He’s got all the best tunes, you know.

It has often been said that the Devil has all the best tunes. There is also supposed to be something diabolic about certain types of music and there is the interval known as diabolus in musica (the Devil in Music) a.k.a the tritone, an interval known for dissonance.

Diabolic and Satanic imagery has long been associated with heavy metal and Goth has always been as much about decaying ruins, vampires and death as it has about music.

Jimmy Page was, at one time, deeply interested in Aleister Crowley, the so-called Wickedest Man Alive and founder of the occult religion of Thelema (motto – Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law) and the late Graham Bond was so obsesed with Crowley that he formed a band called Holy Magick and believed himself to be Crowley’s son.

Earlier still, it was said that Robert Johnson bacame a blues guitar phenomenon because of a pact with the Devil, signed at midnight, down at the crossroads. This idea later spawned a film about the same subject, culminating in a guitar battle between the Devil’s guitar hero, played by Steve Vai and the hero of the film, Eugene (guitar work by Ry Cooder).

So, music has a long tradition of dealing in the Black Arts and this playlist covers all the bases from posession and exorcism, through witchcraft, occult ceremonies and the Undead athrough to Hell and Damnation.

As you can see, we have 11 tracks. The task here is to decide which one will be saved from the Pit and which one will be cast into the Outer Dark forever.

The track listing is:

Charlie Daniels Band – The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Siousxie and the Banshees – Spellbound
David Byrne and Brian Eno – The Jezebel Spirit
Dr John – Gris-Gris Gumbo Ya Ya
Black Widow – Come To The Sabbat
Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead
Cassandra Wilson – Hellhound On My Trail
John Martyn – I’d Rather Be The Devil
King Crimson – The Devil’s Triangle
The Clash – Straight To Hell
AC/DC – Highway To Hell

flight or fight?

Ali’s photo for Earworms reminded me of two fantastic videos – The Hidden Camera’s video is so powerful it takes over the brilliant song. Based on an old comic Joel wrote – it’s been a live favourite for a while. The short film has been shown at festivals in Berlin and Canada to much acclaim. The freedom of the birds over the field at the start is rather significant.

Another film that uses the flight of birds as a metaphor for escape is Leonard Cohen’s – First We Take Manhattan, their flight is deliberately juxtaposed against the songs beat to discombobulate.

cheery Tuesday post, eh?

BACK TO NO FUTURE – THE DARK

You might have noticed a recently in the news that sections of Einstein’s grey matter have been brought to the UK for the first time for an exhibition. You might have thought “That’s interesting, it would make a great subject for a song. I wonder if anyone’s ever written one?” You might have thought that, but you probably didn’t. If you did though, the answer is yes, The Dark released a classic single in 1981 on exactly that subject. They were a band that managed to combine punk energy, the ability to write a catchy pop song, and a moody quality that saw them gradually move towards “the genre that dare not speak its name” (goth in case you’re wondering).

Continue reading

Songs About Gardens: B-List


Songs About Gardens: B-List

The B-list provides an opportunity to compile a list free of the constraints and pressures of the A-List.  To give a hearing to some tunes of choice without the limits of  PC or taste.  So i was a bit piqued to find my choices and list were less varied, less offensive,  and more user-friendly that i had hoped for.  (I used a bigger shoehorn too!)  Almost too damn pretty of a list.  I think Wyngatecarpenter may have put his finger on it – “Clearly this subject brings out a softer side in some of my favourite artists.”  Slim pickings this week for hard rock, metal, punk, thrash, grunge, and hardcore hip-hop.  On the upside – a banner week for 60’s grooviness, earthy blues, psychedelia, folk, culture, goth, indie/alt and J-pop. Continue reading

100 Greatest Goth Songs?

For Halloween, I suppose, the local alternative rag has listed the 100 greatest Goth songs of all time. The other 90 are here. What say you, my Gothic friends? Over to you. And a very Happy Halloween to you all as well.

10.The Birthday Party -Release the Bats
9. The Cure – Disintigration
8. The Chameleons – Swamp Thing
7. Ministry – (Every Day Is) Halloween
6. Alien Sex Fiend – Now I’m Feeling Zombified


5. Joy Division – Atmosphere
4. Christian Death – Romeo’s Distress
3. Siouxie & the Banshees- Spellbound
2. Sisters of Mercy – This Corrosion
1. Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead