Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Phantom Of The Opera By Gaston Leroux + 1925 Silent Film Review

I finally got myself a copy of this classic! I've never read it nor seen a movie or musical, so here are my first thoughts!

It starts off with a bang, pretty much. We jump right into the horror and mystery of the opera ghost. The new managers of the opera don't believe in him, but they will of course experience that he's real.

I was surprised that most of the novel is about Raoul and his love for Christine. I would rather have liked it if we saw more of the phantom, but I guess it's "scarier" if we don't get to see him as much.

It is a very exciting novel, it keeps the same pace all the way, though I would have wished for the story arc to rise a little more towards the end - but it wasn't bad.

At the end I kind of feel sorry for the phantom, I'm not sure if one is supposed to, or it's just me that's obsessed with villains.

Also, the novel really makes me want to visit the opera house in Paris!

My copy is a nice clothbound type book with black and red brocade, and a stretchy band to keep it shut - Which was very useful when carrying it around in my bag! One downside is that in some chapters at the end of the book, there are footnotes missing. But other than that is a really nice edition, and they have other classics in the series I might get too!
Click here to buy a copy for yourself!

I decided to finally see the 1925 silent film as well - I think we all know the classic face of the phantom in that movie, but I have actually never seen it. It was easily found on youtube. I don't really like watching movies, cause I just can't sit and watch something for the duration of a movie (and movies nowadays just keep getting longer and longer!). I HAVE to do something at the same time - Usually I look up fun facts about the movie. With silent films, you obviously have to be glued to the screen more than you usually would. I still played games on my phone, haha. But I think I managed to catch every screen of text!

Anyway, it was a beautiful movie. The actors and sets looked amazing. For the time, it was really great! I do enjoy the fun music of silent films. The acting was super overdone, but I guess they had to do that. There were some variations from the book, but it wasn't too bad - The only thing I didn't quite like was that they made the phantom some criminally insane dude who had escaped from the island from criminally insane he was confined on. Oh, haven't we heard that one before (though maybe at the time this was a new thing?). That and he was killed by the classic angry mob. I kind of wanted to roll my eyes at that. But I guess it's me again wanting to sympathize with the villain.

If you're a fan of gothic and / or classic horror films, this is definitely a must-see! I can say the same thing for the novel - It was a pretty easy read. I want to see a version of the musical, so if anyone has any tips on a good one, let me know!

And since I am the metalhead that I am, I will leave you with the song that's been stuck in my head these few days I've been reading the book; Iron Maiden's Phantom of the Opera. A classic masterpiece, just like its namesake!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Little Women By Louisa May Alcott Review

Lazily copied from my GoodReads:

Ahh, I haven't read a victorian book in a while, so this was really refreshing! I just love the language and how things were back then.

This is about four sisters, who each have their own ''flaws'' that they need to work on. Some are kind of annoying, some aren't that bad. This book follows them over the course of a year, starting with a christmas where their father is away at war, and they are complaining about being poor.

I won't go too much in on what happens, but to me, it seemed like this book had no plot at all. I felt it didn't have a story arc. It seemed mostly like a ''slice of life'' type of book. It's not THAT well written either. As a modern woman, I found some things in the book anti-feminist, but when I think about it, this book might have been considered pretty feminist at the time.

I think this book is best suited for young girls, especially if they struggle with the same things as the girls in the book. Personally the only enjoyment I got of it was only because it's a classic victorian book, which I love. So if you're into that too, it's worth a shot!

This edition also contains a little dictionary in the back, which can be quite useful for those who are getting into victorian literature! It's very fascinating to see how some words have changed definitions from then to now - and sometimes it makes me giggle while reading!

Click the photo to buy the book!

BONUS! I decided to watch the 1994 movie, cause it had some interesting actors; Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst, Trini Alvarado, Claire Danes, Susan Sarandon, and... Christian Bale. Simen said he couldn't imagine him as anyone else but Batman, and then I said; ''Well, let's see how he does as the boy next door!'' Then I remembered... His character's parents are dead, and he lives with his rich grandfather. This is the victorian Batman, haha!

The contents of this book only takes up the first hour of the movie - I assume the rest tells what happens in the later books. I definitely didn't expect the turn of events for all of the characters, so with that, the costumes and the scenery it was pretty okay. It's probably better suited for those who are into romance - I think it would be a nice holiday movie too.

I'm currently reading The Phantom Of The Opera, so I'll definitely review that (and probably the classic movie too) next time!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

My Grandmother's Hardangerbunad

When Sandra was over last night, I decided to take some pictures of my grandmother's bunad, which I recently inherited. A bunad is Norway's national costume, and this one is from Hardanger. Every place has it's own design, and they are based on what the commoners wore in the 1800s. Today most girls get one at their confirmation (at 15). This particular one is shorter than it should be, cause the length fits me (who's 146 cm), but was short on my ca. 170 cm tall grandmother. There are other odd things about it too, so I posted these pictures in a facebook group, and a lady told me some interesting things about it! I'll put what she said about the pieces under the photos.

The design with the points on the chest is might be what they call a ''salmebok-sne'', and hails from Sørfjorden.

This looks like an angel- or smith-buckle.

The five small brooches look like hair clips, she got some from her great great grandmother, who was young in the 1820s. She has used them as clips on little girls (before the confirmation bunad).
The big brooch might be more than 200 years old! That really shocked me.

 For some reason the throat buttons don't match

Here's what it should look like complete!

Here are my grandparents on their wedding day.
I don't think this is the same bunad though.
And my grandfather looks like Dracula!

Gorgeous! (I'm listening to the GLJ song right now, haha)

So I'm going to need to take in the vest to fit me, and get a shirt, apron and breast cloth. Probably some bunad boots too. I think I'm pretty all set when it comes to all the silver. I'm not used to bling!
Hopefully I can get it ready by our next national day (may 17th), but we'll see. Regardless, I definitely want to be old-fashioned and use this for other special occasions! Most norwegians only use it for the national day, but a generation or two back use it for all bigger special occasions. I've even heard some use it for yule! Maybe I should do that. I will at least be super proud to wear it! I unfortunately never got to meet my grandmother, so it is an honor that I now have this after her.

In other news... There aren't any. I've just been working all week. On my free time I just watch TV and read (I'm currently reading Little Women). Right now I'm just chilling on the couch listening to Spotify's song radio of Burn by The Cure - So far a very good playlist, I really recommend it!
Lace blazer - Thrifted
Lace blouse - EMP
Pencil skirt - Necessary Evil

Saturday, September 9, 2017

We've Moved!

Hey! I've been gone for over a week now, so I thought I had to put up an update to what's going on! As you might know already, me and Simen moved to a new apartment last weekend. So we've been putting together furniture, finding places for our belongings and decorationg the place. I've also been working every day this week (and Simen is still on sickleave), so things have been slower.

First step of putting together our new bed!

The finished bed - So happy!

We also got Simen a new pretty desk for half off!

Some decoration around the TV - not that it really needed it.
Look at that gorgeous wallpaper behind it and on the ceiling!

I'm not sure if I have even mentioned that I work in a bookstore now! This past month has been so hectic (plus I've been battling a mysterious disease that didn't turn out to be a flu virus OR epstein barr). I got a bunch of ''first read'' books at work! So happy. My to read pile is so huge right now, it's over twice as big as this pile. So I've been spending a lot of my free time reading, which is pretty nice. Nowadays I just want to relax and get settled in our new home since things have been so busy lately.

Shirt - Historical Emporium
Necklace - The Pumpkin Coven
Underbust - Xtrax (now EMP)
Apron - Ebay
Bustle skirt - Retroscope Fashions
Stockings - Walmart around Halloween

I'll definitely show you an apartment tour when we've finished decorating and settled in properly! We still have stuff to put on the walls and some decorations to find homes for. But furnishing-wise we're good! We plan to stay here until we buy a place.
When I find the time I will put up some more album reviews (I'm doing The Cure next, so any requests are welcome, since I'm definitely not gonna do them all), and probably some book reviews. If you have any other suggestions, let me know! Until next time, take care!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Basic Goth Wardrobe

Dress - H&M
Fishnets - Idk
Boots - Demonia
First off, how you look has NOTHING to do with ''how goth you are''. You don't need to look like your idols to be a goth. Don't worry about ''not being goth'' cause your school / work has a dress code, or that someone will knock on your door to inspect you when you're in your PJ's at home! None of us look 100% spooky 24/7 - It's just that people don't exactly post selfies when they first wake up in the morning.

Blazer - DIY
Skirt - Secondhand
Stockings - Walmart around Halloween
Okay, so you need figure out what kind of style you like. Do you lean towards victorian, cybergoth or trad? Often your fashion style goes hand in hand with your music taste, but in the goth scene we have other aspects of the culture as well, so many get inspired by those too. Some of the styles are recognized by their elaborate and extreme aesthetics, and don't worry, you'll get there some day. Find out what fabrics and colors you like, or other details. Look for these things! It's much easier to shop when you know what you like and are looking for, than just being overwhelmed by a sea of black clothes.

Tank top - Gifted
Skirt - Thrifted
Go thrift shopping! You never know what you'll find, trust me. If you're lucky, someone went through a goth phase and has now given their New Rock boots and entire wardrobe of brand clothes to charity! I have myself found an Alchemy Gothic bag for almost nothing, tons of clothes from ''normal'' stores that look super gothic, and there's always a million velvet blazers (too bad I don't like velvet).

All pieces from shops in Leipzig, Germany
DIY. I know some of you might say; ''But I can't sew!'' or ''I'm not creative!'' - but I say the same things, and even I have managed to alter a few things! I try to post mine here when I do some. Even if it means just cutting and ripping and holding things together with knots and safety pins. Look for tutorials online! You will get many more goth points by making or altering something yourself than buying off the rack from the big goth brands ;)

Necklace - The Pumpkin Coven
Top - Secondhand from my mother
Tights - Xtrax / Bat Attack / EMP
Victorian boots - Funtasma
When actually buying from goth stores and brands, don't buy something that's ''out of your level'', so to speak. What I mean by that is that if you have a wardrobe of band t-shirts and black jeans, maybe that elaborate and complicated strappy vinyl body suit isn't the thing for you just yet. Buy things that will go with what you already have, so that you can feel good about any outfit with it! My suggestion would be boots or a jacket / coat. These you can add to any outfit, and instantly feel better!
Also, shop smart. I see a lot of goth shops nowadays that sell the simplest clothes for ridiculously high prices just because it's a ''goth brand''. If you find something you like, do some research and see if you can find it at another site for cheaper (and preferably a site that has a warehouse close to you). A good rule of thumb is only to buy what you can't make.

Shirt - Probably H&M or common men's clothing store
Corset - Dracula Clothing
Pants - Queen of Darkness
Shoes - Steelground

Veil - Wonderland 13
Jewelry - The Pumpkin Coven
Shirt - Random clothing store, might even be men's / boy's
Corset - Dracula Clothing
Skirt - Burleska
Remember to be yourself! Buy things you genuinely like, and not cause they look cool and would impress your friends and anger your parents. You should be comfortable in what you wear, and not letting it wear you. Then it might feel like a costume. Of course some people feel this way when they first start looking goth - goth is an extreme style, and is a long step from the norm. Building a wardrobe and your own unique look takes time, so be patient and experiment! If you are like most people, you don't fall into one label. I for example can on different days dress trad goth, deathrock, victorian or black metal. It doesn't matter! It makes you you, and that is awesome.

Blazer - H&M
Joy Division tank - EMP
Skirt - Poizen Industries
Boots - Demonia
Below is a helpful checklist of items to get if you're looking to build up your goth wardrobe.
I definitely don't recommend going out and buying everything at once and immediately throw out everything you already owned - Unless you're really rich. No, but seriously. Not only will it be a weird shock for both you and everyone around you, but it just won't be.. genuine, in the lack of a better term. And who knows, maybe it will be just a *gasp* phase (which is okay). Then you'll just regret it. So ease into it, make it your own, and get to know yourself in a journey of self discovery.
  • Boots (for everyday, and it's also nice to have more sensible shoes, plus some fancy ones)
  • Stockings (that's what I personally prefer, but if you like socks, go for that. I think it's especially fun to buy childish socks, just to give outfits that whimsy contrast)
  • Blouses / shirts (black of course, maybe some jewel tones or even white)
  • T-shirts (I definitely recommend getting official band merch, and some funny shirts!)
  • Bottoms (black jeans / pants, skirts or shorts, so you have something for every occasion)
  • Dresses / suits  (be sure to have a nice dress / suit that fits you perfectly for effortless fanciness!)
  • Jackets / coats (for every season, depending on where you live. I also recommend having some you decorate to wear for alternative occasions)
  • Layering bits (vests, hoodies, corsets, whatever you like)
  • Other outerwear accessories for winter if you need it (gloves, scarves, hats, etc)
  • At least one belt (either for actual functional purpose or just for accessorizing)
  • Jewelry (necklaces, rings, bracelets and other things in designs you like)
  • Headgear (hats, headbands, headpieces, decorative clips, veils and so on, whatever you prefer)
  • Bags (I like having a shoulder bag, a handbag and a smaller bag for concerts)
I recommend having both plain and more alternative stuff, so you can tone it down and dress up if you need to for any occasion. I think that's all I can think of that will work for an alternative wardrobe, as well as for work or school dresscodes.

Parasol - Darxity
Jabot - Ebay
Shirt - H&M
Corset - Dracula Clothing
Jacket and skirt - Historical Emporium
''Chatelaine'' pieces - Vampirefreaks, Dracula Clothing and Goodgoth
Hoopskirt - Ebay
I hope that helped some of you! I know a lot of kids today are REALLY into the fashion and thinks that's what goth is all about, but it isn't. But I would like to give some advice on the fashion as well. The most important thing is to discover the culture, find out what you like, find yourself and get inspired. If you are sure of who you are and what you like, having your own style isn't hard at all.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Concert Weekend

My weekend has been spent going to shows! Thursday I went to Hulen to see Heather, and they were great! If you like type The Birthday Party, you should definitely check them out! Isak sounds just like Nick Cave, I swear to you, it's amazing. Their clicky-links: Facebook Soundcloud Spotify Instagram 

Quick selfie before seeing Mayhem

This weekend Bergen has hosted the festival Beyond The Gates - this year's edition called Bjørgvin Black Mass. This is the first year where they have expanded from Garage to Verftet as well. I bought my ticket almost a year ago, when it was announced that Mayhem would play De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, and Enslaved would play Vikingr Veldi - and that's what I ended up seeing. I honestly didn't know the other bands playing, so I took my time and didn't show up until a short while before they played.

The last time I saw Mayhem was in Stavanger around 5 years ago, and I was honestly disappointed. Everyone says they're either hit or miss live, so with this setlist I was expecting a hit - and I was right! They had an awesome stageshow and performance, and it was great hearing DMDS live.
Fun fact: I was born the same year as that album came out (1994) - I'm a little baby.

On saturday me, Sandra and Emma went to Verftet at noon to see screenings of an upcoming Enslaved documentary and one about BlekkMetal, an event that happened here a couple of years ago - I was in it for a few seconds, haha! This documentary can only be seen at screenings (this being the first screening in Europe), so we had to go. I also can't wait to see the Enslaved documentary when it comes out, Grutle and Ivar are the cutest and so hilarious.

Shortly before Enslaved
(Decided to not be like everyone else and wear a Mayhem shirt this day)

I forget how short gigs are when they play an album! But it was great. For me, Enslaved has kind of become what bands like Taake are for me, a band that plays here all the time that I don't bother to see anymore. But I love them! So I think I have to make sure to go to their release concert for their next album.

Even though I only saw two bands at Beyond The Gates, I still had a great time! Basically everyone in the Bergen black metal scene was there - band members and fans alike all over the place. I also noticed a lot of tourists (blackpackers), which always fascinates me. 

Oh, and I also got myself some merch! On friday I realized I needed to go home and check what I owned, cause I couldn't remember. So before Enslaved I got myself Venom, Immortal and Cradle of Filth patches, as well as some Cradle albums I for some reason didn't have. Now I think I can fill up the back of my leather jacket! I can't fit a regular backpatch on there, so I think 7 smaller ones will fit nicely on the center back. I still need more black metal patches, though! I'll probably show you an update later on when I get them on there.

Also, next week we're moving, so I might be a little quiet on here - But I have written a draft of a basic goth wardrobe post that I can probably find the time to finish and post before next weekend.
If you want, I can probably take pictures of our new apartment once we've settled in! Other than that, I'll keep on with the album reviews - I'm gonna review some The Cure next. So until next time, take care!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Vision Thing - The Sisters Of Mercy Review

Ok, last one! Vision Thing from 1990. My least favorite, but for the sake of consistency and completion, I'll do it anyway. There are some fun and good songs on here, though maybe a little different than the classic Sisters of Mercy songs.

When it comes to the musicians on this, I have no idea who they are. Whoever Eldritch could get after Patricia left, I guess! As far as I know, this album took a long time to make. I'm not sure, but I think it had something to do with that they were under contract, but Eldritch didn't want to do another album? So this definitely isn't the best SoM album. But let's delve into it and see.. ehh.. listen!

Vision Thing
A dance favorite - But goddamn, the lyrics are silly! They don't really make sense to me, but the song is fun, so whatever, haha. The chorus is fun to sing along to, at least!

A different sounding song, it has quite a unique atmosphere and sound. I guess more rock n roll and sexy. The lyrics are pretty good too!

Detonation Boulevard
Another classic track. I like the beat (as usual), and the guitars are okay, even though they're a little too simple (at least there's a cool solo). I like the lyrics! The female vocals are okay I guess.

Something Fast
This song isn't something fast, ironically. It has acoustic guitar, which goes very well with Eldritch's deep voice. The lyrics are beautiful, especially the chorus! I love the touch of the female vocals.

When You Don't See Me
We are brought back up with the rocking guitars and beat of this song. I actually really like the lyrics, they really get me for some reason!

Doctor Jeep
Another dancy track! Not my kind of lyrics though, but as I said before, I kind of drown out Eldritch's words. I don't really get the add-on of female vocals, but okay.

One of the SoM songs I always have to sing along to. Pretty good lyrics too. The instrumental part can get a little repetitive, but the piano in the end is very refreshing.

I Was Wrong
Another acoustic track, but more upbeat. I don't really feel like they fit with the lyrics, which are pretty sad. But hey, at least Eldritch admits he was wrong, LOL! Not the song for me though.

You Could Be The One
I'll include this song, it's a bonus track on the 2006 reissue CD. A danceable track, but I don't think it had much success - It was released on the More single anyway. I'm not really impressed with the lyrics. There's some decent rock n roll guitar on it.

And there we have it! I still have some other bonus tracks on my CD, but it's songs from the album anyway. So what I look for when an album ends, is how it leaves me - I want either a feeling of completion, or be ready to listen to another album of the same band. This one doesn't do that. I basically feel ''meh''. The two last songs weren't really all that for me, but the rest were fine. This album is probably more for the people who know they like Sisters of Mercy, versus someone trying to get into them - cause even though you still feel the SoM vibe on some of the songs here, some of them don't. You're better off listening to the other two albums, or the compilations. So I guess that's it! I didn't have much to say about this, and now you know why. I'll leave you with the rest of the band photos from the booklet!

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