Archive for July, 2012
Wow, for those of you that didn’t get to go, this year’s Southern Gothic Festival was a blast! Three days/two nights of non-stop goth/industrial themed fun. Some people got naked, (it’s New Orleans) some didn’t. If you didn’t get to go, this year make plans for next year as it’s sure to be even better!
So luckily, I was able to leave early on Thursday because from Jacksonville, it was going to be about a 10 hour trip. The last thing I wanted to do was drive for 10 hours and then jump out of the car and try to have a good time. I had the lovely and capable Miss Dexetrine Heartsweet in tow, and she was able to leave on Thursday as well. I wanted to do that because it would give me a day to rest after driving.
We had talked about taking her bike with us, because she had some friends she wanted to ride with in New Orleans, but we didn’t have any idea how we would attach the bike to the car. I arrived at her residence, and after much searching around for a solution, she found her “special” rope and it happened to be long enough to tie the bike to my roof racks.
Then, we were on our way to New Orleans. We took our time getting there because there was no rush. We stopped in Pensacola to visit a friend of Dexetrine’s and got into New Orleans. Our timetable put us in NOLA about 1:30am. All along, we had been texting our host, who was also the promoter of the event, updating him with our ETA and he had been answering us. Suddenly, after 12:00am there were no replies to our messages. Strange…
We arrived in NOLA round 1:30am as planned and went to the bar that our host was supposed to be at. No sign of him or his posse there and certainly no goth kids. So, we walked around in the Bourbon Street area trying to guess where he would have gone next. Still could not get him on the phone, WTH? canadian pharmacy Evista
What would I rather be doing right now? Preparing for my road trip to New Orleans to play at the Southern Gothic Festival!
What did I have to do instead? Attempt to fix my well-worn boots. You see, I have the dubious distinction of being someone whose boots are as, if not more, famous than their wearer (who would be me). This can be a good thing for people recognizing me, but doesn’t say much for my talents as a musician. My boots have become part of my image and I can’t really go give a performance without them; it would be like showing up to work in your slippers. The only problem is, is that they are quite worn and one has a huge gash running right beside the zipper (see picture).
By new ones you say? Hold on, let me get my trust fund accountant on the phone…or…not…
Get them repaired you say? The cost to repair them is more than the value of the boots, which means I’d be better off buying a new pair, which has already been ruled out because of lack of funds resulting from my musical endeavors.
So, I am left with but one option… BOOT SURGERY! Which I elected to do, thus making it elective surgery. It didn’t come out too badly. I don’t expect it to hold up for more than a few wearings, but I just need to get them through this weekend and then figure out what to do about the future of my boot wearing. (I looked and looked, but couldn’t found a noun for either “shoe wearing” or “boot wearing”.)
The term “Southern Gothic” usually refers to a genre of literature that to paraphrase Wikipedia, “uses the macabre, and ironic events to explore the values of the American South.” William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams are two of the best known authors in this style. However, the term as I am going to write about it here will refer to bands in the southern United States making gothic music, hence “Southern Gothic Music.”
What is “Gothic Music?” (Goth for short.) Goth evolved out of a combination of post-punk rock and “glam rock” (popularized by Garry Glitter, T-Rex, and even David Bowie.) Goth rock or “death rock” as it is sometimes called, in its “original” form, usually has the following characteritics:
The band is usually a standard bass, drums, guitar, and singer outfit. The vocals are sung solo and usually sung in low baritone for males, and alto for females. If the vocals do go higher, they typically “soar” for dramatic effect and to create dynamic tension or release during the song. Effects on the guitar, like delay, chourus, and reverb are applied liberally to create atmosphere. The guitar often does not star in the meat of the song as it does in many other styles. The bass is not overly complicated, but does carry the rhythm while also being the rock solid bottom of the song. The drums are also not overly complicated and you won’t hear any mega-fills or raging cymbals in most gothic music.
Over the years, other styles of music and variations on the theme have evolved from these basic elements. Some styles get grouped together with goth because many fans of goth music are also fans of the other more broadly termed, “darkwave” genres. Among them is industrial, so you will often see and hear the term “goth/industrial.”
Musically, industrial is somewhat the polar opposite of goth. Being largely machine-driven and with the heavy use of sequencing, sometimes one person can “be” an entire band! It features heavy, driving dance grooves, and liberal use of noise samples as instrumentation. While notable 90′s acts, Nine Inch Nails, Gravity Kills, and Machines of Loving Grace, sang their vocals, modern “underground” industrial artists often use heavily effected vocals that are more chanted than sung.
What does this have to do with the south? Glad you asked! There are bands in the southern United States that play these styles of music and you might find them at a festival or venue near you! You can get a good cross-section of the genre spectrum by checking out each of the following bands:
Ending the Vicious Cycle, Sapphire Rebellion, Prognosis, and SINthetik Messiah. You can get a free song (actually two) from Sapphire Rebellion by entering your name and email in that box at the top right of this page and clicking “Send My Track.” You might find it’s something new that suites you. So there you have it, the south’s contribution to goth/industrial music! Or, Southern Gothic Music!