Samhain’s November Coming Fire Is My Favorite Album…Ever

Yes folks, this album is my favorite ever. Seriously, I can listen to it over and over again and not be bored out of my mind. You know how you liked  a band when you were younger but don’t listen to them any longer for various reasons? This album defies that curse!

For those of you who don’t know Samhain was Glenn Danzig’s second band after The Misfits broke up, and I consider this period to be his best musically. Sure, I love old school Misfits songs, and the first four Danzig albums, but there is something perfect about Samhain, and particularly November Coming Fire, that makes it stand above anything else that Glenn has done. The first time I ever heard of them was when I was in high school on a trip to an amusement park with some friends when a girl wearing a November Coming Fire shirt gave me shit for wearing a Sex Pistols shirt. Go figure, there was elitism even back in the 80’s! It wasn’t until 1990 that I cold bought November Coming Fire and instantly fell in love with it. That’s right, I bought the album without even listening to it. These were the days before the internet kids so you had to do things like that to discover new bands. I was a huge fan of The Misfits and like the first two Danzig albums that were out at the time so it seemed like a natural step.

The beautiful thing about Samhain is that Danzig incorporated goth, punk and some metal all into one neat package that didn’t sound like anything else. People still try to imitate the sound but nobody has gotten it so spot on in my opinion. I would dare to even call November Coming Fire a deathrock album. After all the songs are about spooky shit, are very morbid sounding and sung by a guy who knows how to fucking sing!. Seriously, listen to the link above in a candlelit room in the middle of the night and don’t tell me that it doesn’t sound in turns otherworldly and beyond macabre.

My favorite song off the album has got to be Halloween II, which is a remake of The Misfits song. Instead of being fast, like the original, it is slow and deliberate, and what makes it spooky as shit is the fact that just like the original it is sung in Latin. When I saw Danzig perform in 1992 they played it as an encore and I almost cried I was so happy! Back then he didn’t like to play old material as much so it was kind of a shock.  I don’t dislike ANY of the songs on the album and find some of the placement of them in the order in which they appear to be brilliant. Let The Day Begins, which is a faster paced song, follows To Walk The Night, which is slower in tempo. In some ways November Coming Fire could be seen as a concept album of sorts because all of the album centers about overcoming obstacles. Yeah, that may be stretch, but what the hell?

I remember trying to get goth clubs to play songs off this album back in the day, and it was considered too ‘punk’ even though it sounded more full of dirge than a lot of the stuff they spun. Philistines! November Coming Fire brings back so many fuzzy warm memories! It reminds me specifically of the times that I used to drive around San Jose and Santa Clara with my friend Sheri. I would blast it in my car with the windows rolled down and sing along at the top of my lungs. Awww….memories!

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Bands I Love Who Aren’t Goth

I listen to a lot of music that isn’t Goth. Back when I started getting into Goth in the mid-late 1980’s I was also getting into punk, so effectively I had one foot in each camp. Nowadays I would have probably been called a deathrocker, but that term wasn’t really used that much back then so I was just being me. On Friday I would go to Gilman St. in Berkeley to catch a punk show and on Saturday I would go to the Twilight Zone in Alameda to hear new wave/goth/industrial music. There were a few of us who did that and there were certain people, especially at the Twilight Zone, who looked down at that. Yes, there were total elitists in the Goth subculture even back then. The funny thing is that the ones who looked down their nose at me were mostly the weekend warrior types so they were really boring.

The Exploited are probably my all time favorite punk band. Especially the above song called Maggie that totally sings about what a cunt Maggie Thatcher was. The day that she died I played this song over and over again in celebration. Those of you who say that we shouldn’t celebrate the death of anybody did not live in the time of Thatcher and Reagan. What I’ve always loved about The Exploited is their politics. There have been people over the years saying they are Nazis, which of course is bullshit. Siouxsie also wore a swastika armband at the start of punk, so does that also make her a Nazi? Yeah, that’s what I thought. The Misfits are a very close second, but the pure aggressiveness of The Exploited still gets me worked up.

Growing up in the 1970’s/1980’s exposed me to lots of funky music, be it R&B or disco. The Gap Band are one of my favorites in this category because the heavy base/synth lines in their songs are beyond awesome and make me want to get down! I remember the above video being on MTV and totally grooving to it.

This is the most bad-ass cover of a song ever! Vanilla Fudge were a psychedelic band from New Jersey that were around mostly during the late 1960’s. I just love the sound of the Hammond organ and the heavy guitar playing. I love a lot of their music, which can be strange and trippy, but this is my favorite song of theirs. Imagine, in this clip they are actually playing live! They toured with Cream! I wish I could have gone to that show!

I have always had a crush on Bryan Ferry, he’s like the James Bond of the music world; suave and totally irresistible. *fans herself* Anyway! I love his solo work and Roxy Music. Listening to him sing makes me feel like I’m in a slightly seedy cocktail lounge surrounded by mysterious people. That’s a good thing!

I love Public Enemy. How dare I love some old-school rap…how dare I! The first time I ever heard Public Enemy was in the bedroom of a punk guy in Santa Cruz. That’s right, punks and other freaks were listening to Public Enemy before upper middle class annoying white teens ever heard of them. Again I love them because of the political message they sent out, which is so lacking in today’s world of rap. Even their newer songs are really good!

Next year will be 30 years since I started listening to PiL. They were a total gateway band for me in terms of discovering ‘strange’ music. In my opinion they are the best post-punk band of the late 70’s/80’s. Seriously, John Lydon can write circles around Morrissey. Yeah, go ahead and try to argue with me about that! I saw them three times live in the late 1980’s and they were some of the best shows I’ve ever been to. I can’t describe enough about how much this band means to me. Lydon’s later work with the band isn’t quite as good as the earlier material, but as a whole it’s excellent stuff!

 

 

I Love The Video For Thriller And I Am Not Ashamed!

Most spooky music video ever!

Most spooky music video ever!

Thriller is my favorite music video ever made. There, I said it. In 1983 I was twelve years old and running home from junior high every day to watch it on MTV. Remember when MTV used to actually air creatively made music videos? Yes, they actually used to do that! Shocking, I know! They would play it once every single hour and I would watch it again and again totally engrossed with its zombies and other spooky visuals.

As everybody knows Thriller was directed by John Landis and is filmed in a style that recalls the horror films of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Not only does it contain an elongated version of the song itself, it also has a detailed plot which is in turns fun, spooky, then fun and spooky! Nothing exactly like it had been done before and who the hell knew that Michael Jackson was heavily into old school horror films? Perhaps this is the first sign that we got to see of him being a bit unusual.

I grew up watching horror films. I saw Xtro, Dawn Of The Dead, Galaxy Of Terror and many others all in movie theaters during mostly double billed shows. On TV I watched a lot of Vincent Price and Hammer horror films and loved them to death! So, when Michael Jackson came along and not only made a spooky song but a spooky video to go along with it I was happy beyond belief! I was the kind of kid who made haunted houses in her closet and who dug in the sand at the local playground hoping to find the foundations of a burnt down Victorian house that used to be there. Yep, I’ve been pretty much morbid since birth!

It was cool to like the video and you weren’t seen as a complete freak if you did. If you said that you ran home to catch the video nobody thought you were an insane geek. Then again we’re talking about my junior high years, so perhaps if you were in high school at the time things were different. I would have liked nothing better at the time than to have been able to enter that spooky world and run through the cemetery where the zombies were rising from their graves. No, seriously, I’ve always been a bit into being chased by evil creatures, hiding from them and surviving. Yes, I’m strange.

To this day I can still watch the video and be highly entertained! There is just something about it that is not only spooky but highly nostalgic. I can look back at when it first came out and smile knowing that it helped shape me into being the person that I am today. Thriller has definitely been a part of my spooky journey through life.

The Sci-Fi Videos Of A Flock Of Seagulls

I really, really like A Flock Of Seagulls and I think that they are a totally overlooked band in terms of their music. To me they don’t sound dated, and in fact sound more original than most of the snythpop coming out these days.

 

Anyway! Some people consider the band a one hit wonder, being that I Ran was their only huge single, but they were much more than that. A Flock Of Seagulls were a new wave era band that not only wrote some really good songs they also produced some really cool sci-fi themed music videos. The above video for I Ran featured mysterious women walking about with new wave make-up while appearing to be dressed in plastic garbage bands. Yes, it’s kind of silly but yet at the same time it was innovative because it connected the new wave movement with the sci-fi universe. Yes, you could be a new waver and be a total sci-fi geek at the same time! Obviously Mike Score must really like sci-fi, and that’s neat!

 

This second video is for the song (It’s No Me) Talking. It is shot as if it’s an old-fashioned episode of a serial, the kind that would show in a theater before the main movie. An alien ship has made contact and is coming to Earth. The military, and the men in black, show up when it lands and Mike Score steps out in a silver suit while holding a laser weapon. It’s really awesome! From what I remember reading it cost them a lot of money to make this one, which is understandable since it looks really professional.

 

This one is called Transfer Affection and it’s got to be the strangest one. There is a woman who is lead into a room and during the whole video she’s lying back on a lighted board with  fog machine stuff swirling about her head. Then totally unrelated there is a guy dressed up in an alien suit with a giant green head who is holding a little monkey. Mike Score is walking about singing and the whole band is wearing silver space type suits.

Space Age Love Song’s video isn’t exactly as sci-fi themed as the others but, eh, look at the title! This song literally gives me the shivers because the lyrics are so beautiful. I used to listen to this before I moved here to the UK while thinking of my now husband. How romantic! *sniffles* During the whole song they are standing on a stage outdoors with a bunch of fog behind them and it kind of looks like they are on some sort of launching pad? If that was the desired affect, it works!

 

Lastly there is Wishing (I Had A Photograph Of You). This one is my favorite and features Mike Score singing along with the song while walking around a spaceship and sitting at a computer. He looks really sincere while singing and as always he has really nifty hair! People have always made fun of the hair but I think it’s original, so there! There are primitive computer effects and shots of the band standing about playing.

Andrew Eldritch Hates Goths, Yet They Pay To See Him

This man hates you.

This man hates you.

I don’t understand why people, especially Goths in particular, pay money to see Andrew Eldritch perform live. After all he has let it be known that he doesn’t consider the Sisters Of Mercy to be Goth, and he has said that he actually hates Goths on several occasions. However, all of this hasn’t put off the gullible from giving this self-important twat their hard earned cash.

Yes, I own all of the Sisters Of Mercy albums, but these were all bought over 20 years ago. I like the albums until Vision Thing, which I think is mostly a pile of garbage. Eldrtich had kicked out everybody from the band who made actual good music and that album is the result. So, he hasn’t released an album of all original material in over twenty years, yet he still thinks his shit doesn’t stink. He has this attitude mainly because he knows people will still pay to see him live.

Now, why would people pay this man any money after they know that he specifically doesn’t like them? I think one of the main reasons is because people think they are seeing some sort of living legend perform songs that are club classics. That is like paying a bunch of money to see an Elvis hologram perform with a backing band! Yes, that is actually happening! Eldritch is living off of some warm fuzzy memories that people have of his music, so why should he even bother writing any new tunes? He knows that his concert going audience is filled with a bunch of self hating people, so why even pretend that the band is ever going to move forward into any new territory?

His hatred of the Goth subculture goes all the way back to the 1980’s. I remember around 1990 knowing somebody who met him and Eldritch told him off because he was dressed Goth. Seriously, Eldritch is that much of a dick. From then on I promised myself to never pay money to see him. I think it’s hypocritical to pay to see a man perform who hates you, then complain when other people say they hate you for being Goth. Really, what’s the difference between him hating you and somebody else? Is it okay for him to hate you because he’s some sort of ‘living legend’? Screw that and get some self respect. Stop giving him your hard earned cash because you deserve better.

Why The Sex Pistols Deserve More Respect

I love these guys!

I love these guys!

The husband and I rewatched the great Sex Pistols documentary The Filth And The Fury and it reminded me what a great band they were, and how the teenagers of today don’t respect them enough.

What I am always seeing online are kids who compare The Sex Pistols to a boy band because of Malcom McClaren putting the band together. The main HUGE difference between boy bands and the Pistols is the fact that they wrote all of their own music. Usually it was John Lydon writing the lyrics while the rest of the band played something they had just made up. When have boy bands played their own instruments or written all of their own music? Yes, I just told you to sit the hell down! These same kids will go on and on about how much they love The Clash, which by the way was directly formed in order to compete with the Pistols. The Clash were a huge band and played stadiums. In fact I remember a totally normal classmate in junior high who bragged going to one such event. Now, who were the sellouts?

Not only did they influence a ton of bands, everyone from The Damned to Siouxsie And The Banshees, they also paved the way for people to feel comfortable being a freak in a society that they didn’t want to be a part of. Up until that time there wasn’t a musical movement that told people that it was okay to be different, that you didn’t have to follow what everybody else did because they told you to. Yes, there was the counterculture of the 1960’s but that was all about peace, loving everybody else and growing you hair long. Punk, originally, was about expressing yourself, no matter how you chose to do it. Later it did become a uniform, one in which I think it’s crass to adopt these days.

The danger element in what they did should not be overlooked. What band signed band today would have the balls to play a song called God Save The Queen? Go ahead….I’ll give you a moment. None. They created songs that went against the status quo thinking of the time and this pissed a whole lot of people off. Malcom McClaren claimed that he orchestrated all of this, which is a huge lie. When it comes down to it he didn’t know what the hell he was doing the vast majority of the time. It’s no surprise that he stole the band’s money, but he got frightened when he realized just how pissed off people were. John Lydon, among others, were physically attacked while walking down the street simply because of who he was. In fact, it was damned dangerous to be different back then. I would like to argue that this aspect has still not gone totally away, with the murder of Sophie Lancaster by a group of assholes a few years ago.

No surprise, I’m a huge fan of The Sex Pistols and saw them live on their 25th anniversary tour in the US. Lydon went on about how bands like Green Day aren’t punk and never will be punk. Agreed! I started listening to them in 86 and they were my gateway band into not only punk, but into Goth. Without punk there would be no Goth subculture, and don’t you forget it!