volume and speed and classic rock for more or less the same reason, but with more flavoring. And punk I liked basically cause it was loud and fast. All other music I got into (blues, country, etc) was by following my Stones, Zep, and Skynyrd records backwards.

I didn't really hear stuff like the Cure and the Smiths till college (I somehow wound up in a school infested with theatre majors, I flunked out after 2 years but thats another story) and I immediately had a visceral dislike to it. The twee vocals and self-pitying lyrics nauseated me.

I find Kiss hysterical and love em.....I liked them most because I dig the 1930s Ford they used in their videos.

This is the crux of the matter. I don't find Kiss hysterical. I honestly love them. Gene and Paul wrote terrific songs full of punchy choruses and great riffs, at least up until after Animalize. ZZ Top guitar on "jesus just left chicago" and Skynyrd's on "Tuesday's Gone" send chills down my spine. It's not an ironic kitschy embrace thing. I honestly think they have artistic merit. More so than most "college music." And let's be honest, a big reason a lot of people adopt goth or alternative styles is to set themselves apart from people who like such things.
posted by jonmc at 10:55 AM on October 21, 2003


I don't find Kiss hysterical. I honestly love them

When I think of Kiss, I think of "I Was Made For Loving You" sung in an Ethel Merman voice...I can't help it...and then I think of "Kiss Saves Christmas" from the Family Guy.

I know you're just having fun, jon, I am, too...and any chance I get to trot out that Lemmy quote is just gravy.

I must admit that I was a goth before it became a fashion movement (the fact that I can truthfully say "I was wearing black and listening to Bauhaus when you kiddies were in diapers/before you were born" frightens me), but I like music from all kinds of places, I don't believe in limiting myself to specific genres - if I like it, it's good - I find it weird when people buy into a movement (buy this CD, wear this uniform) the way Vanessa Carlton seems to be doing. (I also think that "Sweet Home Alabama" is a classic in the true sense - it's such a clearly strong influence on so many songs (Madonna's "Don't Tell Me" and Soundgarden's "Burden In My Hand", to name two )). Okay...my non-sequitur work is done here.
posted by biscotti at 11:21 AM on October 21, 2003


Man, if liking Joy Division, The Cure, and New Order make you goth, then sign me up.

Seriously, I'm about as goth as jon, and I like all of those bands. The standards have gone down. Like people who call Linkin Park "metal".

I like all kinds of music, personally, and I don't think I should limit myself to any genre.

signal, I had to go listen to that song after you quoted it. Good call.
posted by nath at 1:08 PM on October 21, 2003


jonmc: I listened to the same AOR stations you did, and I still love all that stuff. You gotta remember the eatly-to-mid 80's were the age of synthpop, which for a testosterone-filled teenage boy ain't cutting the mustard

Well, as a hormone-infested teenage girl, I found most of the synth-pop stuff to be pretty weak and irritating, not to mention that the boys who loved the stuff tended to be immune to the charms of girls (hey, I grew up in San Francisco). I was lucky to have good enough reception to get this station which changed my life. The AOR stations just didn't play Gang of Four, The Clash, Husker Du, and The Buzzcocks, period. And how many times can a person hear Stairway to Heaven, Smoke on the Water and Roundabout in one day - AOR stations were pretty fucking repetitive and homogenious back then. Now it's all the commerical stations - all we have left is the college radio stations.
posted by echolalia67 at 3:27 PM on October 21, 2003


Joy Division always had goth cred.

In other entertainment news, Mandy Moore is covering Joni Mitchell, XTC, and Blondie.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo
posted by furiousthought at 4:14 PM on October 21, 2003


I love the Smiths (someone had to come out and say it) and I still fail to find Morrissey nauseating, whiny or twee. Well, perhaps a little whiny, but in the best possible way. And the band without him would be as pointless and empty as the band without Marr (see Morrissey's largely mediocre solo career). The way all four complemented each other so perfectly was what made it special.

On the other hand, I also have a long standing affection for The Who and for Led Zeppelin (the new live album is indeed excellent). Like all these things I suppose it's a matter of taste. And, of course, mine is better than yours, fool.

On preview: ack. Seconded. Hold me back, just hold me back.
posted by zygoticmynci at 4:46 PM on October 21, 2003


Besides, who the hell wants a sophisticated and mature musical subculture?

Uh, me. This whole thread is giving me bad flashbacks to the letters page of 1980s era Maximum Rock'n'Roll.... Maybe it's the approaching birthday of a particularly frightening number, but I find that I just no longer can rouse myself to care about the nuances of what qualifies as metal and what qualifies as goth. It ends up mattering... so little. *looks at the words I have just typed and shrivels up in despair*

I can't believe people are mentioning bands like the Smiths and New Order in a goth thread. When I was a nipper goth was the Sisters of Mercy, the Mission, the Cult and Bauhaus. And the Cure for the mini-goths. I hate it when people change the rules.

Psssst: Fields of the Nephilim (which I'm convinced I've mispelled. Blame it on the approaching birthday, as above). And yeah. Interesting how the strata of age becomes evident here when it comes to music.

And the Gun Club were truly, truly evil. The guiltiest of my guilty pleasures. *hums She's Like Heroin to Me*
posted by jokeefe at 5:56 PM on October 21, 2003


i love the Smiths, too, and they wouldn't have been anything without Morrissey's lyrics, so get off that inane train while you've still got some cred (not you, zygoticminci - great name, btw - i love the GZM).

i also still like the Cure (up to the '90s), Joy Division, and New Order, and (not bragging at all) my testosterone level is thru the roof. (i have the bad complexion, male-pattern baldness, and body hair to prove it - not to mention the records from the sperm bank)

this whole thread is still pure comedy to me. i can't understand the association between music and lifestyle. i'm nothing close to a Goth, yet i loved the Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus *and* the Hunger (though maybe just for that first sex scene with Deneuve and Sarandon). i still do. i also love the Mates of State, Mountain Goats, Schubert, Dirty Power, Radiohead, blah, blah, blah.

i've been exposed to plenty of Skynrd, ZZ Top, Foghat, and the Who (not sure how The Who fits in there). i grew up in Kentucky. classic rock is all we had (aside from the '80s pop crap - i never heard the Smiths or Cure on the radio).

so y'all are full of shit. just thought you should know.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:57 PM on October 21, 2003


Taste is not scientific, it's incredibly random. Environmental, sociological, mood-dependent, permanent flux - Enough already!
posted by boneybaloney at 8:00 AM on October 22, 2003


I'd like to take all goths, tie them down and force them to listen to Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Foghat, Status Quo, Ten Years After, Kiss, and The Who until they were successfully deprogrammed of chewed they're own ears off, whichever came first.

What you'd make them grow up in my home town in New Hampshire? You MONSTER!!!
posted by lumpenprole at 8:28 AM on October 22, 2003


I saw the Sisters of Mercy play a show in Minneapolis in 1999. How random was that? Why were they touring? They put on a good show, but I still can't figure out why they decided to put on a show in the half-empty First Avenue mainroom.
posted by subgenius at 8:33 AM on October 22, 2003


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