Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What Is Goth?

Yes, I'm going to go into this. I've gotten a lot of very basic questions lately, so I thought I'd address this. Now, there's nothing wrong with not having knowledge about things you're not familiar with / interested in, but I think that if you actually are, you should be. So let me help you with that.

I'm gonna start with traveling back in time, to something pretty unrelated: Goths.
I mean the germanic tribe from around 2000 years ago. You might have heard the terms ostrogoths and visigoths? They sacked Rome and shit and helped kickstart the medieval period.
They spoke the Gothic language (which had its own alphabet), and everything they did and things inspired by them are classified as ''goth'' or ''gothic''. Now why do I bring this up?

That's because in the middle ages (about 1100),  that's when gothic architecture and art started to spring up. The reason it's called gothic is because it was said to be ''barbaric german style'', cause the goths destroyed the old buildings and erected new ones in this style. A lot of people hated it. So in the 1600's ''goth'' essentially meant ''vandal''. No wonder the word still can be viewed negatively today. But nonetheless, there was a gothic revival starting in England in the 1700s, and it became highly popular - about time in my opinion. I think it's incredibly beautiful! And that led to...

Gothic fiction / gothic horror. In 1764 Horace Walpole's ''The Castle of Otranto'' came out, and that is considered to be the very first gothic novel. Other notable works are Ann Radcliffe's ''The Mysteries of Udolpho'', and Matthew Gregory Lewis's ''The Monk''.
Just like with the architecture, the romantics of the 1800s also led to an explosion of the gothic. In the Victorian age it wasn't VERY popular, but a lot of good literature came out around then. Click here to read my favorite gothic novels.
By now, the gothic was characterized by supernatural elements, a setting in gothic buildings, and macabre themes. They would often feature main characters like a young maiden and a brooding tyrant. I don't want to go too much into this, this post is just meant to be a very basic overview.

Now let's talk closer to modern day. The 1900's took inspiration from these novels and brought us comics, role-playing games and video games. But most importantly: Movies, TV-series and music.
Everyone is familiar with gothic horror movies and spooky TV shows. Most of us grew up with them.
Hammer Horror, Universal's Classic Monsters and Edgar Allan Poe movies, for example, and shows like Dark Shadows, The Addams Family and The Munsters.
The gothic has also influenced different metal genres, and of course: gothic rock.

Gothic rock / goth rock / goth is a music genre that sprung out from post-punk around the late 70s / early 80s. Post-punk and goth rock is pretty tied to english punk rock, but post-punk was / is more experimental, what I mean is that it could be very punky, very 80's and could have lots of synth (listen to the difference between early Joy Division and New Order's dance hits). Other bands are The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Echo & the Bunnymen, Killing Joke and Gary Numan.
Goth rock was / is darker and more romantic. Post-punk and goth rock can often be the same bands, so Joy Division, The Cure and Siouxsie can be called goth rock as well, but some examples of goth rock bands are Bauhaus, The Sisters of Mercy, The Birthday Party, Dead Can Dance, Southern Death Cult and The Mission. Sorry, I went a little overboard. I ALSO want to mention The Damned! They're a punk band, but they do have some really gothy albums. Check them out!
It's very hard to describe things simply and keep it short in this post, I realize now. If you really are interested in this, you probably know a little already, and I strongly encourage you to read about it and actually delve into it yourself.
I would also like to mention other related genres like deathrock, industrial, ''waves'', ethereal, EBM... Some might not agree with a couple of those, but most are played at goth clubs and festivals.

Now let's talk about fashion. To me (and many others) style is closely related to your taste in music. Goths (fans of the music) and goth icons (band members) tend to dress in dark colors, with high contrast make-up, and often teased hair. Some elements are definitely very punk, some are borrowed from the Victorians / Edwardians (just look at the mourning garb!). Again, it's very hard to describe so many individuals as a whole, as goths are very creative and unique with their looks. There are also many associated music genres with their own specific looks, so goths can look very different.
One thing I have to mention, as it is a common question: NO, YOU DON'T HAVE TO PICK A ''GOTH STYLE'' AND STICK TO IT. Wear whatever you want. Dress like a cybergoth one day and a victorian the other. Mix and match, it doesn't matter! Just be yourself. But I strongly advise you to listen to the different music genres and see what you like. Cause if ONE thing has got to be weird within all of this, it's dressing in a style associated with a music genre you don't even like (like wearing a band shirt of a band you have never listened to). So that's just my advice.
I think I also have to add that you don't have to ''look goth'' to be one. We all have lives, and it's not always we are able to look super amazing. That's why I post every outfit I wear on this blog, to show younger people that ''a real goth'' doesn't look like whatever they've seen online all the time.

Goth/gothic can be described as a lifestyle. Just look at all the things mentioned above! All of that plays a big part in a goth's life. I should also mention that ''goth'' and ''gothic'' are different things, but I hope that you caught on to that if you have read this far. Anyway. Our hobbies can include what I mentioned above, we go to clubs and festivals, and we even decorate our home all spooky.
So I definitely agree it's a way of life - but it of course doesn't mean it's the ONLY part of your life.

Goth can also be described as a culture. Some say SUBculture, but a lot of people agree that we have grown so much that we are an entire culture in ourselves. You can google that if you want to learn more. In addition to interests and aesthetic taste we also have other things in common, like being very open when it comes to topics like gender, sexuality and religion. We don't shun anyone because of things like that, probably because we already know what it's like to be judged by others.
We see life in a certain way, and we find beauty where most people don't. We are big nerds, socialize a lot, aren't into ''bad things'' (drugs, violence, etc), and often are highly educated.
There is a pretty big misconception that goths are violent. This is especially a thing in the US, where the media has basically blamed school shootings on goths and misinform about goth in the media in other ways. Another big misconception is that goths are depressed, self-harm and / or are suicidal. Just like in the normal population, depression is a pretty common illness within goths, but it doesn't mean that it's BECAUSE of being goth (though being bullied for being different can be a contributing factor). There has been a few studies about this, but as far as I've seen they haven't been very thorough. Goths are some of the happiest people I've met! We know how to have fun. And all of our interests make us happy, that's why people have interests in the first place.

I think that's all I have to say for now. I tried to write this in an easily understandable and casual tone, so that it isn't such a bore to read through. I hope I accomplished that! I felt like I needed to take you down this journey, and hope that I helped someone understand how all of this came to be and what it is. If you are someone who thinks this whole thing might be for you, definitely check out what I've mentioned and see if it is! And no, you don't have to use labels if you don't want to. I just use it for simplicity's sake to quickly let people know what I'm into. As the internet has grown I've found that the label is getting used more and more, and I'm still trying to get used to that. I've accidentally become this person people look up to, admire and ask questions to. How weird.

I just looked at the title and my head went ''baby don't hurt me, don't hurt me, no more'', hahah.
Anyway, I'm gonna stop rambling and leave you now! For a while, actually. Tomorrow I am leaving for Wave Gotik Treffen, and I'm staying in Leipzig for a week. So I won't be posting here or on social media for a week - So don't worry, I'm not dead! I'll be back, with TONS to share.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, read my Ultimate Wave Gotik Treffen Guide here.
Take care everyone, bye!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Greatest Hits - The Cure Review

Yeah I know, reviewing a greatest hits album is weird. But you know what? I AM weird! I don't think I'm going to bother to decide if it's a good selection either. I'm just gonna review this cause I recently bought it. I didn't know why I didn't have this, but just now I realized: Cause I've been wanting Staring At The Sea for years, and I haven't been able to find it! If you know where to get it, please let me know.

Boys Don't Cry
(From Boys Don't Cry) Ahh, one of the songs that make me run to the dance floor. Always a fun time! It's such a wonderful and cute song that makes you happy! Even though the lyrics are sad, haha.

A Forest
(From Seventeen Seconds) This has been one of my favorite Cure songs for a long time. It just gives me a really good feeling! I really love the instrumentals in this.

Let's Go To Bed
(From Japanese Whispers) Such a fun song! Really easy and fun to sing along to.

The Walk
(From Japanese Whispers) Another fun one! I really love the synth. The asian sound is cute too.

The Lovecats
(From Japanese Whispers) How can you not love this song? It's so cute and silly! I often get this song in my head, and have to sing it for a couple of days. The ''cat sounds'' are so funny. JUST SHUT UP AND DANCE WITH ME.

Inbetween Days
(From The Head On The Door) This has a very classic Cure sound. It's happy and upbeat, but it's not one of my absolute favorites. If you are a big Cure fan, you probably love this.

Close To Me
(From The Head On The Door) This is cute and happy, and I like those high pitched sounds, whatever they're made by.

Why Can't I Be You?
(From Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me) A very ''grand'' song. I think it's okay, I'm not that excited about it.

Just Like Heaven
(From Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me) Now this song I really like! It's so cute. Simen just sang along to it and gestured to me, haha.

(From Disintegration) Ahh, one of the goth classics. I'm not that fond of the music video since I'm terrified of spiders, but I like the song! It sounds so nice. The beat is simple, but the strings on top is just wonderful. And Robert's voice is just so mesmerizing!

(From Disintegration) I can imagine that this song is THE love cliché among goths. Come on, it's cute! Robert's wife must have loved it on their wedding day. And I have to admit, I want this song as the first dance song at our wedding - Just the Aurelio Voltaire version, since Simen is such a big fan of him and he is the reason we actually started to become interested in each other. We are actually singing this together as I type!

Never Enough
(From Mixed Up) I don't think I've heard this song before! But I like it! It's definitely more heavy and rock compared to the rest of their stuff. Really cool. I don't think I'm THAT familiar with newer stuff from them, I'm not completely sure. With The Cure I've only sat down and listened to some of the earlier albums (before the 90's, and album this is from was released in 1990, so), and the rest it's only been bits and pieces here and there. I don't like EVERYTHING by them.

(From Wish) I'm not sure if I have heard this before. I don't think it sounds familiar, but it does have the typical Cure sound, so I might have heard it before. It's not bad, but I prefer when their songs are more unique than this.

Friday I'm In Love
(From Wish) Who hasn't heard this? I almost never put this on myself, cause I get that ''Oh I'm so sick of this'' feeling (I guess the same with Boys Don't Cry), but when I do hear it in clubs or someone else puts it on, I do sing and dance, so I do like it. It's fun, cute and simple. Happy happy! His scream towards the end is always funny. The music video for this is also pretty cute and funny.

Mint Car
(From Wild Mood Swings) I actually have the single containing the radio mix of this, Home, Waiting and A Pink Dream. I don't really put it on much. It's an okay cute and happy song, but often it's TOO happy for me - and kind of that little ''typical Cure sound'' I get from some other songs.

Wrong Number
(From Galore) I don't think I've heard this before! It's different. It kind of reminds me of Never Enough, it's a little more rock and heavy, and sounds very cool. Me likey! I think I really need to check out Cure albums released after 1990, haha. Me and Simen just took a little silly dance to this. Ooo, I like the touch with the little spoken dialogue towards the end!

Cut Here
(Released as a single from this compilation) The title of this is an anagram of The Cure, haha. This song has a different sound, so it's pretty unique. This song is incredible sad, though! It's written in the honor of a friend that committed suicide. As I experienced that my friend and fellow band member died only a little over a year ago, I can really relate to the lyrics.

Just Say Yes
(Released with this compilation) What is this? Haha, this is weird. It's so simple. And I assume they made this at the same time as Cut Here? It doesn't really sound like it. So I'm not really sure if I like it. I can totally stand it, it's just meh, they could have done better. I don't get why they released this song with their greatest hits compilation.

That was 18 songs already! They have pretty short songs, so this cd was just little over an hour long. Like I said throughout, I haven't listened to The Cure THAT much - There's still a lot for me to discover. But I do know that I don't like everything they've made, so I don't know if I'd put them super high up in my book. I definitely enjoy their darker stuff more, but I do like the silly stuff. That's the thing with more post-punky stuff though, I have a hard time to really get into that feeling of ''now I want to listen to post-punk''. Goth rock however, I can do whenever, I'll love it. So yeah, that's why.
To me it's not the perfect compilation of their work, but I assume this is based on commercial success, maybe? I do like Staring At The Sea better. But I guess you can't make everyone happy with compilation cds. To me they're pretty much ''ok I can't really get their entire discography right now, so I'll get this in the meantime''. The only album I own right now is Disintegration, which is probably my favorite album by them (I haven't heard all of their albums, but I think it's a good chance).
So I guess the conclusion is that if you want to own some The Cure, but their discography is overwhelming, or you just don't like everything they've put out, this is definitely worth checking out.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Huge Collective Haul! DIY Supplies, Victorian, Music, Patches & More!

Oh my gosh you guys, I have bought SO much stuff lately! I've gone ebay crazy, so much that there was a week where we had to go to the post office every single day. I think they know me pretty well there by now. It's mostly smaller and cheaper things, so I thought I'd compile it all into one post!

Let's start small! Just a chain to attach to one of my blazers.

100 safety pins!

Adorable tiny sewing kit!

Cute Victorian apron!
Used the sewing kit to shorten the X in the back.

White jabot and cuffs

Black jabot

Black lace collar

White lace collar

Simen's first corset!
You saw this in my may 17th post, along with my new hair color.
I wanted to make a separate post about it, but he's been lazy with training.
He has come a long way though, especially since he's gained weight in the stomach area.
I probably could have made a post about my hair too, but I wasn't happy with it.
I have re-dyed it now though, and it's much better.
Pictures of that at the bottom of the post!

Simen needed something to wear for the WGT fetish party!

Bought adorable chocolate notebooks at Flying Tiger Copenhagen!
Thought I'd take this ridiculous chocolate-themed picture.
I also bought some nice pens.
I don't know what do write in them yet, though!
If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Cds! Reviews here, here, here and the last coming on monday.

And last but not least, in this neon pink envelope...

So these are going on my leather jacket, a blazer and two vests.
I'm gonna have months worth of DIY projects here!
I will of course show you when I'm satisfied.
I will probably keep adding more to them, so.
But I won't have time to even start before WGT.
And who knows, I might find more stuff while there!

I THINK that was all? I didn't even take pictures before the patches came on tuesday. So yeah, mostly small things to improve outfits and clothes with. Some of these things I've wanted for years, but I've never gotten around to order. Now I finally have! If you want links to where I got these, let me know. Now for some outfits, cause why not. You can also see my new dark purple hair color!

White longsleeve - H&M
School uniform - Filipino department store
Mickey socks - H&M

Jack Skellington sports bra - OOTD Leggings
(Use code ''carnivorous'' for $$$ off!)
Svartediket shirt - Musical merch
''Pleather'' leggings - Bik Bok
Skelly socks - H&M

Steampunk kitty shirt - Dracula Clothing
Gangster prankster mini skirt - Lip Service
Underskirt - Poizen Industries
I put on stockings and a garter belt later.
But here I'm showing off my freshly shaved legs!
I just spent an hour in the shower shaving my body.
Gotta get ready for WGT and summer!
I don't care about body hair any other time.

What did you think of my haul? :D

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Murder Ballads - Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds Review

Today I have another album review for you! It's almost as old as me, but before this post I had never listened to it before in its entirety! I have known Where The Wild Roses Grow since I was very young, and I have heard some of the others before as well. So let's see how this album is as a whole!

Song Of Joy
His voice is so beautiful. The lyrics are so sad! I feel that it ends with a very good climax.

Stagger Lee
I guess you could describe this song as sexy and cool? Hahah, that's so weird to say. But Stagger Lee is one badass motherfucker! The last minute of it hurts my ears though; so high-pitched!

Henry Lee
Oh, how I love this song. It's so beautiful! I love the sound of their duet, it's chilling. It has those certain notes that give me goosebumps! Though the highest one at the end is a slightly uncomfortable one. But other than that it's such a beautiful song.

Lovely Creature
The female vocals are so cute in this! Very pleasant to listen to.

Where The Wild Roses Grow
The song that EVERYONE and their mother has heard! Probably thanks to Kylie. When I was old enough to read into the lyrics, I became fascinated at once. Elisa Day is kind of stupid though. One day I will have the Living Dead Doll of her! Anyway, it's a very beautiful song that could almost bring you to tears. It has really gotten the fame it deserves!

The Curse Of Millhaven
Ok wow, disturbing start of this one - Especially right after WTWRG! I have heard this several times before, but I totally forgot about that - And was way too deep into the last song, haha. Does anyone else think that this pretty much just sounds like a faster version of Henry Lee?
The lyrics to this are 1,5 page in the booklet, so it's pretty long - and I really like the story of it! I think it's a pretty fun song for being so.. morbid, haha.

The Kindness of Strangers
I had to do a double take - This wasn't Stranger Than Kindness! I haven't heard this one before. This one is slow, and starts off sad right at the start. I really like the illustration beside this in the booklet! Well most of them are nice (the first ones remind me of the illustrations in Alice's Adventures In Wonderland), but I liked this one the best! Oh typical Victorian-loving me. The sobbing in the background of this is interesting, I like it! And that she joins him in the last verse.

Crow Jane
Ok at first I thought this was a little boring, but at the end of the first verse it started growing on me.

O'Malley's Bar
Kind of funky. No one can sing about his hard dick as beautifully as Nick Cave, hahaha! The lyrics of this one are a little over 2 pages long in the booklet, wow! Well it's 14:28 minutes long, so. It drags on a little bit, but it's not a bad song. It definitely fits on the album. It's quite the story.

Death Is Not The End
A very nice and slow song, featuring several singers! They all have different voices, but they do sound very good together!

When I found this in a record store last week, I also found Push The Sky Away, but since I was already getting three cds, I decided to leave it for now. If anyone of you have thoughts on it, let me know what you think! They have so many albums. So far I have Let Love In, Skeleton Tree and a best of cd - and some compilation cds that have some Bad Seeds and Birthday Party songs.

I think Murder Ballads is rivaling Let Love In as my favorite album by them! I guess I'm a sucker for dark stuff. Their music is so experimental, there's so much variation, but I think the songs on this album work together pretty well. It's a good mix of slow, fast, funny and sad. For some this album might be too much, as it obviously contains a lot of murder, violence and swearing. But if you don't mind that, you should definitely check out this album if you haven't already! It's great.

The band is actually coming to Norway closer to the end of the year! But it's in Oslo, so that would make it a little tricky. I also checked last night, there are very few tickets left (same for Sisters Of Mercy in Stockholm). Oh well, I guess I'll survive! This is going to be a good concert year anyway. Are you going to see them on this year's tour? And what do you think about this album?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Arctic Thunder - Darkthrone Review

Welcome to another album review! This time it will be black metal. Darkthrone is one of my favorite bands, and this is their newest album that came out in october. I kept forgetting to go buy it, and the times I looked for it, they didn't have it. So now I finally have it! I haven't listened to it before writing this review, so these are my very first thoughts of it! Like I probably said in my last review, I like to try and not listen to albums before I own them if I can help it. The listening experience just becomes so much better - and I'm old school who likes to listen along with the cd booklet in my hand.

Tundra Leech
Really great guitar in this! Really funky and dancy, haha. Pretty good lyrics!

Burial Bliss
Ahh, classic Darkthrone; black N roll! I really love Ted's vocals. The lyrics are also very beautiful.

Boreal Fiends
Oh, this one starts slow. That's different. But as the vocals come in, it's back to heavy! The contrast works really well. Oh wow, almost operatic vocals at the end of the chorus there! I really like it. The instrumental is really good, it changes a lot throughout the song, but it really works!
IS THAT A COW BELL I HEAR?! Oh my god I love it. Even a solo! Wow, they're trying out a lot of things in this song. Darkthrone is one of the few bands that can do so many different things but still stay true to themselves and sound good. This song has pretty nice lyrics too.

Inbred Vermin
More classic Darkthrone black N roll riffs! I'm kind of headbanging and bouncing at the same time, haha. I really like it! It's kind of empowering. The groaning and the slow part makes it sound kind of sad, but when I look at the lyrics it's pretty much a very angry song. The echo on the vocals is kind of annoying though. Did he have that on other songs? He might have, I'm not sure. I didn't notice.

Arctic Thunder
Now for the title track! It sounds very.. I don't know if I want to say grand from the start, but the pace is good and you just want to dance! Pretty cool lyrics. It makes me sad that I will never hear this live. Darkthrone doesn't play live shows, but I just have this feeling that this would've been great live! I guess it's fitting that this is the title track then. It even fades out with a cute solo!

Throw Me Through The Marshes
I like the lyrics, the guitar is also very good. It's slightly slow-pace and different, but still very Darkthrone. It picks up at the chorus / about halfway through, and slows down again as the first lines are repeated. It ends like every song that gets played live ever, haha.

Deep Lake Trespass
I like the riff! It starts off fast, and straight to the point. I like the drums as well. This also has that classic Darkthrone black N roll pace. It sounds really great! I like the little guitar part towards the end. It was too short for a solo, but it gave the song that little extra oomph.

The Wyoming Distance
I'm getting a very classic heavy metal vibe from this. I feel the lyrics are a little silly. Or is it just me?
This one also ends just like any live song would. This would probably be my least favorite on this album, which is kind of a shame, cause I like it when albums end and you sit with a good feeling.

I think Ted is very shy about his lyrics, cause his aren't in the booklet - Only pictures, like I've shown above. DarkLyrics (my favorite lyric site) has the lyrics, but not for Deep Lake Tresspass - and I can't seem to find it anywhere else either. Anyway, the album is very short as well, only 39 minutes. But that's completely normal for Darkthrone, most of their albums are 30-something minutes, with only a few peaking slight over 40 minutes. Darkthrone doesn't really need long albums. They manage to get out whatever they want to get out efficiently - They pack it all in there, and manage to come out with albums pretty often. They have 16 studio albums now (I went to my shelf and counted), and just that in itself is pretty good for 1991-2016! And I like them all.

By the time I'm writing this bit, I'm listening to it for the third time. So I'd say the fact that I CAN listen to it three times in a row and still enjoy it is pretty good! Most of these songs give me the Darkthrone that I love, who I can happily headbang/dance/bounce to. If you are familiar with Darkthrone, you probably know what I mean with ''black N roll riffs'', and this album is full of those. So if you're a fan of that, you'll definitely like this album. If you only like the ''TNBM'' albums you might not. But go ahead and be that close minded! If you're not familiar with Darkthrone at all, then I'm not sure. I'd probably start with the earlier albums from the early to mid-nineties.

So yes, those were my thoughts!
Hope you liked it, and if you have listened to this, let me know what you think!
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