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
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 entirely natural for many of us to question reality these days when what seemed so unlikely to ever happen in the U.S. election actually did. The middle ground "between light and shadow, between science and superstition," has never appeared more unstable. Between "the pit of our fears and the summit of our knowledge," we still allowed the unthinkable to occur. Is it possible that we've just crossed over into an alternate dimension previously beyond imagination? This week, our Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th century focuses on a stomp-worthy cover of a theme song that could inform us where we're headed, if we've not already arrived:

Rusty Egan – The Twilight Zone (Marius Constant)

The Twilight Zone, a science fiction/fantasy/horror anthology series dealing with disturbing questions of "what if," debuted in 1959 and ran for five seasons on CBS. It was revived as a series in the mid-eighties following the 1983 film adaptation and for a short run from 2002 to 2003. Its iconic and well known theme, however, didn't actually air until its second season in 1960. Lud Gluskin, CBS's network music director, had commissioned a French avant-garde composer, Marius Constant, to create a number of short interstitial musical pieces for their stock library to use on various radio and television programming. The unsettling and dissonant quality of Constant's compositions rendered them largely inappropriate for conventional television so they went largely unused. However before The Twilight Zone's second season Gluskin spliced together the Constant's pieces titled Etrange 3 (Strange No. 3) and Milieu 2 (Middle No. 2) for what would from then on be recognized as the show's theme. Having fulfilled his contract and sold all rights to the work to CBS, the show did not even credit Constant and he was unaware for some time that his work even became so well known.

In the late seventies, Peter Anselm "Rusty" Egan was the drummer of a new wave band called "The Rich Kids," founded by Glenn Matlock, former bassist of the Sex Pistols, and fronted by Midge Ure. Egan went on to work with Midge Ure (in his solo effort), The Misfits, Visage, and others. Egan went on to be one of the most influential DJs of the eighties in London and opened the Camden Palace nightclub with Steve Strange of Visage in 1982. In 1983, Egan recorded his electronica dance cover of The Twilight Zone theme and an original track called The Other Side for the single's b-side. Egan has said that he was unhappy with a change in the theme melody that the then-chairman of the Warner Brothers label insisted he include. It is unclear if for that or some other reason Egan never put out a full album at the time, but his later production discography would indicate that he never worked with the label again. He also did not release any original material again until 2010. In addition to his regular podcast radio program, Egan is currently working on his full length 14-track album debut due out in the near future, which will feature Peter Hook of New Order and Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet.
In 2012, Trevor Jackson of the British dance project, Playgroup, released an edit of Rusty Egan's Twilight Zone, which Egan was pleased to hear it removed the portions he disliked.
(I'm including this edit below the cover version, in part for those international readers for whom the embedded youtube players will not work in their countries. I don't have a non-youtube embed-able source for the original.)

Egan's cover is basic in its reconstruction as a danceable callback to the theme of the pop-culture institution that still airs in syndication and on SciFi Channel's bi-annual marathons, yet satisfying in that simplicity.

The Cover:


The Edit:


The Original:


Next week:
There is a recently released cover of a familiar futurepop club favorite and it's past due its feature here.

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

I spin next on Black Friday. For details on that and other upcoming events on my schedule, click on over to my website. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies
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)
Oct 16 - Lydia Lunch - Spooky (Mike Sharpe)

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.

The last week has just been painful to endure. In fact, 2016 has been an emotionally exhausting and difficult year on the whole with the loss of so many amazing artists who have touched the lives of millions generally and the dark-alt community specifically. And then Tuesday happened.

But it wasn't announced until Thursday that on Monday we had lost yet another: Leonard Cohen. This Canadian folk musician, who has inspired so many people across every conceivable genre and lifestyle, had a profound impact on a great number of goth-centric artists. Those who have covered his music include Martin Gore of Depeche Mode, Ian McCulloch of Echo & the Bunnymen, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Concrete Blonde, Sisters of Mercy (whose very name may have been inspired by the Cohen song), and Nick Cave (who has done multiple Cohen tributes). Earlier this year, a new group from the Netherlands was so inspired by his talent that they produced a nine-track album of classic disco songs covered in his signature style.

I'm not as personally connected to this loss as many. In truth, before this news I had heard far more covers of his music (Martin Gore's version of Coming Back To You being one of my favorites) than any of his recordings. However, for today's Second Sunday Slowly feature, one song, and an enchanting darkwave cover of it, struck me as an extraordinarily appropriate sentiment many of us can relate to during our recent days of grief and disappointment:

Cindergarden - Everybody Knows (Leonard Cohen)

Leonard Cohen, between the late 60's and mid-80's, released eight books of poetry, two novels, and seven studio albums of folk music. In 1988, he released his eighth studio album, I'm Your Man, described by some as "synthpop," distinctive as a departure from his previous style. Strange as it is to imagine his music characterized as such, the album was none the less the source of many of his most popular works. He wrote the melancholy song Everybody Knows with long time collaborator and vocalist, Sharon Robinson. The track was included on the soundtrack to the 1990 film, Pump Up the Volume, where it acted as the theme song for the main character's pirate radio station. (The soundtrack also includes Concrete Blonde's cover of the song.) It has since been included in many other film and television soundtracks and has been covered 18 times, though probably more. In a Rolling Stone article listing their readers' top ten Cohen tracks, they describe Everybody Knows as "the most pessimistic song in Cohen's vast catalog." As I am not acquainted with the entirety of his catalog well enough to judge, I can only agree that it is, indeed, lyrically dire in its mournful acknowledgement of some of the harshest of our realities.

Cindergarden is the working alias for multi-faceted solo-artist, Jaymie Valentine. In late December 2012 she released her three-track E.P., Lunar Phases - Winter Solstice. It features one original song (the title track) and two covers: Black Hole Sun, originally by Soundgarden, and Everybody Knows. Valentine has made it evident that Cohen is one of her greatest influences. She has also covered his classic, Hallelujah, which can be found on her limited edition 2015 release, Angel. In response to his death she praised Cohen, thanking him for all he has inspired in others and herself, calling him, "a true musical prophet delivering such brilliantly truth seeking and poignant lyrics." Her version of Everybody Knows is a danceable downtempo mix of darkwave and trip hop elements with a hypnotic rhythm and a hint of Dead Can Dance threaded throughout. Where Cohen's vocals are rich, deep, and perhaps more spoken than sung, Valentine's are expressive, sweetly tempered gossamer with a beautiful hauntingly sensual effect.
Leonard Cohen released his fourteenth and final album, You Want It Darker, just three weeks before his death. All due respect to Our Man Mr. Cohen... but things seem to be adequately dark now. Why? "Everybody knows..."

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Third Sunday Throwback. I have something stomp-worthy and aggressive in mind for our look back into 20th century covers.

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

My next night out spinning will be Black Friday. If you're in or near Western Mass and need a break from family or just want to dance, go to my schedule for info. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies
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)
Oct 16 - Lydia Lunch - Spooky (Mike Sharpe)
Oct 09 - Blutengel - Cry Little Sister (Gerard McMann)

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 year we've seen the loss of three extraordinary musical artists; men who, without question, defined their masculinity and gender on their own terms, influencing and inspiring so many who struggle with such issues themselves. In January, we lost David Bowie. (Coincidentally I was already writing a piece on one of his covers at the time.) In April, we lost Prince. (I have not yet done a feature on him, despite many great covers, because legitimate accessibility to much of his music online is so severely restricted.) And just two weeks ago we lost Peter Burns of Dead or Alive.
Burns had actually done covers of both Bowie & Prince, along with several others over his career, and we'll get to one of them soon, I promise. However, of Burns music, there appears to be only a few covers, and all seem to be of only one of his songs:

Simi Nah - You Spin Me Round [Like A Record] (Dead or Alive)

Dead Or Alive, the English Hi-NRG/synthpop/dance sensation led by Pete Burns, released their second album, Youthquake in May 1985, but its first single was put out in early November of the prior year. You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) , celebrating 32 years yesterday, became the band's most prevalent and widely recognized track.
Burns, who launched his career with more post-punk/proto-goth/new wave fare in his bands Mystery Girls and Nightmares In Wax, had stated that his inspirations for the single came from two specific sources: I Wanted Your Love by Luther Vandross and See You 'Round Like A Record by Little Nell (of Rocky Horror fame.) Additionally the string arrangements for the track drew heavily from Richard Wagner's classic operatic piece, Ride of the Valkyries.

The success of the track is somewhat of an astonishment considering reports that their own record company had such a low opinion of the song that the band had to personally invest in its recording and that the band was in constant conflict with the production team.
The song has since been on hundreds of compilations, several TV and film soundtracks, and received countless hours of airplay in clubs and on radio. It's been covered at least a dozen times by artists such as Dope, No Comment, Uranium 235, and Blaqk Audio (released in tribute just last week.) However, of all these covers, this one is possibly the most unique.

Simi Nah is a French-born, Belgium-based artist who operates under her own name as a dark electro/EBM duo with her partner, Kenny (aka KGB.) In 2014, Simi Nah released Be My Guest, an exceptional covers album done in collaboration with a number of "guest" vocalists. Among artists covered: Visage, Cabaret Voltaire, Suicide, and Dead Or Alive. Their version of You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) features vocals by Dirk Ivens of The Klinik. Nah has stated that they really worked to detach themselves from the original and the result is something that sounds close in style to the early works of Ministry or My Life w/ the Thrill Kill Kult. Defiantly divergent from the original, they only recite the song's titular line as a kind of bridge leading to its denouement instead of as a chorus-break throughout the whole. It's a truly cutting-edge dark industrial interpretation that now stands as one of many tributes to the impact made by Pete Burns and Dead or Alive.

The Cover:


The Original:


(due to issues of youtube restriction, for international readers I'm including a second source for the original when possible, though this one is not the actual "original" but one of many single remixes.)


Next week:
The plan is to have a Second Sunday Slowly feature with a post-election down-tempo cover. Hopefully the world will not fall into such deep despair and chaos that the internet ceases to exist. I guess we'll see. Please vote responsibly.

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

Upcoming dates for when I'm spinning in clubs can be found on my schedule so feel free to check for details anytime. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero


Previous DisCOVERies

Oct 30 - Autopsie D'Une Ombre - Little 15 (Depeche Mode)
Oct 23 - Marilyn Manson - This Is Halloween (Danny Elfman/The Citizens of Halloween Town)
Oct 16 - Lydia Lunch - Spooky (Mike Sharpe)
Oct 09 - Blutengel - Cry Little Sister (Gerard McMann)
Oct 02 - goJA moon ROCKAH! - Bloodletting [The Vampire Song] (Concrete Blonde)

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.

Five Sundays during this month means that today I present Fifth Sunday A La Mode - Octoberween edition! I have to admit that for the day before Halloween I was hoping for a cover of The Dead Of Night or Ghost to turn up. There are SO damn many covers of Depeche Mode songs I'm really shocked that there aren't any quality tributes to those tracks. So my challenge became one of picking either a Mode song with lyrics that suited the spirit of Halloween or a cover that best exemplified the essence of the season in its sound. I was about settle on a "lyrically relevant" and aggressively metal-industrial version of Black Celebration when I chanced upon this beautifully spooky cover that sounds definitely like it belongs on your Halloween soundtrack:

Autopsie D'Une Ombre - Little 15 (Depeche Mode)

Depeche Mode released their sixth studio album, Music For The Masses, in September 1987. Little 15, inspired by the eerie film score by Michael Nyman for the 1985 independent dark comedy, A Zed & Two Noughts, is believed to have very nearly not been included on the album at all. This suspenseful and hypnotic drone was also never even considered for single release until a French label took an interest in publishing it. They released it in May 1988 but it wasn't the far-reaching success of many of their other singles. The b-side included their rendition of Ludwig Van Beethoven's Sonata No. 14 C♯M (Moonlight Sonata).
Some believe that the song is about a young girl in a relationship with an older man. Other sources seem to contradict that notion and indicate the song is actually about an older woman seeking to relive her youth through an affair with a 15 year old boy. The song has some disturbing imagery to consider no matter which is true.

Little 15 has been covered a number of times, most notably by God Module. Sébastien Espi, a French post-industrial/darkwave artist operating under the name Autopsie D'Une Ombre (Autopsy of a Shadow) released his cover at the beginning of October. His version boast deep resonant vocals, a distinctive electronic pipe organ sound, and the dark drumming of a dance rhythm absent from the original. It exists somewhere between Bauhaus and Zombie Girl, filling the gaps with a unique operatic quality that is somewhat disarming but could be satisfying as an addition to any Halloween playlist.

The Cover:


The Original:


That concludes this year's edition of Octoberween! Happy Halloween everyone!
If you missed one of the previous entries, scroll down and click back!

Next week:
Daylight Saving Time Ends and the clock goes round and round. ;-7

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

I'm on a bit of a break from spinning until after Thanksgiving but my schedule will have updates on what's to come, so check in once in a while. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero


Previous DisCOVERies

Oct 23 - Marilyn Manson - This Is Halloween (Danny Elfman/The Citizens of Halloween Town)
Oct 16 - Lydia Lunch - Spooky (Mike Sharpe)
Oct 09 - Blutengel - Cry Little Sister (Gerard McMann)
Oct 02 - goJA moon ROCKAH! - Bloodletting [The Vampire Song] (Concrete Blonde)
Sep 25 - Grendel - Zombienation V.2K5 (Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400)

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 fourth week of this year's five week series, Octoberween; celebrating covers of tracks specifically suited to the Halloween season. I've put off featuring this artist for a while, largely because he has so many popular covers that have also been covered by others. In this case, the track is exceptional its rarity of tribute and its pertinence to the holiday:

Marilyn Manson - This Is Halloween (Danny Elfman/The Citizens of Halloween Town)

Danny Elfman left Oingo Boingo behind to make a tremendously successful career scoring film soundtracks. He had already worked with producer Tim Burton on soundtracks to at least five other films before being brought in for the 1993 Disney animated musical feature, The Nightmare Before Christmas. The film ran in theaters for eight weeks during the Halloween and Thanksgiving season, earning mediocre box office returns despite favorable critical response. (Disney's previous animated film, Aladdin, made comparatively ten times as much and was in theaters nearly three times as long.)
The film reached "cult" status, though perhaps a little more prestigious than just "cult" as its general popularity was enough to have it reissued to theaters several times since and was reformatted to include "3-D."
This Is Halloween, the first song in the film, performed by Danny Elfman and the cast of the monsters and creatures in Halloween Town, introduces the setting and basic premise of the film: a hidden and magical town responsible for the very existence and continued celebration of Halloween around the world. According to Elfman, he and Burton discussed the creation of the film's songs and they agreed that they should feel "like they could be almost from any era, but not contemporary."

When Disney reissued the film in 2006, they also reissued the soundtrack. The reissue included a bonus disc that included several of Elfman's original demos and six covers recorded by modern popular alternative rock musicians of the time. Disney surprised Elfman with the idea of having Marilyn Manson do a cover of This Is Halloween. Elfman had already been attempting to collaborate with him on other projects and excitedly gave his blessing. Manson was also surprised that Disney came to him. He has admitted in an interview with Elfman that he was hesitant at first only because he thought it was "too obvious" a pairing, but finally decided that there was a reason for it. He claims that following the recording he was inspired to write and produce his sixth studio album, Eat Me, Drink Me. However, neither that nor any of his following albums to date had near the success of his previous work, making his cover of This Is Halloween his last popular single. (Maybe he'll surprise us with his upcoming release in 2017.) In 2008 his cover was also included on the full tribute album of the film titled, Nightmare Revisited, which included artists such as Korn, Amy Lee of Evanescence, and Shiny Toy Guns.

Manson's inherent goth-rock sound is obvious among differences between the versions, but also notable is the fact that he sings solo as every character that was portrayed in the film by ensemble. The original and cover versions are staples of the season and every DJ who plays the track at Halloween parties likely has to decide between competing requests for both.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
We wrap up this year's Octoberween Edition with a Fifth Sunday A La Mode...
Does Depeche Mode have a track befitting the black celebration of ghosts and zombies that wander in the dead of night on Halloween? Let me think... ;-7

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

I'll be spinning twice this week, in Boston and in Western Mass. If you want to join me in revels of Halloweek, click over to my schedule for links to details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero


Previous DisCOVERies

Oct 16 - Lydia Lunch - Spooky (Mike Sharpe)
Oct 09 - Blutengel - Cry Little Sister (Gerard McMann)
Oct 02 - goJA moon ROCKAH! - Bloodletting [The Vampire Song] (Concrete Blonde)
Sep 25 - Grendel - Zombienation V.2K5 (Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400)
Sep 18 - Bauhaus - Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale of Velvet Underground)

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.

Here we are on the third week of this year's five week series: Octoberween! Cover songs reflective of the spirit of Halloween... or in the case of this Third Sunday Throwback... let's just say they're spooky:

Lydia Lunch - Spooky (Mike Sharpe)

This is one of those with a bit of disputed origin. There is no question that the original instrumental was written and first recorded by saxophonist Mike Sharpe as a single in 1966 and later included on the 1967 album, The Spooky Sound Of Mike Sharpe. However, when the lyrics were later added there is some disagreement about who wrote them. Industry officials claim that lyrics came from members of Floridian-based jazz-pop cover band, Classics IV, who made an even bigger hit of the song than the original only a year after. However other sources indicate the lyrics were actually provided by Ron Hirsch, referencing an unidentified "spooky girl" he used to know.

Since the lyrics were added there have been dozens of covers of the song. The Classics IV version and some covers have been included on numerous Halloween compilation albums over the years. Some notable artists who have covered the song include Daniel Ash, R.E.M., and Imogen Heap.

No wave/post-punk icon Lydia Lunch included her cover of Spooky on her 1980 album, Queen of Siam. This, her first solo album after her short career with Teenage Jesus And The Jerks, was considered by some at the time her "lightest and most accessible" work to date and her cover of Spooky (one of three covers on the record) was described as "almost pop." Agreeably it can be said that her presentation is comparatively upbeat compared to what one might expect from her. That alone might just make the song a little creepier for the style that isn't necessarily as "spooky" as its name or story. Some of her darker covers include Black Juju, originally by Alice Cooper, and Why Don't We Do It In The Road from the Beatles.
But for all those dark souls who might propose, marry, or celebrate their wedding anniversary on Halloween, Spooky is still easy to relate to, no matter the version:

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
From a band once known as "spooky kids" themselves, who are known for a number of popular covers, comes a tribute to one of our scene's favorite holiday animations.

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

Next week I'll spin twice before Halloween. Head over to my site and check my schedule for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Oct 09 - Blutengel - Cry Little Sister (Gerard McMann)
Oct 02 - goJA moon ROCKAH! - Bloodletting [The Vampire Song] (Concrete Blonde)
Sep 25 - Grendel - Zombienation V.2K5 (Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400)
Sep 18 - Bauhaus - Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale of Velvet Underground)
Sep 11 - Placebo - Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)

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.

Last week began my annual series: Octoberween! Each edition devoted to cover songs appropriate for the Halloween season... a season that celebrates ghosts, ghouls, witches, and, of course, vampires. (I know, we did vampires last week. Never too many blood suckers in October ;-7 ):

Blutengel - Cry Little Sister (Gerard McMann)

A few weeks ago, I highlighted some of the story behind the soundtrack of the 1987 film, The Lost Boys, with respect to the covers included on it. However, about the original music for the album there is much more to tell.
Gerard McMahon is a rock musician who had forged his career recording original music for film soundtracks and writing a few popular songs for other artists (like Is That You for KISS.) According to McMahon, director Joel Schumacher gave him a copy of the script and asked him to write a theme song for the movie. (Note: On the soundtrack, Lost In The Shadows by Lou Gramm is subtitled "The Lost Boys," but may well have been specifically intended as the theme of the vampire biker gang characters, not the film as a whole.) With only the script to work from and having seen no footage of the film, McMahon wrote Cry Little Sister.
McMahon has said in interviews that originally there was intent to have Phil Collins or Chrissie Hynde sing the song. Possibly half a dozen auditions took place, but, according to McMahon, Schumacher ultimately didn't want anyone else to do it. However, there is also indication that the film's music budget was already tight with the inclusion of artists like Roger Daltrey, Lou Gramm, and INXS, so it might be that they couldn't afford the likes of Collins, Hynde, or the others who auditioned.
Long after the film, G Tom Mac (the nom de guerre Mcmahon uses these days,) rerecorded other versions of the song. One for a badly panned sequel to the original film. Another, a bluesy acoustic version done for HBO's hit vampire series, True Blood.

Over the span of nearly 30 years there have been many covers of the track by artists like Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister, Tangerine Dream, Zug Izland, Carfax Abbey, and in recent years by Celldweller in a production that mashed in music and samples from the movie Saw as well as samples from the original Lost Boys film.
Blutengel, a darkwave/futurepop duo from Berlin, included a cover of Cry Little Sister on their 2005 EP, The Oxidising Angel (in so much as it can be considered an "EP" with nine full length tracks and three remixes.) It may well be the most recognizable cover of the song in the goth community, distinctive in part due to a change made in the chorus that holds the note of one lyric discordantly longer than the original's.
While both are ever present staples in goth clubs, the original has resonated beyond those boundaries and stands as McMahon's most defining accomplishment to this day.

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
Octoberween continues with a spooky Third Sunday Throwback from 1980 by a no wave/post punk witch!

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

I spin this Wednesday in Boston and have two other gigs lined up during Halloweek! Check my schedule for details in you're in the area and would like to join me on the dancefloor during these Octoberween celebrations! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Oct 02 - goJA moon ROCKAH! - Bloodletting [The Vampire Song] (Concrete Blonde)
Sep 25 - Grendel - Zombienation V.2K5 (Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400)
Sep 18 - Bauhaus - Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale of Velvet Underground)
Sep 11 - Placebo - Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)
Sep 04 - Azar Swan - Broken English (Marianne Faithfull)
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.

Happy Octoberween! The month-long Mass of All-Goths! Let the preparations for and celebrations of Halloween commence! And for the next five Sundays, SDSD will feature covers devoted to that very spirit of the season:

goJA moon ROCKAH! – Bloodletting [The Vampire Song] (Concrete Blonde)

Concrete Blonde released their third studio album in May 1990. Bloodletting distinguished the band as relevant to the goth genre, branching them from their previous general alternative rock sound. A maxi-single for the title track was released in 1991, including two longer versions of the six-minute song with lyrics in French and German. (The French version was later added to the 20th anniversary re-issue of the album in 2010.)
While many believe the track was directly inspired by Anne Rice's 1976 novel, Interview with a Vampire, singer-songwriter Johnette Napolitano has claimed that she was just "spending a lot of time in New Orleans at the time and that was the flavor." However Napolitano has made it clear that she has read many of Rice's books and at one point actually lived within an hour's distance from her. It's worth note that another song on the album, The Beast, also mentions vampires and ghosts and she did work with David J of Bauhaus on a "vampire-duet" project called Tres Vampires in the past decade. Given that she has also admitted Bloodletting is her favorite song from the album, her interest may be a tad more involved than she seems to laughingly dismiss in interviews.

She's hardly the only artist with a fascination with vampires. German industrial synth-wavers goJA moon ROCKAH! devoted three tracks to vampires on their 2009 release, Disco Vampire, including Mein Vampir, Vampire Party, and the title track. But it was in 2008 that they released Elektronation with their cover of Bloodletting. (The album also includes their cover of a Paris Hilton track; there's bound to be a bloodsucking joke in there somewhere.)
The current status of goJA moon ROCKAH! is a bit of a mystery as the bulk of their web presence has dried up, but most of their discography is available currently from the independent music label, Echozone.

Concrete Blonde's Bloodletting is an incomparable goth classic, but for those who might appreciate a more electronic take with some growling German-accented vocals, goJA moon ROCKAH! delvers an exceptional industrial dance alternative to the original.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Octoberween continues with one of several covers of a track made popular by an 80's horror film soundtrack.

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

This month I've three gigs coming up: two in Boston and one in western Mass. Click through to my schedule to get details and feel welcome to join my Octoberween club celebrations if you can! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Sep 25 - Grendel - Zombienation V.2K5 (Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400)
Sep 18 - Bauhaus - Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale of Velvet Underground)
Sep 11 - Placebo - Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)
Sep 04 - Azar Swan - Broken English (Marianne Faithfull)
Aug 28 - Sexwitch - Ghoroobaa Ghashangan (Originally Gönül Dağı by Neşet Ertaş)

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.

Two and three entries ago I touched on issues of "appropriation" in a couple of different contexts. Today's Fourth Sunday Familiar entry follows the story of a popular cover whose origins and assemblage seems to deal with the same issue from an entirely other perspective:

Grendel - Zombienation V.2K5 (Zombie Nation's Kernkraft 400)

Zombie Nation, a collaborative project led by German DJ/producer Florian Senfter, released Kernkraft 400 on an EP in March 1999 and later that year on his first album, Leichenschmaus. ("Kernkraft"- German for "Nuclear Power", "Leichenschmaus" - "Funeral Feast") The EP included 4 remixes and a live recording of the track. The track was a popular underground hit in the UK and has gone on to be heavily used in many major sports arenas, with some mixes being played during games.

In 2003, EBM/electro-industrialists Grendel released their second full length album, Prescription: Medicide. On 1500 limited edition copies, a bonus disc was included that featured the first version of their cover of Kernkraft 400, re-titled Zombienation. Soon after the membership of the band changed and with their new line-up they beefed up the cover with a new recording of it in 2005 for their E.P., Soilbleed. The "V2K5" version includes several samples from the classic 1968 zombie film, Night Of The Living Dead.
Unfortunately, due to some copyright issues, both versions of the covers have been omitted from the "Redux" reissues of their originating albums.
Now while it might be that one of those issues dealt with the movie samples, since Grendel has had to deal with similar problems on some of their original music, it seems likely that in this instance it may have more to do with Senfter.

But why might this have been such a problem for Senfter? After all, the basic melody for his self-referential one hit wonder was originally from David Whittaker's Star Dust which was composed for the 1984 Commodore 64 game, Lazy Jones. Well, Senfter is reported to have been required to pay Whittaker some undisclosed amount for its use, though it's unclear if that happened before or after the single's release. Perhaps owing to such expense, he has since appeared very possessive of rights to the extent of taking offense to mash-ups, remixes, and other uses. Still it seems unusual that some arrangement couldn't have been made between Seftner and Grendel. Perhaps one day.

Kernkraft 400 is a bit-chipy sounding techno house track with somewhat dull vocals while Zombienation V2K5 has a far more bassy industrial dance rhythm, more fleshed out on the whole with the harsh vocal one expects from Grendel, and is without a doubt a huge improvement on both their own original and Seftner's.

The Cover:


(For V1 click here)

The Original:



Next week:
All this talk of zombies leads us right into OCTOBERWEEN! Kicking off FIVE Sundays of covers specifically suited to the Halloween season! (And yes, five Sundays means the fifth is A La Mode.) We'll start things off with an ode to a vampire from one of the walking dead!

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

I spin next in October so check my schedule for details and join where ever you can if you like. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Sep 18 - Bauhaus - Rosegarden Funeral of Sores (John Cale of Velvet Underground)
Sep 11 - Placebo - Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush)
Sep 04 - Azar Swan - Broken English (Marianne Faithfull)
Aug 28 - Sexwitch - Ghoroobaa Ghashangan (Originally Gönül Dağı by Neşet Ertaş)
Aug 21 - Echo and the Bunnymen - People Are Strange (The Doors)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies