Jason Matthew Thirsk, this one’s for you.

Or, rather, because of you, you old, dead bastard. Rest in peace.

I recently listened to Bro Hymn again. And Bro Hymn… Bro Hymn was the song to one of the most magical nights in my early 20s.

So, first, listen to the song.

The lyrics are simple, but to the point. And I fully agree with them. Well, not… Fully. It should be a “Sis Hymn” for me. So I simply declare all my close and wonderful female friends to be honorary Bro’s! Mr. Stinson will oversee the ceremony. And I’ll have to make sure to keep him away from all of you afterwards. … You all rock. :)

“When you’re feeling too close to the bottom
You know who it is you can count on
Someone will pick you up again
We can conquer anything together
All of us are bonded forever
If I die you die that’s the way it is”

This is me. To you. As it always was.
And as I could always count on you.
Thank you.
And to another ten years.

But…

This one night.

2002 or 2003 or even 2004. I know I was single then.
A Thursday.
It was a punk/hardcore night at the Saint, my favourite club.

I was there with some friends from school. Again, all female, as my male friends at that time were kinda… Introvert.
It weren’t even close friends. But they sure as hell knew how to party.

There was also… This other girl. Woman.
About as small as I am. But fitter. And hugely more attractive. Dreadlocks, long and blonde. A grin to die for. Khaki cargo-trousers. Multi-coloured shirt. White scarf. Black Boots. And moves… By the stars… She could move.

As the night went on, we came closer in the mosh-pit. We threw ourselves against each other. And shielded us from others. We danced closely. We hugged. We kissed. We shared a drink or two. We moshed and danced some more, with all the energy someone has at that age. … And we didn’t share a single word. We didn’t speak. We just… Watched. Moved. Danced. Smiled. Grinned. Bowed. Thrust. Pulled. Bit. Scratched. Pushed. Moshed.

And it was a magical night.

When it was time to go, she pulled me to herself and gave me a long, warm kiss. I responded in kind. We hugged. Smiled. Bowed. And never saw each other again.

I came away with multiple scratches, uncountable bruises and a bit, bloody lip.
And until those went away, I treasured their pain. This pain was a reminder of this night. All that bonded me with this woman. This… Magical creature of the night.

And they faded. Some quickly. Some slowly. But they faded.
And in the end… It was just memories.
And it’s now ten years later, and the memory remains.
The memory of connection, of closeness, of a shared moment.

It’s a blessing and a curse.
A blessing, because it was simply one of the brightest moments in my life.
A curse, because it’s damn hard to NOT compare any other moments to this one. Also… The identity of this mystery woman is something that won’t let go of me. I wonder… Always wonder.

With this, though…
Remember your magical moments.
Your dream nights.
Your magnificent days.

And smile. :)

A little contrast never truly hurt somebody.

Yes, it’s about The Smiths today.
And about my post yesterday.

This album is a peculiar thing in itself. It came out in 1984. And The Smiths’ debut album “The Smiths”… Also came out in 1984.
What this is, then, is a sort-of compilation of BBC1 radio session [Peel and Jensen] recordings.

And if you ever see an album by an artist you really like and it says “BBC Radio 1 Sessions” or “John Peel Sessions”… Just buy it if you can. Those recordings are often spectacular beasts. The bands often took some time to slightly re-tool their songs for those sessions, they were recorded in a very professional manner and they have a certain feeling to them. It’s… Hard to explain.

It’s also hard on me when it comes to provide a sound-sample, as there is sparsely anything on youtube from this particular album I could let you listen to, and if I’d take a version of those songs from “The Smiths” it wouldn’t offer the distinct quality I’m talking about. So I take one song that wouldn’t have been my first choice, but which still is a powerful offering. And a powerful change. They took out the keyboard part found on “The Smiths” from this and gave the bass part a slightly different twinge.

So, just take a listen to The Smiths – You’ve Got Everything Now.

This is a special album. A special band. All alone, you can buy this album, play it to some indie-hipster and tell them to shut the fuck up because being indie isn’t some sort of “new thing” and The Smiths really showed the world that it certainly was a thing you could sustain. … If you wanted, that this. They didn’t manage more than four main-line albums before breaking up in 1987, managing only five years of “being a band”.

Particularly striking is also their choice of the band name, choosing “The Smiths” to NOT appear ‘pretentious’. Well, music shares something with movies and RPGs then, too: Some things were “first” once and then copied until the breaking point, making their use a highly ironic statement at best. I dare you to give me a “The [X]” these days that isn’t pretentious, ‘ironic’ or trying very, very hard to be ‘edgy’.

It’s like with Tolkien. He made his elves haughty and his dwarves stoic. And generations of later Fantasy writers took his concepts and copied the shit out of them so that nowadays every fantasy world with haughty, long-lived elves and stoic, short-tempered dwarves draws rolled eyes. The same seemed to have happened with The Smiths. They started something to try to NOT look like something else, and the band that followed their footsteps found it cool and copied it… Well… Are the reason why no well-stocked music shop will ever put 90% of all “The” bands under “T”.

But, yes. They were (some of) the first ones of calling themselves “The” and being indie and walking a darker, gloomier road. And back when they did it… It was truly new. It was besides New Wave and after Punk and all-between Hair-Metal and Radio Rock. And it was a success.

Also, compare this with yesterday’s offering, which came out eight years later, which also was different and truly independent. And is now lost to near-total obscurity. That’s the difference proper rotation and “marketing” can make, be it on a national or sub-cultural scale. No word-of-mouth means that even great artists will fade. And proper marketing and huge coffers of cash mean that we get much of the last 12 years in popular music. Because this, The Smiths, was Pop once. As was Madonna. And Michael Jackson. Which is to say… Fuck you, AAA Music Indutry. You fucking sacks of money-hungrey vultures stiffling creativity for selfish gains and easy earnings. Fuck you. I hope your whole industry collapses into itself and never rears its ugly head again.

Err.
Yes.

Go, buy yourselg some Hatful of Hollow.
Even 28 years later it’s still well worth a listen.

Sometimes things strike later than you think.

We now have 2012. I’m thinking back to 2004. With help of a song released 1994. I could’ve waited two years, but then, well… I wouldn’t have had anything to write today and, let’s face it, I would have most probably forgotten my thoughts on this one until then. I mean… Two years. Huge swathes of stuff can happen in two years.

Anyway, 2004. A long-distance relationship. Several long-distance friendships. Those things began then.
The relationship also ended then, sadly enough. The friendships, for the most part, survived. Some are sleeping now. Some I… Cut. Some are active as ever.

But the relationship ended.

It was intense. It was wonderful. It was filled with excitement, much travel, great sex and interesting people.
It was also, as sad as I am to say this, build on a broken foundation.

We both entered into it with different goals, different states-of-mind and different assumptions.
And we both failed to fully communicate those as we spent most of our communication with more positive subjects.
So when the blow came, it came down hard. Even though I was the one who had been “dropped” it still was hard on both of us.

It was a really sucky time. It was a really sucky situation.
And yet… It made me grow and rise to the occasion and appreciate happiness more.

It wasn’t all bad. It wasn’t even mostly bad. It was mostly great. With a big, fat, unhappy ending.
But the memories? They will remain. And they are good memories. Strong memories.

Like these two songs.

Same Band. | Stone Temple Pilots.
Same Year. | 1994
Same Album.| Purple

I love Big Empty. I really do.
It’s a song that I dream to. I remember to it. Bittersweet memories that coax smiles, regrets, grins and a sense of terrible sadness.
And its mood is so terrifyingly good. It’s dark, it’s sweet-yet-heavy, like a bittersweet honey. It’s serene yet powerful.

But the Interstate Love Song has its high-points, too. It fits the year the most. And hits both of us at the same time.

Let’s make this a work related episode.

I almost forgot to get ready.
Stupid move. Taking stupid time.

So, I’ll give you one of the best work-related songs out there.
By one of the kings of Arena Rock.

It’s 38 years old now, and it’s still a great song that pokes fun at rock musicians in a vein similar to Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing”. Lampshading how “easy” it is to become a famous rock star. Even though it’s not as serious as Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” (which must be one of the most mis-used songs in all of history…) it’s subtler than it, because people still fail to see how the lyrics describe that while it’s easy for BTO to just do nothing all day, they had to work their asses off to get there.

Add to this that it’s a power and fun packed song, and you get an instant classic.
Deservedly so.

Enjoy!

Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Takin’ Care of Business [Bachman-Turner Overdrive II] | 1973 | Rock

[expand title=”Lyrics”]You get up every morning
From your alarm clock’s warning
Take the 8:15 into the city
There’s a whistle up above
And people pushin’, people shovin’
And the girls who try to look pretty

And if your train’s on time
You can get to work by nine
And start your slaving job to get your pay
If you ever get annoyed
Look at me I’m self-employed
I love to work at nothing all day

And I’ll be…
[Refrain]
Taking care of business every day
Taking care of business every way
I’ve been taking care of business, it’s all mine
Taking care of business and working overtime
Work out!

If it were easy as fishin’
You could be a musician
If you could make sounds loud or mellow
Get a second-hand guitar
Chances are you’ll go far
If you get in with the right bunch of fellows

People see you having fun
Just a-lying in the sun
Tell them that you like it this way
It’s the work that we avoid
And we’re all self-employed
We love to work at nothing all day

And we be…
[Refrain]

[Spoken] Take good care of my business
When I’m away, every day whoo!

[Repeat first 2 verses]

[Refrain]

Takin’ care of business [4x]

[Refrain]

Takin’ care of business [repeat, fade][/expand]

Let’s get Goth, quick and old-school.

The Sisters of Mercy are one of my most favourite bands… IN THE WORLD! [A callback! Even if it’s just been a day. It feels much longer to me. *sighs* Stupid day filled with moving and building.]

And their lead singer/frontman/boss/creator has been harping on for years they simply AREN’T goth.
Yes.
Mr. Andrew fucking Eldritch called a band “The Sisters of Mercy”, used low toned basses, an at times haunting drum-machine, darkly romantic lyrics, used a darkly romantic style on-stage and for photo-ops and played at festivals such as M’era Luna and the Wave Gothik Treffen. And he thinks that they were never truly goth. For fuck’s sake, man, I fully understand not wanting to be pushed into a style/genre you didn’t choose yourself, not wanting to be put into an envelope by others, but… Well… In this case… You were sorta, kinda asking for it. I mean… Really.

Case in point is today’s track for you all.
A perfect, haunting, danceable piece of Goth Rock cult.
In the short, radio friendly ’92 version. (Anther thing that is shared by the Goth and Techno sub-cultures: Releasing uncountable versions of the same song in the hope that dedicated fans will buy each and every one of them. *casts a glance on his pile of VNV Nation singles and EPs, some of them quite hard to find* … Well, fuck you too!)

After today turned out to be a rainy, grey, fucktastic piece of a crappy day, I needed some fitting music to cheer myself up and to get some positive energy flowing again. So this track was simply perfect.

Now, then, listen. Enjoy. And have a great weekend, all!
(Also! Bonus! That song features Ofra Haza. :) – The early 90s were a time where middle-eastern influences were quite vogue in Gothic cirlces. I kinda miss those myself, to be honest.)

The Sisters of Mercy – Temple of Love ’92 [Temple of Love] | 1992 | Goth Rock

[An important note: I don’t actually know which release, IF ANY!, actually features the 3min radio/video version you see in this video. I’m more familiar with the ~8min versions myself, to be honest. This might mean that the lyrics won’t fully match up, too.]

[expand title=”Lyrics”]With the fire from the fireworks up above me
With a gun for a lover and a shot for the pain at hand
You run for cover in the temple of love
You run for another but still the same
For the wind will blow my name across this land
In the temple of love you hide together
Believing pain and fear outside
But someone near you rides the weather
And the tears he cried will rain on
Walls as wide as lovers’ eyes

In the temple of love-shine like thunder
In the temple of love-cry like rain
In the temple of love-hear my calling
In the temple of love-hear my name

And the devil in a black dress watches over
My guardian angel walks away
Life is short and love is always over in the morning
Black wind come carry me far away
With the sunlight died and the night above me
With a gun for a lover and a shot for the pain inside
You run for cover in the temple of love
You run for another, it’s all the same
For the wind will blow and throw your walls aside

With the fire from the fireworks up above
With a gun for a lover and a shot for the pain
You run for cover in the temple of love
I shine like thunder, cry like rain
And the temple of love grows old and strong
But the wind blows stronger, cold and long
And the temple of love will fall before this
Black wind calls my name to you no more

In the black sky thunder sweeping under
Ground and over water, sounds of
Crying, weeping will not save your
Faith for bricks and dreams for mortar
All your prayers must seem as nothing
Ninety-six below the wave when
Stone is dust and only air remains

In the temple of love-shine like thunder
In the temple of love-cry like rain
In the temple of love-hear the calling
In the temple of love-is falling down

In the temple of love-shine like thunder
In the temple of love-cry like rain
In the temple of love-hear my calling
In the temple of love-hear my name

In the black sky thunder sweeping under
Ground and over water, sounds of
Crying, weeping will not save your
Faith for bricks and dreams for mortar
All your prayers must seem as nothing
Ninety-six below the wave when
Stone is dust and air remains the
Only haven you can trust
And the devil in the black dress watches over
My guardian angel walks away
Life is short and love is always over in the morning
Black wind come carry me far away

With the fire from the fireworks up above
With a gun for a lover and a shot for the pain
You run for cover in the temple of love
I shine like thunder, cry like rain
And the temple of love grows old and strong
But the wind blows stronger, cold and long
And the temple of love will fall before this
Black wind calls my name to you no more

In the temple of love you hide together
Believing pain and fear outside
But someone near you rides the weather
And the tears he cried will rain on
Walls as wide as lovers’ eyes

In the temple of love-shine like thunder
In the temple of love-cry like rain
In the temple of love-near the calling
And the temple of love-is falling down[/expand]

Let’s praise something new! (… ish.)

2010 still counts as “new” though, doesn’t it?
I hope so. It definitely does so for me. Ultra-new, to be exact. Almost cutting edge!
*coughs* Right sorry. Please come back onto my lawn.

There’s this small, fun, British act out there, called “Lesbian Bed Death”.
I got their first album “I Use My Powers For Evil” back in ’06 and… Wasn’t impressed. It was a fun, little number with some high-points (“Goth Girls Are Easy” is a really fun little piece, for example, especially when you know how hard it is to actually get one… ;) ). But, well, nothing special.

A few weeks ago I saw that they had a second album out. And I hesitated. Then I scoured the internet and came upon their myspace page. And streamed a bit. And, well, what do you know. They’ve gotten better!

Tighter play, better vocals, better songwriting, more subtlety, more easter-eggs hidden in the songs.
While they strayed away from the pure Goth Rock formula into a more Goth-Punk/Gothabilly-Goth Rock fusion, it’s still hilariously old-school at times and an all around fun ride!

I’m starting to sound like Jeremy Clarkson. All that’s missing is a “… In THE WORLD!” put in here somewhere.

Anyway.
They’re fun. They’re small. They’re indie.
They’re shooting their own videos and those don’t suck! (Or, rather, many do as they deal with vampires, but… Yeah.)

For a small, non-signed band they are pretty damn great.
They also like to nod their heads to the things that helped shape Goth. One of the vids I’m posting today shows this in a huge way. But “No Tears Please” is a song about the wonderfully scary and horrifying demons summoned by a particular puzzle-box (Also, a pretty heavily cool one-liner in that song: “No tears please, it’s a waste of good suffering.” Exquisite!). They ALSO also still like their crude, punky humour. Which is why they have the songs “Sin When You’re Winning” and “Catholic Sex Kitten” on them. The “Sin” song could be Mötley Crüe material! If the crew wore black and liked patchouli, that is. Retrosexual is just a rude middle-finger in heavy-rock fashion.

I’m going to share two songs from their current album “Designed By The Devil, Powered By The Dead” [2010 | Goth… Fusion]

Both are quirky, funny, dark and have just the right kind of sex in them. And with that I mean style, looks, amount and mix of pure sex-appeal, humour, kinkiness and darkness. Also, one of the best stripteases ever. :) Let’s start with the one that drew my eye towards this album in the first place… [Oh! If your bandwidth permits it, go to youtube and watch them in 1080p. Sound and picture really are worth it.]

Bela Lugosi’s Back
One of the more old-school laden tracks. A pretty heavy nod to the roots of all this Goth business as well as to Bauhaus (and of course Bela Lugosi himself!). The movie frames used for this have been chosen really well. If Bela Lugosi was still alive today, I’d love him to play the Klingon antagonist in the next Star Trek reboot movie. [Yeeees… Heavy Nerd Tangent!] {The track LENGTH even could be a nod to Bauhaus… But that would surprise even me. Although… If it were so, it’d be pretty awesome.}

Moonlight
This one’s just fun. It’s a punky piece with a classic-goth-rock-erotic style video. As well as heavy allusion to the Rocky Horror Picture Show. And Twilight. And 90s/00s Slasher movies. What’s not to love? The lyrics make this a perfect good-mood driving song.

They look great in “Punk Mode”, too. :)

Lesbian Bed Death - Goth Punk Mode

As a slight P.S.
Here’s my rating of their album in iTunes. And I’m one of the few people left on this planet who actually takes his ratings seriously and rates accordingly. Not many albums score that high with me.

So, yeah. Get it. It’ll make you laugh, it will pump you up, it will make you want to dress up all gothed up with boots, tight corsets (if applicable) and black make-up.

iTune Ratings

Let’s sort through boxes.

Today was another day of unpacking and re-arranging and packing and sorting and sifting and wondering what the FUCK I have collected over the years.
And today was the day I started going through my musical collection. Ouch. I surprised myself with how many books I had sorted behind each other. Today I shocked myself with how many CDs I’d crammed up to three or sometimes even four rows deep into my shelves.

And there’s some great stuff in there. Collector’s Editions, Limited Editions, Erroneous Prints, even a unique print done only for myself by Autoagression before he got quasi-famous.

I think I truly have forgotten (and lost) more about music than some people ever knew. ;)

But, well, something else caught my eye.
A digi-pack single CD.
Of a cover version, even! An 80s cover. Done in 2000.
I even remember where I bought it and who was with me at the time, and how much fun we had with this song when it came out. Still do, as a matter of fact. :)

It was just another one of those nice, wonderful, resonating moments.
So I’ll share. :)

There’s nothing left to say but… Party on, people! [Oh, yeah, there is one thing: That were my teenage years. That look. That energy. That cuteness. :) ]

Guano Apes – Big in Japan [Don’t Give Me Names] | 2000 | Rock