Fayth (aka Relaxocat), NBC5 Street Team
Aside from the arrival of the UK band, These New Puritans at Subterranean, this weekend seems to be the time to get your goth on. Specifically your L.A., old school goth with some local flare as an opener. I know some of you are grimacing and thinking, “Oh gosh, those people”, but really it’s just music with a certain sort of sound albeit darker than your average rock bands. Besides, a little black-on-black fashion never hurt anyone. One of these bands were among the first in the genre way before goth was goth. The other band was part of the goth resurgence in the 90’s. Coming to us from L.A. this weekend are London After Midnight tonight at Metro and Christian Death with local guys, My Cold Dead Hand on Saturday at Reggie’s. Also on Saturday at Subterranean is the non-goth and long awaited U.S. arrival of the UK band, These New Puritans.
I read a joke today with a funny little photo, “Emo is goth for [sissies]”. This music is definitely not for sissies. For some goth humor, check out the BBC series, “Goths” here.
At Metro on Friday, June 13th:
London After Midnight (LAM) was formed in the 1990’s by Sean Brennan. Some critics believe the goth revival in the 90’s was led in part by LAM, though Brennan shuns the idea that he is “goth” and comments that he finds the generalization artistically limiting. He probably feels that way because it does bring stereotypes to mind, yet he is outspoken on many social and political issues such as animal rights, environmental concerns, and liberal politics. I noticed some photographs of him in what appeared to be leather pants, but the captions read “No, the pants and shoes are not leather”. Sean is a vegan and truly supports animal rights, though it took me a minute to figure out the reason for the captions. The recently released album, “Violent Acts of Beauty” on the Metropolis label shows that politics are on Sean’s mind lately with tracks such as “Republic” and “Feeling Fascist”. I believe this is London After Midnight’s first Chicago appearance ever.
At Reggie’s on Saturday, June 14th:
Christian Death was formed in 1979 by Roz Williams at age 17. Remember, this was at the start of the Reagan era, so many punk and goth bands were formed with anti-conservative foundations. The following decade of Christian Death’s music became quite confusing, involving two bands using the name, another band name with some of the same members, and over the years 30 band members in and out with at least a half dozen spin off projects. Rozz died in 1998 and Valor Kand continued the music. The band is considered one of the founders of the early goth genre, while other people consider the music deathrock due to the heavily guitar driven sound. Like LAM, they now seem to send a political message in many of their songs. Their new work sounds much more produced, stylized, and more accessible to a broader audience. It’s definitely not what it used to be – not the scarier stuff from their good ol’ days. On the other hand, for some former or future listeners, it could be a worthwhile show to see since it is rare to have them here in Chicago. Furthermore, local band My Cold Dead Hand opens, and they are a rockin’ bunch of guys who have been in the Chicago music scene for years. Currently finishing their first recording with Volume Studio in Chicago, MCDH is influenced by Birthday Party, The Stooges, Tones on Tail, Bauhaus and My Bloody Valentine. In other words, and according to the band, “The end is near.”
Also on Saturday, June 14th:
If you’d rather hear a new band that might be the forefathers (and mother) of their own genre, how about checking out the UK band, These New Puritans? This big beat, Brit-punk, somewhat electronic, and generally great four piece band is influenced by an eclectic mix such as Wu Tang Clan, The Fall, and Sonic Youth. To me, music is subjective so I can’t even begin to explain it to you in better terms, but they’re far better than usual post-punk sounds with a definite style of their own. Get a listen to the tracks “Numbers” and “Elvis” at the band’s Myspace page or watch the YouTube video Swords of Truth. The album “Swords Of Truth”, released in May on the Domino label is definitely raucous, so I’m sure the live set will be worthwhile and will have you screaming for more.
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