john eden on who’s a goth and who’s not: This is a bollocks argument because we were talking about genres which very rarely emanate from the band itself, but are given to it by journalists, fans, the mysterious people who decide where things go in record racks, etc.

I suspect my argument isn’t bollocks cos it’s identical to the one you’re putting forward here.

However, yesterday’s blogging was done late at night, and there seems to be a half-empty bottle of Jack Daniels on my desk, so who am I to argue.

So anyway, it’s perfectly valid to call Killing Joke goths

Nope, that still sounds a bit silly to me. I just don’t think Killing Joke can be called, definitively, goths — I don’t think it’s factual to say that they ARE goths, either as individuals or as a group. I don’t think that they went for them whole eyeliner, black vampiric clothes, Nosferatu poster life style. (Jaz Coleman’s face paint doesn’t count.) I didn’t meet them til much later but one of my cousins knew Killing Joke quite well in the early eighties and went out with Youth for a bit. Reports did not indicate any gothique tendencies.

Of course, John’s point is that your genre is defined by the judgement of the audience and of critics, which is a good variation of the “death-of-the-author” theme. But that still doesn’t work for me in the case of Killing Joke. I don’t remember people calling them goths then, probably for fear of how they’d react, and they just plain don’t feel goth. Anyway, the death of the author argument only applies to records made after 1986, so their first three albums are safe.

> It’s only closet because I got bored of wearing black clothes all the time,

I hadn’t noticed the sartorial development, but I never had John down as a goth, more of a crusty hippy with new romantic tendencies. We once turned up at the Wag club both wearing the same Coco the Clown shoes — quelle surprise!

> but I have no problem lining up with people who are into daaaaaaaaark music

And… this is kinda the “problem”, if there still is one, with Goth. It’s not about “daaaaaaaaark music”. It’s about a safe little pastiche of “daaaaaaaaark music”. If it’s fake dark — the Mission, the Nephilim, the Specimen, 99% of the Sisters, Look Mummy Clowns — then it’s Goth. If it’s real dark — Killing Joke, Coil, Soft Cell, the Wurzels — then it’s not Goth, it’s something else. That’s why the more entertaining, less embarassing end of Goth mutated into a modern version of Glam and merged into the more poodle-y end of the metal scene. When fake dark is a knowing pastiche it can be camp fun. When fake dark is posturing vacuity it’s embarassing, like a punk version of The Enid. Bauhaus doing Ziggy Stardust is arguably more fun than them doing Dark Entries, or certainly Antonin Artaud, though the jury’s out on Bela Lugosi, which is probably still a fine record, just with shit lyrics. Or possibly they’re just camp…

Oh, and reading blogs purely for the information contained in the ads is a bit too Camille Paglia for me, darling ;-).

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