seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

On the latest Second Sunday Slowly feature, we focus on a down tempo track with a bit of an uptempo under-rhythm, inspired by a French film, covered by a Greek duo whose name only sounds French:

Marsheaux - Eyes Without A Face (Billy Idol)

Punk-rocker turned pop-rock icon, Billy Idol released his second solo album, Rebel Yell, in November of 1983. Eyes Without A Face was released as its second single in May 1984. The track is said to be inspired by the 1960 French horror film adaptation of Jean Redon's 1959 novel, Les Yeux Sans Visage. The song title is a direct translation of the film's, which is also a lyric in the song sung by a female vocalist during the chorus. Some analyses claim a deep metaphoric connection between the song and film but on general examination the title would seem to be where the likeness ends; the film is a dry chiller about a scientist who harvests parts from female victims to repair the face of his disfigured daughter, and the lyrics of the song would appear to have more to do with coming to terms with lost love. The song's video might also make some brief reference to the film by way of the appearance of a woman with an obscured porcelain-like face painted in colorful patchwork patterns suggesting a face made-up of multiple parts. Despite the familiarity and catchy nature of his previous singles like White Wedding, Rebel Yell, and his cover of Mony Mony (originally by Tommy James and the Shondells,) Eyes was the first of Idol's hits to break into the top ten of Billboard's Hot 100 chart in the U.S. It has since been covered by Trent Reznor, (with The Urge in his time prior to Nine Inch Nails,) Scooter, the soft rock jazz crooner Paul Anka, and several others.

A synthpop duo formed in Athens, Marsheaux launched their career with a cover of Gershon Kingsley's Popcorn. Since then they have done several covers of note by a number of their synthpop and new wave inspirations: The Promise by When In Rome, Regret by New Order, Empire State Human by Human League, & the entirety of Depeche Mode's 1982 album, A Broken Frame, to name a few.
They included their cover of Eyes Without A Face on their 2012 compilation album E-Bay Queen Is Dead, a collection of unreleased material and b-sides spanning back to their debut, E-Bay Queen. Research indicates the possibility that the cover was previously released in 2011 on a rare edition E.P. of Can You Stop Me?, limited to 500 copies that may have only been available for purchase at their concerts during that year's tour.

Idol's original version of the song renders a velvety ballad with an abrasively energetic rock bridge while Marsheaux's cover has a slow central tempo, buoyed by an animated melody and the undercurrent of another less-pronounced but faster electronic rhythm. Their bridge also elevates the energy, but in place of Idol's aggressive vocal style, they recite those lyrics in a mildly dissonant, monotonic spoken-word manner. It's distinctive as a dance track with its dark imagery counterpointed on a vivid yet flowing beat and is nothing at which to sneer.

The Cover:



The Original:




Next week:
Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th century, but where this week electric ladies covered the male rocker, next time the lady rockers get covered by techno-industrial fellas.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)

I spin this Friday in the Boston region. Check my schedule for details if you'd like to join the party! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Mar 05 - God Module - Round & Round (Ratt)
Feb 26 - Crystal Castles - Not In Love (Platinum Blonde)
Feb 19 - Revolting Cocks- Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? (Rod Stewart)
Feb 12 - Roniit - The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)
Feb 05 - Leæther Strip - Love Song (Simple Minds)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

It's uncommon that I share stories about my past here, but this one is related tangentially to this week's feature. When I was in broadcast radio in the late 90's, I once had a local unsigned band on my show for an interview. They were a goth/rock/metal group called "Nefarion," led by vocalist & guitarist, Jasin Todd. I asked him about the band's sound and remarked that they sounded a lot like the popular 80's hair-metal group, Ratt. He declared live on-air with no hesitation or apology,
"I LOVE FUCKING RATT!"
Lucky for me there was a delay so I got to keep my job, but we all had a pretty good laugh over the phrasing. That band broke up when Jasin joined Shinedown, but the cover featured today is done by another "Jasyn" who also appears to [ahem] fucking love Ratt:

God Module - Round & Round (Ratt)

Ratt, an 80's glam metal band, was formed by the lead singer Stephen Pearcy after the dissolution of its previous incarnation, "Mickey Ratt," (no doubt a playful jab at the beloved Disney character.) They released their first full-length album, Out of the Cellar in 1984. Round and Round was the second single from the LP and the biggest hit of their career.
The video starred supermodel Lisa Dean and comedian Milton Burle. Burle, only in the video up until the first chorus, portrayed both a wealthy blue-blood and his own wife (in drag.)
The track has been featured on a number of video games, films, and TV shows; one of particular note among them- the Christmas episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.

God Module recorded their cover of Round and Round for the 2011 Das Bunker compilation album, Choice of a New Generation (its origins detailed in a previous entry here.) God Module's previous covers include Little 15 by Depeche Mode (2000), A Night Like This by The Cure (2004), and Me, I Disconnect from You by Gary Numan (2010). Frontman Jasyn Bangert has said all these artists are important to him and "very responsible for God Module existing." Soon after the release of their version of the Ratt classic, they also recorded a cover of The Great Commandment by Camouflage which appears on the 2012 Electronic Saviors Volume 2: Recurrence cancer charity compilation.
The God Module version is vocally harsh and modulated with an aggressive and pounding techno-industrial rhythm, as is their style.

The Cover:




The Original:



Next week:
Daylight Saving Time begins in time for another Second Sunday Slowly downtempo cover and the face of the clock you'll turn forward has no eyes!

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)

I'll spin on St Patrick's Day in the Boston area and a week later in Western Mass. Check my schedule for links to RSVP and the latest details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Feb 26 - Crystal Castles - Not In Love (Platinum Blonde)
Feb 19 - Revolting Cocks- Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? (Rod Stewart)
Feb 12 - Roniit - The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)
Feb 05 - Leæther Strip - Love Song (Simple Minds)
Jan 29 - Rammstein - Stripped (Depeche Mode)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

It's the end of February and so we reach the final entry in this four-part "Dark Valentine's" series called "Love Songs to Beautiful People You Think Are Sexy But With Whom You Are Not In Love!"
We wrap up with the final part of the titular tale and though there is definitely some unfortunate heartbreak in the story of the featured duo, you might be surprised by the origins of their most popular single from a band with whom you are not in love... yet.:

Crystal Castles - Not In Love (Platinum Blonde)

Platinum Blonde, a Canadian new wave pop-rock band with glam style, got their name from the 1931 romantic comedy film starring Jean Harlow. They released their debut album, Standing In the Dark, in 1983. Derivative of the sounds of Elvis Costello, Duran Duran, and Icehouse, the band was considered something of a underground success in their country where the album earned triple-platinum sales, but were effectively a "no-hit wonder" anywhere else. Not In Love was their fourth single from the album, released October 1984.
While it might be expected they would vanish into obscurity, in recent years they have instead found themselves with a newfound and even more global audience thanks in no small measure to those kindred Canadians who covered this track.

Ethan Kath, one half of Crystal Castles, a electronic duo among vanguards in the witch house style, worked as a resident DJ at Toronto’s Mod Club, owned by Platinum Blonde frontman Mark Holmes. The band performed some of its first shows on live-to-air radio broadcasts from the venue with Holmes as host going by the alias "DJ MRK."
The duo were forced to release their second album in April 2010, earlier than planned because it had been leaked to the internet. Crystal Castles II featured their cover of Not In Love, originally with the duo's former member, Alice Glass, on vocals. That version however was not released as the single. They instead released a version with Robert Smith of The Cure on vocals in November 2010, also making it available on later digital issues of the album. Smith's prestige elevated both the track and the band to a broader international audience, scoring them their first major hit.
Thanks to the success of the single, (and the occasional guest appearance by Holmes filling in as vocalist for the track at Crystal Castle shows,) Platinum Blonde has experienced a resurgence of fan interest and went on to record and release the 2012 album, Now or Never, their first album in 22 years.

The cover featured here spotlights the original take on the track. All due respect to Robert Smith and fans of that version, Alice Glass left Crystal Castles claiming a number of problematic issues in her relationship with Kath, not the least of which was the diminished recognition she received from him for her contributions to the project. While Glass (who is currently working on a solo album) is not the same kind of vocalist Smith is and her vocals are filtered through electronic effects, given the circumstances of her departure from the band some might agree that representation matters and her role should not be dismissed or forgotten.

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
What goes around, comes around... just give it time and you'll hear this nefarious industrial cover. ^_^

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)

I'm scheduled to spin twice in March. My schedule will be updated soon to provide more details.

Until next time, explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Feb 19 - Revolting Cocks- Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? (Rod Stewart)
Feb 12 - Roniit - The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)
Feb 05 - Leæther Strip - Love Song (Simple Minds)
Jan 29 - Rammstein - Stripped (Depeche Mode)
Jan 22 - Avarice In Audio - Welcome To Paradise (Front 242)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

It's time for our monthly voyage into the 20th century and another "Third Sunday Throwback" as we continue the February "Dark Valentine's" theme I've entitled: "Love Songs to Beautiful People You Think Are Sexy But With Whom You Are Not In Love!" This week our featured cover is some sleazy disco/industrial as performed by artists with so phallic a sobriquet as to invoke the adolescent sniggering of hormonal teen-age boys:

Revolting Cocks- Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? (Rod Stewart)

Rod Stewart, a London-born pop-rock artist, released his ninth album, Blondes Have More Fun in November 1978. It was the first of his efforts to explore the disco trend of the time and with its first single, Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? it proved to be a fairly successful gamble. Unfortunately, Stewart took a little too many liberties with the production of the track, appropriating two different elements of the song from other artists without attribution or compensation: the chorus of the song plagiarized from Jorge Ben Jor's 1976 Taj Mahal and the synthesizer hook taken from the string section of Bobby Womack's 1975, (If You Want My Love) Put Something Down On It. Ben Jor filed suit, Stewart admitted the theft and made restitution by donating proceeds from the track to UNICEF. Copyright rules, however, seem to protect Stewart for his limited use of Womack's material.
In addition to those misdeeds, many were highly critical of his shift from rock to disco styles, making the track contentious despite its popularity as a number one hit on multiple charts in several countries.

Revolting Cocks covered the track on their third studio album, Linger Ficken' Good ...And Other Barnyard Oddities, released in 1993. It was the album's first single, delivered in the same satirical and fun-loving industrial rock style that set them apart from the other bands with which its members were affiliated: Ministry, Front 242, Skinny Puppy, etc...
When asked about the song before it was recorded, Al Jourgensen (who describes RevCo as "juvenile and lurid and delinquent") said, "We're going to start showing exactly how insipid and inane some of the music that people have listened to for a long time is."
Even Stewart himself has said it was a "campy" track he "used to be embarrassed to sing" and that he didn't "want to be singing Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? at age 50 and be a parody" of himself. In recent concerts however, now in his 70's, he makes a point of showcasing that latter quote during performances of the hit.

Disco such as this had a bit of a sleazy pick-up image connected to it, though in this case, Stewart seemed to be going for a reciprocal coital motive in the track's lyrical story, where both characters shared equal interest. RevCo transformed the tracks disco sound to something more of a raunchy electro-rock strut of uber-masculity, preying aggressively on such base interests in such an over-the-top way as to make the original seem all the more ridiculous.

The Cover:




The Original:


Next week:
While Stewart's album title contends that blondes have more fun, that doesn't make them immune to heartbreak as we'll discover in last installment of the "Dark Valentine's" theme, when the featured cover brings this month-long tale to its inevitable and somewhat tragic conclusion. v_v

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!

I DJ next in western Mass this Friday. For details on that event and others on my schedule, check out my website. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Feb 12 - Roniit - The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)
Feb 05 - Leæther Strip - Love Song (Simple Minds)
Jan 29 - Rammstein - Stripped (Depeche Mode)
Jan 22 - Avarice In Audio - Welcome To Paradise (Front 242)
Jan 15 - Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apoptygma Berzerk)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

It's Second Sunday Slowly so it's time for the downtempo segment of February's "Dark Valentine's" theme I've entitled: "Love Songs to Beautiful People You Think Are Sexy But With Whom You Are Not In Love!" Behind the scenes: I had found two different (and fantastic) Temple of Love covers and one of them almost ended up in this entry (yes, a downtempo version exists!) But then I found this about three weeks ago and it became instantly clear that this was the perfect pick for the week of Valentine's Day, despite the fact that it is in no way a love song of any kind:

Roniit - The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)

Marilyn Manson released their second studio album, Antichrist Superstar, in October 1996, only a couple of weeks after its groundbreaking single, The Beautiful People. The track is said to take its title and some portion of its inspiration from The Beautiful People by Marilyn Bender, a non-fiction book published in 1967 about fashion and high-society. The actual phrase is believed to have been first coined in Vogue magazine in 1962 by its editor, Diana Vreeland, which would seem to be verified by Bender's book. The term reflects something about the lifestyles of the glamorous, the trendsetters, the wealthy, and the celebrities. Manson's track seems to regard those for whom the term applies with equal parts reverence and contempt. Manson himself has said, "I make things glamorous as a revolt to glamour."
The opening of the song features a heavily distorted and practically indecipherable sample of Charles "Tex" Watson (one of the members of Charles Manson's "family," known notoriously for his role in the 1969 Tate murders) saying, "We'd swoop down on the town and kill everyone that wasn't beautiful." From there, the song lyrically explores a dense minefield of issues revolving around aspects of Nietzschean philosophy, Social Darwinism, capitalism and fascism. For most, the fullness of its message may have been lost to the track's hooky, insistently loud, and galvanizing rock rhythms which clearly made the song the band's first original hit single embraced by mainstream audiences.
The Beautiful People has been covered a number of times, primarily by rock bands in a variety of styles, so this one is without a doubt unique in its interpretation.

Roniit, a "dark electro pop" songstress based in southern California who has also covered tracks by The Cardigans, Lana Del Rey, Halsey, and Depeche Mode, released her version of The Beautiful People in December 2016. It was put out in tandem with a video sponsored by and produced with the fashion company, Killstar, starring a number of the company's models and clothing. According to Roniit, the original is obvious in declaring that "the beautiful people" are wretched and without fundamental moral character. In a recent interview she explained that she wanted to approach her version with a more positive spin, saying. "the verses are from the perspective of someone who is different, someone who feels defeated by life and the evil that surrounds us. In the chorus that person becomes empowered; that person is beautiful."
By dropping the tempo down by 30 percent of the original and incorporating her signature form of slinky "goth jazz" in the melody, she has transformed this hard rock industrial anthem into a sultry, blackhearted mistress of a croon, demanding adoration and quite deserving of it.


The Cover (click-through to bandcamp for the link to her video):




The Original:


Next week:
We continue our "Dark Valentine" theme with a trip to the 20th Century and our Third Sunday Throwback, featuring a track for which both the original (top 40 pop) and covering (industrial/alternative) artists have very phallic names. ^_^

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)

I spin tomorrow night in the Boston area and again in Western Mass on the last Friday of this month. If you want to come to either, pop over to my schedule where you can find links to more details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Feb 05 - Leæther Strip - Love Song (Simple Minds)
Jan 29 - Rammstein - Stripped (Depeche Mode)
Jan 22 - Avarice In Audio - Welcome To Paradise (Front 242)
Jan 15 - Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apoptygma Berzerk)
Jan 08 - Vernian Process - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

February is devoted to a "Dark Valentine's" theme that I call: "Love Songs to Beautiful People You Think Are Sexy But With Whom You Are Not In Love!" Hopefully you'll find all these covers "lovable" but we'll get started with a ballad to Britain's bad boyfriend.:

Leæther Strip - Love Song (Simple Minds)

The Scottish post-punk band Simple Minds put out their fourth and fifth L.P. releases, Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call, as a double album set in September 1981. Love Song was its second single released in August from the Sons portion of the set. It's said that the track is supposed to be an ode to the centuries old relationship between Europe and North America, making it implicitly clear in the lyrics that "America's a boyfriend." Interestingly, this was the first Simple Minds album to be distributed internationally and between this track and their prior single from Sister, titled The American, it would seem plausible that they were making some active attempt to appeal to the vanity of specifically the largest of their new audience. However, neither single truly captured the attention of their object of affection, and they would only get some mild amount of play with several other singles until the 1986 film, The Breakfast Club, which featured their first number 1 hit in the States, Don't You (Forget About Me), finally earning the nation's full affections for a time.
Love Song is nonetheless an exceptionally catchy, if underrated, bass-rich alternative dance track.

Leæther Strip, the electro-industrial project by Danish musician Claus Larsen, has a discography boasting two dozen albums (or more) worth of original material along with the numerous covers of and tributes to bands and artists like Soft Cell, Fad Gadget, Depeche Mode, Dead or Alive, Skinny Puppy, Front 242, The Cure, Yaz, Talk Talk, Eurythmics, David Bowie, Judas Priest, and Cher. One of his latest such tributes, devoted to Simple Minds and released in September 2016, was the six track E.P. titled Reptile Man Drop, named after the lyric from Love Song which he covers in the collection. Larsen says that the early works of Simple Minds had a large impact on him from the moment he bought their first album in 1979. He unquestionably gives this EBM cover all the passion and energy of someone who has had such a long time love.

The Cover:



The Original:


Next week:
Our "Dark Valentine's" theme continues during Second Sunday Slowly and we hear a very familiar industrial rock anthem made into a beautifully rendered down tempo goth croon!

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)

I spin this Saturday in Somerville Mass. Check my schedule for details to that and two other upcoming events for the month. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jan 29 - Rammstein - Stripped (Depeche Mode)
Jan 22 - Avarice In Audio - Welcome To Paradise (Front 242)
Jan 15 - Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apoptygma Berzerk)
Jan 08 - Vernian Process - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)
Jan 01 - Front Line Assembly with Tiffany - New Year's Day (U2)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

I honestly did not think there was any way this, my Fifth Sunday A La Mode feature, could possibly take a turn toward the political. I simply thought, "it's time I highlight that Rammstein cover." It turns out that one of the more interesting things about it happens to be the video they did, that I guess I'd never seen until I started my draft. By odd coincidence, it may be more relevant today than anyone should have had to expect it would be:

Rammstein - Stripped (Depeche Mode)

Depeche Mode released their fifth album, Black Celebration, in March, 1986. The first single from the album, Stripped, was released a month earlier. The video for song was shot near the same location the single was mixed in Berlin. The band was lauded for their original and cutting-edge sampling techniques on the track, using a number of automotive sounds (primarily from their own vehicles) to produce the base of its rhythms.
As a single, it enjoyed only some moderate success, but among fans it is debatably one of their most beloved songs.

In July of 1998, the Neue Deutsche Härte rock-industrialists Rammstein put out their cover of Stripped as a single, just a couple weeks before the release of the tribute album to Depeche Mode on which it was included, For The Masses. The compilation included covers from The Cure, Meat Beat Manifesto, Deftones, Smashing Pumpkins, God Lives Underwater, and more, sixteen tracks in all. This track was unique for Rammstein as it was the first song of their career sung in English.

A month after the single release, Rammstein released a video for the track, which was highly controversial for including footage from a documentary of the 1938 Olympics, Olympia: Festival of the Nations. It was written, directed and produced by Leni Riefenstahl, and commissioned by Adolph Hitler. Hitler, who in point of historical fact opened the event, used the Games and film as propaganda to promote German racial superiority and Nazi party ideals. It was Nazi preference that Jewish athletes not be permitted to participate at the Games, but under threat of boycott by other nations they were technically "allowed" but were still excluded or otherwise "discouraged" in a variety of ways.
The film has a lot of notoriety for its place in history, its message, and its players, but also a lot of acclaim and awards for its technical and artistic execution.
When Rammstein included elements of the film in their video, it was found objectionable by the Anti-Defamation League whose representative felt it "glorifies the National Socialist movement."
Rammstein maintained that they are not Nazis nor had they any political intent with the video, only aesthetic appreciation of the images as art. In a press release they issued this statement: "Rammstein are aware that some of the scenes were subsequently misused for propaganda purposes, with Leni Riefenstahl's consent, and that she also accepted commissions with political content. This fact, however, does not change the quality of the actual images."
Their video for Stripped does not include any overt Nazi imagery, even though it is, due to the nature of its source, entirely monoracial.
This would not be the last time Rammstein would face criticism and accusations of being Nazis. However they have always combated against that perception. Recently, in as much as can be found seen from their social media and limited presence on the internet, they don't appear to have made any public commentary on the political news of the day.

Artistic expression can absolutely be influenced by and promote even the worst of ideologies. Sometimes however, such expression only intersects with these ideologies in an attempt to "strip" it down to expose something of inherent value within.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
I'm devoting February to a "Valentine's" theme that you might just find "lovable." I call it: "Love Songs to Beautiful People You Think Are Sexy But With Whom You Are Not In Love!"
The first of them is an 80's track that gets strapped in modern leather!

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)

I'm lined up to spin three events in February. Keep an eye on my schedule for details if you'd like to join them. (Info on the third to be added this week.) ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jan 22 - Avarice In Audio - Welcome To Paradise (Front 242)
Jan 15 - Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apoptygma Berzerk)
Jan 08 - Vernian Process - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)
Jan 01 - Front Line Assembly with Tiffany - New Year's Day (U2)
Dec 25 - Eisenfunk - Jinglefunk [Jingle Bells](Edison Male Quartet)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

And so it begins: dire days born in the shadow of irresponsible ratings-obsessed news networks, poorly moderated social media, bad decisions by the misinformed (or worse, malevolent,) and their consequences. If there's any message in today's cover, it's obviously riddled in satire, sarcasm, and unironic disaffection. Those that had a hand in getting us here, welcome to what you've created. Feel like paradise yet? Seems an appropriate time for this one.:

Avarice In Audio - Welcome To Paradise (Front 242)

One of the most influential bands of the industrial style, Front 242 released their fourth original album, Front By Front, in 1988. Not all releases of the L.P included the Welcome to Paradise track, (dependent to some degree on where it was distributed,) though it was the b-side of the only single released from the album, Headhunter.

Paradise may be among the most noteworthy and earliest examples of a technique that inserted spoken-word vocal samples from other media within industrial rhythmic structures. The source of the samples used on the track are on occasion attributed incorrectly to evangelist Jimmy Swaggart but are actually from sermons by Rev. Ferrell Griswold. Griswold was an active promoter of racial segregation who has had his sermons sampled on over a dozen industrial and techno tracks by artists like Front Line Assembly, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Prodigy, & Praga Khan. Griswold died roughly six years before the release of this track.
While their use of sampling might seem to imply a particular statement regarding demagogic evangelism, members of Front 242 claim they had no specific intent of message and that their process was to "reflect" the news of the world in a "journalistic" way that would create a reaction in their audience. In one interview Patrick Codenys said, "We put a spark in their brain and we hope they go and have an attitude."

The Alfa Matrix label, in celebration of their 15 year anniversary and the 35 years of Front 242's existence, put together a tribute compilation to the band entitled, Recovery For You. The collection, released a month ago, boasts 32 Front 242 covers done by industrial artists like Aesthetische, Alien Vampires, Ayria, Helalyn Flowers, Komor Kommando, & Venal Flesh.
Australia-based electro-industrial/IDM fusion-ists Avarice in Audio provided the cover for Welcome To Paradise, with its harsher EBM style and the gravelly recital of the samples as "lyrics" by their lead vocalist, Gerry Hawkins. The interpretation may also not have a specific message, but it certainly sounds angrier about it!

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Obviously this entry was drafted in the dark and somewhat dejected state of mind that has plagued me for weeks. However, Saturday's nationwide (nay, WORLDWIDE) show of unity against fascism was inspirational and gave me more cause to feel hope than I could have expected after two months of dread.
So next week I bring you a Fifth Sunday A La Mode - Flashback Edition! (for new readers that means a cover of Depeche Mode AND it's a flashback to the 20th century.) It will be prelude to a month of covers that I'm devoting to a "Valentine's" theme that you might just find "lovable." ;)

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)

This Friday I spin in Western Mass. Check my schedule for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jan 15 - Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apoptygma Berzerk)
Jan 08 - Vernian Process - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)
Jan 01 - Front Line Assembly with Tiffany - New Year's Day (U2)
Dec 25 - Eisenfunk - Jinglefunk [Jingle Bells](Edison Male Quartet)
Dec 18 - Cibo Matto - The Candy Man (Aubrey Woods)
Dec 11 - St. Anthony Jones - Shoulder To The Wheel (:Wumpscut: remix)(Bel Canto)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

Normally this would be the week I feature a "Third Sunday Throwback" to the 20th century, but since I did a "Flashback" on the first of the month, instead this entry will be something more current. Last year at this time, we were grieving the loss of David Bowie. Through 2016, it became difficult or impossible to calm our lamentations in the face of so many significant losses, including that singular one which leads to this moment in time and the concern many share for the future. After his farewell address last week, we now count down the last few days before our 44th U.S. President leaves office. Today's cover might just speak to the spirit of feeling loss:

Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apoptygma Berzerk)

The Norwegian futurepop band Apoptygma Berzerk released their second studio album, 7, in May 1996. Mourn was its third single, released as an EP in October the following year. One of the most recognizable elements of the track is a distinctive guitar riff recognizable from Nirvana's cover of David Bowie's, The Man Who Sold The World, sampled from their 1993 MTV Unplugged performance. Apop dedicated the song to Kurt Cobain, though there isn't any clear explanation as to why, apart from the obvious heartbreak that many felt at that time. In as much as Apoptygma Berzerk has ever achieved and broad success beyond the sub-culture that most embraces them, Mourn seems to be one of their lesser known songs and doesn't usually rank among their top hits. It's certainly rougher around the edges than their more familiar work and has a rather subdued and distant vocal mix.

The Swedish synthpop trio, Vogon Poetry are doubtless named in honor of the Hitchhiker's Guide book series by the late Douglas Adams, and have referenced them several times in album titles and their music. They provided one of two covers of Mourn included on the Apop We Love You – A Tribute To Apoptygma Berzerk compilation released by the webzine Electrozombies in July 2016. Of the 20 artists on the comp, including Technolorgy, Synapsyche, Machinista, and IIOIOIOII, Vogon Poetry stand out with this sweet and twittering interpretation of the track. They reprise the noteworthy guitar riff electronically and give the vocals much more prominence than the original.

It could be fair to say that many in the goth community are well conversant with feelings of grief but it's plain that the feeling is not exclusive to anyone. This song asks, "why are you always mourning?" These days the answers to that seem regrettably endless.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Screaming in ironic evangelical anger at the prospects of tomorrow.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)

As of this posting I'm wrapping up my weekend @ Arisia in Boston where I've likely played at least a few of the tracks (or artists) found here on my past NINETY blogs. Next up on my schedule, a trip to Western Mass on the last Friday of the month. Click that link for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jan 08 - Vernian Process - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)
Jan 01 - Front Line Assembly with Tiffany - New Year's Day (U2)
Dec 25 - Eisenfunk - Jinglefunk [Jingle Bells](Edison Male Quartet)
Dec 18 - Cibo Matto - The Candy Man (Aubrey Woods)
Dec 11 - St. Anthony Jones - Shoulder To The Wheel (:Wumpscut: remix)(Bel Canto)
Dec 04 - Accessory - Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

This week's Second Sunday Slowly feature comes to us by recommendation of a DJ peer from my scene, (and possibly the most consistent reader of this blog as far as I'm aware,) Sawtooth. It's a cog-worthy take on a 90's era darkwave standard, subtle in its steampunk sensibility:

Vernian Process - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)

Dead Can Dance released their sixth album, Into the Labyrinth, in mid-September, 1993. The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove was one of three singles from the album, but by far one of their most resonating and celebrated.
The mysterious name sake of the title is believed to have originated from a 52 year old episode of the same name from the 60's television series, Danger Man. The British spy drama starred Patrick McGoohan as Secret Agent John Blake. In this episode, which was considered unusually disquieting for the series, Blake has a car accident after which he finds himself involved in a scandal and a mystery. Mr. "Happy" Lovegrove, the apparent head of his agency, begins appearing throughout the scenario, briefly and disturbingly replacing other characters established in the story, making him "ubiquitous" in Drake's encounters, at times accompanied by malefic disembodied laughter. Without spoiling the story, suffice to say that the episode quickly takes on a sinister Lynch-like quality more similar to The Outer Limits and very unlike any previous episode in the series.
While the title of the song appears to be relevant to the show, and perhaps some of its eerie atmosphere, it's hard to say how much other influence the show had on the song itself. Dead Can Dance's Brendan Perry, himself from London where he could easily have watched the broadcast in his younger years, has occasionally adopted the moniker of "Mr. Lovegrove," assuming it as his alter-ego that he has said represents "the abstract relationship of myself and woman." (What that might actually mean is left to our imagination.)

Vernian Process, a steam-punk goth/industrial band inspired by the works of Jules Vern, released their tribute of The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove in 2011. While the original is built around an arrangement of multicultural instrumentation, (sitar, antara, violin, etc...,) their version relies heavily on synthesizers to attain fairly similar effects. Many differences in their sound are subtle, with the distinct exception of the addition of the haunting saxophone accompaniment in the near final measures of the track, an addition they say was an unplanned experiment on the day of recording because one of their members just happened to have the instrument on hand.

They're both captivating enough to rend you lost in the "slow, but deep," beat of this "old slave drum."

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and (however grudgingly) acceptance. All are stages of something many have experienced lately, perhaps more than usual over the past couple of months. A recent synthpop cover from a tribute compilation released last year might just relate to how that feels.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)

I spin this coming weekend at a sci-fi Con in Boston. Not really a "goth" thing, more of a "nerd" thing. So the music will go quite a few directions beyond my norm, though I expect I may play today's feature and some similar stuff during the first night. Later in the month I have my regular gig in Western Mass. As always, you'll find links to more details on my schedule. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jan 01 - Front Line Assembly with Tiffany - New Year's Day (U2)
Dec 25 - Eisenfunk - Jinglefunk [Jingle Bells](Edison Male Quartet)
Dec 18 - Cibo Matto - The Candy Man (Aubrey Woods)
Dec 11 - St. Anthony Jones - Shoulder To The Wheel (:Wumpscut: remix)(Bel Canto)
Dec 04 - Accessory - Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)
Nov 27 - Crytek- Bullet (Covenant)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies