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2017-09-24 11:00 am
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SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : IT's Not The Only One

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)
2017-09-17 10:00 am
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SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Not So Easy

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

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

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

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

The Cover:



The Original:



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

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

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

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

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
2017-09-10 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies: Keep It Down

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

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

The Echoing Green - Voices Carry ('til tuesday)

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

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

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


The Cover:



The Original:



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

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

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

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

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

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
2017-09-03 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies: There's Nothing "Neo" or "Alt" About Them

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)
2017-08-27 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies: Goddessness

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)
2017-08-20 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies: Like What You Like

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)
2017-08-13 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies: Doom, Disco, & Blood After Midnight

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)
2017-08-06 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies: To The Edge

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)
2017-07-30 10:00 am

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies: Regret Mode

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)
2017-07-23 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies: Four By Four - The Blues

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
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
2017-07-16 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Waïte in Antici...

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.

Time for another Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th Century, delving into the archives to dig out a nostalgic dance-floor filler from the late 80's built on the bones of an early 70's candy-pop cult relic:

Renegade Soundwave - Biting My Nails (Geneviève Waïte)

Geneviève Waïte was a model and actress from South Africa whose successes earned her status as something of an "international underground star" in the 60's and 70's. After her starring role in the 1968 film Joanna and a couple of pictorials for Playboy magazine, she married John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas. It was in collaboration with him as a her co-songwriter and producer that she recorded her 1974 solo album, Romance Is On The Rise. The single released from the album was only distributed in France and featured two tracks: Love Is Coming Back on side A and Biting My Nails on side B. Waïte went on to perform the A-side track in a couple of films, including the 1976 sci-fi drama, The Man Who Fell to Earth (starring David Bowie, with whom it's said she was intended to co-star, but she had to decline due to commitments on another project.) The album and single were said to have been received favorably over all, though neither actually sold particularly well. And while the A-side of her single seemed to be exposed more prominently, it was the B-side that inspired a number of covers. One such cover was recorded by Tim Curry in 1976 (shortly after he appeared in The Rocky Horror Picture Show) for an album he never released. It was later included on Songs From The Vaults (A Collection Of Rocky Horror Rarities), the fourth of a four-disc RHPS collection released in 1993.

Waïte's style may well be one of the earliest examples of a type of campy saccharine European mod-pop, possibly laying foundations for later eccentric artists like perhaps Laurie Anderson, Cyndi Lauper, and others. That alone makes it seem a curious pick for a punkish hip-hop industrial dub trio from out of London, even more curious that any one of them actually owned her album. Renegade Soundwave (aka "RSW"), comprised of Gary Asquith, Danny Briottet, and Carl Bonnie, released their cover of Biting My Nails as their first single with Mute Records in 1988. It was later included on their first album, Soundclash in 1989. In one interview, Asquith recalled that he had played Waïte's album for Bonnie at his flat one day. Later Bonnie and Briottet came to him with an arrangement they'd developed with Waïte's song in mind and thought the lyrics would make a great fit. Their version is an eclectic assortment of samples that include an industrial drill, a fire alarm, a guitar riff from Jimmy Page, and drum loops from KC & the Sunshine Band. RSW also replaced Waïte's "Oooh Oooh" with recognizable brass sampled from Eddie Floyd's Knock on Wood. There are some lyrical differences as well. Instead of Waïte's late-track somewhat spastic soliloquy, RSW inserts two original verses following the general cadence of the first two. Additionally they replaced one line of an earlier verse with something a little modernizing and self-referential.
Their cover also appears on the soundtrack of the independent 1991 comedy, London Kills Me.
In truth, it wasn't much more of a commercial hit than the original but the track nonetheless was a huge dance-floor banger, in time becoming a classic.

...pation. ;)

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
We'll take another look at a song featured in a previous Third Sunday Throwback, presenting the first in a recurring series: Four by Four, where we'll explore four OTHER COVERS of that track. Which one of 116 prior songs will we revisit? Well for the most current version, it has to do with a certain blonde from the coldest city...

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 on the last Friday this month. Check my schedule for details. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

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)
Jun 11 - Marilyn Manson - I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
2017-07-09 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Dark All Day

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.

As summer began a couple of weeks ago, I presented a cover that cried out against the unbearable heat and light from our day-star. After all, as goths, to paraphrase Darkness from Legend, sunlight is our destroyer! (Such drama, I know, but we ARE a pale lot.) This week's Second Sunday Slowly downtempo cover is only titled along that theme of shrouding our solar enemy. In truth, while perhaps as apocalyptic as My Own Summer in some ways, this track has a very different objective and a far more political meaning.:

You Shriek - Invisible Sun (The Police)

The Police released Invisible Sun in the UK as the first single of their fourth album, Ghost in the Machine, in September 1981. The album concept hinged on ideas inspired in part by Arthur Koestler's 1967 book, The Ghost in the Machine, which explored the human psychology behind self-destructive inclinations. (The phrase "ghost in the machine" is believed to have first been used by British philosopher Gilbert Ryle in his 1949 book, The Concept of Mind, in which he used it to critique the theories of "mind-body dualism" as presented by René Descartes.)
This track of the album was written while lead singer Sting was living in Northern Ireland during the Belfast hunger strikes in a time commonly referred to as "The Troubles." Sting had said the song was about "the lurking violence of those streets, patrolled by armored cars, haunted by fear and suspicion, and wounds that would take generations to heal." Combined with drummer Stewart Copeland's concerns about the bombings that had killed thousands in his hometown of Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War, the song's central message seemed to be one of hope in the face of dark times when the light you can not see will come, as Sting put it, "at the end of the tunnel."
It's reported that the BBC banned the song (possibly due to lyrics about the ArmaLite rifle, a weapon utilized heavily by the Provisional IRA) or its video (which included war-torn scenes from the conflicts in Ireland) but since several sources contradict each other, the extent of that ban is unclear. And while the single was not released in the U.S., MTV gave its video substantial airplay.
Needless to say there is a lot of complicated political history attached to the song, which was regarded at the time as the darkest of their tracks thus far.

You Shriek, the Boston based industrial/darkwave trio, released their second full-length album, Unreal Cities, in 2002. It includes their even moodier version of Invisible Sun. The band had started their career with a cover of Bela Lugosi's Dead. Later they did a cover of Joy Division's Warsaw and have since done a cover of Public Image Limited's Ease. In 2012 they released the five-track EP, Hagiography I, featuring covers of deep-cuts from Sisters of Mercy, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, and again, Bauhaus. If they have a particular inspiration for having done Invisible Sun, it may well say so on limited editions of the album which came in handmade, cloth-bound books. (There were only 200 made and despite moving in similar or adjacent social circles as the band, I don't have one to verify.) You Shriek's version strips away the reggae influences that permeate The Police's new wave sound, leaving it starker through the chorus and darker over all.
Given the state of things in our world today, if this is a song meant to remind us that there is eventually an end to hardships, let's hope we haven't only just entered our metaphorical tunnels and are close to the other side.

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
Our Third Sunday Throwback to the 20th century will reveal just what "she" said when "she" came up to the South African model from the 70's or the 80's dub-industrial trio who covered her. Who is "she?" Who is the model? Who are they? Waïte for it... 'cause if I told you now, how could I possibly build the antici..... (pay off on that tease might also surprise you!)

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

I spin late this month and details can, as always, be found on my schedule where I'll also post any changes/additions should they arise. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

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)
Jun 11 - Marilyn Manson - I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)
Jun 04 - Siouxsie Sioux - These Boot Are Made For Walkin' (Nancy Sinatra)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
2017-07-02 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Wallopin' Websnappers

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'll admit what I'm about to present is on the out-most fringe of anything goth, industrial, or even dark. It's downright upbeat, fun, and I am barely able to justify it on the basis of its sound. However, even KMFDM once did an entire soundtrack to a video game of the titular wall-crawling webhead, so I feel certain many in the darker subcultures can appreciate this tune spun from IDM/trip hop as frankly one of the (ahem) "superior" covers of the theme. So face front, true believers! Next weekend may bring us a heroic homecoming, but this one brings you the theme that introduced the mighty marvel to motion media!

Urgess - Spider-Man Theme (Paul Francis Webster and Robert "Bob" Harris)

Spider-Man, the first ever animation series to feature the character, debuted on the ABC network's Saturday morning cartoon line-up on September 9, 1967. It was preceded by a single season of The Marvel Super Heroes cartoons that featured Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Hulk, and Submariner, with no appearance of Spider-Man in any episode. Co-creator Stan Lee has said he originally hadn't thought about animating Spider-Man until the Grantray-Lawrence Animation producers came to him with the idea because they were actual fans of the character. "Smiling Stan Lee" & "Jazzy Johnny Romita" were credited as the show's story and art consultants. The theme for the series was developed and recorded by lyricist Paul Francis Webster and composer Robert "Bob" Harris who used an uncredited array of twelve vocalists on the track from the Billy Van Singers and Laurie Bower Singers.
After the Spider-Man cartoon debuted, Marvel celebrated achieving status as the top-selling comic publisher at that time, no doubt in part due to the show's reach to new readers. The cartoon series changed production hands to Krantz Films after the first season. Its original run lasted for a total of three seasons and spent many years after in syndication. There have been eight subsequent Spider-Man cartoons (with another series scheduled to air sometime this summer) and none have used any version of the original theme, though the theme performed by Joe Perry of Aerosmith for the 1994 Spider-Man series seemed to take some inspiration from the original.
The theme was used again in all three of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films: covered by a couple of street musicians, Michael Bublé, and a marching band, but only in its original form for the credits in the first of the trilogy. The theme also appears as Peter Parker's ringtone in the second of the two recent "Amazing" films. Michael Giacchino, composer for the soundtrack of the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming film (opening next weekend), has revealed on twitter that his score will include an orchestral version of the theme as well.
Apart from its use in the film and television media, the theme has also been covered by punk-rockers The Ramones and the campy lounge singer Richard Cheese.

Ugress is the cinematic-electro brainchild of Norwegian musician, Gisle Martens Meyer. Meyer released his first full-length studio album after making a name for himself as a touring concert performer. Resound, which features his instrumental cover of Spider-Man as its first track, was released on September 9, 2002, exactly 35 years after the cartoon first aired! It seems that this version may have been taken entirely or in part from live performances and cleaned up in post-production. Given the timing, it's possible Meyer had been performing the theme live following the 2002 summer release of the Spider-Man film and after significant crowd response decided it should be included on the album, but there's really nothing to confirm that theory. Beginning with a sample of the orchestral fanfare that accompanied the original show's title, Meyer's version sounds like an eclectic assemblage of world instruments with roots in eastern musicality and trip-hop style. It captures the heart of the theme while giving it an energetic dance rhythm designed to make you move. Because if Spidey has taught us anything, it's that action is its own reward.

The Cover:


The Original:



Next week:
Second Sunday Slowly returns to its regularly scheduled time slot. Remember how the feature last week expressed a desire to shove the sun from the sky? The upcoming downtempo darkwave cover also revolves around seeing less of the sun.

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

Summer heat is putting half my gigs on hiatus so my next is at the end of this month. When details are available, you can find them on my schedule. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jun 25 - Sirus - My Own Summer (Deftones)
Jun 18 - Null Device - What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) (Information Society)
Jun 11 - Marilyn Manson - I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)
Jun 04 - Siouxsie Sioux - These Boot Are Made For Walkin' (Nancy Sinatra)
May 28 - :wumpscut: - All Cried Out (Alison Moyet)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
2017-06-25 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : The Sun Aside

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.

Well if you're angry at the world, this could be a good one to both kick off a summer for which you have no love and expel some rage:

Sirus - My Own Summer (Deftones)

Alt-metal rockers Deftones released their second album, Around The Fur, in October 1997. My Own Summer (Shove It) was its first single. The album was noteworthy for the way they incorporated new wave and shoegaze elements into their metal sound, a departure from their first. The track was not the most successful of their singles but despite its lack of chart-worthy sales it nonetheless resonated on alternative and rock radio (and MTV which was still playing music videos more prominently at that time.) Lead singer and lyricist Chino Moreno has said that he wrote the song in Seattle during a particularly hot summer in 1994. According to recounts, he would cover his windows and write in the dark, dreaming of an "apocalypse" that would empty the streets of people and shove the sun from the sky. The song is pretty straight forward in its description of his need.
My Own Summer also appeared on the soundtrack of The Matrix and has been covered by a small number of other artists, including Linkin Park, Atreyu, and Muse.

The label Digital World Audio gathered its stable of industrial artists to produce a covers compilation which they released in August of 2015. Covered In Darkness features covers of tracks ranging from 80's new wave, 90's alt rock, retro industrial, rap, and more. Artists on the album include C-Lekktor, Rave The Reqviem, Cygnosic, Technolorgy, and Terrolokaust (who contributed their previously released cover of Korn's Falling Away From Me.) Sirus (not to be confused with Sirius, the brightest star in our night sky,) a four member cyber-punk/terror EBM project from Australia, seemed to simply think of the album as "a crazy idea" but loved it and worked to offer fans something a little out of the ordinary from them with their cover of My Own Summer. While the band doesn't name explicitly The Prodigy as an influence, their approach to the song is remarkably evocative of tracks from The Fat Of The Land from start to finish. Their vocals distinguish them from that style however, with Josh Rombout leading with a refined yet slightly edgier take on the original while their backing vocalist Danielle McKay takes duty on a portion of the lyrics, melodically enhancing the whole with her interstitial presence.

It's a blistering revision of the source material, with every intent to shove you aside if you don't shove back!

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
With that out of our system, I've planned a fun entry in anticipation of a certain heroic homecoming weekend with something a little synthpop, a little trip-hop, and perhaps less dark than our usual titular fare would imply here.

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

Scream in darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jun 18 - Null Device - What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) (Information Society)
Jun 11 - Marilyn Manson - I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)
Jun 04 - Siouxsie Sioux - These Boot Are Made For Walkin' (Nancy Sinatra)
May 28 - :wumpscut: - All Cried Out (Alison Moyet)
May 21 - Sisters of Mercy - Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
2017-06-18 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Mind Meld

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.

In order to accommodate last week's feature I swapped the scheduling for what would be my usual "Second Sunday Slowly" and Third Sunday Throwback entries, so that means this week we go down-tempo. "Synth Sunday Slowly" for the sake of my dopey alliterations. :P
Meld your mind to my mind, your thoughts to my thoughts, and enjoy this subtle re-vamp of an 80's synthpop favorite:

Null Device - What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy) (Information Society)

What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy) was the first single released from Information Society's self-titled 1988 debut album. The song was inspired in part by Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer and a number of Duran Duran tracks that were popular at the time. The element that made the track stand out most however was its use of samples from the late 60's Star Trek series and the characters Mr. Spock and Doctor McCoy. The opening quote form McCoy came from the second season episode, I, Mudd. Spock's quote, which serves as subtitle to the track, came from the first season episode, Errand of Mercy. The complete line referred to a pacifist alien race of great power that reveal their nature near the episode's end, "Fascinating. Pure energy. Pure thought. Totally incorporeal. Not life as we know it at all."
InSoc did resort to using Star Trek samples in various other tracks, but none gained the popularity of what has become considered their "one-hit wonder."
There have been a few covers of the track; some of note include those by Tre Lux (Tina Root's post-Switchblade Symphony solo project,) Guggenheim & Gas-Mask, and this one by Null Device.

Null Device are a synthpop project based in Wisconsin that formed in 1994. In those 20-plus years they've covered The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove by Dead Can Dance, Monkey Gone To Heaven by Pixies, and more recently, All You Fascists Bound To Lose by Woody Guthrie. They released their version of What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy) in November 2016. As self-proclaimed "InSoc nerds," the choice to cover one of their favorite InSoc songs came naturally. They say some of the inspiration for their take on the song came from when they "watched Stranger Things and thought it might be cool to re-contextualize the song as more along the lines of a darker, moodier theme inspired by that series." They describe the result as "a harrowing tale of psychic powers gained in a Cold War experiment gone wrong. Or… something."
Technically their cover is near-identical to the original in beats-per-minute but it minimizes percussion and syncopation in ways that stretch the sense of rhythm, giving it a suspenseful cinematic down-tempo effect.

The Cover:


The Original:



Next week:
Summer officially begins this week so we'll kick it off with some appropriately themed terror-EBM!

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

I spin next this coming weekend in the Boston area. As always the details can be found on my schedule for those who'd like to join! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jun 11 - Marilyn Manson - I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)
Jun 04 - Siouxsie Sioux - These Boot Are Made For Walkin' (Nancy Sinatra)
May 28 - :wumpscut: - All Cried Out (Alison Moyet)
May 21 - Sisters of Mercy - Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
May 14 - Torso - Nijinski [Nijinsky] (Daniel Darc)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
2017-06-11 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : "Mine," She Insists

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 marks a special occasion for a special someone, so the cover featured is one of her favorites. As a result of the timing I'm forgoing my standard alliterative subtitles for this week and next (i.e. "Second Sunday Slowly" & Third Sunday Throwback") because that favorite falls into the "20th century" category and may not be considered entirely downtempo. Perhaps for its "shock goth" and "lurid lounge" sensibilities, I suppose I could get away with calling it a "Second Sunday Striptease" ;) :

Marilyn Manson - I Put A Spell On You (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)

Screamin' Jay Hawkins, (the "Jay" short for "Jalacy,") recorded but didn't release his original version of I Put A Spell On You in 1955. It was a lamenting blues ballad about the loss of an ex-girlfriend. It's said the producers were unsatisfied with it and, in search of something stranger, they threw a party during a recording session to change the atmosphere. Hawkins claims he doesn't actually remember recording the version that came out of that day, but somehow remembered the discovery that he "could do more destroying a song and screaming it to death." That version was released in November 1956 and was all but entirely banned from radio. The single still managed to sell over a million copies after the release of an edited version, which is said to have been tremendously popular with teenagers. The track was put on his first album, At Home with Screamin' Jay Hawkins, in 1958. When invited to perform the song live, he developed a shocking stage show to compliment the song: wearing a long cape, tusks jutting from his nostrils, coming out of a flaming coffin, a skull he would address as "Henry" mounted atop a stick, snakes, fireworks, etc...; his sensational antics were the beginning of a whole new performance style.
Many covers of the track have been released over the years by artists such as Nina Simone, Tim Curry, Annie Lennox, Nick Cave (and the Cavemen), and Bryan Ferry. Just last week, a cover of the track was featured on the sixth episode of the HBO series American Gods recorded by Brian Reitzell and Mark Lanegan (formerly of the Screaming Trees.) Most of these versions leaned into more jazz/blues/pop revisions; very few attempted to modernize the original's frantic "screamin'" style. Marilyn Manson, however, did.

Manson released Smells Like Children as an E.P. (though it had enough tracks for a full album) in October 1995 featuring his cover of I Put A Spell On You. It also featured his cover of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) by the Eurythmics, which was the only single released from the disc. Manson has said they wanted Spell to be a single but he thought it "was far too dark, sprawling and esoteric, even for some of our fans."
David Lynch included Manson's cover of Spell in his 1997 film, Lost Highway, as part of a scene where Patricia Arquette's character was made to strip at gunpoint for a gangster/porn producer. Manson himself got his acting debut in Lost Highway as one of the porn stars in that producer's films.
It's evident from Manson's entire persona that he was greatly inspired by Hawkins and his cover is both loyal to the original's aesthetic and also a dynamic evolution of the seminal "shock rock" waltz.

To that special lady: this one is yours... as am I, under your spell:

The Cover:



The Original:



Next week:
Third Sunday Synthpop Slowly! (Just because I'm swapping my schedule around a little doesn't mean I have to completely abandon my typical needless alliterations!) Something dark and downtempo and relatively new from an artist never previously featured here!

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


I was scheduled last minute for a gig in Boston tomorrow night. My schedule has details on that and the other two events I've got on the books for later this month. Feel free to join if you can! ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

Jun 04 - Siouxsie Sioux - These Boot Are Made For Walkin' (Nancy Sinatra)
May 28 - :wumpscut: - All Cried Out (Alison Moyet)
May 21 - Sisters of Mercy - Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
May 14 - Torso - Nijinski [Nijinsky] (Daniel Darc)
May 07 - Faderhead - SexyBack (Justin Timberlake)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
2017-06-04 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : Wonder Wear

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

Two things I haven't done on this blog: featured live recorded covers or spoken with any confidence about the overall direction of DC Comics and their films. On the latter point, I think DC TV has gotten far more right than DC films have, films which I have boycotted seeing in theaters. However, in a couple of weeks I'm going to give Wonder Woman a chance and I hope I'm not disappointed by it as I have been by the previous DCEU films. There does sound certainly like there's reason to be hopeful this time.
I only mention it at all because one fun promo for the film (now at the box office) featured members of the female cast of Supergirl (again, TV being what DC does well, I'm a fan) including Lynda Carter (TV's Wonder Woman circa 1975-9) as her character, President Olivia Marsdin. The song in the promo (in fact the promo's whole theme) focuses on this super-heroine's iconic footwear and that song has been covered in concert in recent years by someone we could call fairly the "Wonder Woman of Goth":

Siouxsie Sioux - These Boots Are Made For Walkin' (Nancy Sinatra)

Nancy Sinatra's debut album, Boots celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, having been released in March 1966. Its first single, These Boots Are Made for Walkin', was released just the month before. It was written by the album's producer, Lee Hazelwood, who originally intended to record it himself (and later did.) Sinatra convinced him it required a younger, more feminine approach. In later years she said "when a guy sings it, the song sounds harsh and abusive, but it's perfect for a little girl." (She was 26 when she recorded it.) Hazelwood thought of it as not much more than "a party song" and "a joke" but in her voice it went on to be an international smash hit. In the 70's Sinatra said she regretted the success of this bit of psychedelic country go-go pop because it tied her to the "hard" image of its lyrical story and she felt that "wasn't her" because she was "as soft as they come."
Nevertheless, she inspired over 200 different covers of These Boots Are Made for Walkin' by a wide array of artists, including the likes of Boy George, Crispin Glover, David Hasselhoff, The Fixx, Kon Kan, Megadeth, Operation Ivy, Nick Cave with his first band The Boys Next Door, Former Bad Seeds members Anita Lane and Barry Adamson, and KMFDM.

Siouxsie Sioux, a post-punk amazon in stature by way of her legacy more than her size, began her solo career apart from the Banshees in 2004. Her 2009 concert DVD release of Finale: The Last Mantaray & More Show was recorded live on September 29, 2008 at KOKO in Camden Town, London. As the name suggests, it was the last show of her tour in support of her 2007 album, Mantaray. While not on any album, Sioux's adoption of Boots into her live performances may well have been inspired in part by her 2007 divorce from former Banshees band-mate, Budgie, but other than the coincidental timing, there is little on which to confirm that theory. It is also possible that she may have been sitting on the idea of doing the song from when she and Morrissey collaborated on a single in the 90's. Morrissey had sent Sioux a tape containing tracks by female singers he was considering they cover for their duet. It's said several songs by Nancy Sinatra were on that tape but it's not clear which. (They ended up picking Interlude by Timi Yuro instead.) Sioux is reportedly working on her next album so there's the chance it could include a studio recording of the cover.
Sioux, who turned 60 last weekend, and Sinatra, who turns 77 later this week, both happen to be Geminis - the priestess and the princess, sisters under the sign, immortal inspirations to generations of musicians, and all while wearing bad ass boots!:

The Cover:
(this recording may not actually be from the DVD or where it claims either, but it's the only source available for now.)



The Original:



Next week:
I'm far more a fan of Scarlet Witch and I've been, ahem, "spellbound"... in a manner of speaking. So for a special person and a special occasion I'm swapping the weeks of the usual Second Sunday Slowly and Third Sunday Throwback features this month to bring you some shock-goth from 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 spin twice this month but the info and links to get details and RSVP will be updated on my schedule in the next day or two, for those local enough to join the fun.

Make Mine Marvel, d(^_^)b
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

May 28 - :wumpscut: - All Cried Out (Alison Moyet)
May 21 - Sisters of Mercy - Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
May 14 - Torso - Nijinski [Nijinsky] (Daniel Darc)
May 07 - Faderhead - SexyBack (Justin Timberlake)
Apr 30 - Forevel - It's No Good (Depeche Mode)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
2017-05-28 10:00 am
Entry tags:

SeeDarkly Sunday DisCOVERies : No More Tears

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.

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 artist they always request. They went on to say, "I should have requested a COVER by them, THEN you'd play it," admitting they didn't really know if the artist in question had done any covers. Well... they have:

:wumpscut: - All Cried Out (Alison Moyet)

When Alison Moyet and Vince Clark disbanded their synthpop/newwave project Yazoo after only two albums, Moyet went on to a moderately successful solo career, predominantly in the UK. While she is due to release her ninth studio album in about three weeks, her first, Alf, was released in November 1984. Not to be confused with the TV series, ALF, which first aired in 1986, "Alf" was a childhood nickname of the Essex-born songstress. Her label encouraged that she embrace the musical style of acts like Bananarama & Spandau Ballet, who were popular at the time. To that end she worked with their producers Tony Swain & Steve Jolley on the album for a sound a bit more mainstream than her work on Yazoo. All Cried Out was her second single released the month before Alf. Moyet says they wrote the song in about ten minutes on their first day of working together. The single and album were hits in Europe, but didn't quite move in the U.S., hypothetically due in some measure to legal fall out between her and Yazoo's American label, Warner Brothers.

:wumpscut:, the brainchild of German electro-industrial artist Rudy Ratzinger, released his cover of All Cried Out on a bonus disc of new recordings he included on a compilation titled Preferential Tribe in 2003. The comp was effectively a 4 disc re-issue of the 1995 Preferential Legacy, the 1997 Music For A German Tribe, and other select rarities. When asked about his first cover, Ratzinger admits that his interest in the track came not from Moyet directly but first from the 2002 cover by the German pop act No Angels. He's said he's "not a die-hard fan" of No Angels and likes both versions of the track. His own version seems to have much more structurally in common with Moyet's while simultaneously being very different in its approach. He has indicated that this was "a wink" and that it would be "very funny to see the reaction" of those fans who hear it. In a somewhat poorly translated interview it appears that fans had been after him for years to do a cover and his hope was that this wouldn't be dismissed due to its "catchy melodies" that may be distinctive from his usual hard EBM style. Other songs he considered covering are Walking In The Rain by Grace Jones, Lady In Black by Uriah Heep, On The Rebound by Russ Ballard or Love To Love You Baby by Donna Summer. His cover of All Cried Out can also be found on his DJ Dwarf Three and Dwarf Craving v2 compilations.

When I considered that I would eventually spotlight Alison Moyet, I figured it would be to talk about a cover of Yazoo and certainly never expected the cover would be from :wumpscut:, but here we are: an insistent EBM dance version of one of Moyet's earliest hits with her soulful vocals replaced with the raspy growls of a mad man. Times are weird but at least this is the kind of strange I can totally get behind.

The Cover:



The Original:




Next week:
Something to make you wonder. Pretty likely by a woman. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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

Next dates I'll be spinning are in June. Details will be updated on my schedule soon. ^_^

Explore the darkness,
-Xero

Previous DisCOVERies

May 21 - Sisters of Mercy - Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
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)

Directory of All Previous DisCOVERies
seedarklyxero: SDXeroEye with glow (Default)
2017-05-21 10:00 am
Entry tags:

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
Entry tags:

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