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 the day before World Goth Day and this week's Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th Century focuses on an 80's goth rock cover of an iconic late 60's hard rock track that in some ways closed a particular chapter in music history:

Sisters of Mercy - Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)

The Rolling Stones released Let It Bleed as their tenth studio album in the U.S. in January 1969. Gimmie Shelter (later spelled "Gimme") was its first track and was praised by many critics of the time as their best song thus far. Its chorus featured backing vocals by gospel/soul singer Merry Clayton. The song was a chronicle of the times, speaking to the impact of the Vietnam War and the protests against it.
Later that year, The Rolling Stones planned to end their tour in conjunction with a free concert organized in part with Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. Held at Altamont Speedway in California, the event that was meant to be "Woodstock West" instead became known as "rock and roll's all-time worst day" due to significant amounts of violence, chaos, and several deaths. Most notable of the deaths was the wrongful slaying of an armed African-American by a member of the Hell's Angels biker gang. (The Angels were acting as ersatz "security" for the event, paid in the beer they consumed heavily while "on-duty.") A documentary of the concert, which captured the murder on film during the set by The Rolling Stones, was also titled Gimme Shelter, but their actual performance of the song is not shown.

Andrew Eldritch, front-man of the Sisters of Mercy, has indicated that the Altamont concert was influential in their decision to cover the song. In one interview he explained inarticulately, "Altamont's very important. If there's a part of history where rock music stopped for a second and we began. If there's a point where the seeds of what we do were sown, it's probably Altamont, cause it encapsulated everything wonderful at the time. The good things and the bad things, and a lot of both. It's when the trip turned sour and it's when the best music was."
The Sisters of Mercy version of Gimme Shelter was released in 1983, one of two tracks on the B-side of their Temple of Love 12-inch single. Later it was included on their 1992 compilation, Some Girls Wander By Mistake.

Where the Stones seem to intend the track as warning of the threat of continued warfare and violence in favor of the free-love attitudes prevalent in the counter-culture of the 60's, Sisters of Mercy's take is far more cynical. One of the unique elements of their cover is that they swapped the positions of the words "kiss" and "shot" in the lyrics, accentuating an idea that the threat so portentous in the original has already become our reality and even "free-love" could be a danger in itself. It's a dark and foreboding interpretation, heavy with all the gloom and gothic atmosphere that inherent to their signature style.

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
Recently, a patron of one of the events I spin made a critique of me as a DJ that I never play the deep tracks of a particular industrial band they always request. They went on to say, "I should have requested a COVER by them, THEN you'd play it," then admitting they didn't know if the band in question had done any covers. Well... they have. And next week you could be "crying" (possibly with laughter or in astonishment) when you find out which band and what they've done! ^_^

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 in Western Mass this Friday again. As always you can find details and links on my schedule. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

May 14 - Torso - Nijinski [Nijinsky] (Daniel Darc)
May 07 - Faderhead - SexyBack (Justin Timberlake)
Apr 30 - Forevel - It's No Good (Depeche Mode)
Apr 23 - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross w/ Karen O - Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)
Apr 16 - Type O Negative - Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse)
Apr 09 - PreCog - Pepper (Butthole Surfers)

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.

Here in the States, we who are in a fight for the very "notion of our nation" applaud the French election and their resistance against Russian influence. We are simultaneously horrified by reports of Russia's inhumanly homophobic crimes against its people. Russia's escalating aggression toward its LGBT communities is among reasons why this very blog was forced to move from LiveJournal (where the Terms of Service of the site based in Russia became unwelcoming to portions of my content) here to Dreamwidth. As a point of subversive irony, this week, our Second Sunday Slowly feature highlights a downtempo darkwave cover of a French artist who was influenced by the works of a Russian dancer noted for his controversial choreography and sexuality:

Torso - Nijinski [Nijinsky] (Daniel Darc)
(It's possible some details found here may have been translated imprecisely from their French and Russian sources, but I've done what I could to be as accurate as possible.)

Daniel Darc, formerly of the New Romantic era French new-wave band Taxi Girl, released his second solo album in 1994. Nijinsky was the title track, inspired by a book about Russian ballet dancer, Vaslav Nijinsky. According to one account, Darc was just out of jail and in a subway where he'd picked up the book. While reading it, someone pointed out to him his nose was bleeding. It was as he saw his blood mixed with the pages that he decided he would devote this album to the dancer.
Nijinsky was regarded as the preeminent male dancer of the early 20th century. He became a founding member of the Ballets Russes in 1909, with which he had performed Scheherazade (which featured a multi-racial orgy) and had choreographed L'après-midi d'un faune (depicting erotic mythological creatures masturbating). Nijinsky, who was homosexual, found himself fired from the company shortly after his marriage to the daughter of a Hungarian politician. When the first World War began his Russian citizenship rendered him an enemy of Hungary and he was placed under house arrest until a prisoner exchange allowed him to come to the U.S.. He performed and toured again for a time but due to injury and stress, his skill deteriorated. His later years were plagued by mental illness and asylum stays. His diaries were published, though his wife had altered the original editions to exclude many details of his homosexuality and any unflattering remarks about her. The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky was fully restored in 1999.
It is not entirely clear what book had inspired Darc but his thus-inspired album was received favorably. It was, however, considered an unfortunate "commercial failure," presumably because of generally low sales due to poor marketing.

But that isn't to say it touched no one.

According to Vincent Fallacara of Strasbourg, at the time lead singer of A Sordid Poppy, he was suffering another night of insomnia when he was struck by the song as it aired on TV sometime in 1994 or 1995. He felt as if he'd "just found an old friend who had been long lost." Years later after he and his brother Marco formed their French dark-wave/new wave project Torso, they recorded a cover of Nijinsky. It was the first track on their self-titled E.P. in 2004 which they appear to have only made available for download from their website (no longer functional.) Their cover went on to be included on a 15-track 2005 tribute to Daniel Darc & Taxi Girl titled, Quelqu'un Comme Nous.

When Daniel Darc died in February 2013, Unknown Pleasures Records collaborated with various French artists to produce the 17-track Tribute To Daniel Darc & Taxi Girl which was released in November that year. Torso's cover was included on the compilation, along with another more uptempo version of the track by Follow Me Not.

Torso, inspired additionally by The Cure, Joy Division, and Massive Attack, drop the tempo of Darc's generally poppy new wave rock track, which itself has more in common with Echo & the Bunnyman or The Church. While both adopt an almost western style riff, Torso's approach is more of a dark bassy saunter in stark contrast to Darc's more lively guitar gait. Torso also perform the vocals in a sort of spoken/sung echo or canon. At near twice the duration of the original, Torso have definitely expressed something unique and loving about their "old long lost friend."

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
Where this entry was about inspiration derived from a "mother" of sorts, the next will be about a track from the 60's covered in the 80's by some goth rock "sisters" for our Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th century.

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 West Mass on the last Friday of May. Check my schedule for details if you'd like to join. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

May 07 - Faderhead - SexyBack (Justin Timberlake)
Apr 30 - Forevel - It's No Good (Depeche Mode)
Apr 23 - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross w/ Karen O - Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)
Apr 16 - Type O Negative - Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse)
Apr 09 - PreCog - Pepper (Butthole Surfers)

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!
Where they came from, who did them originally, and other strange trivia!

It's the Second Anniversary of DisCOVERies and if after 105 dark covers you think there's not much left to offer, you'll be surprised!
On the very first entry I explained a few of the reasons why the blog exists. Last year, on the one year anniversary, I revealed a few of the parameters I use to select tracks and prevent repetition. I intend to continue to operate under those guidelines, though I may decide to introduce a new cover of a track featured previously sometime later this year... we'll see.

One interesting phenomenon I've encountered over these past two years has been the occasional prejudice by some readers seemingly resistant to acknowledge the idea that the goth/industrial music they love may occasionally have its roots in contemporary mainstream popular music. Goth/industrial music didn't spring fully formed from the void, as darkly romantic as that notion may be. So when I explore the history of these tracks, I am not apologetic. Whether the song was performed originally by artists like Madonna, Michael Jackson or George Michael, it's relevant to the history and says something about the artists who chose to cover them. Love or hate pop music as anyone will, the origins of the covers can not be denied. Moreover, they shouldn't be. Creative inspiration, whether it be serious, in fun, or some combination of those motivations, comes from a variety of sources and sometimes those sources are unexpected, perhaps even guilty pleasures. So as I continue presenting these covers, I encourage readers to keep an open mind and consider the broader evolution of this music we call "dark"...

Speaking of "guilty pleasures," this week's entry is a great example of an artist inspired by such pop to recreate it in his own industrial futurepop image, and he seems to have done it all for the sake of a fan:

Faderhead - SexyBack (Justin Timberlake)

SexyBack was the first successful number one hit of Justin Timberlake's post-NSYNC solo career, released in July 2006. It was the debut single from his second album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, released two months later. Timberlake has allegedly described his approach to this EDM track as an attempt to create a song like James Brown's Sex Machine but through the rock sensibilities of artists like David Bowie or David Byrne while simultaneously incorporating new wave synth elements found in the music of acts like Tears for Fears or Human League.
The track was panned by a significant amount of music journalists who berated it as "the weakest song" of the album, "annoyingly dumb," "laughable," "irritating," etc... Despite such criticisms the single went multi-platinum in the U.S. and several other countries, and earned Timberlake a number of awards, including a Grammy for Best Dance Recording.

Faderhead, the stage name of Sami Mark Yahya, is an electronic musician/producer from Hamburg, Germany. According to accounts reviewed on social media, Faderhead had often considered covering SexyBack, but it wasn't until an exchange with a fan on Twitter that he apparently found motivation. In fact, on June 1, 2010, roughly three and a half hours after a few short tweets with the social media blogger known as "Miss Destructo," he had completed recording the cover and made it available as a free download for the subscribers of his newsletter. If you listen close you'll even hear him give Miss Destructo a shout-out half way through his version of the song.

Faderhead has done at least two other covers, (White Wedding by Billy Idol & White Room by Cream,) also as exclusive free downloads for the public.
Faderhead's take on SexyBack leans into the track's self-referential egotism. He performs all the lyrics, unlike the original which features guest vocalist and co-producer Timbaland, and seems to be making fun of the song and himself in the process.

The Cover:
(player is an unofficial source & starts @ :22 | will be replaced once [site community profile] dw_maintenance white-lists the ReverbNation embedded player. D/L available here )


The Original:



Next week:
Second Sunday Slowly! A downtempo track on the gothier/darkwave side of the aisle!

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

I've currently one more gig for the month of May. Check my schedule for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Apr 30 - Forevel - It's No Good (Depeche Mode)
Apr 23 - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross w/ Karen O - Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)
Apr 16 - Type O Negative - Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse)
Apr 09 - PreCog - Pepper (Butthole Surfers)
Apr 02 - Aesthetic Perfection - She Drives Me Crazy (Fine Young Cannibals)

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.

Once again it's time for Fifth Sunday A La Mode, when we focus on a cover of Depeche Mode. This down-tempo cover of one of their hits from the late 90's comes from a married couple out of Poland whose project was unfortunately short-lived.:

Forevel - It's No Good (Depeche Mode)

Depeche Mode released It's No Good, their 32nd European single, in late March 1997, two weeks in advance of its US release and the worldwide release of their ninth studio album, Ultra. The album was their first after the departure of Alan Wilder which, along with Dave Gahan's life threatening drug overdose, many thought heralded the end of the band's career. Gahan managed to clean himself up and elements of that struggle are heard throughout the album. On tour Gahan would skip attending after-parties and backstage meet-and-greets in order to avoid the possibility of even being offered drugs. (Fletcher and Gore confirmed this when I met them backstage after one such show in November 1998.)

Forevel was a dark trip hop project from Ewelina Zańczak-Sztaba and Łukasz Sztaba, a Polish couple married for over a decade, influenced by acts like Massive Attack, How to Destroy Angels, Sigur Ross, and, of course, Depeche Mode. Longtime studio musicians themselves, their cover of It's No Good marked their debut as their own act, which came after waiting three months for Depeche Mode to approve the recording (although as previously noted here, there was likely no chance Gore would turn them down.) They released their version online in April 2013 and their video for the single a month later. They were expected to follow up with a full length album featuring the cover along with ten original tracks. However, apart from another video for a single titled, Otworz oczy (Open Your Eyes), no further music has surfaced from the couple and most of their online presence has evaporated. Last October there was indication from a Polish tabloid source that they had split up due to the husband's alleged infidelity. Meanwhile, Łukasz Sztaba seems to be back at work in at his music production company with his brother, Adam.
It's a bit of a disappointment if the project has met its end in such a way. Especially so considering the seductive and rhythmically bewitching artistry of this rendition showed such potential for their original compositions. They have said their sound could be compared to "the silence before the storm, the dense air, the drowsiness." Their version of It's No Good builds anticipation melodically with gossamer minimalism leading to the first chorus when its trip hop percussion begins. From there it continues that gradual build with those blended elements, measure by measure, until its final instrumental closure. Ewelina's vocals are alluring and remarkably distinct in contrast to the original.

The song may say "you can't turn back the tide" but with the very album on which it is included, Gahan illustrated how possible it is to recover from adversity, so perhaps this isn't the last we'll see of Forevel.

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
It's gonna be May and the Second Anniversary edition of SDSD features a sexy EBM/futurepop cover quite relevant to that very meme!

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 the Boston area this Friday. If you're in the vicinity and care to join me, get the details from my schedule and RSVP if we'll see you there! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies
Apr 23 - Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross w/ Karen O - Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)
Apr 16 - Type O Negative - Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse)
Apr 09 - PreCog - Pepper (Butthole Surfers)
Apr 02 - Aesthetic Perfection - She Drives Me Crazy (Fine Young Cannibals)
Mar 26 - nTTx - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
It's a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
Where they came from, who did them originally, and other strange facts!
It has a new home here on DreamWidth where all previous entries have been imported, corrected, and updated.
(Notice a broken link anywhere? Please let us know.)
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

So... that Thor: Ragnarok trailer, right?! Easily made that the single superhero movie for which I'm most excited this year (which says something considering I loved the first Guardians WAY more than the previous Thor films!) And while I may feel essentially the same as Jimmy Urine (of Mindless Self Indulgence, who has a role IN Guardians of the Galaxy V2) when it comes to the band whose music is on the Thor trailer, without a doubt that song was used to great effect for all the imagery it invokes. That isn't, however, the first time it's been used as part of soundtrack, in its original or covered form:

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross w/ Karen O - Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin)

Led Zeppelin kicked off a six-stop European tour on June 22, 1970, the first of their shows in Reykjavík, Iceland. Immediately inspired by the visit they wrote a track paralleling their experience to tales of Norse mythology, Viking voyages, and conquest. They debuted Immigrant Song in Bath on the second stop of the tour, just six days after the first. Immigrant Song was then included on their next studio album, Led Zeppelin III released in October that year, followed by its single release a month later.
The song has been covered at least four dozen times since; some of those covers by Queen, Cyndi Lauper, Incubus, Informatik and Red Flag. It's also been included on a variety of TV shows, documentaries, and films. Two noteworthy films featuring the track include the 2003 comedy School Of Rock and the 1998 sci-fi action Soldier (starring Kurt Russel who plays Ego in GotG-V2)

Filmmaker David Fincher, having previously worked with Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails) and Atticus Ross on the soundtrack for The Social Network, called on them again to do the soundtrack for his American remake of the film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The film was based on the novel by Stieg Larsson, originally titled Män som hatar kvinnor (English translation: Men Who Hate Women.)
Their soundtrack is primarily instrumental with the exception of the cover of Bryan Ferry's Is Your Love Strong Enough? (by the Reznor/Ross side project How To Destroy Angels) and the cover of Immigrant Song, done in collaboration with Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
In several interviews Reznor admits that the idea of an "aggressive version" of the track with Karen O "wailing over it" was Fincher's. He didn't know why at first but came to understand how Fincher intended to juxtapose the song's lyrics against the character of Lisbeth to add some meaning in the opening of the film. Reznor, who likes Zeppelin, Karen O, and the song, was concerned he would open himself "up for criticism and failure" and wasn't sure what he could do "to give it justice." Trusting in Fincher's vision, he said they "wound up with something that I think works really well in a situation that wouldn't have been where my instinct would have led."

Karen O claimed complete ignorance of Led Zeppelin before being asked to do the vocals. She has been quoted as saying that the reason she "could muster up whatever it took to actually cover" the song was because she "didn’t have any reverence for the track as I didn’t really know it." She's also said she poured a lot of her own personal torment into the recording, which she found to be "primal" and "liberating."

"Primal" certainly describes this rendition with its appropriately thunderous industrial interpretations on the original instrumentation. Ride on to Valhalla with this dragon-spawned ragnarok'n'roll!:

The Cover:



The Original:



Another interesting bit of trivia tying the films together: Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård played Martin Vanger in this version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and, though he is not slated to appear in Ragnarok, he played Erik Selvig in the previous Thor, Thor: The Dark World and both Avengers films.

Next week:
Marks the entry before SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies celebrates its Two Year Anniversary with another Fifth Sunday A La Mode; this time a downtempo dark triphop cover of Depeche Mode out of Poland and it's SO good!

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

At the time of this posting I'll be spinning next on Friday in Western Mass. If you can, join me! Details can be found on my schedule along with whatever's next. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Apr 16- Type O Negative - Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse)
Apr 09 - PreCog - Pepper (Butthole Surfers)
Apr 02 - Aesthetic Perfection - She Drives Me Crazy (Fine Young Cannibals)
Mar 26 - nTTx - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson)
Mar 19 - The Prodigy - Fuel My Fire (L7)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies (at its new home on DreamWidth):
It's a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
Where they came from, who did them originally, and other strange facts!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

Quick bit of followup about the blog's move to Dreamwidth: IF you are a new reader or just looking to scroll back through old entries, I am still resolving a bunch of import errors that wiped out all the "embedded player" content. Bandcamp embeds have a "format" problem and have to be sized in a particular way that I'm not really happy with, but it's better than other options since BC allows you to buy tracks direct from featured artists and learn more about their other music. Meanwhile, I have managed to fix about 75% of the errors, mostly going backward from this date, and I expect the rest to be resolved within the week. Please comment if you detect something specific that might need addressing. Thank you!

Today's Easter entry brings you a Third Sunday Throwback from the 20th century with a cover by a depressive goth rock band whose lead singer passed away seven years (and two days) ago. They also had a penchant for songs with lyrics and titles derived from Christian imagery, so it's with some small enjoyment of the perverse irony that I present...:

Type O Negative - Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young w/ Crazy Horse)

Neil Young 's second studio album,Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, was his first with Crazy Horse. It was released in May 1969. Their first single, Down By The River included an "alternate version" of Cinnamon Girl as the b-side on the version sold in European markets. It was almost a year later, April 1970, before they released Cinnamon Girl as the next single from the album. Apparently the track was one of three that Young wrote while suffering a high fever, sick with the flu. It's said the identity of the actual person about whom the song was written has never been revealed. Young, who had married only a month before the album was recorded, has said it was about a "city girl" he had seen walking toward him with "finger cymbals." He also has indicated that it was "hard to explain" to his wife, who filed for divorce six months after the single came out.

Flip the year "69" to "96," when Type O Negative released their fourth album, October Rust, which includes their cover of Cinnamon Girl. They had already being playing the song in concert to mixed response from their fans. In one interview, lead singer Peter Steele said it was one of his favorites: "Having been born in 1962 and having five older sisters, I was constantly exposed to all different types of music. This one song seems to have stuck out and I was never a big fan of Neil Young, honestly. I just happen to like that one song. It was easy to make heavy. It only has four chords and I only know four chords so it's the song for us." It was released as the fourth and final single from the album in June 1997, after it had been remixed by Charlie Clouser in a style either reverent or mocking of Depeche Mode, subtitled the "Depressed Mode" mix. In at least one concert that year, it was reported that Steele apologized to fans of Neil Young for their "mutilation" of the track, admitting in his sarcastic and self deprecating idiom, "if it's any consolation, Mr. Young didn't like the version either."
The band all seem to agree that the decision of which songs they covered was primarily in Steele's hands, and over the course of their career they would cover artists like Seals & Crofts, The Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Deep Purple, Beatles, Black Sabbath, and Pink Floyd. They also covered the "title" track from the Broadway rock opera, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Far from a mutilation, Type O Negative's version transforms Young's light folk ballad into an exceptionally crafted work of deeply weighted and simultaneously energetic dark rock.

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
Loving that new Thor trailer as much as I am? There's something about it you might want to know, but the cover I feature will mean I have to bend a rule here just a couple weeks before this blog's second anniversary. Forgive me, but I think you'll appreciate it!

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 the last Friday of this month and the first Friday of next! Head over to my schedule for details if you're in the New England areas that make it possible for you to attend if you like! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Apr 09 - PreCog - Pepper (Butthole Surfers)
Apr 02 - Aesthetic Perfection - She Drives Me Crazy (Fine Young Cannibals)
Mar 26 - nTTx - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson)
Mar 19 - The Prodigy - Fuel My Fire (L7)
Mar 12 - Marsheaux - Eyes Without A Face (Billy Idol)

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!
Where they came from, who did them originally, and other strange facts!
Sometimes there's even an interview with the covering band! (This entry for example!)
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

Quick bit of news about the blog: It's on DreamWidth now. LiveJournal has proven to be too problematic. (New TOS, Russian hosting and legal compliance issues, suspicious scripts, ads I can't even see have been present, etc...) DreamWidth 'seems' a solution, however the import of my content from LJ has rendered ALL embedded music players inactive and Bandcamp players are not formatting to the space correctly, though they will play. (If you have any insight on how to fix the Bandcamp embedding problem please let me know, thanks.) Each entry has to be corrected individually. Also many links that currently lead to LJ entries need to be redirected to their new DW counterparts. All of that will take some time. I've gotten the most current of posts updated but there's a lot to do. Please be patient. I'll get it worked out. Thanks.

It's Second Sunday Slowly where I present a downtempo cover. I couldn't tell you how I first encountered this band, but I can tell you they are one of my favorite discoveries of 2016. In fact, had I not already done previous entries for Cry Little Sister or Wicked Game, I probably would have already featured them here. Luckily, they recently released this track AND they gave me the opportunity to do a quick interview with them! But first, as usual, a little history:

PreCog - Pepper (Butthole Surfers)
Experimental alternative punk rockers Butthole Surfers released their seventh album, Electriclarryland the day after April Fool's Day, 1996. (The album title was a humorous swipe at Jimi Hendrix's 1968 LP, Electric Ladyland.) Its only charting single, Pepper, was released in May. The track was reportedly written to reflect the experiences of singer Gibby Haynes during his early college years in the Texas punk scene. It's believed to have been granted airplay and a single to some extent because it fit the musical genre that had been popularized on alternative radio by Beck's 1994 hit, Loser. Pepper marked the height of the band's mainstream commercial success before their eventual breakup after the following album.

PreCog, a darkwave/synthpop group formed in December 2015 out of Nashville, released their version of Pepper online a few weeks ago in February. The band's vocalist Jason Thomas, composer Gerald Josef , and synth player Ty Winstead joined me for a chat online to talk about it.

SDSD: Since your all-original debut album last year, you've released covers of Chris Isaak, Nirvana, Gerard McMann, and now this cover of the Butthole Surfers. One thing they have in common is that they all come out of the decade between the mid-80s to mid-90s. What is it about the music from that time that seems to inspire your music?

Jason: It's really just the songs I grew up listening to. All of those songs hold a special place for me and always will. It's been a real goal of mine to cover the songs I feel shaped me as a musician. It's been practically impossible until Gerald and Ty came along. They help me take the songs in the direction I'm wanting. We have several more covers coming out soon (we like to stay busy) from groups like Queens of the Stoneage, Bobby Darin, and A Perfect Circle.

Ty: I feel that era really represents our own personal growth and nostalgia. It was a transitional time for music and we were growing along with that transition.

Gerald: I agree that this was def a transition time. I myself grew up in the 80s so some of these songs would not have been on my radar for covering, but I love the challenge of taking what was and putting our spin on it to make it new and unique again.

SDSD: According to your social media, you've wanted to do this cover for years. Why specifically "Pepper?"

Jason: It's such a unique song. I've always loved the writing and flow of the lyrics and of course the super dark undertone. Overall I just always thought it was a unique track.

SDSD: How did you go about making the song "PreCognitive," so to speak, make it sound like yours?

Jason: We tend to bounce a track back and forth between each other a couple times. One of us will start the base track, then send it off to the other to add some flavor or bend it in a different direction. Usually after the first go round it sounds totally different. I tend to push things a bit more towards the darker side, but Gerald and Ty add the real meat to the tracks and give it the real solid personality that makes it shine. I think it's the mixture of all our personal styles together that molds us into PreCog.

SDSD: Your bio says you consider Depeche Mode and Massive Attack among your most direct influences and you can definitely hear a bit of both throughout this cover. Is there any track by either you want to cover in the future?

Ty: As a matter of fact, we've been covering Depeche "Never Let Me Down" live. It's so incredibly fun to play and people seem to enjoy it.

Jason: "Butterfly Caught" by Massive Attack would be a fun one, but that track is so perfect as is I don't know how we could make it any better.

Gerard has since confirmed that their cover of Never Let Me Down will be included on an upcoming compilation, Unmute: A Tribute To Artists On Mute Records, which will feature various musicians doing tracks from 1978-1989. Pepper may not make it to their next upcoming album because, as Gerard states, they "have been together a little over a year and have written close to fifty songs!" You can however, listen to their cover here:

The Cover:


The Original:



Next week:
A Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th Century on Easter! In memory of goth icons who did a dark version of a late 60's rock tune named after a different spice that was also mentioned on today's featured cover.

Comments, suggestions, discussions, etc... welcome! (You do NOT need a Dreamwidth account or OpenID to comment, but all comments are screened for spam prevention. Please identify yourself if you comment with the "anonymous" option.)

I'll be spinning this Saturday night in Boston. Links to Details and RSVP on FB can be found on my site with more info about my schedule. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Apr 02 - Aesthetic Perfection - She Drives Me Crazy (Fine Young Cannibals)
Mar 26 - nTTx - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson)
Mar 19 - The Prodigy - Fuel My Fire (L7)
Mar 12 - Marsheaux - Eyes Without A Face (Billy Idol)
Mar 05 - God Module - Round & Round (Ratt)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
Welcome to SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies:
a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs, where they came from, who did them originally, and other strange facts!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

Following April Fool's Day seems like a great time to put something fun into the mix. So here's an electro-industrial artist driven crazy about a "gift" of pop from the late 80s:

Aesthetic Perfection - She Drives Me Crazy (Fine Young Cannibals)

She Drives Me Crazy was released on New Year's Day 1989 as the first single from English alternative rock act Fine Young Cannibals' second album, The Raw & the Cooked. The song, originally written quite differently under the title, She's My Baby, was recorded at Prince's Paisley Park studios in Minnesota. The falsetto vocals were an unusual turn for lead singer Roland Gift who had intended to use his regular range before the song was re-written. However it worked well to create the memorable hook that made the song the best selling track of their career.
The song has been included on several movie soundtracks, such as The Other Sister, Towelhead, and The Goodbye Kiss, and on over twenty television shows. It has also been covered a few times by artists in a variety of genres: Dolly Parton, Tom Jones, Electric Six, and Aesthetic Perfection.

Aesthetic Perfection, an industrial-pop project created by Daniel Graves, released this version of She Drives Me Crazy on the A Nice Place To Destroy E.P. in June 2012. Graves, who has admitted he listens to a mix of pop, classic rock, metal, and electro, took a bit of negative criticism from some over the cover and responded that they should "have a sense of humor." In one interview he described his interpretation as "calculated chaos." According to the 2014 interview, he enjoys injecting a bit of humor into his work and seems joyful at the thought that this cover is "...all just madness. It was absolutely made with a grin on my face, but I think we’ve reached a point where our fans know to expect the unexpected and that guys with crew cuts and cammo pants know what we’re doing isn’t really their cup of tea." He also thinks it's important to "recognize that there is a whole world of things to enjoy outside your little box." (I happen to agree, which is part of why this blog even exists!)
His mimicry of Gift's vocals, enhanced with his own harsher vocal style makes it pretty evident he's having some fun at everyone's expense. And yet his version of the dance track is surgically reconstructed with industrial precision to make it as exceptional as it might be absurd.

The Cover:




The Original:



Next week:
Second Sunday Slowly! And we'll feature an interview with a newer darkwave/snythpop group about their cover of a "seasoned" 90s alternative hit!

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 the Boston area this Friday. Head over to my site for details and future dates on my schedule. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Mar 26 - nTTx - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson)
Mar 19 - The Prodigy - Fuel My Fire (L7)
Mar 12 - Marsheaux - Eyes Without A Face (Billy Idol)
Mar 05 - God Module - Round & Round (Ratt)
Feb 26 - Crystal Castles - Not In Love (Platinum Blonde)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
Welcome to the 100th Entry of SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies!
It's a weekly exploration of goth, industrial, & dark alternative cover songs!
First time here? Click here for details from first entry.

Looking over the features here for the past few weeks and the schedule of what's to come, I realized I've been a little neglectful presenting any covers on the gothier side. Bad planning on my part, nothing more. They are coming. Meanwhile, today's entry highlights a newer Canadian artist with a recent EBM tribute to a track that just don't stop!:

nTTx - Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Michael Jackson)

Michael Jackson released Off The Wall, his fifth solo album (the nineteenth album of his career at age 21,) in August 1979. Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough was its first single, released two weeks before the album in July. The track features his sister Janet and brother Randy adding to the percussion by tapping on soda bottles with drum sticks. Jackson's mother, a god-fearing Jehovah's Witness, was initially put off by the lyrics of the song because of their suggestive nature. It probably didn't help that this was the first track on which he began injecting what would became his signature shouts, screams, and grunts that punctuate passionately (some may even say "orgasmicly") so many of his songs. However, Jackson claimed the meaning to be far more innocent and open to subjective interpretation for the listener so it could mean whatever they wanted it to mean.
There is also a theory that "The Force" mentioned throughout the lyrics is a direct nod to Star Wars, influenced perhaps by the film's debut just a couple of years before. Though there may not be anything to officially back the hypothesis, Jackson would later collaborate with George Lucas on his long form music video / space adventure for Disney's Epcot theme park, Captain EO in 1986.
There are only a relatively few recorded covers of Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough considering its popularity, although it has been covered on more numerous occasions in live performance by artists of many genres, including on the 2011 tour of his sometimes chart rival, Prince.

nTTx is an electro-industrial solo-project developed by Toronto-based Gord Clement, influenced by acts such as Kraftwerk, DAF, Skinny Puppy, Gary Numan, Yaz, and Genesis (I keep telling you all those guys were one tragedy away from being full-on goths.) He has a pronounced love of covers by other bands and has said he enjoys doing them because, "it boils down to thinking of some altered reality where a great song was done in this genre, and how that would play out." nTTx has released covers of New Dress by Depeche Mode, Should I Stay Or Should I Go by The Clash, and Suburbia by Pet Shop Boys. His cover of Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough was released as a free downloadable single in July 2016 on the independent record label, WTII. This interpretation has much deeper and thicker vocals, replacing Jackson's orgasmic punctuation with the occasional hard sigh and a martial "HA!" The original was already uptempo and energetic dance-pop with a multi-instrumental arrangement and Clement just speeds it up an extra ten insistent beats per minute to enhanced effect on his synthesized EBM tribute to the "King of Pop."


The Cover



The Original:




Next week:
For the day after April Fool's Day, I can't help myself... and neither can the electro-industrial artist driven crazy about a "gift" of pop from the late 80s!

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

I have two (possibly three) gigs lined up for April. As always my site will have updates with the details as they become available. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Mar 19 - The Prodigy - Fuel My Fire (L7)
Mar 12 - Marsheaux - Eyes Without A Face (Billy Idol)
Mar 05 - God Module - Round & Round (Ratt)
Feb 26 - Crystal Castles - Not In Love (Platinum Blonde)
Feb 19 - Revolting Cocks- Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? (Rod Stewart)

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

It's time for another trip to the 20th century! The Third Sunday Throwback cover featured in this entry is a punk influenced techno-industrial rager originally performed by the band we know best for "pretending that they're dead" who had something to say about people who don't tell the truth:

The Prodigy - Fuel My Fire (L7)

The all-female L.A. grunge-rockers L7 released their fourth album, Hungry for Stink in July 1994. The album had three singles but Fuel My Fire was not one of them. The track was based to some extent on the instrumentation of a 1990 tune called Lost Cause by the Australian punk trio, Cosmic Psychos.

The Prodigy, bridging big beat styles with rave, punk, hardcore techno and electro-industrial, released the best selling album of their career, The Fat Of The Land, in late June 1997. The album included three of their most popular singles (Firestarter, Breathe, and Smack My Bitch Up) and their cover of Fuel My Fire (featuring Republica leadwoman Saffron in duet with Keith Flint for the chorus) was its denouement.

While they have said in interviews that the album was largely apolitical, it's interesting that the title of the album is derived from the old phrase 'living off the fat of the land', which is representative of those who through their wealth live on the best of resources and leave scraps for less fortunate. Add to that a song that expresses such anger toward those who mislead and betray though dishonesty and it wouldn't be unfair to suggest there's an embedded sentiment that many in today's political climate could find relatable.


The Cover:



The Original:




Next week:
Another adventure in pop-made-industrial with a track that's truly off the wall!

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

I spin again in western Mass this Friday. Details on that can be found from the links on my schedule, with updates about next month to be posted shortly. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero


Previous DisCOVERies

Mar 12 - Marsheaux - Eyes Without A Face (Billy Idol)
Mar 05 - God Module - Round & Round (Ratt)
Feb 26 - Crystal Castles - Not In Love (Platinum Blonde)
Feb 19 - Revolting Cocks- Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? (Rod Stewart)
Feb 12 - Roniit - The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies