This is actually a video of the first time I heard this song. (there go my punk points). Troops of Tomorrow is most famously covered by The Exploited but was written by The Vibrators. I first heard it at Convergence 13 in 2007 in Portland, performed by Deathline International.
I’ve liked Faith and the Muse for awhile now, long before I knew they were political people. Then, a couple years ago, I went to Convergence (a gothic festival) in Portland, hoping to meet political goths. The first night, I ran across a punk guy with a mohawk and a circle-a “support the ALF” shirt, so I started to talk to him. I found out he was in a band, I asked what band, he said “faith and the muse.” I asked if Faith and the Muse was political, and he said “well, I am.” I assumed that he was a hired guitarist or something… goth bands often hire more punk-looking folks as their extra musicians. Then, the next day, I saw them play, and I realized it had been William Faith himself. He did the anarcho-punk talking between songs thing, and he mentioned their permaculture animal sanctuary that they run outside of LA, Ars Terra.
Most of Faith and the Muse’s songs are more sort of soft/flowing gothic-rock or neo-folk or whatever. A more representative song of their style is probably Annwyn, Beneath The Waves and of course, I’m in love with their cover of Running Up That Hill, because it’s the best song ever written and they do a wonderful job with it.
Earlier this year, I went to WGT, a gothic festival in Leipzig, Germany, and saw them play again. William introduced this song with an impassioned speech about how, at last, we could be around one another, we could be something other than freaks. That these were the moments that mattered. Somehow, he did a decent job of turning a ridiculously large concert hall into a basement DIY show, and I love him for that.
KMFDM is one of the best known industrial bands out there and they certainly don’t shy away from radical politics. (For example, see their song Anarchy.) Their name translates basically to “no sympathy for the masses,” a nice post-leftist statement.
I’m going to start a new feature here on Birds Before The Storm, called Nurr Goth Isn’t Political. I’m sick of how people assume that goth has no good political music. So I’ll be posting some of the more overtly awesome and radical spooky/dark/goth/ebm/industrial tracks I can find.
First, the swedish band Covenant with their “We Want Revolution”
While searching for Nicki Jaine videos on youtube this morning, I ran across this. At Eccentrik Festival, there were a few moments when I dragged a bunch of people out into the parking lot to play impromptu songs. Personally, these were the highlight of the event for me and really opened my eyes to collaborative music. Sadly, these videos are only 30 second snippets, but I think they’re fun. There’s another of everyone and then a third that’s just valerie and I playing accordions.
Eccentrik Festival was utterly magical, and downright transformative for me. Playing with the musicians I played with did something really good for my heart. I’ve met an unfortunate number of musicians who are kind of… aloof? arrogant? something like that. But these people, Nicki Jaine, Jill Tracy, The Ghosts Project, Hellblinki Sextet, who I got to hang out and play music with, these are good people.
I first busked about seven years ago, in NYC subways with my friends. But I’ve only been busking with any real frequency for about the last four years. From time to time, it’s been my main or only source of income.
Of course, since I was usually living in squats and eating out of dumpsters, I didn’t need much money. Regardless, these are some of the things I’ve learned. Nothing particularly groundbreaking, but this is my advice:
In preparation for a return to a wandering lifestyle, I had to come to some decisions in regards to my accordion… namely, my old accordion—a full-size 120 bass monster with three voices (7 switches) on the treble side and and two voices (3 switches) on the bass side—was too large to travel with. I had a small, broken, 80 bass accordion that was wet-tuned (and out of tune), which one portland repair place told me wasn’t worth fixing. But I took it to a second opinion, and I’m glad I did. Eileen Hagen’s Accordion Center fixed it up. If you’re in Portland, she’s the lady to see for repairs. Her prices are reasonable, she sells accordions for good prices, she takes trades, and she—as far as I know—treats people right. She (or rather, her technician) fixed my accordion in less than 24 hours… retuning most of it, putting in a missing reed, putting on new straps, back plate, etc., and I’m pretty happy with it. So now I have one voice on each side but damn it’s light. and all I’m giving up is some volume and the diminished chords.
As soon as I got off the bus to walk to the train station though, the leather of the handle ripped out of my hand and I ended up carrying the damn thing on my shoulder. Sigh. Making a new one of webbing.