Category Archives: Music

Nurr Goth Isn’t Political #15 – Rasputina: My Little Shirtwaist Fire

I’ve liked Rasputina for close to a decade… I’d heard them some, and then saw them play in Pittsburgh and liked them more still. The song above is about The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in NYC in 1911 when 146 garment workers were killed, since they were locked into the building during work hours and they couldn’t escape the flames.

lyrics after the cut
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Nurr Goth Isn’t Political #14 – Angels Of Light: Destroyer

This is my favorite environmental song. It’s also one of my favorite songs, period. It’s by Angels Of Light, which has been Michael Gira’s project since Swans broke up in the 90s. I love Angels of Light for the lightness with which they discuss incredibly dark material, and for how weird they are while still being incredibly listenable. This live version is just Michael Gira.

lyrics after the cut:
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Nurr Goth Isn’t Political #11 – VNV Nation: Carbon

When VNV Nation came to Portland, and their posters were up all over town on lampposts and whatnot, my friends approached me and asked if they were fascist. Gothic bands use different imagery than punk bands, it’s true. VNV Nation uses futurist imagery. The fascists were also influenced by fascist imagery. It’s a logical fallacy to then presume VNV Nation to be fascist, which they rather explicitly aren’t. (Though I can understand the worry if you’re not familiar with the goth aesthetic).

I used to kind of hate VNV Nation, years ago, because to me they represented the electronic “techno with words” that had strayed from the “true goth,” most of which had been written when I was like 8. Eventually, I listened to the song Darkangel (warning: the fan video uses the font papyrus) enough and realized I loved it. I love dancing, or driving, to VNV.

lyrics behind the cut:
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Nurr Goth Isn’t Political #10 – Consolidated: America Number One

Okay, I have to admit. Sometimes Consolidated is so earnest in their liberal radicalism that it’s sort of painful. They’ve got a song about the need for gun control.

Still, I like Consolidated. I listened to them a lot in college, during my proto-radicalism, and some of their info-dump songs (like “infomodities”) helped me come to understand the world better.

This song doesn’t really have lyrics, so I won’t post any.

Nurr Goth Isn’t Political #9 – Marilyn Manson: The Nobodies

I remember when I bought my first Marilyn Manson tape. I was probably 13 or 14. I painted Marilyn Manson lyrics on the wall of my bedroom with laundry detergent so you could only see it in a blacklight. (I’m watching my “cred” disappear as I write this. fuck it.) A lot of goths wanted, I remember, to exclude Manson from their ranks, but fuck that. It’s obvious as hell. He may be a pop star but hell if he’s not fuckin spooky.

I got out of Manson almost as quickly as I got into him, mostly because I don’t honestly like most of his music very much. His cover of Sweet Dreams, though, is still lovely, fifteen years later.

After his interview in Bowling for Columbine, where he got right to the guilt of Clinton as a war criminal, I respected him all the more. I’ve no interest, by and large, in a culture that produces rockstars, and I’m not really fond of Manson’s sort of sarcastic/ironic approach to being a media icon, but I’m not going to go listening to the Clash and then talking shit on Manson.

It was pure nostalgia and youtube searching that led me to this song, The Nobodies, but I like it a lot.

Lyrics behind the cut.
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Nurr Goth Isn’t Political #8 – Monica Richards: Death Is The Ultimate Woman

Monica Richards is an amazing singer. She’s mostly known as a singer in Faith and the Muse, but she’s put out a solo album, InfraWarrior, as well. In Leipzig, I was dancing in a small darkened room at a “we don’t think it’s technically a squat, but we’re not sure” gothic dance party, and heard Monica’s voice in a song I didn’t recognize… this lead me down the path that brought me to this song.

She also sings on the studio version of songs for The Eden House, including for the heartbreaking song To Believe In Something that I’m really fond of at the moment.

You can also find a video of her singing “Meat Is Murder” with Conflict, as if she needed more punk points.

lyrics behind the cut:
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Nurr Goth Isn’t Political #7 – Hocico: The Shape of Things to Come

Not an official video, of course.

An excellent stompy song (a stompy song is a song that you stomp to) from Hocico, an industrial act from Mexico. Also worth listening to, from the political point of view, is their song Starving Children. But I like this song’s doom and gloom.

lyrics behind the cut.
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Nurr Goth Isn’t Political #6 – Skinny Puppy: Ode To Groovy

As long as there has been goth there has been radical goth. And not just in little dark corners of the dark corners that goths hang out in. Some of the most prominent bands of the genre have been and are quite vocal. Skinny Puppy was one of my first real “underground” (not on the radio) bands that I got into in high school, when a friend gave me a mixtape. Skinny Puppy has always been an animal rights band, and remains explicitly political on a number of issues. This is a song they did for an In Defense of Animals fundraiser compilation.

lyrics behind the cut.
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