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
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 New Year. Many may be glad to see the last year pass. Who can say if the one we face will go better. But I'll wish you a prosperous new year and try to hope for the best for us all. This week's feature from the near end of the 20th century is about as obvious as it can get, and will replace this month's usual "Third Sunday Throwback" as a "First Sunday Flashback":

Front Line Assembly with Tiffany - New Year's Day (U2)

U2 wrote and recorded their third studio album, War, in 1982, at a time in which the Polish Solidarity movement had been banned during Martial Law imposed by then-Prime Minister Jaruzelski. Solidarity, led by Lech Wałęsa (who eventually became President of Poland,) was a trade union opposed to communism, boasting over 9 million members at its height with the support of an international community. The strikes, negotiations, and activist efforts of the union are said to have had much to do the fall of their communist government and the rise of Poland's democratic state. But in the moment U2 wrote this album, the members of Solidarity were being severely persecuted by their government. Lead singer, Bono, has reportedly told that as the band completed work on New Year's Day, he had held an image in his mind of Lech Walesa "standing in the snow on New Year's Day, leading a workers strike."
New Year's Day was released as the album's lead single on January 1, 1983, a month before the full album. It was the band's first major success, the album going on to knock Michael Jackson's Thriller out of its number one slot on the charts.

Not the first known, but certainly the first notable cover of the track was included on Cleopatra's 1999 goth/industrial compilation covers album, We Will Follow: A Tribute to U2, which included artists such as Information Society, Dead or Alive, Mission U.K., Die Krupps, Electric Hellfire Club, and Front Line Assembly. The most outstanding thing about FLA's cover is that they chose 80's teen-pop icon Tiffany to do all their vocals for the track. No one seems especially clear on why, but the genius of it is beyond question. Since its release the track has been a staple in goth nightlife, especially around this time of year.

The original is a solid and driven post-punk rock song, though U2's Adam Clayton, whose baseline for the song was inspired by Visage's Fade To Grey, has called it "a kind of Euro-disco dance hit." Front Line Assembly version is more of a trance-industrial-drum&bass blend, simultaneously eerie and energetic.

So as we face an uncertain new year of our own, some 33 years after its introduction, perhaps now is a good time to consider some of the meaning in this song: "A crowd has gathered, black and white, arms entwined, the chosen few...The newspaper says it's true... And we can break through..."

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Second Sunday Slowly features a downtempo neo-medieval darkwave classic subtly restyled with a bit of steampunk flair!

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

I spin next on MLK weekend at a Con in Boston. Not really a "goth" thing, more of a "nerd" thing, so the music will go quite a few directions outside my norm. 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

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)
Nov 20 - Rusty Egan – The Twilight Zone (Marius Constant)

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.

Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays!
Since this entry is actually ON Xmas Day, obviously it will be a cover of a carol. Last year's seasonal entries came to us from Crüxshadows and Rotersand. This year it's militaristic industrial laced with a certain amount of "funk.":

Eisenfunk - Jinglefunk [Jingle Bells] (Edison Male Quartet)

Jingle Bells has been a part of our culture for over a hundred and fifty years and been recorded by numerous artists well over two hundred and fifty times. The song, originally titled One Horse Open Sleigh, was written by James Lord Pierpont, and is said to have been published in the fall of 1857, though possibly written a few years before. It wasn't actually intended to be a Christmas song in any respect, inspired by the sleigh races between the towns of Medford and Malden in Massachusetts that took place in the nineteenth century. Pierpont, believed to be a Unitarian Universalist, later moved to the south where he wrote battle hymns for the confederate army while in its service during the Civil War.
In 1898, the Edison Male Quartet were the first known to record the song on a phonograph cylinder (the early incarnation of what would evolve into "records") as part of a medley titled Sleigh Ride Party. Jingle Bells may not have been a huge hit of any kind at first but has grown to be one of the single most recognized holiday songs throughout the world, and in fact beyond as the first song ever performed and broadcast in space by astronauts on NASA's Gemini 6 mission in 1965. Some lyrics and its melody have evolved considerably over the years through its many interpretations.

Eisenfunk, a now seemingly defunct EBM/Aggrotech project, released their fourth (and possibly last) album, Pentafunk in 2011. It includes their version of Jingle Bells, re-titled Jinglefunk, and is nothing short of a extreme beat-heavy mutation of the original and any other rendition through the years. It's primarily an instrumental of the song, maintaining electronic melodies faithfully enough to be recognized easily against its high-tempo and booming bass rhythms, with only a couple of robotically modulated recitations of the chorus early and at its conclusion. It also includes the signature "jingling" one might expect from most X-mas music... if in this case it seems a harbinger of a cyborg-horse coming to slay!

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
The first day of 2017 falls on a bloody Sunday... so we'll kick off the New Year with the obvious. It will also replace my usual "Third Sunday Throwback" for the month as a "First Sunday Flashback" since it comes to us from the end of last century.

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

In the spirit of the holidays I have recorded a short little mix of Seasonal Synthpop, Creepy Carols, & X-mas Industrial from some of our favorite artists! Some are traditional covers! Some are original! There's even a couple in Latin and German! It's short, fun, and, well... kind of rough around the edges due to technical issues I can't overcome until Santa comes to replace my gear (but if we're lucky it's nothing anyone will notice. :P ) It also includes the cover featured here.
You can listen to it online or download from here. The playlist can be found on my website where you can also find details on where and when I am spinning next (like, for instance, on the night before New Years Eve!) ^_^

Merry Xmas in Dark,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

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)
Nov 20 - Rusty Egan – The Twilight Zone (Marius Constant)
Nov 13 - Cindergarden - Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen)

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 our featured Third Sunday Throwback (featuring a cover from the 20th century) is not specifically related to X-mas, but it might be considered a "stocking stuffer" of sorts. In this year when we've lost so many music makers and dreamers of dreams, it's also my ersatz tribute to the memory of Gene Wilder, if only for his role in the film from which this song originates:

Cibo Matto - The Candy Man (Aubrey Woods)

The summer of 1971 saw the theatrical release of the now classic and unquestionably beloved film, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, based on the 1964 children's book by Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The film, developed as a musical, adapted many of the lyrics for most of its songs directly from the book. However the first song featured in the film, The Candy Man, authored by composer Leslie Bricusse and songwriter Anthony Newley, was not actually derived from the book at all. Even Bill the candy shop owner, a character portrayed by Aubrey Woods who sings the song in the opening scene, is also not from the book. While there was not much in the way of quality films to compete on its opening weekend and it was given significantly positive praise by the top reviewers of the time, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory did not do well at the box office, at least not until attaining cult status and being re-released for its 25th anniversary in 1996. The Candy Man, however, was almost immediately popularized in 1972 when Sammi Davis Jr. covered it as a jazzy pop hit. It logged a few weeks at the top of the Billboard charts despite the fact that Davis admittedly hated the song. Recently, vocals from his version were sampled to allow Barry Manilow to fabricate a duet with him on Manilow's 2014 album, My Dream Duets.

Cibo Matto is an alternative trip-hop duo of Japanese women based in New York, whose band name is Italian for "Crazy Food." As it happens, most of their early work reflects a manifestation of that name; the entirety of their first album, Viva! La Woman, is a veritable buffet of food-related songs. Released in January 1996, it includes their cover of The Candy Man among the dessert items on the menu of its track list (which includes Birthday Cake, White Pepper Ice Cream, and Sugar Water.)
All mention of the film's titular character are removed from their version (as is true of the Davis Jr. cover) though whether that was an artistic choice or a copyright issue stemming from Dahl's I.P. is unclear.

The original rendition of the track as sung by Aubrey Woods is every bit as saccharine as one imagines the contents of Wonka's factory. Cibo Mato, on the other hand, offer a sensually tasty, near erotic, somewhat groovy, Eastern-influenced down-tempo dance treat and "wrap it in a sigh.":

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
It's X-mas day and our jingles won't jangle... but they'll damn well stomp for this industrial cover of a classic carol.

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

I'll be spinning one last time this year in western Massachusetts on the night before New Years Eve. Check my schedule for details if you might be in the area and available to join. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies
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)
Nov 20 - Rusty Egan – The Twilight Zone (Marius Constant)
Nov 13 - Cindergarden - Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen)

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.

As is customary for what I call Second Sunday Slowly, this week features a down-tempo cover. It's one of those songs of which you might have already encountered either the original or cover in the clubs (perhaps both) and it has the distinction of being one of my personal favorites. The cover also benefits a somewhat unusual charity some might find worthy of contribution in the spirit of the season:

St. Anthony Jones - Shoulder To The Wheel (:Wumpscut: remix) (Bel Canto)

Bel Canto, a Norwegian dream/synth-pop group, released their second album, Birds Of Passage, in 1989. (They were actually called "Bel Kanto" in Norway at the time due to a legal dispute involving a choir using the same name.) A Shoulder To The Wheel was released as the second single from the album in 1990. Geir Jenssen left the group shortly after to focus on his own project, Biosphere, while Nils Johansen and Anneli Drecker would go on to win a Grammy with Bel Canto's next album, Shimmering, Warm and Bright.
The duo continue to work together as Bel Canto in-between their various other enterprises, though efforts on their last reported album seem to have stalled. Johansen has worked as a composer for film and TV and with the band, Vajas. Drecker, who, along with her solo albums and many collaborations with other artists, has performed seasonally for the last several years in musical theater productions at the Hålogaland Teater in Norway (which will present The Sound of Music next fall; it is not clear if she is in that cast.)

Anthony Jones aka St. Anthony, is a San Fransisco-based vocalist and composer for such projects as Alaska Highway, Monastic, and The Point of Reflection. He released his first solo album, Viktorian - Descent Into Darkness on Valentines Day in 2011. It features two mixes of his cover of Shoulder To The Wheel with additional vocals provided by his sister, DJ Amanda Jones. While the remix by Inure appears earlier on the album than that by :Wumpscut:, it isn't entirely clear if either is the original cover or if neither is, though in the latter case there does not appear to be a prior release of the track. :Wumpscut: does also feature the track on their limited edition DJ Dwarf Eleven remix compilation, which was released at the same time or shortly after (depending on sources.)
Profits from his versions of Shoulder To The Wheel, along with all his solo music, go to benefit the Wolf Mountain Sanctuary in Lucerne Valley, California, an educational organization seeking to rescue and protect the area wolf population from extinction.

Bel Canto's original is structured far more strongly around its synth melodies, while St. Anthony's cover is predominately centered on its resonate rhythms. Both are dark down-tempo dance delights, reminding us of the consequences for forgetting our promises.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
We're getting closer to that holiday when visions of sugar plums are said to dance in our heads. I don't really know what a "sugar plum" is, but the subject of this week's Third Sunday Throwback might. (And as promised, it's not an X-mas carol...)

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, however they are screened to prevent spam.)

My next gig is the night before New Years Eve. Find links and details on my schedule. Hopefully I'll see you out there before the year ends. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies
Dec 04 - Accessory - Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)
Nov 27 - Crytek- Bullet (Covenant)
Nov 20 - Rusty Egan – The Twilight Zone (Marius Constant)
Nov 13 - Cindergarden - Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen)
Nov 06 - Simi Nah - You Spin Me Round [Like A Record] (Dead or Alive)

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.

During the second season of Mad TV in the mid-90's, a shirtless Craig Anton shouted a monologue at the audience, listing things he hated that included "Coun! Tree! Mu! Sic!" He continued, "I don't know what country that's from, but it sure as HELL isn't MINE!" I, entirely amused by the joke, of course understand that such music actually is a huge part of American culture and tradition... though it is exceptionally rare that I ever enjoy any, even among the greatest of that genre's artists. So when a goth or industrial artist pulls off a decent cover of a country song I do enjoy, I have to acknowledge that there is something of intrinsic value and merit to the form, even if I'm not in any way a fan:

Accessory - Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)

Johnny Cash recorded and released Folsom Prison Blues as a single in 1955 and later included it on his debut album, With His Hot and Blue Guitar in 1957. He wrote the song while stationed in West Germany serving with the Air Force, inspired by the 1951 film, Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison. It would seem however that the melody and several lyrics for the track were actually copied from the song Crescent City Blues by Gordon Jenkins and performed by Beverly Mahr, which had been released earlier in 1955. Cash, who has said he didn't expect to go into recording as a career and never intended to rip anyone off, paid Jenkins a substantial settlement years after Folsom had become recognized as one of his first major hits. However, the lyric about killing a man just to see him die was entirely Cash's invention after considering what might be the worst reason for killing anyone.
There are over a couple dozen covers of the song, mostly by country, folk, or rockabilly performers. Cash himself is also well known for his own covers of artists like Nine Inch Nails and Depeche Mode.

Accessory, a German electro-industrial group, included their cover of Folsom Prison Blues on the double-disc editions of their 2011 album, Underbeat. Accessory names Cash as equally influential to them among acts like Front Line Assembly and Leaether Strip. Their version is a strong, if overall emotionally level, recitation of the lyrics melded with a rolling dark electric dance beat. It's far removed from the twangy canter of the Man-In-Black's original while nevertheless reverent of it.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
It's a Second Sunday Slowly edition with a down tempo cover.

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 just outside Boston. Head over to my schedule for details on that and other events on my docket. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies
Nov 27 - Crytek- Bullet (Covenant)
Nov 20 - Rusty Egan – The Twilight Zone (Marius Constant)
Nov 13 - Cindergarden - Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen)
Nov 06 - Simi Nah - You Spin Me Round [Like A Record] (Dead or Alive)
Oct 30 - Autopsie D'Une Ombre - Little 15 (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.

This week our featured cover is of a goth-scene dance-floor staple and many are familiar with it. I'd make some dumb joke about how they "run for cover" and got one but... wait did I just make the joke anyway?:

Crytek- Bullet (Covenant)

The Swedish synthpop band Covenant released their fifth album, Northern Light in October 2002. Its second single, Bullet was not released until December, but limited edition double-vinyl versions of the album showcased two remixes of the track. This was their first and only album on the "ka²" sub-label of EMI, which came with a lot of exciting prospects: getting production from Rammstein's producer Jacob Hellner, the expensive video for Bullet which got significant airplay in Europe, and a big-budget promotional campaign unheard of at the time for such future-pop artists; all of which might have made them a widespread household name in their own right. Unfortunately, the label was dismantled at a key moment and all such support crumbled around them, leaving them unable to reap the benefits of the enterprise and made the single difficult or impossible for many fans to find at the time.

Covenant remains active and successful within the goth/industrial community despite that misfortune and earlier this month released their ninth studio album, The Blinding Dark.

Crytek, an industrial/synthpop project from France, released a cover of Bullet in August of this year, nearly fourteen years after the original. This version is rhythmically a bit more punchy than Covenant's, and vocally a bit more dynamic in range. It's as infectiously easy to dance to as its predecessor and a solid interpretation that definitely adds something unique, offering a fresh take on this goth nightclub standard.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
December begins, but not to worry, I don't intend to start up X-mas carol covers yet. In fact, I plan to only feature one X-mas carol for the month and it will be on X-mas day. Before then though there will be a "sweet" throwback, one for a swirl, and something on the harder/faster side to start.

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

I spin next in December, twice. Check my schedule for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies
Nov 20 - Rusty Egan – The Twilight Zone (Marius Constant)
Nov 13 - Cindergarden - Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen)
Nov 06 - Simi Nah - You Spin Me Round [Like A Record] (Dead or Alive)
Oct 30 - Autopsie D'Une Ombre - Little 15 (Depeche Mode)
Oct 23 - Marilyn Manson - This Is Halloween (Danny Elfman/The Citizens of Halloween Town)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies