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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

Aug 13 - 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
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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
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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
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 Second Sunday Slowly features disco done dark & downtempo... Or I suppose "doom-tempo" might be the more apropos description. :

Beseech - Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! [A Man After Midnight] (ABBA)

The Swedish disco dance pop quartet ABBA released Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) as a single in early October 1979. It was one of two tracks not on any previous LP that was included on their compilation album, Greatest Hits Vol. 2, which they released before the end of that month. Its original title was Been and Gone and Done It, which co-writer/composer Björn Ulvaeus decided to change ultimately because it was "an old expression that means you have got married. It was a nice idea, but in the end I thought it was a bit too old-fashioned." Benny Andersson's and his lyrics took a turn toward a darker storyline centered on a lovelorn & dispirited single woman (characterized by Agnetha Fältskog's vocals) plagued by loneliness in the night, making that title even less appropriate. The tone of the song was far from gloomy with its flamboyant disco rhythms that led to it being not just one of their most successful tracks overall but also tremendously popular as somewhat of an anthem within the gay dance-club community. Their use of early electronic instrumentation is said to have been highly influential for many techno musicians in later years. The song was sampled by Madonna for her 2005 single, Hung Up, which it is rumored she begged the band's permission to do. Prior to that several covers had been done. Notable among the live versions are those done by Erasure and Sisters of Mercy. What might be most interesting though is that there are so many metal artists who have covered this particular track, ranging in styles from heavy metal, speed metal, folk metal, and, in this case, gothic doom metal.

Beseech, a Swedish gothic doom metal band, claim they are not "fans" of ABBA but do have a great respect for them. Their cover of Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) was first included on limited edition releases of the 2002 Souls Highway album, then later added to all pressings of the LP's 2007 reissued 2-disc compilation with Sunless Days (their 2005 album featuring a cover of Danzig's Devil's Plaything). When asked about why they chose the song, guitarist Robert Spånglund (now known as Robert Vintervind) had said in one interview, "I got a kind of dark feeling from it as I think the lyrics are pretty dark too so it could fit us very well..." Spånglund also conveyed that they would have preferred to change the lyrics a bit for the recording but could not get the approval from ABBA. They have, however, changed one prominent lyric in live performance; exchanging "a man after midnight" with "your blood after midnight," giving the song slightly more vampiric imagery. Even without that change, their version is certainly as dark and dramatic in style as you might imagine from elder vampires bemoaning their solitary and cursed existence.

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
A "Third Sunday Throwback" to the 20th century with another disco remake, this time by a late synthpop icon interested in helping you keep that body strong!
ᕙ( ͡ಠ‿↼)ᕗ

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 the last Friday of the month. As usual, you can find details on my schedule if you like. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

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)
Jul 09 - You Shriek - Invisible Sun (The Police)

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.

Today's entry is happening on the day after what would have been the late Peter Burn's 58th birthday. Two weeks from now I'm going to throwback some love to Dead or Alive with one of his early covers. However, two weeks ago the industry lost another well-respected musician, so in his memory here's a tribute to his breakout hit.:

Solar Fake - One Step Closer (Linkin Park)

Vocalist Chester Bennington joined up with the band previously known as "Xero" [no, my name has no relation to this fact & is entirely coincidental] in early 1999. Together as "Hybrid Theory" they set to recording before ultimately deciding to take the name Linkin Park and then used Hybrid Theory as their debut album title. One Step Closer was their first single released in September 2000, one month before the album. It was a welcome addition to the Nu-metal genre, securing widespread airplay on radio internationally and immediately became the band's first major success. Bennington had confessed in one interview that he "would never have thought One Step Closer would have been as big as it was. I didn’t even want that on the album!" He also thought it "was weak in comparison" to other singles from the LP.

While Bennington's recent suicide would make it easy to suppose this song was reflective of some long term personal state of mind that led to that act, according to various interviews that would appear to not be the case. In another interview he recounted that the frustration expressed in the lyrics was actually due to his producer forcing him to rewrite the song nearly thirty times. Makes you wonder what its original lyrics were, considering its original name was "Plaster."

The good reputation of Chester Bennington's character seems to be far more extensive than the amount of covers anyone has done of his band might suggest. In fact, there are maybe a little more than a dozen or so artists who have covered Linkin Park, most being various rock & metal outfits. Most, not all.
Solar Fake is the synth/futurepop solo project of Berlin-based Sven Friedrich. He released his third album, Reasons To Kill in 2013, which features his version of One Step Closer. Friedrich has done a number of covers (Radiohead, IAMX, Placebo, Talk Talk, The Killers, et.al) each chosen because, as he has said, "I like taking one song that I like and trying to make it sound like it’s a Solar Fake song." He called Linkin Park "a very different band" from his project and said One Step Closer is "great in the live environment, it’s so much fun to play." While his aim may have been to make it sound much more like "Solar Fake," it's almost like he made Solar Fake sound more like Linkin Park instead by embracing a harder rock/industrial approach to his electronic rendition. Friedrich may also have less range than Bennington had, but his deep and resonant vocals seem appropriately level by design.

It tends to happen that after the loss of any particular musician a number of tributes get produced to honor their memory. There have been reports that a diverse array of popular musicians have been playing live tributes recently but no news to indicate any compilation might be released anytime soon, let alone specifically from artists of goth/industrial persuasions. So for now, Solar Fake's offering is fairly unique from the perspective of its genre.

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
We'll delve into a downtempo gothic metal remake of a late 70's disco sensation when Second Sunday Slowly spotlights some "greedy" Swedes.

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

My next public gig is late this month. Details for that and some early fall dates are up on my schedule. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

P.S. In the early months of writing this blog some of the research on various covers drew my attention to the previous "All Covers" editions of the Communion After Dark podcast. Today they'll air their latest "All Covers" episode, so check that out! They always have a fun assortment of goth/industrial covers to share!
{I was going to donate to them for this episode, but I'm having issues with reloading my paypal. Hope the shout out will suffice.(ツ)}


Previous DisCOVERies

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)
Jul 09 - You Shriek - Invisible Sun (The Police)
Jul 02 - Urgess - Spider-Man Theme (Paul Francis Webster and Robert "Bob" Harris)

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 the fifth Sunday of the month, and time for Fifth Sunday A La Mode, featuring another in an endless array of Depeche Mode covers! This one is by a self-described "dark pop-noir" duo recreating the tale of a life lived making regrettable choices. :

Black Nail Cabaret - Shouldn't Have Done That (Depeche Mode)

Depeche Mode's second album, A Broken Frame, was released in September 1982. It was their first album after Vince Clark left the band to form Yazoo with Alison Moyet, leaving its song writing in the hands of Martin Gore. The penultimate track of the LP, Shouldn't Have Done That, was not released as a single in the U.K. or U.S.. However it appears there was an unofficial five-inch record release of the track made in Russian for its Polish market which misspelled the title as "Shouldn't Have Done Yet."
The song itself was critically noted as the most different in style from everything else on this and their previous album. It also marks the first duet between Gore and David Gahan.
One of the most unusual aspects of the song is the incoherent monologue near the end of the track which was recorded in reverse. The backmasking disguises an ersatz children's story that Gore came up with about a little bird, a big bird, and the worms they eat, which isn't much more intelligible when played in the opposite direction. One theory about its meaning stems from Gore's answer to fan mail questions regarding etchings on some of their singles. (For e.g. some editions of the Leave In Silence single are said to have etchings that read, "LITTLE BIRDS PECKING! / LITTLE BIRD’S TAKEN THE WURM!") Gore's response explains, "These are our studio nicknames and sayings. Little Bird is the two track machine and big Bird is the 16 track machine. Little bird's pecking means that the two track is running and LB's taken the worm means that a signal has shown that it is recording from the 16 track (Big Bird). Very stupid isn’t it (Andy's idea)."
Only a cover by Systema The Affliction seems to have something passingly similar to that detail of the song in their version. Other covers of the track include one from a Greek tribute compilation by Raining Pleasure and one by the Greek synthpop duo Marsheaux from their complete rerecording of A Broken Frame released in January 2015. (When in Greece?)

As it turns out, Black Nail Cabaret, a synth-pop/darkwave duo from Hungary, may have just beaten Marsheaux to the punch. Having performed Shouldn't Have Done That in concerts, they decided to record and release their version for free on Soundcloud as a gift to fans just ten days before Christmas in 2014. They later included it on a seven-track collection named appropriately, The Covers, released in July 2015. Other covers on the EP include songs by Talk Talk, Rammstein, Brittney Spheres, & Rihanna.

The original is a bit like a horseback saunter, clopping along through some surreal mindscape of guilt or prophecy. Though still as vocally somber, BNC's version has a bit more bounce to it and is much more danceable than the original. It's also a little rough around the edges, less produced and of lower quality, (due in part to a loss of their master recording files), giving it a sort of radio-centric atmosphere.


The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
I was planning a nod to the birthday of a favorite fallen artist, but last week yet another artist broke and fell so we'll offer tribute.

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

My schedule is a little light for the summer. My next public gig is in late August. The private stuff? Well... that's a whole other story. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jul 23 - 4X4: HEALTH/Orkestra Obsolete/The Stitchlings/Bela Goosy - Blue Monday (New Order)
Jul 16 - Renegade Soundwave - Biting My Nails (Geneviève Waïte)
Jul 09 - You Shriek - Invisible Sun (The Police)
Jul 02 - Urgess - Spider-Man Theme (Paul Francis Webster and Robert "Bob" Harris)
Jun 25 - Sirus - My Own Summer (Deftones)

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.

Sometimes I find a new cover of a track I've already written about. Sometimes I know of several that would be worth sharing. So I've decided that, sometimes, on the Fourth Sunday of a month, I'll feature four other covers in a new segment I'm calling Four by Four! And for its inaugural edition: New Order's Blue Monday!
You can check out my previous blog detailing some of its history and the cover by Orgy by clicking this link!

Four Other Covers of Blue Monday (New Order)

HEALTH:
Health's cover is included on the soundtrack and advertisements of the film, Atomic Blonde, which, probably because it's set during the Cold War, collects a remarkable assortment of 80's favorites by the original artists and an additional cover of Ministry's Stigmata done by Marilyn Manson and Tyler Bates. The soundtrack releases this Friday, July 28, along with the film, but the single has been available digitally since March. Health's electronic noise rock style revs their version up to a gallop, rides it hard, drops to liquid swirling depths, and launches the ride all over again. It's a truly exceptional modernization of the track!


Orkestra Obsolete:
On the day of the 33rd anniversary of New Order's single release, BBC Arts presented an extraordinary tribute. A still-unidentified group of masked musicians calling themselves Orkestra Obsolete reconstructed the song using only instruments that would've been available in the 1930's. Those instruments include a diddley bow, a dulcitone, a hammered dulcimer, a harmonium, a musical saw, singing glasses, a slit drum, a theremin, a zither, and a skipping phonograph record. Even their microphones are antique models! It's possibly one of the single best versions based solely on the ingenuity it took to recreate the original so faithfully with such antiquarian tools. Fans of steampunk should appreciate this, even though it's technically derived from post-Victorian means.


The Stitchlings:
Now for a version that swaps the vocal gender and drops the tempo to something slow and darkly sensual. The Stitchlings are an Australian alternative trio who released their moody downtempo cover of Blue Monday in March 2014. Their full length album was expected later that year, but it would seem it's been delayed to sometime this year. They've teased the possibility that the album could also include a cover of Closer by Nine Inch Nails. Among the few female-voiced versions of the song, I've found this is the most unique of them, similar in style to artists like F/C Kahuna or Hooverphonic.



Bela Goosy:
Ok... with a name like "Bela Goosy" (a far too obvious imitation of "Bela Lugosi") it's easy to imagine something facetious at play here. But as you start to listen to this mildly distorted synth coldwave post-punk version of Blue Monday, (found on his 2015 release, Black Veils Drying in the Rain,) it's a little disarming how sincere the French musician seems in his approach. Once he starts singing in his exaggerated uber-affected and anguished style, it seems fair to wonder if this is a sort of parody of goth or if he's passionately serious in his theatrical presentation! It's genuinely fascinating how this version hangs between the marks of presence and pretension.



Narrowing down to four picks was no easy task. There are dozens of covers of the song in a variety of styles, though most (not all) within the general format of this blog. Some of these artists sound like they've done little more than remixes, and some just aren't great, unique, or all that interesting in any particular way. However... this is the list of "otherable mentions" in alphabetical order:
2 Touch, 3V, 8 Bit Arcade, Absolute Body Control, Ambros Chapel, And One, Anatoli Tsampa, Belching Beet, Benjamin Bates, Biosphere, BlackCycle, The Brythoniaid Male Voice Choir, Buke and Gase, Bullet Proof, Buzz Kull, Cary August, Clan of Xymox, The Cloud Room, Cokehead Hipsters, Cosmosis, Datassette, DJ Pebbles featuring Lick, Doctor Explosion, Dub Kult, EMPUSA, Eurochrome, Flipside Feat. Liva Akselbo, Flunk, Hannah Peel, Ifrom Ramona, Gregorian, Gorilla Rodeo!, JamX & De Leon feat. Bernard Sumner, The Jolly Boys feat. Albert Minott , Katharina Nuttall, Klutæ(Leætherstrip), Låpsley, The Man, Mathilde Santing, Miguel Escueta, Nothing, Nouvelle Vague, Olms, Pastel Vespa, Plastik Funk and Kurd Maverick, ППВК, Rabbit in the Moon, Radio Star, Savoir Faire, So Happy, Star Inc., The String Quartet, Subsonic Fallout, Sue Ellen, Swan Lee. The Times, Unity One, Wave in Head, Zombie Zombie, Zook
Let me know if I missed one!

Next week:
Fifth Sunday A La Mode! Probably shouldn't do it, but this Depeche Mode cover will be a darkwave/pop noir version of a deep album cut from the 80's that hints at the unwanted consequences of decisions made badly.

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

I spin this Friday in western Mass. As always my schedule has details and links to more if you want to join! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jul 16 - Renegade Soundwave - Biting My Nails (Geneviève Waïte)
Jul 09 - You Shriek - Invisible Sun (The Police)
Jul 02 - Urgess - Spider-Man Theme (Paul Francis Webster and Robert "Bob" Harris)
Jun 25 - Sirus - My Own Summer (Deftones)
Jun 18 - Null Device - What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) (Information Society)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies