12 March 2017

Blast From the Past - Rediscovering My Old Youtube Channel

When I made my (first) Youtube channel I had one intention in mind - to illegally upload rare music that wasn't uploaded to Youtube before. I've used the website to discover new music (and still do), so I was very disappointed to not be able to find certain songs by my favorite artists. This needed to be changed.

At certain point Youtube changed it's policy and tied all the accounts to Google, which made me start using my current account and forget about the old one. But still the old one lives with thousands of views on the different songs I've uploaded, comments from all over the world and people thanking me for sharing the music. Even friends posting an occasional song here and there on Facebook, probably unaware that it was me who uploaded it ;)
I wouldn't upload any piece of music by any artist without their consent nowadays, but looking back and my most favorite music from when I was 17-20 makes me nostalgic and happy to have encapsulated this small fragment of my personality online.
If you haven't noticed, documenting myself is one of my favorite things to do.

So aside from a few embarrassing high school boredom moments, I've started the channel by sharing my fascination with Peter Hammil's music by uploading 2 of his songs from his "mid life crisis" album, Over. This number is in my opinion one of his best songs:

Uploaded in 2008, back when making a song-Youtube video involved making titles and credits....
Seriously though, this song is haunting! If you're planning on geting devorced, buried in a suit or committing suicide in the process, this one's for you.

Things got real when Boris and I discovered The Birthday Party, which made me want to upload some songs that have never seen the light of Youtube, like Zoo Music Girl and Ho-Ho. The latter was a more favorite song, but not having them online felt like a miss. I tried uploading Mutiy In Heaven, one of my favorite songs, but it always got put down due to copyright. And as an aspiring 17 year old longing to share this geniussness of post punk with the world, I felt very betrayed...

There were a few other numbers in between, like a part of Einstürzende Neubauten's song from their movie Halber Mensch (with a very wrong german-title attempt), which I've idolized at the time, and some songs by Russian & Ukranian musicians like Kolibri and Fleur.

Discovering Cinema Strange was totally a thing, and I began uploading a few missing songs. I was getting to know all these goth bands, it felt so great! I can still feel my excitement through these silly uploads; wanting to know more about the band, wanting to grasp every aspect of it!
One of my favorite Cinema Strage songs is actually a small instrumental from their Quatorze Examples album. Very eerie and atmospheric, not so over-the-top as they're otherwise are. I bet not many people know this song to begin with!

Do you know why I liked this so much? It reminded me of Opeth's accoustic pieces. The "Maria seal of approval".

Are you ready for the next atomic bomb of this blast from the past?! I'm not sure you are, because aside from me writing about it here and there, I have never actually shared any visual evidence of my army service.
This is perhaps one of the most "Israeli things" you can get. Soldier girls dancing in their uniform like it's no big deal. For most of you, the fact that we are actually soldier girls is already pretty unheard of. But it's Israel, baby, and as a very none-rebellious, obedient teenager - I was hoarded into the army system just like the rest of them.

Just a quick note here - the army was the worst time in my life, and instead of serving the normal 2 years for girls (!!!) I have been there 9 months before I said "fuck it", went to the army psychologist and bailed out on lying about mental problems, suicide and depression. Except that I wasn't lying. I was in a place/system where I hated everyone and everything, didn't believe in its common goal and felt like all my potential, my very true being and my determination in life has been taken away for something that served the most ridiculous purpose. Sure, I am smiling in that video, because I can adapt very well and was never one to sit in a corner and mop. But soon enough, every little sell in me would rage in despair, for I would want a different life, a different choice with a completely different goal in mind.
Since going to the army is so embedded in the Israeli politics/culture/etc, NOT doing it is still considered a huge no-go. You get judged, you are told it's a bad decision for your "future". And it's all bullshit.
And after 9 horrific months, 6 of which were spent without Boris since we broke up, things have changed. Gloriously. I have never rebelled at the age of 14, 15 or 17. I rebelled at 19.

My army experience definitely deserves a post of its own. Or few...

But for the time being, we were dancing the stupid polka song because we were waiting half an hour to get the permission to go home for the weekend. And it was fun!

I am first from the left.
I spent only the first 3 weeks in a classic military camp through my basic training period. After that my service looked nothing like it, I went home every day after teaching a class at grade school. Many soldiers have it way worse in the Israeli army; people stay for months in the base; people actually fight and see their comrades getting killed. My service and "struggles" are considerably humble in comparison, but hey, it's my life and my own perspective on it...

Things began to get even gothier on my channel when I started posting some Corpus Delicti. I was somewhere around 20. I still love listening to that band no matter how cheesy they are.
There were other bands like Neva that I uploaded, which at the time I though I was the only person in Israel even being aware of this band. What growing up in the periphery of the world does to your feeling of self importance :)

Another notable mention from my channel would have to be Boris' post punk band from that time, Vivid Noir. They had a few gigs and even recorded an EP, but unfortunately broke up shortly after. Some recorded songs can still be found on youtube, uploaded by their synth player.
I looked up to every one of them. I glanced at their singer in awe for being so badass. I was definitely the biased groupie, no less. I was excited something like this has even happened in a relatively "sceneless" country like Israel, at least when you talk post punk...
Luckily, things have changed a bit since 2011 and there are new bands on the rise. Those were fun times though...

I have continued to document other shit on my current channel. All those old videos of me awkwardly talking to the camera... Since I enjoy browsing my previous channel so much, I know I will never delete them :)


6 March 2017

90s Grunge Goth Inspiration - Betsey Johnson Autumn Winter 1997/8

I was browsing Pinterest the other day for some 90s goth style inspirations and stumbled across the following number. Spring is just around the corner here in Berlin and I feel like it's time to wear thinner stockings and shorter sleeves.

I have generally been in a very romantic goth style phase - I wear lots of long black skirts and tight black long sleeved shirts with lots of jewelry. It's a very comfy style to wear and leaves room for thick thermo leggings and winter socks. Yet those go to the back of the close now and I want to pretty much wear the same thing but with tank tops.

All images found on firstVIEW.

Betsey Johnson has always been off the wall. She's kind of like the American Vivienne Westwood, only tackier... 
I love how the above are so street wear. It really brings you back to the classic 90s goth look. Very medieval inspired, long silhouettes, straight hair, HUGE crosses...
Makeup wise, I have been rocking this for over a year now.

If a goth would wear it, it's not exactly reinventing the wheel, but when I think about it, you don't see goths dressing this way today either. Maybe you have this in a grungier version, or throw a shrug over it and you would have "witch goth". Either way, we need to fucking bring these shoes back!

Those glasses though!

There were a few more "trad" looks found on Johnson's Winter 1998 collection. Suddenly there's big hair! What happened? It also looks very Kinderwhore, appropriate to it's time.
Check out that white dress look! We need to sport white goth outfits more often! Aside from a huge white button up shirt, I never did!

I have found the 1997 runaway on youtube. Shitty quality and it's uploaded in 4 parts, but part nr. 2 (below) is where it's at, and where the looks from the beginning of the post are taken:

I loved the entire show!

Would you rock this look or is it dated/ cheesy? Is this "very 90s NYC?"
What are your recent style inspirations?

Time to blast off some Mephisto Waltz and pretend I can stand 90s gothic rock :)


3 March 2017

What I Dislike About My Favorite Bands?!

I frequently criticize the things I love. Surprising? Not really... I love finding out why I like what I like; what makes a piece of art - be it a book, a film or a piece of music - touching? Why am I attached to something so much? I am the last person to try and explain things with reason, so my "search for meaning" is rather introspective - I just want to understand myself better by questioning what I love. 

So lets play a game where I pick out my favorite bands and ruthlessly elaborate about what I don't like about them. I am always praising my favorite bands/albums/songs, but nothings is perfect. Balance should be everywhere, and even Opeth are no exception (gasp!). Speaking of which:

Ok, so it's my favorite band in the world, right? Well, up until a certain album. And that certain album is Watershed. Ever since Opeth dropped the death metal subcategory of their music and took things more 70s prog rock, fans have been divided into 2 groups - people who love the "new" Opeth, and people who hate the "new" Opeth. I definitely belong to the latter group. I respect Opeth immensely for always changing and doing what they like, a band can never be stuck in one place, it's impossible and kind of disappointing. 
But things finally ended with Heritage for me, what a strange Jethro Tull attempt... What a contrast to the heavier sound of Blackwater Park and Deliverance; where are the growls, where are the heartbreaking waves of guitars? I don't think you can fully remake 70s prog rock, with all my love for 70s prog rock... 
Their last album Sorceress didn't make things better either. I could appreciate it, sure, but Opeth will forever be the gloomy, death/doom mix of their first few albums, which I find remarkable. My humble opinions on the Opeth discography deserve a post of their own, but as long as Mikael Akerfeldt doesn't growl, I and a lot of other "old" Opeth fans are not too happy.

Fortunately, they play a majority of old songs live and going to their gigs is an experience I want to relive every single day of my life.

And another thing: for the most part, I couldn't care for their lyrics. Sure, I cite Opeth lyrics like all the time, and I have my Instagram to prove it. But it's just sentences here and there that I find beautiful. When I was younger, I tried reading the lyrics of my most favorite songs but couldn't make sense of it. Yeah, dream/forest/woman/sadness blah blah blah.... every now and then I would enjoy an entire song's lyrics, but it's rare. I just love the music, really. I really can't stand their lyrics videos, who cares?
I am such a hypocrite fan ;)

Nothing makes lyrics more irrelevant for me than my next favorite band - The Mars Volta. Really, Cedric Bixler Zavala, aside from being an incredible singer and a gorgeous looking man, has really fucked the whole lyrics thing up.
I know, I know - super progressive, philosophical, our of this world, beyond consciousness and acid worthy lyrics type of shit going on. I get it, it's what TMV are all about. But come one - I can't even remember at least 1 song by it's lyrics (ok, not entirely true but still) plus they make zero sense. It's completely abstract and to some may sound unemotional at all. 
Frankly, TMV's music is so emotional to me that like with many bands that I love - I couldn't care less about the lyrics. But god, can you at least give me a thread here? Lead me to at least a hint of a story? 

Here's an example of one of my favorite songs, Inertiatic ESP (the title "says it all"):

"What of this mongrel architect   
a broken arm of sewers set 
past present and future tense 
clipside of the pinkeye fountain  
Now I'm lost" 
 Yeah, I'm fucking lost too...

Next up are....

What can I possibly not like about Bauhaus? Well, maybe the fact that they don't play anymore? At least not in that formation, it's just Peter Murphy now (which I haven't seen live yet! urgh...).

There's the whole lyrics part again. Have you tried reading Bauhaus lyrics? They are pretty abstract most of the time... they're not even that goth (because Bauhaus are technically not goth - ha!); they're not even that romantic either... I mean, Peter Murphy sure gives you a sleazy, disturbing feeling with his attitude as a front man. I've always found it interesting, so I guess I cannot mention it as something I dislike.

Another thing would be - yet this is a contribution of the goth subculture - that Bauhaus are regarded as a goth band. They're so not, and Peter Murphy himself stated that they couldn't make sense of the goth label. Bauhaus are a post punk band - a post punk band with dub influences and a bunch of other shit. Shrinking them into just the goth label is frankly an insult to this great band.

And last but not least...

Just please release an album already!!!!!

I think I've said enough for now. Maybe we can continue this another day?
What do you dislike about your favorite bands the most?