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mokie Explaining What Goth Music Is to This Total Noob

"Think late 70s, early 80s.

A lot of the music folks would call Goth is called Goth because it's from the earlier period of the subculture, when it was an offshoot of Punk, and you can hear the punk roots in it. Bauhaus is one of those bands, I think. The difference is Punk went for "grr, down with the man!" and Goth went more for "I'm so depressed, all is darkness." Lots of torn clothing and funky hair abounded.

Then there was a kind of shift towards romanticism across the board. Punk went mainstream and they called it New Wave, Goth turned a bit away from graveyards and more towards "Oh my broken heart!" Retro clothing (like, 17th century retro, in some cases) and lacey shirts on guys abounded.

Then, towards the early 90s, Goth went mainstream too, and musical tastes across the board started turning away from romanticism and towards grittier stuff, working back to that angry punk feeling eventually. Punk returned but they called it Grunge, angry Goth reemerged but many Goths rejected it because they'd gotten used to sappy Goth and the angry Goths were dubbed Mansonites and scorned, and torn clothing and funky hair once again abounded.

Then punk went mainstream again, leather clothing and body piercings once again appeared on suburban kids, and Goth meandered back towards romanticism with bands like Evanescence, whom Goths also reject as being catchy and easy to dance to."

From the mokie. I think I get it now.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
scanner_darkly
Feb. 15th, 2004 11:23 am (UTC)
Sorta. That's a generalization. Check the alt.gothic FAQ.

There's a lot of things about the origins of 'goth' - most likely it was a slur used by the British press to describe bands they thought were too abstruse and depressing (i.e., Joy Division, early Siouxsie, etc.) - later bands like the Sex Gang Children, Fields of the Nephilim, and Danse Society to name a few - who claimed the moniker for themselves rather than being called goth.
mokie
Feb. 15th, 2004 08:06 pm (UTC)
Re:
Except the question wasn't about the origins of the word 'Goth', it was about what Goth music was. The Vampster noted that her understanding of what was and was not Goth music was wobbly and vague when we were discussing Dead Can Dance; should she consider them Goth or easy listening?

(In her case, I'd say easy listening.)

I simply suggested that she think not of Goth Music, which people argue about on messageboards, bands who may or may not be Goth according to some mystifying and contradictory set of rules that no two Goths ever agree on, but of musical trends and their evolution in historical context. I was hoping to offer some understanding of the idea of Goth music, while avoiding the confusing drama of whether or not somebody is or isn't Goth and according to whose rules in which decade.
scanner_darkly
Feb. 16th, 2004 12:14 am (UTC)
Re:
In context, it makes sense :) Out of context, it rankled me a little. My apologies.
mokie
Feb. 16th, 2004 12:20 am (UTC)
Re:
No worries. I felt a bit goofy making such a hoity-toity explanation of a goofy conversation. ;D
vampyrichamster
Feb. 16th, 2004 12:24 am (UTC)
Re:
And because of this, I shall go tweak the post to illustrate the context...my apologies to the both of you.

SD: You're up awful late, or failing that, up awful early. Use any messaging programs these days?
scanner_darkly
Feb. 16th, 2004 07:51 am (UTC)
Re:
Yeah, sleep wasn't calling me. I'm a wreck today.

I'm on AIM and yahoo (when I'm on, which is rarely.) For some reason ICQ only works intermittently for me.

My AIM id is on my lj info page, my yahoo id is I think my email address (or easy to figure out)
vampyrichamster
Feb. 16th, 2004 07:58 am (UTC)
Re:
AIM it is. ;)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )