February 29, 2012
This is the gallery of a contemporary surrealist figurative artist from New York. She is also a professional oil painter. Visit her gallery to explore her hauntingly beautiful, dark-tinged works. (NSFW due to some artistic nudity). My favorite is "Belladonna" from Gallery Four.
Mon Petit Fantome
Chad Merritt's charming, spooky dark papercut and print art. His imagery includes skeletons, Baba Yaga, bats, and creepy girls. Love it, love it!
Helen Warner Fine Art Photography
This Irish artist captures hauntingly beautiful imagery. She lives in Belfast. She also shares interesting photography finds via her Tumblr account. See her large and beautiful gallery of photos on her Flickr stream. (My favorite so far is She Sleeps Until the Snow Falls.
I think you will be mesmerized by the photographs here; I suspect you'll have to go make yourself a cup of tea and settle in to view each and every one of them.
Age of Decay Festival
The Age of Decay Festival will take place April 21, 2012 in Jacksonville, Florida. This sounds so fun - Ex-Voto is performing, as is The Drowning Season. The festival also features DJs, vendors and a horror artist.
This shop sells jewelry, accessories, clothing, gothic home decor, and goth beauty products. I'm giggling that they sell black cotton swabs. Jewelry, from Alchemy Gothic, includes spiders, skeletons, coffins, and thorny roses.
"Zombies, monsters & things cute, for the slightly odd."
This shop sells adorable horror and monster cake toppers; monster kokeshi; zombie nesting dolls; a charming Edgar Allan Poe wooden kokeshi; and other delightful classic horror themed toys and gifts. Everything here is so cute!
Black Ichor Blog
A girl from the South blogs about horror writing, comics, and horror literature. Posts here have been infrequent lately, but I bet you'll find a few things of interest if you stop by from time to time. You might enjoy the essay on horror and hillbillies.
This blog covers horror and the Cthulhu mythos in film, literature, and games. The blog's background is extremely distracting, so try to power through it to get to the good posts here: TV episode spoilers, movie news, zombie game screenshots, comic book podcasts, and more.
Les Temps des Vampires
A Facebook fan group dedicated to the ARVLFC's Halloween Ball. I recommend joining this group to keep up on updates if you're thinking of attending this year's ball.
Extremely short stories in the horror genre. These microfiction horror stories are 666 words or under. Read stories contributed by others, or share your own.
Heresy Goth Club
Bakersfield, California's dark alternative and goth club. The next event is on March 3, "Electro Overload" featuring the band Carved Souls. After that, is "A Black Celebration - Midnight Masquerade" on April 14, when Funeral Club will perform.
The Drowning Season
A gothic rock band from Maryland. Sounds a bit on the goth metal side to me, at least the vocals do. On February 4, they performed at Dracula's Ball in Philadelphia. They've also performed at the Southern Gothic Festival. Next, they'll perform at Age of Decay.
--Copyright 2012 Carrie Carolin
February 28, 2012
If you're under 25, new to goth or just trying to get an idea of what goth was like back "in the olden times," I'd love to show you some videos today. While not every video here is my absolute favorite, they really speak to the time and show what goth was as it evolved and changed. They're all videos I think it's important for you to have experienced if only once, and videos I think you might enjoy if you haven't seen them yet.
Some of them are just plain fun to watch for the fashions; others you may find yourself singing or humming later tonight.
I hesitate to make these "list" posts because so many people comment whining "You forgot to mention X video from Y band" or "Waah, X band isn't goth enough!" or whatnot. This isn't meant to be a thorough coverage of goth music video history. This is a list of some of my favorite videos, and you'll most likely see things here you don't enjoy and wish I'd listed some of your own favorites too. This list is totally different than a list might look from say, esteemed goth music expert Mick Mercer would be.
Anyway, this list was so difficult to make as I kept finding more wonderful things and wishing I had time to do a 25 or 50 song list!
1. Peter Murphy - "Cuts You Up," circa 1990
This song was commercial enough to be shown on VH1, but it still treats you to lots of gorgeous visuals of Peter Fucking Murphy and plenty of his luscious low vocals. He's definitely an excellent showman and performer as well as vocalist. I chose this video instead of a Bauhaus one because I wanted you to see how the video was shot and styled.
2. Sisters of Mercy - "Lucretia, My Reflection"
At the time, this was one of the most gothy videos on the air, and I remember swooning with my friends over how beautiful and pale Patricia Morrison looked. In retrospect Andrew Eldritch's sunglasses might have been a bit pretentious, but at the time they looked so cool! (One of my favorite songs by the Sisters, by the way; my exhusband and I were actually in agreement that we were going to name a baby girl Lucretia if we'd had one!)
3. Virgin Prunes - "Walls of Jericho"
Not one of my favorite goth songs, but I wanted you to see the gutsy, unusual-for-the-time performance by this post-punk band. The singer is actually wearing a petticoat! "Their appearances were regularly banned" says their fan site.
4. Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart"
One of the most beautiful songs ever written, in my humble opinion. This is the song that launched a thousand covers. Very few videos of Joy Division songs exist, given that it was the late 1970s and especially since Ian Curtis died in 1980.
5. Joy Division - "She's Lost Control"
Now I'd like you to give a look at another Joy Division video if you have the time. A sad-eyed, baby faced Ian Curtis and amazing guitar work. Not sure what's going on with his unusual, yet highly energetic, spastic arm flapping dance. Of course I never got the opportunity to see them play live (I was eleven and living in San Diego in 1980) so videos like these are the only way I can experience Joy Division performing.
If you like this so far, also check out Dead Souls.
6. The Damned - "Grimly Fiendish"
Don't forget that goth is often playful, and goths often display tongue-in-cheek humor poking fun at themselves. While many of The Damned's videos displayed some amount of silliness, this one is the goofiest, and makes me chuckle.
7. The Cure - "Friday I'm in Love"
Some people turn their noses up at this particular Cure song because it was so commercially popular and got so much radio time and air play. I wanted you to see this because of how playful Robert and the rest of the band are in this video, which shows them racing late onto the set and playing with silly headpieces. A lot of outsiders to the scene think of The Cure as gloomy and depressing, but so many of their songs are actually happy and upbeat, fun and dancy.
8. The Cure - "A Night Like This
A beautiful slow song and restrained performance. The official videos on YouTube have bad audio and mismatched lipsynching, so instead I've been enjoying this live performance from 1986's Nurburging Festival. Amazingly it was well filmed, with steady cameras, and the audio is decent for what it is.
9. The Cure - "A Forest"
Here's a makeup-less, short-haired Robert Smith singing my personal favorite song by the Cure. Interesting to compare this with videos that came later, and watch the evolution of the band's signature look and style. After you watch this one, then compare it to the newer "A Forest - Perfect Version," which just blew me away.
10. The Smiths - Ask
It would be way too easy to just link to their most commercial hit, Girlfriend in a Coma and be done with it. (You should have seen that video before now, anyway). "Ask" was my favorite Smiths song when I was in college - SDSU had an awesome alternative radio station that played this often but not so much you got sick of it. I'd also like to share this quirky, unassuming video: Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before. Is this a goth video? There aren't any crucifixes, cemeteries or velvet capes. But a hell of a lot of goths worship The Smiths and watched this video every chance they got, back in the day.
11. Siouxsie and the Banshees - "Happy House"
Not my favorite Siouxsie and the Banshees song or video by far, but an important, influential song and video at that time. You have to hand it to them - Siouxsie and the Banshees videos always told interesting stories with intriguing, eye catching visuals. And her costumes, hair and fabulous makeup never disappointed!
12. Siouxsie and the Banshees - "Spellbound"
It's so difficult to only select two Siouxsie videos for this post. She's such a consummate performer, so ballsy and gutsy too. Nobody, and I mean nobody, was doing anything remotely like she and the band were doing at that time. Truly unique.
Now peek at the extremely commercially produced Kiss them For Me video. Looks like they suddenly got a big budget!
Bonus: Check out Siouxsie and Robert Smith from the Cure performing "Dear Prudence" on Top of the Pops in 1983.
Hope you enjoyed the videos as much as I did tonight!
February 27, 2012
The Cure - The Curse
This Cure tribute band dates back to 2003. Their most recent show was in February 2012 in Covina, California.
The Cure - The Cureheads
This tribute band has been performing for over 20 years! You can check out their videos and live clips here at the site. I have to hand it to Gary Clarke, he really does an incredibly good impression of Robert Smith's singing voice.
They'll be performing several shows in June 2012 in England and Holland.
Sisters of Mercy - The Reptile House
A San Francisco-based tribute band. My favorite tribute song by them is their version of Lucretia.
Joy Division - Transmission
"Devoted to recreating the atmosphere of a live Joy Division gig." They're playing a gig every other month or so in the UK in 2012.
The Smiths - The Sweet and Tender Hooligans
Oh my gosh, I had no idea how very many Smiths tribute bands were out there. I may have to do a separate post featuring many of them. Meanwhile, I chose The Sweet and Tender Hooligans for this post because of their long twenty year history as a tribute band. Based in LA, they are still performing actively and seem to really be enjoying what they do.
Siouxsie and the Banshees - The Happy Haus
Currently they're scheduled to play several southern California shows.
--Copyright 2012 Carrie Carolin
February 26, 2012
1. Scary Jane
"Where the abnormal is normal." Jane has a degree in interior design, and owns a "haunted bookstore." She shares her interesting finds here on her blog: zombie gnomes; zombie pops; a creepy baby lamp; and a hilarious Cthulhu weenie roaster.
2. Goth It Yourself
Bane's "handygoth" blog with tips on frugally, practically gothing your home decor up all by yourself, whether furniture, clothing or decorative items.
3. Creepy Glowbugg
This spooky artist works with stamping and polymer clay. I love that her blog showcases her handiworks with generous amounts of pictures, but isn't just a "buy this on etsy!" blog like so many goth crafty blogs I've bumped into lately.
You might also enjoy checking out her other blog, Haunted Design House.
4. Vulcan Butterfly
"A Closeted Goth Girl Trying to Make it in the Professional World." I wonder if this young lady is a member of Corpgoth. She can't dye her hair wild colors, so makes up for it with well, aptly named, makeup! She shares pics of the fabulous way she's done her eye makeup, several times a week.
I love seeing what she's experimenting with lately. I also like to see the occasional outfits she shares. She's always careful to include pics of the cosmetics she's using, and info on exactly which cosmetics (and clothing brands) she uses to put together her look each time. Love her enthusiasm and spirit!
5. Plunder the Tombs
"An exhumation of first wave Goth and Death Rock, 1979-1988." This well-informed Australian blogger looks at goth music as coming in three waves: the first, influenced by post-punk; the second wave influenced by rock; the third by dance and EBM.
Besides covering important early goth bands here (including Fields of the Nephilim, The Mission, and Sisters of Mercy, posts here include much lesser known acts: Cadaver Finesse, Anorexic Dread and more.
I highly recommmend this blog for people new to goth or goth youngsters who missed all this info and great music the first time around.
--Copyright 2012 Carrie Carolin
February 16, 2012
If you're a huge True Blood fan, you probably already have your favorite True Blood news sources and blogs to read. But if you're a calm enthusiast and sometimes consumer of the show, you might find the following links of interest.
1. Eric and Sookie Lovers
Fans of the vampire/psychic pairing on True Blood join to participate in forums, read True Blood news, read interviews, find out about True Blood related events, and access the media archives. There's also a couple of fanfic stories here, plus info on the last few seasons of the show. More intellectual than most shipper sites - but that doesn't say much. I mean it as a compliment!
2. Sookieverse Blog
It's hard to sustain a television-and-book based blog in between times. There won't be a new book out for a while, and the TV show won't air for a couple more months. So this blog is handling the drought by posting interesting thoughts on Hero worship of Eric; contemplation on the return of Steve Newlin; and plenty of active discussions in the site's forums.
3. True Blood Fic
An active Livejournal community with frequent fan fic postings by some of the 1100 members. Both slash and heterosexual pairings stories are welcomed here.
4. Eric and Sookie
I didn't mean to overload this list with more than one Eric/Sookie pairing fan site. But I'm really enjoying this well-designed site, which currently presents info on the new cover of Deadlocked; the introduction of Eric Northman's sister; and the Season 5 teaser trailer.
5. Inside True Blood
A fascinating look behind-the-scenes at TrueBlood from people who work on the set. Recent posts include how the props department keeps track of the drinks being served at Merlottes and Fangtasia; how the costumer keeps Pam's costume lubricated; and how they set up the sets.
The posts are sadly sparse on words, but the behind-the-scenes exclusive photos are fabulous and make up for it.
6. True Blood Fan Source
Once you scroll past the December posting calling for authors, this site is vibrant and full of news and articles on True Blood. Casting news, trailers and previews, spoilers, info on the actors' other roles, principal actor sightings, and links to recent interviews and articles in other publications. A great way to get a quick overview of what's going on in the True Blood universe.
Copyright 2012 Carrie Carolin
1. Dark Markets
Here's an important resource for goth, horror and dark writers. This is a great place to find updated info on submitting your work for publication to editors looking for horror, dark, steampunk or speculative fiction.
The markets covered here include print publications and anthologies; print magazines as well as webzines; and e-book publishers. There are posts every few days or so, as this blog has multiple editors.
2. Bloody Feather
Here's an active community of writers of adult dark fiction - 20,000 members strong and growing still. Part of the Dark Network, the site shows 344 active members browsing right now as I'm writing this. You can read blogs by other dark authors and join the forums to see what else is going on.
3. Horror Writing
I hesitated about including this blog because it hasn't been updated in over 2 months. But the quality of the posts here is so helpful and inspiring, I thought at least someone might find the back archive useful. Check out past posts on the importance of pacing; "What's Wrong With My Story?"; and Creating Fear in Fiction.
This blog covers "fiction, movies and art dedicated to the horror genre." That means it's not writer-specific, but you can still glean helpful writing info and inspiration from the posts here. There's a ton of industry info, such as which publishing house just signed which author or agent; horror market opportunities; upcoming book titles; and other publishing industry news. This is refreshingly not a fan or affiliate site or book review site.
5. Horror Tree
Another very useful resource for finding horror market opportunities. For example, one market is calling for "Techno-Goth Cthulhu". (I'm giggling a bit at how many of these markets are currently pleading, "No zombie stories!")
Copyright 2012 Carrie Carolin
February 11, 2012
1. 4AD First Decade
A knowledgeable music enthusiast blogs about the 1980s alternative record label started in the UK. The blogger is on a crusade to collect all the releases from 4AD's first decade, planning to showcase them on 4AD's 50th anniversary (in 2030).
Blog posts include info on Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Bauhaus, The Birthday Party, Lush, and other goth and post-punk bands. See his post on What is Goth? here for an interesting perspective and some thoughts on elitism.
"A blog celebrating the works of Edward Gorey." Currently posting about cool Edward Gorey drinking glasses, a find of Edward Gorey mugs, an extremely rare N is for Newsletter, and artwork from the Graham Gallery. This blogger is extremely good at finding Gorey collectibles and rarities; be sure to visit if you are a Gorey fan or collector.
3. Organic Goth
"Wear goth, think green." You can learn about Ecogoth from their What Is Ecogoth? post. Great posts here include recipes for absinthe cupcakes and info on their upcoming absinthe products. They apparently have an Ecogoth TV show but haven't updated it in 90 days or more.
4. Little Gothic Horrors
Emma blogs about old-school goth, horror, Halloween, and anything to do with Tim Burton or Edward Gorey. Recent posts include a look at new Ghastlie fabric designs; news on Horrorland's Vampires Day Soiree; and some delightfully dark finds. Such a fun blog to peruse!
5. Monster Brains
"A never-ending celebration of monsters." Aeron posts about comics, strange artwork, poster art, and dark illustrators. You'll always find something interesting for your eyeballs to feast upon here.
--Copyright 2012 Carrie Carolin
February 6, 2012
Bitten 3 is a True Blood fan convention, held in Northhampton in the UK. It will take place the weekend of August 17-19, 2012. Nelsan Ellis, who plays "Lafayette" in the show, and Denis O'Hare (Russell Edgington) are scheduled to appear.
The Anne Rice Vampire Lestat Fan Club just announced the 2012 ARVLFC Undead NOLA Authors' Conference, which will take place October 25-29 in New Orleans. It coincides with the Coven Ball, which has the theme of "Wolf's Gift" this year.
The Halloween Kid
This short film, by Axelle Carolyn, will premiere in March, at the International Children's and Young People's Festival in Sweden. Check out the teaser trailer and stills here at the official blog.
Baby's First Boo
This eBay store sells darker items for babies and kids. There are Nightmare Before Christmas throw blankets, Day of the Dead clothing for babies, Halloween pillows, skulls and flames motifs, some skull jewelry, and a few comics-related items (mostly Superman).
This adorable shop sells fairytale jewelry and whimsical witchy dollhouse miniatures. Check out the poison cookbook, grinning teapot and impossibly tiny jar of mugwort. I could blow a lot of money here if I'm not careful!
Dark Shadows Episodes
Get ready for the new Dark Shadows movie by revisiting some of the old episodes. Hulu currently offers twelve episodes from Season 1.
Brutal as Hell
"Horror Without Mercy." Besides horror movie and TV news, this blog features interviews, reviews, and TV recaps for "True Blood" and "The Walking Dead."
This blog offers daily zombie, horror and sci-fi news. Currently covering Alien and Prometheus related news, showcasing a zombie head desk organizer, the Walking Dead, and news on horror television.
A Passion for Horror
Steve Calvert's blog about horror films and literature. He's got quite a nice list of public domain horror movies on his site, as well.
News and updates on werewolves. Currently discussing Teen Wolf; posting about werewolves and Valentine's Day; updating news on werewolves in Being Human; and posting about werewolves in "Blade." I'm impressed with how often this site updates.
--Copyright 2012 Carrie Carolin