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2017-05-21 10:00 am
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SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : A Shot Away

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)
2017-05-14 10:00 am
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SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : France & the Dancer from the Motherland

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)
2017-05-07 10:00 am
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SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : It's Gonna Be Maeh! (2 Year Anniversary)

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)
2017-04-30 10:00 am
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SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : So Good It's No Good

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)
2017-04-23 10:00 am
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SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Of Mjölnir & Marvels

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)
2017-04-16 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Cinnamon & Steele

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)
2017-04-09 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Prescient Seasoning

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)
2017-04-02 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Not Far To Drive

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)
2017-03-26 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Don't. Stop.

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)
2017-03-19 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Pants On Fire

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
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
2017-03-12 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Les Yeux L'Avoir

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.

On the latest Second Sunday Slowly feature, we focus on a down tempo track with a bit of an uptempo under-rhythm, inspired by a French film, covered by a Greek duo whose name only sounds French:

Marsheaux - Eyes Without A Face (Billy Idol)

Punk-rocker turned pop-rock icon, Billy Idol released his second solo album, Rebel Yell, in November of 1983. Eyes Without A Face was released as its second single in May 1984. The track is said to be inspired by the 1960 French horror film adaptation of Jean Redon's 1959 novel, Les Yeux Sans Visage. The song title is a direct translation of the film's, which is also a lyric in the song sung by a female vocalist during the chorus. Some analyses claim a deep metaphoric connection between the song and film but on general examination the title would seem to be where the likeness ends; the film is a dry chiller about a scientist who harvests parts from female victims to repair the face of his disfigured daughter, and the lyrics of the song would appear to have more to do with coming to terms with lost love. The song's video might also make some brief reference to the film by way of the appearance of a woman with an obscured porcelain-like face painted in colorful patchwork patterns suggesting a face made-up of multiple parts. Despite the familiarity and catchy nature of his previous singles like White Wedding, Rebel Yell, and his cover of Mony Mony (originally by Tommy James and the Shondells,) Eyes was the first of Idol's hits to break into the top ten of Billboard's Hot 100 chart in the U.S. It has since been covered by Trent Reznor, (with The Urge in his time prior to Nine Inch Nails,) Scooter, the soft rock jazz crooner Paul Anka, and several others.

A synthpop duo formed in Athens, Marsheaux launched their career with a cover of Gershon Kingsley's Popcorn. Since then they have done several covers of note by a number of their synthpop and new wave inspirations: The Promise by When In Rome, Regret by New Order, Empire State Human by Human League, & the entirety of Depeche Mode's 1982 album, A Broken Frame, to name a few.
They included their cover of Eyes Without A Face on their 2012 compilation album E-Bay Queen Is Dead, a collection of unreleased material and b-sides spanning back to their debut, E-Bay Queen. Research indicates the possibility that the cover was previously released in 2011 on a rare edition E.P. of Can You Stop Me?, limited to 500 copies that may have only been available for purchase at their concerts during that year's tour.

Idol's original version of the song renders a velvety ballad with an abrasively energetic rock bridge while Marsheaux's cover has a slow central tempo, buoyed by an animated melody and the undercurrent of another less-pronounced but faster electronic rhythm. Their bridge also elevates the energy, but in place of Idol's aggressive vocal style, they recite those lyrics in a mildly dissonant, monotonic spoken-word manner. It's distinctive as a dance track with its dark imagery counterpointed on a vivid yet flowing beat and is nothing at which to sneer.

The Cover:



The Original:




Next week:
Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th century, but where this week electric ladies covered the male rocker, next time the lady rockers get covered by techno-industrial fellas.

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 the Boston region. Check my schedule for details if you'd like to join the party! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

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)
Feb 05 - Leæther Strip - Love Song (Simple Minds)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
2017-03-05 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Well Rounded

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 uncommon that I share stories about my past here, but this one is related tangentially to this week's feature. When I was in broadcast radio in the late 90's, I once had a local unsigned band on my show for an interview. They were a goth/rock/metal group called "Nefarion," led by vocalist & guitarist, Jasin Todd. I asked him about the band's sound and remarked that they sounded a lot like the popular 80's hair-metal group, Ratt. He declared live on-air with no hesitation or apology,
"I LOVE FUCKING RATT!"
Lucky for me there was a delay so I got to keep my job, but we all had a pretty good laugh over the phrasing. That band broke up when Jasin joined Shinedown, but the cover featured today is done by another "Jasyn" who also appears to [ahem] fucking love Ratt:

God Module - Round & Round (Ratt)

Ratt, an 80's glam metal band, was formed by the lead singer Stephen Pearcy after the dissolution of its previous incarnation, "Mickey Ratt," (no doubt a playful jab at the beloved Disney character.) They released their first full-length album, Out of the Cellar in 1984. Round and Round was the second single from the LP and the biggest hit of their career.
The video starred supermodel Lisa Dean and comedian Milton Burle. Burle, only in the video up until the first chorus, portrayed both a wealthy blue-blood and his own wife (in drag.)
The track has been featured on a number of video games, films, and TV shows; one of particular note among them- the Christmas episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.

God Module recorded their cover of Round and Round for the 2011 Das Bunker compilation album, Choice of a New Generation (its origins detailed in a previous entry here.) God Module's previous covers include Little 15 by Depeche Mode (2000), A Night Like This by The Cure (2004), and Me, I Disconnect from You by Gary Numan (2010). Frontman Jasyn Bangert has said all these artists are important to him and "very responsible for God Module existing." Soon after the release of their version of the Ratt classic, they also recorded a cover of The Great Commandment by Camouflage which appears on the 2012 Electronic Saviors Volume 2: Recurrence cancer charity compilation.
The God Module version is vocally harsh and modulated with an aggressive and pounding techno-industrial rhythm, as is their style.

The Cover:




The Original:



Next week:
Daylight Saving Time begins in time for another Second Sunday Slowly downtempo cover and the face of the clock you'll turn forward has no eyes!

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 on St Patrick's Day in the Boston area and a week later in Western Mass. Check my schedule for links to RSVP and the latest details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

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)
Feb 05 - Leæther Strip - Love Song (Simple Minds)
Jan 29 - Rammstein - Stripped (Depeche Mode)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
2017-02-26 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Canadian Heartbreak

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 end of February and so we reach the final entry in this four-part "Dark Valentine's" series called "Love Songs to Beautiful People You Think Are Sexy But With Whom You Are Not In Love!"
We wrap up with the final part of the titular tale and though there is definitely some unfortunate heartbreak in the story of the featured duo, you might be surprised by the origins of their most popular single from a band with whom you are not in love... yet.:

Crystal Castles - Not In Love (Platinum Blonde)

Platinum Blonde, a Canadian new wave pop-rock band with glam style, got their name from the 1931 romantic comedy film starring Jean Harlow. They released their debut album, Standing In the Dark, in 1983. Derivative of the sounds of Elvis Costello, Duran Duran, and Icehouse, the band was considered something of a underground success in their country where the album earned triple-platinum sales, but were effectively a "no-hit wonder" anywhere else. Not In Love was their fourth single from the album, released October 1984.
While it might be expected they would vanish into obscurity, in recent years they have instead found themselves with a newfound and even more global audience thanks in no small measure to those kindred Canadians who covered this track.

Ethan Kath, one half of Crystal Castles, a electronic duo among vanguards in the witch house style, worked as a resident DJ at Toronto’s Mod Club, owned by Platinum Blonde frontman Mark Holmes. The band performed some of its first shows on live-to-air radio broadcasts from the venue with Holmes as host going by the alias "DJ MRK."
The duo were forced to release their second album in April 2010, earlier than planned because it had been leaked to the internet. Crystal Castles II featured their cover of Not In Love, originally with the duo's former member, Alice Glass, on vocals. That version however was not released as the single. They instead released a version with Robert Smith of The Cure on vocals in November 2010, also making it available on later digital issues of the album. Smith's prestige elevated both the track and the band to a broader international audience, scoring them their first major hit.
Thanks to the success of the single, (and the occasional guest appearance by Holmes filling in as vocalist for the track at Crystal Castle shows,) Platinum Blonde has experienced a resurgence of fan interest and went on to record and release the 2012 album, Now or Never, their first album in 22 years.

The cover featured here spotlights the original take on the track. All due respect to Robert Smith and fans of that version, Alice Glass left Crystal Castles claiming a number of problematic issues in her relationship with Kath, not the least of which was the diminished recognition she received from him for her contributions to the project. While Glass (who is currently working on a solo album) is not the same kind of vocalist Smith is and her vocals are filtered through electronic effects, given the circumstances of her departure from the band some might agree that representation matters and her role should not be dismissed or forgotten.

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
What goes around, comes around... just give it time and you'll hear this nefarious industrial cover. ^_^

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

I'm scheduled to spin twice in March. My schedule will be updated soon to provide more details.

Until next time, explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Feb 19 - Revolting Cocks- Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? (Rod Stewart)
Feb 12 - Roniit - The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)
Feb 05 - Leæther Strip - Love Song (Simple Minds)
Jan 29 - Rammstein - Stripped (Depeche Mode)
Jan 22 - Avarice In Audio - Welcome To Paradise (Front 242)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
2017-02-19 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Well... Da Ya?

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 our monthly voyage into the 20th century and another "Third Sunday Throwback" as we continue the February "Dark Valentine's" theme I've entitled: "Love Songs to Beautiful People You Think Are Sexy But With Whom You Are Not In Love!" This week our featured cover is some sleazy disco/industrial as performed by artists with so phallic a sobriquet as to invoke the adolescent sniggering of hormonal teen-age boys:

Revolting Cocks- Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? (Rod Stewart)

Rod Stewart, a London-born pop-rock artist, released his ninth album, Blondes Have More Fun in November 1978. It was the first of his efforts to explore the disco trend of the time and with its first single, Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? it proved to be a fairly successful gamble. Unfortunately, Stewart took a little too many liberties with the production of the track, appropriating two different elements of the song from other artists without attribution or compensation: the chorus of the song plagiarized from Jorge Ben Jor's 1976 Taj Mahal and the synthesizer hook taken from the string section of Bobby Womack's 1975, (If You Want My Love) Put Something Down On It. Ben Jor filed suit, Stewart admitted the theft and made restitution by donating proceeds from the track to UNICEF. Copyright rules, however, seem to protect Stewart for his limited use of Womack's material.
In addition to those misdeeds, many were highly critical of his shift from rock to disco styles, making the track contentious despite its popularity as a number one hit on multiple charts in several countries.

Revolting Cocks covered the track on their third studio album, Linger Ficken' Good ...And Other Barnyard Oddities, released in 1993. It was the album's first single, delivered in the same satirical and fun-loving industrial rock style that set them apart from the other bands with which its members were affiliated: Ministry, Front 242, Skinny Puppy, etc...
When asked about the song before it was recorded, Al Jourgensen (who describes RevCo as "juvenile and lurid and delinquent") said, "We're going to start showing exactly how insipid and inane some of the music that people have listened to for a long time is."
Even Stewart himself has said it was a "campy" track he "used to be embarrassed to sing" and that he didn't "want to be singing Da Ya Think I'm Sexy? at age 50 and be a parody" of himself. In recent concerts however, now in his 70's, he makes a point of showcasing that latter quote during performances of the hit.

Disco such as this had a bit of a sleazy pick-up image connected to it, though in this case, Stewart seemed to be going for a reciprocal coital motive in the track's lyrical story, where both characters shared equal interest. RevCo transformed the tracks disco sound to something more of a raunchy electro-rock strut of uber-masculity, preying aggressively on such base interests in such an over-the-top way as to make the original seem all the more ridiculous.

The Cover:




The Original:


Next week:
While Stewart's album title contends that blondes have more fun, that doesn't make them immune to heartbreak as we'll discover in last installment of the "Dark Valentine's" theme, when the featured cover brings this month-long tale to its inevitable and somewhat tragic conclusion. v_v

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

I DJ next in western Mass this Friday. For details on that event and others on my schedule, check out my website. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Feb 12 - Roniit - The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)
Feb 05 - Leæther Strip - Love Song (Simple Minds)
Jan 29 - Rammstein - Stripped (Depeche Mode)
Jan 22 - Avarice In Audio - Welcome To Paradise (Front 242)
Jan 15 - Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apoptygma Berzerk)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
2017-02-12 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Something Beautiful

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 Second Sunday Slowly so it's time for the downtempo segment of February's "Dark Valentine's" theme I've entitled: "Love Songs to Beautiful People You Think Are Sexy But With Whom You Are Not In Love!" Behind the scenes: I had found two different (and fantastic) Temple of Love covers and one of them almost ended up in this entry (yes, a downtempo version exists!) But then I found this about three weeks ago and it became instantly clear that this was the perfect pick for the week of Valentine's Day, despite the fact that it is in no way a love song of any kind:

Roniit - The Beautiful People (Marilyn Manson)

Marilyn Manson released their second studio album, Antichrist Superstar, in October 1996, only a couple of weeks after its groundbreaking single, The Beautiful People. The track is said to take its title and some portion of its inspiration from The Beautiful People by Marilyn Bender, a non-fiction book published in 1967 about fashion and high-society. The actual phrase is believed to have been first coined in Vogue magazine in 1962 by its editor, Diana Vreeland, which would seem to be verified by Bender's book. The term reflects something about the lifestyles of the glamorous, the trendsetters, the wealthy, and the celebrities. Manson's track seems to regard those for whom the term applies with equal parts reverence and contempt. Manson himself has said, "I make things glamorous as a revolt to glamour."
The opening of the song features a heavily distorted and practically indecipherable sample of Charles "Tex" Watson (one of the members of Charles Manson's "family," known notoriously for his role in the 1969 Tate murders) saying, "We'd swoop down on the town and kill everyone that wasn't beautiful." From there, the song lyrically explores a dense minefield of issues revolving around aspects of Nietzschean philosophy, Social Darwinism, capitalism and fascism. For most, the fullness of its message may have been lost to the track's hooky, insistently loud, and galvanizing rock rhythms which clearly made the song the band's first original hit single embraced by mainstream audiences.
The Beautiful People has been covered a number of times, primarily by rock bands in a variety of styles, so this one is without a doubt unique in its interpretation.

Roniit, a "dark electro pop" songstress based in southern California who has also covered tracks by The Cardigans, Lana Del Rey, Halsey, and Depeche Mode, released her version of The Beautiful People in December 2016. It was put out in tandem with a video sponsored by and produced with the fashion company, Killstar, starring a number of the company's models and clothing. According to Roniit, the original is obvious in declaring that "the beautiful people" are wretched and without fundamental moral character. In a recent interview she explained that she wanted to approach her version with a more positive spin, saying. "the verses are from the perspective of someone who is different, someone who feels defeated by life and the evil that surrounds us. In the chorus that person becomes empowered; that person is beautiful."
By dropping the tempo down by 30 percent of the original and incorporating her signature form of slinky "goth jazz" in the melody, she has transformed this hard rock industrial anthem into a sultry, blackhearted mistress of a croon, demanding adoration and quite deserving of it.


The Cover (click-through to bandcamp for the link to her video):




The Original:


Next week:
We continue our "Dark Valentine" theme with a trip to the 20th Century and our Third Sunday Throwback, featuring a track for which both the original (top 40 pop) and covering (industrial/alternative) artists have very phallic names. ^_^

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

I spin tomorrow night in the Boston area and again in Western Mass on the last Friday of this month. If you want to come to either, pop over to my schedule where you can find links to more details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Feb 05 - Leæther Strip - Love Song (Simple Minds)
Jan 29 - Rammstein - Stripped (Depeche Mode)
Jan 22 - Avarice In Audio - Welcome To Paradise (Front 242)
Jan 15 - Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apoptygma Berzerk)
Jan 08 - Vernian Process - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
2017-02-05 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Simple Love

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.

February is devoted to a "Dark Valentine's" theme that I call: "Love Songs to Beautiful People You Think Are Sexy But With Whom You Are Not In Love!" Hopefully you'll find all these covers "lovable" but we'll get started with a ballad to Britain's bad boyfriend.:

Leæther Strip - Love Song (Simple Minds)

The Scottish post-punk band Simple Minds put out their fourth and fifth L.P. releases, Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call, as a double album set in September 1981. Love Song was its second single released in August from the Sons portion of the set. It's said that the track is supposed to be an ode to the centuries old relationship between Europe and North America, making it implicitly clear in the lyrics that "America's a boyfriend." Interestingly, this was the first Simple Minds album to be distributed internationally and between this track and their prior single from Sister, titled The American, it would seem plausible that they were making some active attempt to appeal to the vanity of specifically the largest of their new audience. However, neither single truly captured the attention of their object of affection, and they would only get some mild amount of play with several other singles until the 1986 film, The Breakfast Club, which featured their first number 1 hit in the States, Don't You (Forget About Me), finally earning the nation's full affections for a time.
Love Song is nonetheless an exceptionally catchy, if underrated, bass-rich alternative dance track.

Leæther Strip, the electro-industrial project by Danish musician Claus Larsen, has a discography boasting two dozen albums (or more) worth of original material along with the numerous covers of and tributes to bands and artists like Soft Cell, Fad Gadget, Depeche Mode, Dead or Alive, Skinny Puppy, Front 242, The Cure, Yaz, Talk Talk, Eurythmics, David Bowie, Judas Priest, and Cher. One of his latest such tributes, devoted to Simple Minds and released in September 2016, was the six track E.P. titled Reptile Man Drop, named after the lyric from Love Song which he covers in the collection. Larsen says that the early works of Simple Minds had a large impact on him from the moment he bought their first album in 1979. He unquestionably gives this EBM cover all the passion and energy of someone who has had such a long time love.

The Cover:



The Original:


Next week:
Our "Dark Valentine's" theme continues during Second Sunday Slowly and we hear a very familiar industrial rock anthem made into a beautifully rendered down tempo goth croon!

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

I spin this Saturday in Somerville Mass. Check my schedule for details to that and two other upcoming events for the month. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jan 29 - Rammstein - Stripped (Depeche Mode)
Jan 22 - Avarice In Audio - Welcome To Paradise (Front 242)
Jan 15 - Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apoptygma Berzerk)
Jan 08 - Vernian Process - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)
Jan 01 - Front Line Assembly with Tiffany - New Year's Day (U2)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
2017-01-29 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Decisions w/o Television

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

I honestly did not think there was any way this, my Fifth Sunday A La Mode feature, could possibly take a turn toward the political. I simply thought, "it's time I highlight that Rammstein cover." It turns out that one of the more interesting things about it happens to be the video they did, that I guess I'd never seen until I started my draft. By odd coincidence, it may be more relevant today than anyone should have had to expect it would be:

Rammstein - Stripped (Depeche Mode)

Depeche Mode released their fifth album, Black Celebration, in March, 1986. The first single from the album, Stripped, was released a month earlier. The video for song was shot near the same location the single was mixed in Berlin. The band was lauded for their original and cutting-edge sampling techniques on the track, using a number of automotive sounds (primarily from their own vehicles) to produce the base of its rhythms.
As a single, it enjoyed only some moderate success, but among fans it is debatably one of their most beloved songs.

In July of 1998, the Neue Deutsche Härte rock-industrialists Rammstein put out their cover of Stripped as a single, just a couple weeks before the release of the tribute album to Depeche Mode on which it was included, For The Masses. The compilation included covers from The Cure, Meat Beat Manifesto, Deftones, Smashing Pumpkins, God Lives Underwater, and more, sixteen tracks in all. This track was unique for Rammstein as it was the first song of their career sung in English.

A month after the single release, Rammstein released a video for the track, which was highly controversial for including footage from a documentary of the 1938 Olympics, Olympia: Festival of the Nations. It was written, directed and produced by Leni Riefenstahl, and commissioned by Adolph Hitler. Hitler, who in point of historical fact opened the event, used the Games and film as propaganda to promote German racial superiority and Nazi party ideals. It was Nazi preference that Jewish athletes not be permitted to participate at the Games, but under threat of boycott by other nations they were technically "allowed" but were still excluded or otherwise "discouraged" in a variety of ways.
The film has a lot of notoriety for its place in history, its message, and its players, but also a lot of acclaim and awards for its technical and artistic execution.
When Rammstein included elements of the film in their video, it was found objectionable by the Anti-Defamation League whose representative felt it "glorifies the National Socialist movement."
Rammstein maintained that they are not Nazis nor had they any political intent with the video, only aesthetic appreciation of the images as art. In a press release they issued this statement: "Rammstein are aware that some of the scenes were subsequently misused for propaganda purposes, with Leni Riefenstahl's consent, and that she also accepted commissions with political content. This fact, however, does not change the quality of the actual images."
Their video for Stripped does not include any overt Nazi imagery, even though it is, due to the nature of its source, entirely monoracial.
This would not be the last time Rammstein would face criticism and accusations of being Nazis. However they have always combated against that perception. Recently, in as much as can be found seen from their social media and limited presence on the internet, they don't appear to have made any public commentary on the political news of the day.

Artistic expression can absolutely be influenced by and promote even the worst of ideologies. Sometimes however, such expression only intersects with these ideologies in an attempt to "strip" it down to expose something of inherent value within.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
I'm devoting February to a "Valentine's" theme that you might just find "lovable." I call it: "Love Songs to Beautiful People You Think Are Sexy But With Whom You Are Not In Love!"
The first of them is an 80's track that gets strapped in modern leather!

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

I'm lined up to spin three events in February. Keep an eye on my schedule for details if you'd like to join them. (Info on the third to be added this week.) ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jan 22 - Avarice In Audio - Welcome To Paradise (Front 242)
Jan 15 - Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apoptygma Berzerk)
Jan 08 - Vernian Process - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)
Jan 01 - Front Line Assembly with Tiffany - New Year's Day (U2)
Dec 25 - Eisenfunk - Jinglefunk [Jingle Bells](Edison Male Quartet)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
2017-01-22 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Welcome to Perdition

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

And so it begins: dire days born in the shadow of irresponsible ratings-obsessed news networks, poorly moderated social media, bad decisions by the misinformed (or worse, malevolent,) and their consequences. If there's any message in today's cover, it's obviously riddled in satire, sarcasm, and unironic disaffection. Those that had a hand in getting us here, welcome to what you've created. Feel like paradise yet? Seems an appropriate time for this one.:

Avarice In Audio - Welcome To Paradise (Front 242)

One of the most influential bands of the industrial style, Front 242 released their fourth original album, Front By Front, in 1988. Not all releases of the L.P included the Welcome to Paradise track, (dependent to some degree on where it was distributed,) though it was the b-side of the only single released from the album, Headhunter.

Paradise may be among the most noteworthy and earliest examples of a technique that inserted spoken-word vocal samples from other media within industrial rhythmic structures. The source of the samples used on the track are on occasion attributed incorrectly to evangelist Jimmy Swaggart but are actually from sermons by Rev. Ferrell Griswold. Griswold was an active promoter of racial segregation who has had his sermons sampled on over a dozen industrial and techno tracks by artists like Front Line Assembly, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Prodigy, & Praga Khan. Griswold died roughly six years before the release of this track.
While their use of sampling might seem to imply a particular statement regarding demagogic evangelism, members of Front 242 claim they had no specific intent of message and that their process was to "reflect" the news of the world in a "journalistic" way that would create a reaction in their audience. In one interview Patrick Codenys said, "We put a spark in their brain and we hope they go and have an attitude."

The Alfa Matrix label, in celebration of their 15 year anniversary and the 35 years of Front 242's existence, put together a tribute compilation to the band entitled, Recovery For You. The collection, released a month ago, boasts 32 Front 242 covers done by industrial artists like Aesthetische, Alien Vampires, Ayria, Helalyn Flowers, Komor Kommando, & Venal Flesh.
Australia-based electro-industrial/IDM fusion-ists Avarice in Audio provided the cover for Welcome To Paradise, with its harsher EBM style and the gravelly recital of the samples as "lyrics" by their lead vocalist, Gerry Hawkins. The interpretation may also not have a specific message, but it certainly sounds angrier about it!

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Obviously this entry was drafted in the dark and somewhat dejected state of mind that has plagued me for weeks. However, Saturday's nationwide (nay, WORLDWIDE) show of unity against fascism was inspirational and gave me more cause to feel hope than I could have expected after two months of dread.
So next week I bring you a Fifth Sunday A La Mode - Flashback Edition! (for new readers that means a cover of Depeche Mode AND it's a flashback to the 20th century.) It will be prelude to a month of covers that I'm devoting to a "Valentine's" theme that you might just find "lovable." ;)

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

This Friday I spin in Western Mass. Check my schedule for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jan 15 - Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apoptygma Berzerk)
Jan 08 - Vernian Process - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)
Jan 01 - Front Line Assembly with Tiffany - New Year's Day (U2)
Dec 25 - Eisenfunk - Jinglefunk [Jingle Bells](Edison Male Quartet)
Dec 18 - Cibo Matto - The Candy Man (Aubrey Woods)
Dec 11 - St. Anthony Jones - Shoulder To The Wheel (:Wumpscut: remix)(Bel Canto)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
2017-01-15 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : We Hear Wailing in the Streets

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

Normally this would be the week I feature a "Third Sunday Throwback" to the 20th century, but since I did a "Flashback" on the first of the month, instead this entry will be something more current. Last year at this time, we were grieving the loss of David Bowie. Through 2016, it became difficult or impossible to calm our lamentations in the face of so many significant losses, including that singular one which leads to this moment in time and the concern many share for the future. After his farewell address last week, we now count down the last few days before our 44th U.S. President leaves office. Today's cover might just speak to the spirit of feeling loss:

Vogon Poetry - Mourn (Apoptygma Berzerk)

The Norwegian futurepop band Apoptygma Berzerk released their second studio album, 7, in May 1996. Mourn was its third single, released as an EP in October the following year. One of the most recognizable elements of the track is a distinctive guitar riff recognizable from Nirvana's cover of David Bowie's, The Man Who Sold The World, sampled from their 1993 MTV Unplugged performance. Apop dedicated the song to Kurt Cobain, though there isn't any clear explanation as to why, apart from the obvious heartbreak that many felt at that time. In as much as Apoptygma Berzerk has ever achieved and broad success beyond the sub-culture that most embraces them, Mourn seems to be one of their lesser known songs and doesn't usually rank among their top hits. It's certainly rougher around the edges than their more familiar work and has a rather subdued and distant vocal mix.

The Swedish synthpop trio, Vogon Poetry are doubtless named in honor of the Hitchhiker's Guide book series by the late Douglas Adams, and have referenced them several times in album titles and their music. They provided one of two covers of Mourn included on the Apop We Love You – A Tribute To Apoptygma Berzerk compilation released by the webzine Electrozombies in July 2016. Of the 20 artists on the comp, including Technolorgy, Synapsyche, Machinista, and IIOIOIOII, Vogon Poetry stand out with this sweet and twittering interpretation of the track. They reprise the noteworthy guitar riff electronically and give the vocals much more prominence than the original.

It could be fair to say that many in the goth community are well conversant with feelings of grief but it's plain that the feeling is not exclusive to anyone. This song asks, "why are you always mourning?" These days the answers to that seem regrettably endless.

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Screaming in ironic evangelical anger at the prospects of tomorrow.

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

As of this posting I'm wrapping up my weekend @ Arisia in Boston where I've likely played at least a few of the tracks (or artists) found here on my past NINETY blogs. Next up on my schedule, a trip to Western Mass on the last Friday of the month. Click that link for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jan 08 - Vernian Process - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)
Jan 01 - Front Line Assembly with Tiffany - New Year's Day (U2)
Dec 25 - Eisenfunk - Jinglefunk [Jingle Bells](Edison Male Quartet)
Dec 18 - Cibo Matto - The Candy Man (Aubrey Woods)
Dec 11 - St. Anthony Jones - Shoulder To The Wheel (:Wumpscut: remix)(Bel Canto)
Dec 04 - Accessory - Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: (SeeDarkly)
2017-01-08 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : I Don't Believe You Anymore

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

This week's Second Sunday Slowly feature comes to us by recommendation of a DJ peer from my scene, (and possibly the most consistent reader of this blog as far as I'm aware,) Sawtooth. It's a cog-worthy take on a 90's era darkwave standard, subtle in its steampunk sensibility:

Vernian Process - The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove (Dead Can Dance)

Dead Can Dance released their sixth album, Into the Labyrinth, in mid-September, 1993. The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove was one of three singles from the album, but by far one of their most resonating and celebrated.
The mysterious name sake of the title is believed to have originated from a 52 year old episode of the same name from the 60's television series, Danger Man. The British spy drama starred Patrick McGoohan as Secret Agent John Blake. In this episode, which was considered unusually disquieting for the series, Blake has a car accident after which he finds himself involved in a scandal and a mystery. Mr. "Happy" Lovegrove, the apparent head of his agency, begins appearing throughout the scenario, briefly and disturbingly replacing other characters established in the story, making him "ubiquitous" in Drake's encounters, at times accompanied by malefic disembodied laughter. Without spoiling the story, suffice to say that the episode quickly takes on a sinister Lynch-like quality more similar to The Outer Limits and very unlike any previous episode in the series.
While the title of the song appears to be relevant to the show, and perhaps some of its eerie atmosphere, it's hard to say how much other influence the show had on the song itself. Dead Can Dance's Brendan Perry, himself from London where he could easily have watched the broadcast in his younger years, has occasionally adopted the moniker of "Mr. Lovegrove," assuming it as his alter-ego that he has said represents "the abstract relationship of myself and woman." (What that might actually mean is left to our imagination.)

Vernian Process, a steam-punk goth/industrial band inspired by the works of Jules Vern, released their tribute of The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove in 2011. While the original is built around an arrangement of multicultural instrumentation, (sitar, antara, violin, etc...,) their version relies heavily on synthesizers to attain fairly similar effects. Many differences in their sound are subtle, with the distinct exception of the addition of the haunting saxophone accompaniment in the near final measures of the track, an addition they say was an unplanned experiment on the day of recording because one of their members just happened to have the instrument on hand.

They're both captivating enough to rend you lost in the "slow, but deep," beat of this "old slave drum."

The Cover:


The Original:


Next week:
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and (however grudgingly) acceptance. All are stages of something many have experienced lately, perhaps more than usual over the past couple of months. A recent synthpop cover from a tribute compilation released last year might just relate to how that feels.

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

I spin this coming weekend at a sci-fi Con in Boston. Not really a "goth" thing, more of a "nerd" thing. So the music will go quite a few directions beyond my norm, though I expect I may play today's feature and some similar stuff during the first night. Later in the month I have my regular gig in Western Mass. As always, you'll find links to more details on my schedule. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jan 01 - Front Line Assembly with Tiffany - New Year's Day (U2)
Dec 25 - Eisenfunk - Jinglefunk [Jingle Bells](Edison Male Quartet)
Dec 18 - Cibo Matto - The Candy Man (Aubrey Woods)
Dec 11 - St. Anthony Jones - Shoulder To The Wheel (:Wumpscut: remix)(Bel Canto)
Dec 04 - Accessory - Folsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)
Nov 27 - Crytek- Bullet (Covenant)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies