Let’s add some non-standard punk.

I think I just might be coming down with something, which makes me want to get to bed early and not writ long and rambling monologues today. So I won’t. I’ll simply throw you some wonderful Swedish post-hardcore.

A song combining a catchy melody, a killer hook riff and a magnificent “in your fucking face” attitude.

Refused – New Noise [The Shape of Punk to Come] | 1998 | Post-Hardcore

[expand title=”Lyrics”]Can I scream? Yeah!
We lack the motion to move to the new beat
We lack the motion to move to the new beat

It’s here for us to admire if we can afford the beauty of it
Can afford the luxury of turning our heads
Adjust that thousand dollars smile and behold the creation of man
Great words won’t cover ugly actions – good frames won’t save bad paintings

We lack the motion to move to the new beat. Yeah!
We lack… motion
When the day is over – Hey! – the doors are locked on us
Money buys the access – and we can’t pay the cost
And how can we expect anyone to listen if we are using the same old voice?
We need new noise – new art for the real people

We dance to all the wrong songs
We enjoy all the wrong moves
We dance to all the wrong songs
We’re not leading
We dance to all the wrong songs
We enjoy all the wrong moves
We dance to all the wrong songs
We’re not, we’re not, we’re not, we’re not, we’re not, we’re not…
Leading

We dance – all the wrong songs
We enjoy – all the wrong moves
We dance – all the wrong songs

We dance – all the wrong songs
We enjoy – all the wrong moves
We dance – all the wrong songs

Here we go!

We dance to all the wrong songs
We enjoy all the wrong moves
We dance to all the wrong songs
We’re not leading. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! The new beat!
The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! The new beat!
The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! The new beat!
The new beat! The new beat! The new beat! The new beat!
Thank you.[/expand]

I actually find it hard to believe that this is a 90s song, as its refinement and advanced structures scream 2003/2004. This makes it one of those songs that were ahead of their time, skill- and production-wise. And this is a huge compliment. … NO. A good production and line-perfect skills don’t make a good song alone. It needs energy and feeling too, to be considered truly good. And guess what? I really think that “New Noise” delivers that. I mean, when they let themselves be influenced to put some nifty Drumm’n’Base portions into this song (against the backdrop of an ironically pretty damn conservative audience) and make them sound GOOD and ORGANIC, they simply WON. They won with New Noise.

I’m mostly a Goth Rock, EBM and Darkwave kind of guy when it comes to dancing. But even I fully adore and love to hear this song when out hitting the dancefloor.
There’s a trifecta of songs that came out prior to 2005 that make me want to go utterly crazy when a DJ puts them on. It speaks volumes for the that they were able to be picked up by “Goth” DJs. They rock. They rock hard. And they all have awesome hooks, beats and melodies which make them perfect to go crazy, let loose and mosh like a mad motherfucker.

You just heard one of them.
Here are the other two:

Slipknot – Before I Forget [2004]
(The hooks and riffs here… *goosebumps*

Disturbed – Down With the Sickness [2000]
(Still a helluva epic intro.)

Let’s talk about sleeping.

This might be a tad weird.
But I’m stumbling around like an idiot trying to find a bed which fits two categories:
1) 120cm-125cm wide
2) Aesthetically pleasing to me.

So far it’s been an either/or situation, which kinda pisses me off.
I want a metal bed with nice, winded, metal bars at either end.
To have some capabilities of… You know… Being playful.

So I’m looking and looking and looking. At this sucks, as I hate shopping of any kind. The internet-commerce revolution was a great boon to me. I started ordering books from amazon when it came online and I never stopped. (Which, as it turns out, seems to a slight problem in itself right now. ;) ).

So, as I’m now fuck-tired of looking at beds offline AND online, let’s see if I can’t serve you a song related to beds. (Hint: I can.)

The Bluetones – Sleazy Bed Track [Return to the Last Chance Saloon] | 1998 | Rock/Britpop

[expand title=”Lyrics”]I know it’s getting late.
But if you’d like to talk a little more.
Well that’s alright with me.
I’m feeling kinda tired.
But it ain’t exactly beating down my door.
Now just why could this be?

And I know I shouldn’t say.
But you’ve been acting strange the last few days.
And this has made me think.
Your pills have cost too much.
And you can’t feel them working any more.
So pour them down the sink.
And listen to me.

All you’ve gotta do is baby kick off your shoes and lay down.
Climb up here with me and let’s forget about sleep, and lay down.

Why hide your face from me?
Why turn away?
All I wanna do is pull you closer and say:
I’m feeling kinda tired.
But it ain’t exactly beating down my door.
Now just why could this be?
Will you listen to me?

All you’ve gotta do is baby kick off your shoes and lay down.
Climb up here with me and let’s forget about sleep, just lay down with me.
Lay down next to me.
Lay down with me.

I know I shouldn’t say.
But you’ve been acting strange the last few days.
And this has made me think, you know it got me thinking.
Your pills have cost too much.
And you can’t feel them working any more.
So pour them all right down the sink.[/expand]

This track is absolutely gorgeous. At the tail-end of the 90s and still filled with a typically 70s flow and almost funk. When I first listened to it, I actually THOUGHT that it was a 70s song, even though it was played in a club that wasn’t widely known for playing 70s tracks. I had to badger the DJ when she put on one of her 10min coffee-break songs to fish out the playlist and tell me what the hell I just listened to. I’m glad she did.

The feeling and mood of this song remind me so very much of my early 20s. In a very good way. Especially the slow, lazy summers with all those, beautiful, alternative girls around me. Most of the flirting was playful banter between friends, true. But… Not all of it. And some did lead places. Wonderful, exciting places. … I’m glad for my memories.

And with that thought, and your own memories, I say good night.

Let’s invoke Protocol Fifteen, part 1.

Yeah, this might just become a series, as three things coincided today:
1) I like the number fifteen.
2) Today I stumbled upon Therion’s “Theli”.
3) It was released fifteen years ago.

Never to be someone to not grasp a chance by its horns, I will now tell you about how much Therion influenced me musically and personally.

Not at all.

Okay, yeah, I will have to expand on this one, won’t I?

In the late 90s, I was heavily into all forms of Metal. Symphonic, Death, Speed, Thrash… Name it, I liked it. Listened to it. But it seems that I utterly missed Therion. When I went out to parties, nobody played them. When I went to buy new CDs, their tray was empty. When I watched music TV, I missed the days when their videos were aired. And so on and so forth. I first learned of them about… Two years ago, I think. Or rather: I first LISTENED to them two years ago. I KNEW about them all the time. Read about them, saw them going on tour and saw other bands talk about them. But for some weird reason, they always stayed under my radar. But Nightwish and Within Temptation didn’t. Which is weird as fuck, as both bands probably wouldn’t exist without all the groundwork done by Therion.

Just look at the dates: Therion culminated their symphonic style in 1996. They started working on it years before, in their earlier albums. And they found their apex in 1996.
1997 saw the first releases of Nightwish and Within Tempation. Two bands who would go on to eclipse Therion in almost any measurable way.

And as I’m always someone that wants to make people aware of the roots of things they enjoy… I simply had to feat myself on Therion.
And I enjoyed it. So, two years ago I first listened to Theli. Today, I listened to it by chance. Fifteen years after it was released.

So, for some of you… You will listen to them for the first time. See what symphonic metal was like when it all started, before it was “the thing to do/be”. For the rest: Have fun thinking about how you first got to know Therion. What you connect with them, their music and their shows.

Both groups: Enjoy.

(I even found the offical video. Back when that shit was common even for smaller Metal bands. … FUCK DO I MISS THE 90s!)

[expand title=”Lyrics”]Powers of Thagirion
Watch the Great Beast to be
For To Mega Therion
The Draconian melody
The Dragon open the eye
And reveal both truth and lie
Spiritual supremacy

Ride the Beast of ecstasy
Spiritual supremacy
Ride the Beast of ecstasy

Ialbaophs creative spark
Manifests the utmost dark
Ialbaophs creative spark

Meaning of the letter Theth
Hide the force of Baphomet
Meaning of the letter Theth

The wound of Baal will be healed
When sign of time is unsealed
The wound of Baal will be healed

The world will burn by Soraths flame
And through the solar sign proclaim

Ascending fiend of the sea
Will fulfill prophecy
Man will feel the wrath of Beast
When fenris wolf is released
The Dragon open the eye
Reveal both truth and lie
Spiritual supremacy

The end of revelation
A soulful violation
The end of revelation

Bear the mark of victory
And the spear of destiny
Bear the mark of victory

Powers of Thagirion
For To Mega Therion
Powers of Thagirion

Watch the Great Beast to be
The Draconian melody
Watch the Great Beast to be

The world will burn by Soraths flame
And through the solar sign proclaim

Powers of Thagirion
Is the Great Beast to be
The To Mega Therion

Powers of Thagirion
For To Mega Therion
Powers of Thagirion

Watch the Great Beast to be
The Draconian melody
Watch the Great Beast to be

Meaning of the letter Theth
Hide the force of Baphomet
Meaning of the letter Theth

The wound of Baal will be healed
When sign of time is unsealed
The wound of Baal will be healed

The world will burn by Soraths flame
And through the solar sign proclaim[/expand]

Therion – To Mega Therion [Theli] | 1996 | Symphonic Metal

The dark beauty and sheer power of this song still strike my chords just the right way.
Man. It’s good. Really, really good.

Let’s hope these days end soon.

Stress all abound, yeah!
I think if January actually should bring some peace and quiet… That I’ll have Rottenburg-syndrome all over again. Feeling nervous and harried because stress is actively lacking and I can’t hear its dreadful buzz all around me.

Thinking about this made me think about Rottenburg. Which made me think about 2004. Which made me think about music I listened to back then. Which then led to this song:


In Strict Confidence – Industrial Love (VNV Nation Remix) [Industrial Love / Prediction] | 1998 | Industrial Synth

[Lyrics not available online for this particular remix]

This song…
Is a secret favourite of mine.
This particular remix is something I listen to pretty much every year since 1998. But in 2002-2006 I listened to it more than the other years, mostly because of the people I hanged with, the clubs I went to, the emotions I experienced and the situations I was put through. It holds a special significance for me personally. I love it dearly.

It’s also a perfect blend of German coldness and Industrial (both the musical and the look/style/economic senses) romance. It’s a song that best describes the area I live in for me. When I think Rhine-Ruhr, I think of this song. I think of Essen at night, driving along it’s blue-lit streets, under bridges, besides high-rise buildings with heli-pads on top, parking in desolate spaces to visit established sub-culture bars, clubs, stores and friends. It’s the Ruhrpott for me.

Lets calm down a bit.

The stress of the last week is finally starting to lie low for a while. For which I’m really thankful.
Next week is filled with birthdays, though. At least three of which I’m aware of. Damn that damnable time of the year. Too many people screwing around during the spring-months!

Anyway, thinking about “calming down” has led me to search a bit through my collection of “calming down” music. (Yes, there’s a playlist and a tag or two for that…)
I’ve then decided to share one of those songs with you, dear readership, as it’s one I think that will appeal to most, if not all, of the people mind-flayed enough to read these collection of sorry thoughts.

Dead Can Dance – The Carnival is Over [Into the Labyrinth] | 1993 | Dark Ambient

[expand title=”Lyrics”]Outside the storm clouds gathering
Moved silently along the dusty boulevard
Where flowers turning crane their fragile necks
So they can in turn reach up and kiss the sky

They’re driven by a strange desire
Unseen by the human eye
Someone’s calling

I remember when you held my hand
In the park we would play
When the circus came to town
Look over here

Outside the circus gathering
Moved silently along the rain swept boulevard
The procession moved on, the shouting is over
The fabulous freaks are leaving town

They’re driven by a strange desire
Unseen by the human eye
Someone’s calling

The carnival is over

We sat and watched
As the moon rose
For the very first time[/expand]

It is honestly hard for me to describe the emotions, feelings and images this song evokes in me. It manages to calm me, to let me come down, to shut my eyes, tell my brain to stop it for a few minutes and to just… Float for a bit.

It’s a magical composition.
It’s serene, mystical, slightly surreal and all-around beautiful.

It’s also one of those songs that manage to capture the listener no matter the season, time of day or day of the week. I listen to it on sunny, summer, sunday, mornings as well as on cold, dark, rainy autumn monday nights. And while the effect it has is subtly changed, the main thrust still remains: It calms and soothes. And it summons images into my mind’s eye, that for some weird reason never had anything to do with circuses. All were very helpful with finishing creative projects, though.

It’s allusions to two Joy Division songs also help to make it one of the tracks that I tune-in to very often.

Give it a chance.
Listen to it.
And if you’ve got 10€, go get yourself the album. One of the best albums in the last twenty years by my metric.

Awesome What-The-Fuckery

I’m just watching a new and current Beavis and Butt-Head Episode.

It’s weird.
And awesome.
And funny.
And awesome.
And stupid.
But still awesome!

Yay!

Might this be a sign that MTV wants to get back to show some non-cheap-mainstream music again?
Or, well, any kind of music again?

But, Beavis and Butt-Head! Yeah!

Let’s think a bit about Brandon Lee.

And yes, that ties in with my “Music to Listen To When I’m Sick” theme.

Brandon Lee gave us many things. He gave us “The Crow”, he gave us the wonderful soundtrack to that movie and he influenced teenaged Goths for almost a decade. I’m still waiting if Heath Ledger will do the same for the current generation of… Whatever it is that Teenagers call Goth today. I’ve seen a few Jokers running around clubs already, so there’s that. But, well, let’s wait and see.

I’m going to delve into the Soundtrack to “The Crow”. It’s one of those compilation albums that just does everything right. The Cure, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine, Pantera, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Nine Inch Nails, Violent Femmes, Rollins Band, For Love Not Lisa, Helmet, Machines of Loving Grave, Medicine, Jane Siberrry and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. – All on one single CD. All contributing songs that are dark and moody and fit well together, with varying degrees of power, speed and ‘darkness’.

It’s one of the few movie Soundtracks that I can (and do!) listen to up-and-down repeatedly. And even still constantly, after sixteen years. It’s just that damn good!
(I’m serious here, actually. Go, buy it now! – You can get it for 3,36€ for fuck’s sake! And it’s fully worth the 13,99€ new. Just click on the pic that follows.)

Crow OST

Anyway!
Songs to listen to while sick.
Yes.
First of, something’s that akin to “musical comfort food” for me, is the opening riffing from RATM’s “Darkness”. From 00:00 to 00:30. It’s just so utterly chill and perfect. And it gets repeated and re-interpreted through the song. It’s just… Perfect. It’s almost jazz. Almost. It’s funky. And it’s dark, and cool. It’s something to drink Coffee or Whiskey to.

But the one song that I simply can’t stop listening to, and which comforts me to no end when I’m feeling miserable?

It’s the very first track. That wonderful re-write of Cure’s “Burn“.

[expand title=”Lyrics”]don’t look, don’t look
the shadows breathe
whispering me away from you
don’t wake at night to watch her sleep
you know that you will always see
this trembling, adored, tousled bird-mad girl

every night i burn
every night i call your name
every night i burn
every night i fall again

don’t talk of love ’cause shadows blur
murmuring me away from you
don’t talk of worlds that never were
the end is always ever true
there’s nothing you can ever say
nothing you can ever do

still every night i burn
every night i scream your name
every night i burn
every night the dream’s the same
every night i burn
waiting for my only friend
every night i burn
waiting for the world to end

just paint your face and shadow smile
slipping me away from you
oh it doesn’t matter how you hide
find you if we’re wanting to
so slide back down and close your eyes
sleep awhile – you must be tired

when every night i burn
every night i call your name
every night i burn
every night i fall again

every night i burn
scream the animal screams
every night i burn
dream the crow black dream

dream the crow black dream

Still every night I burn, every night I scream your name.
Every night I burn, Every night the dream’s the same.

Every night I burn, screaming the animal scream
Every night I burn, dreaming the crow-black dream. yeah, yeah
Dreaming the crow-black dream…[/expand]

Combined with the video/movie, it’s what I want my World of Darkness chronicles to be: Personal, Intense, Dark, Gothic. And yet, packed with action, hope and the chance for lasting change.

And this song oozes darkness, despair, intensity, hope, personal conflict, love and sheer Gothic Ambience.

That’s why I love listening to it when I’m ill or feeling down. It gets my mind’s eye rolling. Makes me think about vast, darkly-mirrored cities and their inhabitants and all the weird and mysterious and wonderful adventures that happen to them there. It also makes me close my eyes and think of autumnal comforts. It’s one of the few songs I actually like to get into a blanket in a dark, cold room with an open window to listen to. To get it all right. To let the sounds of rain and wind and distant urban life complete the picture.

And this soothes me.
Calms me.
Helps me get better.

Also, this:

“You know that you will always see
This trembling, adored, tousled bird-mad girl”

Special connotations for me and the early 2000’s.
Special and dear.

That also helps. :)