Although I like music, it is not my life. I'll go for well over a week without thinking of playing a tape, CD or .MP3 file. I do not define myself by what music I listen to -- I think that's kind of silly. At least 80% of all the music I have is stuff that friends have put on tapes or CDs for me. I far prefer to listen to music in clubs (industrial/goth/"alternative" clubs), and I do so occasionally -- maybe once every two or three weeks. Clubs invariably have better sound systems than I do. That said, I do have a few favorite genres and bands. I like bits and pieces of classical music, like Orff, some Bach and Wagner, and a few Baroque composers whose names I don't know, and Beethoven. This list is in no particular order of preference.
Heavy Metal: It is important to note that Heavy Metal has strong roots in Blues; if you don't hear a blues riff, it may be good, and it may be metal, but it's not Heavy Metal.
Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Danzig's solo albums, I, II, and III. Trouble (Sabbath rip-off band, but enjoyable).
White Zombie, Helmet, Judas Priest (before the "Turbo" album), The Scorpions, Deep Purple, Metallica (only up to Sandman), Slayer, Metal Church, and Body Count. Note that many decent punk bands evolved into metal bands later in their career. They was, for the most part, an improvement, e.g., the Cro-Mags, the Meatmen, the Butthole Surfers, and Glen Danzig of the Misfits.
There are a few "D&D Metal" bands that I enjoy very occasionally -- songs about warriors and wizards, and that sort of silliness. Candlemas often falls into that category, as does Blüe Öyster Cült on occasion.
AC/DC, Accept, Thud, KISS, Motorhead, Blüe Öyster Cült
Black Sabbath -- There's just no way that anyone can intelligently argue that that Black Sabbath wasn't the first goth band. (Of course, they were without question the first Heavy Metal band, too.) Heavy, dark, somber (well, most of it, anyway, except for the occasional hippy-ish/sentimental stuff), and centered around things mysterious/occult/magical/sinister. They were wearing crosses like modern goths wear anhks -- and their crosses were bigger. The singer for Type O Negative has apparently admitted that he wanted to be Ozzy Osbourne when he was growing up. I wonder when Cleopatra records will be putting out their tribute to Black Sabbath?
Bauhaus -- It is inaccurate to call Bauhaus a "goth" band. They never had any intention of being anything like a "goth" band. Bauhaus are an "art rock" band. They're way too busy having fun and being creative to be slandered with the "goth" label.
Sisters of Mercy -- Obligatory goth-fodder. I like them, although Andrew Eldritch is badly in need of a spanking. See my dream about being his roommate.
Gargoyle Sox --
News flash: You can now buy digitially-re-mastered Gargoyle Sox albums on
CD at Manster's web site: www.manstermusic.com
It's difficult to describe Gargoyle Sox, and it may be a little unfair to
categorize them as goth band. Clearly, Mr. Koester, the driving
voice behind Gargoyle Sox, has too good of a sense of humour to describe
himself, or his long-defunct band, as goth. Nonetheless, they have a
delightfully dark sound, but some of the material is heavy enough to
satisfy my occasional hunger for power-chords. The band produced
only two albums -- "Headless Horseman" and a shorter (7-inch?) album with
five songs called "As The Master Sleeps..." Their
material covers everything from witch trials to gunslingers, to torture
chambers, and back in Bad Old Punk Rock Daze, I'd have been quite content
to slam to the self-destructive, nearly-funky hammering of "Comfort Zone"
(turn up the gas!).
It's difficult to describe Gargoyle Sox, and it may be a little unfair to categorize them as goth band. Clearly, Mr. Koester, the driving voice behind Gargoyle Sox, has too good of a sense of humour to describe himself, or his long-defunct band, as goth. Nonetheless, they have a delightfully dark sound, but some of the material is heavy enough to satisfy my occasional hunger for power-chords. The band produced only two albums -- "Headless Horseman" and a shorter (7-inch?) album with five songs called "As The Master Sleeps..." Their material covers everything from witch trials to gunslingers, to torture chambers, and back in Bad Old Punk Rock Daze, I'd have been quite content to slam to the self-destructive, nearly-funky hammering of "Comfort Zone" (turn up the gas!).
Previously, my web page stated that there were only three Gargoyle Sox fans worldwide. I have received several letters in the past four years, and I am pleased to say that there are at least 36 devout Gargoyle Sox fans worldwide.
Joy Division -- What can I say? "Ian Curtis died for your sins." Not precisely goth -- their early stuff was quite punk rock. Unfortunately, when Ian Curtis died, the remaining band didn't have the good sense to stop playing, and continued on in the travesty of "New Order." It is my contention that the wrong member of Joy Division hung himself.
Switchblade Symphony -- I'm a little hesitant to call them goth, but they're probably closer to that genre than anything else. They're a little too clever and humourous to be goth sometimes. This is a good thing. I don't really like their third album as much as the first two. I'd like someone to cover some of the songs on the first two albums with REALLY heavy guitars -- it would sound great -- maybe even better than the original.
Other Goth Stuff : Some Souxie and
the Banshees, Concrete Blonde, and others, the names of which escape
Vice Squad -- Female-led socially/politically conscious, vegetarians. Becki Bondage has a really impressive voice, and the guitars are bouncy and assertive. Vice Squad was one of the first female-led punk bands, and they inspired many to follow in their footsteps.
Rudimentary Peni -- Sinister vegetarians with a vengeance. (note: I am not a vegetarian) If there was ever a 'gothic-punk' band, it's RP. They've had it rough -- their singer puts out an album, then gets cancer. He beats the cancer into submission, and releases another album. (Death Church -- their best album). Then his cancer re-appears, and he fights it off, and produces another album that's all about H.P. Lovecraft's and the Cthulhu Mythos. Then he goes crazy, and thinks he's the Pope. After being institutionalized for a year and a half, he comes out and produces another album... and the saga continues... RP's bass is unbeatable. They're the happiest funeral music you'll ever hear. They have a web page that is not for the faint of heart.
The Feederz -- perhaps the most offensive (not so much in terms of obscenity; rather they are offensive in terms of being completely at odds with most social values) punk band of all time. They advocate rioting, looting, and stealing. They're incredibly blasphemous, and very funny. They are the last statement in Bad Taste. The cover of their last album, "Teachers In Space" featured the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding. The Feederz have no interest in being understood. They're not particularly keen on religion, work and the work-ethic. The sandpaper-covered album was recently re-released on CD. Buy it. Like the original album, you cannot store it with any other CD, because the sandpaper cover will destroy other CD cases. This is precisely what the Feederz want to happen. Although "Teachers in Space" is probably their best album, they will always be known for their song "Jesus," which was on the famous "Let them Eat Jellybeans" punk compilation. Their web page is amusing, and also not for the faint of heart.
The Anti-Nowhere League -- come in a close second in the offensiveness category. They're everything that punk rock is NOT supposed to be -- misogynistic, beer-guzzling, almost metal-heads...
Agent Orange -- Offspring and Rancid would like to be this band; neither are quite up to the challenge. Yes, there is a little bit of a "surf" sound to a few of their songs, but most of the material on the "Living in Darkness" album is definitive for the genre of positive punk.
Other Significant Punk Bands: Marginal Man, Dag Nasty, The Transistors, AntiSeen, Dx Ix, The Vandals, GBH (which, in spite of appearances, does NOT stand for Great Big Haircuts), Black Flag, TSOL, the Meatmen, the Cro-Mags, MDC, the Buzzcocks, U.K. Subs, Black Market Baby, early Butthole Surfers, the Misfits, and of course the Dead Kennedys and the Sex Pistols. I'll grudgingly add some Fuzagi to this list, although they're often WAY too "feel good" for my taste. Positive Force? Who needs it. Positive Farce, maybe.
Also, I should add the D.C. band "Buttdiver." If you
understand the reference, contact me!
Big Black -- Among the first Industrial bands, if not actually the first. They feature harsh-sounding, scraping sounds of metal and other machinery. This was industrial before industrial meant 'sampling' -- they apparently used sheets of metal and power-tools on stage.
Rammstein -- Noteworthy because they don't sing in English; this dramatically improves their material. I am quite convinced that when they sing in German, they sing something like, "We come from the Fatherland, and we like to take off our clothes on-stage and get arrested while on tour." This happens frequently. Apparently, they learned this trick from the Scorpions, a German metal band from an earlier age -- and at least one of Rammstein's album covers strongly resemble the cover of the Scorpion's "Blackout" album. I'm told that they deliberately emulate the Scorpions.
Other Significant Industrial: Ministry, Cubanate, Leætherstrip, Project Pitchfork, Apoptygma Berserk, Nitzer Ebb, and Einstürzende Neubauten, My Life with Thrill Kill Cult, Front 242/Cyber-Tec Project/C-Tec, KMFDM, Lords of Acid (non-Reggae). Fear Factory, VNV Nation, and others to be added as I learn their names.
New Wave -- VERY few bands can actually call themselves this genre:
The B-52s, Gary Newman, Oingo Boingo, and Devo.
Rap -- I know very little about this genre; only two bands have my approval thusfar, because they have an extremely socio-political agenda in their music; perhaps they should be categorized under Punk:
Public Enemy, Disposable Heroes of Hip-hopracy
"80s Music" -- I have no other way to categorize these bands; in truth, I believe that many of them are all the same band. I used to loathe them -- their songs were in many of sappy 1980s movies about teen-agers, and I still wince whenever I hear The Cure... but my resolve is weakening a little. I was also annoyed to catch myself whistling "Rio" the other day:
Other Acceptable and Interesting Bands that are Exceedingly Difficult to Categorize:
The Doors, Foetus, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, DeadCanDance, Liabach, Killing Joke, Thomas Dolby, White Zombie, and (very occasionally) Pink Floyd.
( I am ashamed of the fact that I am slowly beginning to tolerate a *little* techno. For a long time, my mantra was "The operative syllable in the word 'techno' is 'NO')
And One, Boole
Last, and definitely least...
Southern Fried Rock (Occasionally, a man's Inner Redneck gets a little too close to the surface; almost all men have an Inner Redneck. Some women do, too. My friend Mike does not have an Inner Redneck. Unfortunately, he has an Inner Cop, but it's a Bad Cop -- the kind that takes bribes, and beats up filthy hippies. Mike contends that I may not have an Inner Redneck, either -- I may have an Inner Ninja or perhaps an Inner Necromancer.)
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, and Saxon.