seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly Inner Eye)
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.

At the end of last month I featured a cover of a song inspired by one of Stephen King's horror novels, though not one particularly relevant to the Halloween season. This week for our fourth part of the Octoberween series, we present a cover of a track that was originally created by a band that inspired King In fact, he actually made them a meaningful part of the novel before they made the song for the film based on it.:

Strvngers - Pet Sematary (The Ramones)

Pet Sematary was the fourteenth of Stephen King's novels (tenth, if you exclude those done under his "Bachman" pseudonym) and was published in mid-November, 1983. It was optioned for a film-adaptation and King was brought on to write the script. The movie was released in 1989, now the fifth most successful of films based on his novels after Misery, 1408, The Green Mile, and the recent blockbuster, IT.
In the book, King quotes "hey-ho, let's go" several times from Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones. He also embedded their Rockaway Beach as music playing in one scene. So it seems pretty natural that he'd call upon The Ramones to participate in the film somehow. According to Marky Ramone in one interview, the band was invited to King's home to hang out in his basement, where King gave Dee Dee Ramone a copy of the book. An hour later, Dee Dee had written the theme song that would play during the film's end credits. The film also featured their song, Sheena is a Punk Rocker, but neither was included on the official soundtrack album. The band instead released the song before the film on their eleventh studio album, Brain Drain in March 1989. The single was a top ten modern rock hit, the highest charting track of their career, despite also earning them a nomination for a Razzie Award in the category of "Worst Original Song" that year. The track has since been included on several Halloween compilation albums.

Strvngers, a darkwave/electro-pop duo from out of Canada, released a four-track EP titled Exhumed v.1 in July earlier this year, featuring their cover of Pet Sematary and another, He's Back (The Man Behind The Mask) by Alice Cooper. They offered it for free to fans (their "witches and warlocks") in appreciation for their support during a just-completed stretch of their touring schedule. Their modernized version is an extraordinarily dancy yet dark remake, with vague musical cues hinting at various classic Halloween favorites. There are over three dozen covers of this song and theirs is possibly one of the most superb updates of it!:

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
We'll put Octoberween in a coffin and bury it for another year, but not until after we've drained the blood from not just A cover, but FIVE covers of one of a number of previously featured tracks that I probably should've reserved for the Halloween season in the first place!

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

The last of my Octoberween gigs is this Friday. You can find details for it on my schedule if you're in the area and care to attend! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Oct 15 - The Cramps - Goo Goo Muck (Ronnie Cook & The Gaylads)
Oct 07 - Perturbator - Come To Me (Brad Fiedel)
Oct 01 - Kebabträume - More Than A Party (Depeche Mode)
Sep 24 - Steril - Misery (Psyche)
Sep 17 - The Cure - Foxy Lady (the Jimi Hendrix Experience)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly Inner Eye)
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 Third Sunday Throwback edition of my annual Octoberween series devoted to cover songs appropriate for the Halloween season... so let's get 20th century spooky!
The idea may be foreign to a generation that almost entirely consumes their music digitally, but once upon a time, DJs and music collectors would search endlessly through stacks of cobweb-coated vinyl records in dusty "hole-in-the-wall" stores just to find some obscure gem to add to their library. Such was the music business that if an artist only ever released one single that wasn't a huge success, it, and they, could easily be lost to the annals of time, dependent largely on the rarity of the physical recordings. Looking into the history of this surfrock-turned-gothabilly track, what I discovered was less about it and more about how many may have found it in the manner just described:

The Cramps - The Goo Goo Muck (Ronnie Cook & The Gaylads)

Surf/garage rockers Ronnie Cook and The Gaylads appear to have teamed up for this single recording of The Goo Goo Muck in 1962 (some sources claim 1965.) The song was written by Ed James, then a member of The Tikis, who went on to join the far more successful Harpers Bizarre. Both Cook and the members of The Gaylads however went on to other obscure work, never really achieving much in the music industry. The song did eventually find its way to the playlists of some underground radio DJs with a penchant for ghoulish party tracks. One DJ in particular from out of Pittsburgh, "Mad Mike" Metrovich, was practically legendary for his famous annual Halloween radio presentation of "Moldies" (such as The Goo Goo Muck) which aired steadily from the 60's for many years, with one final show on Halloween 2000. Metrovich actually died shortly after that very broadcast. The track is included on a number of compilations devoted to his radio show.

The Cramps are also known for their eclectic record collections, but it is not commonly known if they had a copy of Cook's single before recording their 1981 album Psychedelic Jungle or if they might have actually heard it first from one of Mad Mike's programs before seeking it out for themselves. (Band members Lux and Ivy had lived within 300 miles of Cook in California, and even closer to Mad Mike's radio show during their time in New York, so either possibility could be likely.) Whatever the case may be, Goo Goo Muck was one seven cover songs which make up half that album. They released it as the album's first single, and it was not only more successful than the original, it also seems to have inspired new interest in the original. In the years that followed, the original version popped up on a significant number of compilations, one of which collects many of the songs that the Cramps has covered, titled appropriately, Songs The Cramps Taught Us. Most other compilations featuring either the original or the Cramps version are geared toward Halloween holiday music.

But why Halloween and what exactly is a "Goo Goo Muck?" Again, documentation of the meaning is largely lost to the ages if there ever was any formal explanation. Some theories say it's a vampire. Others say it's definitively not. (Some theories claim it has a far more illicit and provocative meaning.) Whatever this mysterious beast is, it's young, nocturnal, ferocious, and out for blood... so that seems to suit Halloween just right.:

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
Two more Sundays of Octoberween and the next monstrous cover might also need its appetite fed! [EDIT] Ok, remember earlier in Octoberween when I mentioned having to scrap my original plan for the month? Well, as of this post, I'm feeling a bit like my backup plan has gotten just a little too "schlocky" and a few of my alternate choices on deck just aren't measuring up in quality as anything other than b-rate material. So I'm shifting gears hard here. Next week we'll revisit another Stephen King inspired classic (that isn't IT) with a fresh-from-the-grave cover released earlier this year! And then on the fifth and final week of Octoberween, instead of a "4x4" (a feature I begin in July,) we'll wrap things up with a 5x5![/EDIT]

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

The first of my two Octoberween gigs is this Friday! You can find details for it on my schedule if you're in the area and care to attend! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Oct 07 - Perturbator - Come To Me (Brad Fiedel)
Oct 01 - Kebabträume - More Than A Party (Depeche Mode)
Sep 24 - Steril - Misery (Psyche)
Sep 17 - The Cure - Foxy Lady (the Jimi Hendrix Experience)
Sep 10 - The Echoing Green - Voices Carry ('til tuesday)


Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly Inner Eye)
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. This Second Sunday Slowly downtempo cover is a dark retrowave take on a theme found in a classic 80's vampire thriller.:

Perturbator - Come To Me (Brad Fiedel)

Brad Fiedel was already a notable synthesizer musician and soundtrack composer for television and film by the time Fright Night was released in 1985. He gained some prestige in the year prior for his work on The Terminator and has scored a significant amount of sci-fi and horror genre films since. Come To Me is introduced in Fright Night as an instrumental theme that sets the mood for scenes in which the film's villain, Jerry Dandridge (played by Chris Sarandon), seduces, bites, and (in the case of Evil & Amy) turns his victims. It's used most prominently and effectively in his seduction scene with Amy (played by Amanda Bearse), the female protagonist who is shown to have an uncanny resemblance to the subject of a portrait in Dandridge's possession, presumably some past love. (Sound familiar?) The lyrical version of the track, sung by Fiedel, does not seem to be in the film, nor is either version mentioned in the final credits. It was however included on the soundtrack released in 1985 on cassette and vinyl, later released on CD in 1986.
Variations on the instrumental were also used in the poorly received 1988 sequel Fright Night Part II, which featured a cover of Fiedel's vocal version in the credits, sung by Animal Logic's Deborah Holland.

Several other covers of the track have been released including one by Anthony Jones, found on his first album, Viktorian - Descent Into Darkness.

French dark/synthwave musician James Kent, AKA Perturbator, says he makes "dark and retrofuturistic music inspired by the 80's." His cover of Come To Me was included on the NewRetroWave label's compilation The 80's Dream Compilation Tape - Vol. 2, released in June 2013 and features vocals by Dana Jean Phoenix. Clearly a fan of the film, he opens his version with samples of Roddy McDowall in his role as Peter Vincent introducing Fright Night (his entire persona in the film was analogous to Vincent Price.) Kent has also done a cover of another vaguely Vincent-related, vampire-themed track: the Clockwork theme composed by Konami Kukeiha Club for Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse.

Due in large part to his role composing for The Terminator franchise, Fiedel is definitely among those musicians whose work is at the influential core of the whole outrun-synthwave genre, so it's little surprise that Perturbator would be so inspired to modernize, and frankly improve upon, this track, making it a welcome addition to any spooky Octoberween playlist.:

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
Octoberween continues with a Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th Century! This gothabilly classic might also be relevant to vampires but details about it are a bit... mucky. (◐,..,◑)

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

I've got two upcoming gigs to spin this month! You can find details on my schedule if you'd like to join those events. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Oct 01 - Kebabträume - More Than A Party (Depeche Mode)
Sep 24 - Steril - Misery (Psyche)
Sep 17 - The Cure - Foxy Lady (the Jimi Hendrix Experience)
Sep 10 - The Echoing Green - Voices Carry ('til tuesday)
Sep 03 - Gaywire - Nazi Goths Fuck Off (Originally Nazi Punks Fuck Off by Dead Kennedys)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
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.

OCTOBER IS HERE! And so begins what I've long considered a month-long celebration of Halloween - OCTOBERWEEN!
As frequent readers may already know, whenever there is a fifth Sunday in a month, I do a feature called "Fifth Sunday A La Mode" and present a cover of Depeche Mode. (For reasons why, click here). However, last Octoberween, like this one, was also a five-Sunday month, this year I thought I'd offer up a "First Sunday A La Mode" instead, and then the following four weeks of covers leading up to October 31 will be categorically apropos of Halloween.
And since today's cover is coming to us from the 20th Century, we might as well call it a "First Sunday A La Mode Flashback":

Kebabträume - More Than A Party (Depeche Mode)

Depeche Mode released their third studio album, Construction Time Again, in August of 1983. It's been reported that Martin Gore was inspired to experiment with industrial elements in their music after seeing a live performance of Einstürzende Neubauten earlier that year. It's believed Gore also had developed a sense of political awareness in this time that started presenting itself in his lyrics. More Than A Party might be one of the tracks from this album most representative of that influence and awareness. It seems clear the lyrically simple track is more about a political party, if somewhat vague about specifically which. It was never a single but appears to have been a fan-favorite in concert and was included on quite a few of their early "collected works" and live album releases.

The covers compilation Death Is Everywhere - A Tribute To Depeche Mode From Italy was released in February 1994. This extremely limited edition collection of thirteen tracks, varying in genres from industrial, EBM, darkwave, neo-folk, and Italodance, features eight Italian "acts." Only three of them seem to still be active today: Alio Die, Marika (also known as Marika Martyr), and Kebabträume. The rest seem to be various rearrangements of Kebabträume's members and studio musicians operating under other group names that only existed for the duration of this production. However, it was under their name Kebabträume (taken from the DAF track of the same name) they contributed their cover of More Than A Party, which may be the highlight of the entire album and certainly its best produced track. They also offered a bonus track; a medley of Photographic and Puppets (which amounts to a cover of Photographic with maybe two lyrics and a musical phrase of Puppets mixed in).

While Depeche Mode was experimenting with mixing industrial elements into their synthpop style for the song, industrialists Kebabträume integrated a somewhat spookier sound in their version. And that spooky touch makes it an aesthetically welcome track to open this year's Octoberween festivities as an inadvertent reassertion for those of us who insist that Halloween is everyday, it is also more than a party!:

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
I had a very specific plan for the Octoberween series of blogs this year and one unfortunate discovery in my research forced me to put all of that plan on hold for now. So the best I can tell you now as I scramble to reorganize is that the "Second Sunday Slowly" entry of Octoberween will be a dark downtempo cover of something suitably sinister.

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

I've got two upcoming gigs to spin this month! You can find details on my schedule if you'd like to join those events. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Sep 24 - Steril - Misery (Psyche)
Sep 17 - The Cure - Foxy Lady (the Jimi Hendrix Experience)
Sep 10 - The Echoing Green - Voices Carry ('til tuesday)
Sep 03 - Gaywire - Nazi Goths Fuck Off (Originally Nazi Punks Fuck Off by Dead Kennedys)
Aug 27 - Clan of Xymox - Venus (Shocking Blue)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
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 has become the number one feature film adaptation of a Stephen King novel, grossing more during its opening last weekend than any previous adaptation's final domestic total. When the IT television mini-series aired in 1990, another of King's film adaptations hit the box office a week later and is now ranked fourth among his films. The book on which that film is based was the inspiration for today's featured song and its cover:

Steril - Misery (Psyche)

Psyche, a Canadian darkwave synthpop band taking their moniker in part from a Killing Joke b-side track and from a desire to explore the human condition, released their fourth album, The Influence in 1989. Though no single was actually released from the LP, most sources seem to designate Misery as its most memorable and representative track. In a 2013 interview, sole remaining founder of the project, Darrin Huss makes it evident that he was influenced strongly by a number of authors and film soundtracks of the time, notably the 1987 Stephen King novel, Misery. Huss said his song, "does not mention the story of Stephen King, but the title and the idea of the punishment inflicted on the artist subjected to the hands of a fan fascinated me. It was this idea of the artist who experiences things in life that he does not really want, depressing and difficult things to face, is it really that being an artist? It was more a piece about the misery of the artist." (Errors in quote possible due to Google-translation from French.) This theme is also interesting given the fact that Darrin's brother and co-founder of the band, Stephen had recently left after being diagnosed with schizophrenia, and was replaced by David Kristian for this album.

Steril is a German electro-industrial alternative trio that formed the year following the release of The Influence. They contributed to the Unforgotten Rhymes - A Tribute To Psyche compilation featuring 23 different acts in 2015, including Leæther Strip, Parralox, and X-in June. Steril brings a cleaner sound and crisper, futurepop style dance rhythm to their version of Misery. It's clearly a bit more layered as they have two instrumental musicians and the original was recorded with only a single Casio FZ1 synthesizer. The vocals on both versions sound not unlike Marc Almond of Soft Cell, perhaps one a little more mature than the other (but I'll leave it to you to decide which is which.) Steril has acknowledged briefly that this song was an early inspiration for them, but apart from that, there's been little reported as to why.
One thing that seems certain however is that reading is fundamental and can be a huge influence that reaches artists in ways of which even they may not be aware. So read a book! (IT doesn't have to be Misery.)

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
It's the beginning of a five-Sunday Octoberween! As frequent readers may already know, whenever there is a fifth Sunday, I do a feature called Fifth Sunday A La Mode and present one of the hundreds of Depeche Mode covers that exist. However, Last Octoberween was also a five-Sunday month, so this time I thought I'd offer up a First Sunday A La Mode instead and then the following four weeks of covers leading up to October 31 will be as appropriate as ever to the Halloween season!


Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!
(You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)
One last gig for September this Friday and two upcoming in October! You can find details on my schedule if you'd like to join those events. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Sep 17 - The Cure - Foxy Lady (the Jimi Hendrix Experience)
Sep 10 - The Echoing Green - Voices Carry ('til tuesday)
Sep 03 - Gaywire - Nazi Goths Fuck Off (Originally Nazi Punks Fuck Off by Dead Kennedys)
Aug 27 - Clan of Xymox - Venus (Shocking Blue)
Aug 20 - Dead or Alive - That's the Way I Like It (KC and the Sunshine Band)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
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 another "Third Sunday Throwback" when our featured cover comes to you from the 20th century. Sometime in the 80's I was given a mix tape with this cover on it and it has since been one of my all time favorites. Oddly, I never actually recognized it as a cover until this year, either because it is so different from the original or I'm just not that versed in "the Experience.":

The Cure - Foxy Lady (the Jimi Hendrix Experience)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, led by the psychedelic-rock legend Jimi Hendrix, released their debut album Are You Experienced in May 1967. Foxy Lady was the third single released from the LP. It was titled Foxey Lady in some markets (U.S.) though the exact reason for that is unclear. Various accounts indicate that the song was either about Kathy Etchingham (Hendrix's girlfriend at the time,) Lithofayne Pridgon (a previous girlfriend,) Heather Taylor (Roger Daltry's second wife), or another of many inspirations. Whomever inspired it, Hendrix had stated that this track was one of the only "happy songs" he had written and had typically not felt much happiness writing songs.

It's that which makes it all the more interesting that Jimi Hendrix is one of Robert Smith's favorite musicians and also that this is the track he'd choose to cover, when you consider The Cure is known for a significantly moody style, especially in their early catalog. Smith, along with those members of the band when they performing under their previous name,"Easy Cure," were playing Foxy Lady as a standard at live shows along with their original material and a few other covers. When they evolved into calling themselves just "The Cure" and began putting together their first album, Smith says their producer, Chris Parry, told them to "record every song" they had and they''d "work out what went on the album afterwards." During a soundcheck for those recordings, bassist Michael Dempsey sang lead vocals on their punkish cover of Foxy Lady, which made it past the final cut to end up on the band's 1979 debut album, Three Imaginary Boys. Some versions of the release however excluded this track. Dempsey, who left the band soon after the record, was baffled that the song made it to press, admitting, "it's not one of our better songs." Smith seemed to feel some betrayal of trust for Parry putting it on the album, saying he hated the track as it was "diabolical" and "the dregs of what [they] were doing" that should have only been a b-side at most.
The Cure eventually did a cover of Hendrix's Purple Haze they may be most pleased with, but Foxy Lady will forever be their first recorded cover and one of the most disparate and unique versions of the track ever, marking the first and only time any recording of anyone other than Smith singing for The Cure has been released.
(Hendrix's original album version has proven not so easy to find on any legitimate source I can embed here. Since I didn't discover that obstacle until it was too late to research another cover for this feature, I'm instead embedding the live recording from the 1968 Miami Pop Festival, which was released posthumously as an album and video in 2013. Should IP holders make the original available from the same source, I will likely swap it out then.)

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
While everyone's talking about "IT," obviously I'm going to be oh so different over here talking about a dancy darkwave tribute which shares the name of another of Stephen King's titles and might actually be related.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!
(You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention.)
One last gig for September, two upcoming in October! You can find details on my schedule if you'd like to join those events. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Sep 10 - The Echoing Green - Voices Carry ('til tuesday)
Sep 03 - Gaywire - Nazi Goths Fuck Off (Originally Nazi Punks Fuck Off by Dead Kennedys)
Aug 27 - Clan of Xymox - Venus (Shocking Blue)
Aug 20 - Dead or Alive - That's the Way I Like It (KC and the Sunshine Band)
Aug 13 - Beseech - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! [A Man After Midnight] (ABBA)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
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 selection is a "Second Sunday Slowly" entry, which means it's a downtempo track.
This song is special for me because the original has, for some 21 years, almost always been played before closing time at the single event for which I've worked the longest as a DJ and promoter. In fact, last Monday marked the 10 year anniversary of the first time in I spun there. So this one goes out to the "Havenites" who have allowed me that place among them for all these years and I hope you all enjoy this dark electronica version of HaVeN's traditional sign off:

The Echoing Green - Voices Carry ('til tuesday)

A new wave alternative band that formed in Boston, 'til tuesday (self-stylized with lowercase spelling) released their debut album, Voices Carry, in April 1985, just one month after the single release of its title track. What actually inspired the song is a bit elusive to ascertain as the story gets retold over the years. When it was first released, during interviews lead singer Aimee Mann stuck with the narrative laid out by the lyrics and content of the video; it was about an abusive relationship and an affair from her past, though for the most part details given seemed vague. It had also been reported that the song was about the relationship between the band's guitarist Robert Holmes and his wife. Sometime in 1999, one interview with the band's producer Mike Thorne revealed that the song had originally been written as if sung about another woman, indicating it was about a possible lesbian relationship. Thorne went on to claim that their label, Epic Records, was unconvinced that they could sell the song to a mainstream audience with such lyrics and demanded it be changed to the version now commonly recognized. Mann's personal sexual history and preferences may be anyone's guess and no one's actual business, but, for whatever it's worth, she has been in a number of publicly known heterosexual relationships and is married currently to musician Michael Penn.
In possibly the most unusual take on the origin of the song, Al Jourgensen of Ministry wrote in his recent 2013 autobiography that Mann confessed to him that the song was about him and the affair he claims they had when she was in her previous band, The Young Snakes. Of course, Jourgensen also states within a page of that claim that he was excessively high on various drugs at the time and lived in a apartment haunted by a ghost that "hated other women," so how credible this account may be is questionable at best. (At the very least, my research turned up no evidence of Mann ever corroborating his story.)
Whatever the true origin of the track, it was 'til tuesday's only top ten hit and it carved a place for the new wave outfit to be considered yet another one hit wonder from the era.

The song has been covered by a short list of artists over the years— e.g., Gang Green, Tiffany, Futurebirds, Morella's Forest, and most recently Adoration Destroyed.

The Echoing Green is a somewhat obscure darkwave/synthpop band that have been active for over 20 years. Their cover of Voices Carry was first released as the "b-side" track on physical copies of their November 2007 single Suffer. (Coincidentally, for those keeping track of my foreword, that makes this cover just two months shy of its 10 year anniversary too.) In 2011, they released a special digital edition of their seventh full length album, In Scarlet & Vile featuring four covers songs they'd done over the years by Statemachine, Fold Zandura, Depeche Mode, and of course, this one by 'til tuesday. As frontman Joey Belville put it, his inspiration for the cover came from a "soft spot in my heart for 80’s synthpop and new wave music" and that they wanted to give their fans some fun extras. They've also done covers of Ceremony by Joy Division, Safety Dance by Men without Hats, Words by Missing Persons, In My Head by Psychedelic Furs, Do They Know It's Christmas by Band Aid, and Little Drummer Boy. Belville passed lead vocals off to band mate Chrissy Jeter for this cover and between her diaphanous voice and their darkly electronic rock approach to the song it has a unique energy that makes it a worthy successor to the original.


The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
A Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th century where the cover from some post-punk icons is less about what the fox said and more about what was said to the fox!

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

I've got two dates to spin coming up in September. One this Friday, the other two weeks after that! You can find details on my schedule if you'd like to join those events. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Sep 03 - Gaywire - Nazi Goths Fuck Off (Originally Nazi Punks Fuck Off by Dead Kennedys)
Aug 27 - Clan of Xymox - Venus (Shocking Blue)
Aug 20 - Dead or Alive - That's the Way I Like It (KC and the Sunshine Band)
Aug 13 - Beseech - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! [A Man After Midnight] (ABBA)
Aug 06 - Solar Fake - One Step Closer (Linkin Park)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
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.

Foreword: If tl;dr? Nazis are evil. You can skip to the cover below now. Want more context? Continue reading...
Apparently last weekend there were some Nazis attending a well-known goth club, harassing its patrons, raising tensions and creating an unsafe environment. This club also reportedly had a prominent staff member wearing Nazi regalia and has been permissive of the style of dress for a long time despite the discomfort and dissatisfaction this caused its patrons & other staff. Due to a tremendous backlash on social media, this appears to have led to the cancellation of a major LARPing event scheduled to be there later this month that was drawing attendees nationwide.
Many in the greater goth community may be familiar with the specifics of the story, but rather than point out parties involved, I'll say this to anyone who happens to be reading: Whatever your "militaristic clothing fetish" may be, current events have made it clear that NOW is NOT the time to indulge in any such fashion that can even hint at the idea that you might be a Nazi, ESPECIALLY if you actually aren't! And if you aren't, don't make excuses for it. You surely have other fabulous clothing to wear. That imagery IS strongly associated to an ideology of hatred and bigotry. There is no debate. Maybe there was a time where indulging in the fetish was harmless, even ironic. If you're doing it now however, you might want to look deeply at your motivations and realize that your intent is less important than the safety of those around you and the respect they should be granted.

Why do I bring any of this up? Well, because our featured cover this week might just be brutally relevant on the matter:

Gaywire - Nazi Goths Fuck Off (Originally Nazi Punks Fuck Off by Dead Kennedys)

Nazi Punks Fuck Off was first released as a single by hardcore punkers Dead Kennedys in November 1981, and then included on their In God We Trust, Inc. EP the following month. Apart from the most obvious and direct meaning of the song, its origin is riddled with an endless array of the band's touring experiences, but one story seems significantly of interest. A recounting of one of their shows in Liverpool near the end of 1980 describes a moment during the song California Über Alles when the crowd simultaneously raised their arms in a Nazi salute. The account claims no harm was intended and that Liverpool itself had a strong multicultural community at the time, but lead singer and song writer Jello Biafra is said to have stopped the song cold to yell at the audience, "what are you doing? That's not what this is about, we ain't Nazis!"
Whether or not it was because of this incident, Biafra wrote Nazi Punks Fuck Off, clarifying where they stood and it drew a definitive line in the sand.
The single was sold with a free armband baring an "anti-swastika," a symbol that was later adopted by the Anti-Racist Action Network, the early punk predecessors of the group we know today as Antifa.
Last year Biafra stated that the song has taken on new meaning in our era, now targeting, "modern kinds of white supremacists who leave the white hood in the top drawer and think a four-hundred-fifty-grand-a-year combover will paper over the fact that a fucking racist is still a fucking racist fucking asshole." He still performs the song on tour (though lately he replaces "Punks" with the ever-prevalent last name of the Republican candidate in office.) Biafra also hosts a webcast on YouTube called What Would Jello Do where his views on the modern Nazi presence are as consistent as ever.

Nazi Punks Fuck Off has been covered a few times over the years, most notably by Napalm Death, and was also performed by the cast of protagonists in the 2015 film, Green Room.

One recent cover has its roots in some problematic issues that arose earlier this year dealing with Joe Letz of Combichrist, in which he was called out for racial insensitivity for his choice of touring costume and a number of bigoted, clearly indefensible remarks. Gaywire, a Philadelphia-based LGBT industrial/aggrotek project led by Jen Pallante, responded to the controversy with what she called "a simple but relevant position statement regarding Joe Letz." Pallante, herself a trans woman and inspired by the DK single, swapped "punks" with "goths" and quickly recorded this aggro-ebm cover, released online in late May. Letz admitted his behavior was wrong the very next day, though probably not directly on account of this song as much as the enormity of outrage on social media that was calling for his removal from several touring engagements. Following that apology, Pallante opined that too much focus was given to whether Letz should be welcome in a scene and not enough focus on making it inclusive for queer people or people of color, stating, "Seeing so many people defend him reminds us that even in alternative cultures the same hate we see daily in the world at large is present. Saying you disapprove of Letz is not enough. That should be default. We should expect that. But do some work to let us know you want us at the club, on your iPod, and in your lives. Let us know we're loved. And we will love you back."

In June, Gaywire included Nazi Goths Fuck Off on a rarities E.P. titled Doppelgänger, which also features an original anti-fascism song done in two parts and additional covers of tracks by Dirty Sanchez, Nine Inch Nails, The Kinks, and Dead or Alive. Pallante admits the DK cover was "spontaneous" but given the nature of the original, it may actually benefit from being a bit raw. As possibly the only known agrro/electronic version of the song, it is by that characteristic quite unique, making it more of a rhythmic floor stomper than an anarchic slamdance, but no less potent in its core meaning.

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
I'm celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the first time I spun as a DJ for an event that has become my longest running club gig. The New England event has run for over twice as long as I've been involved and ends most every night with one particular 80s new wave song, a downtempo cover of which will be the highlight of next week's Second Sunday Slowly feature!

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome!
(You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention. Please note if your comments on this topic are in any way abusive or signal your support for Nazi ideology, it will be dismissed without reply. Your right to free speech is protected. The right to use my platform for hatefulness is not. In other words, listen to the song above again. I also don't use the Republican candidate's name on my media, primarily as a means of reducing his ability to "trend," so keep that in mind.)

Two dates coming up in September. You can find details on my schedule if you'd like to join those events. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Aug 27 - Clan of Xymox - Venus (Shocking Blue)
Aug 20 - Dead or Alive - That's the Way I Like It (KC and the Sunshine Band)
Aug 13 - Beseech - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! [A Man After Midnight] (ABBA)
Aug 06 - Solar Fake - One Step Closer (Linkin Park)
Jul 30 - Black Nail Cabaret - Shouldn't Have Done That (Depeche Mode)


Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
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.

A few weeks ago I did a mini poll in a couple of places to ask if I should review a popular cover that most mistake as the original or introduce a newer version in a more modern genre. As it turns out my info about the song in question was not something I could substantiate to my satisfaction, making the whole poll kind of moot. So while the poll results I got indicated I should do the popular cover and this IS a feature that debunks the myth of who people think did the original, I'm not reviewing the popular cover in this case because frankly it doesn't fit my format. Not to worry, because there IS a "shocking" industrial darkwave version that does.:

Clan of Xymox - Venus (Shocking Blue)

The Dutch psychedelic rock act Shocking Blue released Venus as a single in October 1969. It was the band's only number one hit. The track was not originally included on their second album, At Home (also released in 1969) but it was added to pressings of the album following the single's release and success. This was the album that debuted Mariska Veres as the group's lead singer. During the track's recording, she made a slight error by singing, "godness on the mountaintop," which is said to have been a mistake in translation or spelling by their songwriter/guitarist, Robbie van Leeuwen. Van Leeuwen was believed to have "taken inspiration" from The Banjo Song written by Tim Rose and recorded by The Big 3 (which featured Mama Cass) in 1963, which itself was a melodic reworking of Stephen Foster's folk song, Oh! Susanna. To hear it though, it would seem that Venus was almost a direct lift of that song with the exception of its lyrics, which are effectively an ode to some human manifestation of the titular Roman goddess of desire.

One interesting aspect of its success though is how, during the 70's when Russia mostly dismissed Western popular music, this song became vastly popular in Russia's own counterculture. Low quality bootlegs and translated re-recordings of the song circulated throughout their underground scene. The song was known there as Shizgarah, a word with no actual meaning, which was essentially a misunderstanding of the lyric, "she's got it."
While Bananarama's 1986 cover of the track is perhaps the most prominently known, and the one for which many believe is the original. It was not even the first known cover. That was recorded and released in 1976 by a South African duo, The Stockley Sisters. Several other covers have been produced over the years, though many times for use specifically in advertisements for Gillette's "Venus" brand razors.

Gothic synthpop darkwavers Clan of Xymox released a covers compilation album titled Kindred Spirits in October 2012, one week and 43 years after the original Venus single. "Kindred" to Shocking Blue by way of also being Dutch, their cover of Venus is the first track and the only song on the album from the sixties. Apart from their covers of David Bowie (70's) and Radiohead (90's), the rest of the album's assortment are songs from the eighties by The Cure, Department S, Depeche Mode, Joy Division, New Order, Nine Inch Nails, Siouxsie & the Banshees, and Sisters of Mercy.
Even though Clan of Xymox attribute correctly the original to Shocking Blue, many reviews of the album still managed to make the mistake of crediting Bananarama. There is little to inform as to what inspired their cover specifically, though when asked if the band would do another such covers album, Xymox clan-member Ronny Moorings said, "No. I did it once. To do it again would certainly be too much."
He may think so, but some may find the array of revised goth favorites in their style refreshing, and Venus is (in this listener's opinion) one of the more distinctive of the collection with its darkwave industrial dance rhythm and deep resonant vocals that make this version as "black as the dark night she was.":

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
I've got at least four great EDM/Industrial covers on tap... which means I'll likely choose a fifth one I haven't even discovered yet! (Meanwhile I have the second and third weeks of September already decided, go figure.)

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

Two dates coming up in September. You can find details on my schedule if you'd like to join those events. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Aug 20 - Dead or Alive - That's the Way I Like It (KC and the Sunshine Band)
Aug 13 - Beseech - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! [A Man After Midnight] (ABBA)
Aug 06 - Solar Fake - One Step Closer (Linkin Park)
Jul 30 - Black Nail Cabaret - Shouldn't Have Done That (Depeche Mode)
Jul 23 - 4X4: HEALTH/Orkestra Obsolete/The Stitchlings/Bela Goosy - Blue Monday (New Order)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
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've had this planned for a while, but given current events I wanted to find a way to say without ambiguity, "Nazis are bad," within the context of the cover presented. I didn't actually expect my research for this week to lead anywhere that would allow that. This Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th century is dedicated to the memory of a HI-NRG synthpop icon who passed away last October and would have celebrated his 58th birthday earlier this month. It turns out, that birthday is owed in a very literal way to the defeat of Nazis in World War II:

Dead or Alive - That's the Way I Like It (KC and the Sunshine Band)

Pete Burns was cross dressing as early as 1965 when he was only six years old. His Jewish mother, who had survived a Nazi concentration camp, was supportive of his creative expression, even though his father (an English soldier from Liverpool) wasn't so much. Burns was working as a hair stylist around 1975 when KC and the Sunshine Band released their power hit That's the Way I Like It, the second single from their self titled debut album. The track became ever-present in our culture and has been featured on over 40 television shows and film soundtracks (including, for instance, the 1999 film, Mystery Men) over the past 42 years. As the band's second number one hit, Burns was doubtless exposed to the track but it was still a few years before he would perform music himself.

According to Burns, he was frequenting a club called Eric's when, after an extended period of access, he was suddenly banned from entry by the owner until he "formed a band and started to sing." That led to his single performance with The Mystery Girls featuring Julian Cope. Soon after he unambitiously developed his next project, Rainbows Over Nagasaki, which became the goth/post-punk band Nightmares in Wax, a name inspired by his friendship with The Cramps. It was on their 1979 three-track EP Birth of a Nation that Burns first paid tribute to the KC and the Sunshine Band song by using its chorus as a part of his homo-erotically charged single, Black Leather.

The name Dead or Alive was originally inspired by Burns' idea to name the band after a book titled, Those Who Died Young. His guitarist at the time, Avery Mitchell, refused to work under that name and insisted on Dead or Alive instead. Burns agreed and the name stuck even though Mitchell left the band before its debut album, the 1984 Sophisticated Boom Boom. Their cover of That's the Way I Like It was the fourth single released from the album and their first major success. It was the first recorded cover of the track since the original, updating it with the new-wave synthpop sound that was modern at the time. Interestingly, Burns seemed to want to maintain some connection to the message he laid as the foundation of Black Leather by embedding some of its "tall, strong" "heavy muscle boy" imagery into the song through the additional lyric, "keep that, keep that body strong!" In fact, the b-side of the single release is basically an extended remix reprise of the cover with its core lyric being the title, Keep That Body Strong (That's The Way).

Such lyrics as those found in Black Leather, his dress, and his relationships raised many invasive questions on his sexuality. In his 2007 autobiography, Freak Unique, he addressed the question, "– am I gay, bi, trans or what? I say, forget all that. There’s got to be a completely different terminology and I’m not aware if it’s been invented yet. I’m just Pete."
His most memorable and recognized song may have been You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), but it seems likely we may never have have heard it if not for the fight against Nazis and KC and the Sunshine Band inspiring this cover:

The Cover:



The Original:


Next week:
Three other options have been foiled by powers beyond my control... but I have found a "shocking" industrial darkwave version of yet another song that often gets attributed wrongly to another artist who also covered it! Just in time for a rare astrological event, it also happens to deal with a planetary body, of sorts!

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 next in western Mass on this Friday, with a couple more dates coming up in September. You can find details on my schedule if you'd like to join those events. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Aug 13 - Beseech - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! [A Man After Midnight] (ABBA)
Aug 06 - Solar Fake - One Step Closer (Linkin Park)
Jul 30 - Black Nail Cabaret - Shouldn't Have Done That (Depeche Mode)
Jul 23 - 4X4: HEALTH/Orkestra Obsolete/The Stitchlings/Bela Goosy - Blue Monday (New Order)
Jul 16 - Renegade Soundwave - Biting My Nails (Geneviève Waïte)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies