By Chaz Kangas
By Katherine Turman
By Phillip Mlynar
By Harley Oliver Brown
By Abdullah "T Kid" Saeed
By Matt Caputo
By Devon Maloney
By Chris Chafin
"King of Trash" by Gavin Friday, from ADAM 'N' EVE (Polygram, 1992) One of the singers from Virgin Prunes (whose drummer was a sex-change, though from what to what was never actually clear), Mr Friday's solo debut is lush, tuneful, glammy, and dark as that proverbial pitch. It's even got a song about Divine. How sick is that?
"Crimson and Clover" by Joan Jett, from I LOVE ROCK & ROLL (Blackheart, 1981) Uncle Tommy James' version was a triumph of tremolo, but Uncle Joan's version is even more amazing for its slow-as-congealing blood tempo, and teaisng girl-on-girl subtext . . . right on time for the gender-bending 80s, baby. When we were in middle school (sometime back in the Dark Ages), we used to scream along with the backing vocals at the top of our lungs. Even then we had issues with rock guitars (about which more below), of course, but somehow this was okay even to our discerning, aka snobbish, young ears.
"Love Life" by Rubella Ballet, from RUBELLA BALLET'S GREATEST HITS (Ubiquitous, 1990) Like they ever had any! Also not really goth, but they were such darn day-glo freaks when everyone else wore black that we just adored them. It's like the only two bands these kids knew were the Crystals and the Sex Pistols. Which is not so bad, actually. And clearly they had a great sense of humor: "Love is so goddamned painful/There are so many boring guitars." Read more about them here.
"Final Solution" by Peter Murphy, from WILD BIRDS (Beggars banquet USA, 1995) Grief, grief beyond imagining from ex-Bauhaus madman, scoring a dance-club hit with his assaulting cover of a Pere Ubu song. Note: The iconic Mr Murphy also appears below in a song by gentleman author/troubadour John Wesley Harding, aka Wesley Stace. Is that meta enough for ya'll?
"16 Days" by Modern English, from, MESH & LACE (4AD, 1981) This and ME's great "Gathering Dust" were later covered to great effect on the epochal IT'LL END IN TEARS by This Mortal Coil . . . but you knew that already, didn't you, Miss Smartypants? Very pretty it was, but the original version makes us feel just a little bit antisocial.
"Aloha from Hell" by the Cramps, from A DATE WITH ELVIS (Big Beat, 1985) For our friend Holly, who loves gothabilly!
"Dazzle" (Glamour Mix) by Siouxsie & the Banshees, from THE BEST OF SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES (Interscope, 2002) We love the string-swamped original from HYAENA, but this gorgeous remix (complete with "skips" and fake lock-grooves and bonus beats and all that sort of black magic) always sends us running for the mascara. And with that gruesome image in mind, we leave you til next week.