Friday, January 3, 2020

How Goth became Goth (video)

Trash Theory, 12/19/19; South Park; CC Liu, Seth Auberon, Crystal Q. (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

Before Bauhaus: How Goth Became Goth
"Goth" is many things -- a Germanic tribe, a style of architecture, a type of literature, a style of film. It's a youth movement. What ties these together is a sense of dark romanticism.

But despite the counterfeit Marilyn Manson and My Chemical Romance infamy for the adoption of a gothic appearance or fashion sense, their music could not traditionally be classified goth.

To quote Sasha Geffen of Pitchfork: “[Goth] songs were marked by echoes, distortion, minimal guitar lines, and an arch taste for the macabre; their electroshocked hair, smears of black eyeliner, and dark clothes only reinforced the vibe.”

So while any youth dressed in black with a fondness for obvious smeared makeup can be dubbed “goth,” it doesn't mean the affectation reveals what sort of music is being listened to, which is not necessarily goth. Appearance is a separate thing from the sonic template.

So as the nights grow increasingly cold and dark, join Trash Theory in discovering how the world got to the point where goth became a defined genre with its own look, sound, and lyrical content.

The goth sound ran from the darkness of "I Put a Spell on You" by Screamin Jay Hawkins in 1956, "The End" by The Doors in 1967, and "All Tomorrow's Parties" by Nico and the Velvet Underground, through "Dead Babies" by Alice Cooper, "In Every Dreamhome, a Heartache" by Roxy Music, "Third Uncle" by Brian Eno, "Human Fly" by the Cramps, "Unknown Pleasures" by Joy Division, ending with "A Forest" by The Cure and "Bela Lugosi's Dead" by Bauhaus, this is "How Goth Became Goth."

Yutaka Hirasaka – "Lost Melody" (
Pracs – "Kilt and Cutter" (
Stars As Lights - "Days, Weeks, Years Gone By" (
Stars As Lights - "The Sound of Our Hearts" (
Patricia Taxxon – "Bellstep" (
Patricia Taxxon – "Pieces of Me" (
Stars As Lights – "Hand On Heart" (
Luar - "Anchor" (

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