Fuck that guy by Steven Archer

Metropolis Records re-release of the first Ego Likeness full length from 2001 ‘Dragonfly’”.

https://www.metropolis-records.com/product/11753/dragonfly?fbclid=IwAR2KDjVM-6Kjel8L59dEpcMEx8h6hm0khWFQSM4lLC4LIPPqtNi0KYjACDM

Yo, people who are just starting down this “electronic music path.”

You’re gonna play your shit for people and they will nitpick bullshit production stuff. Like…”oh, well your snare sucks or if you cut X frequency on this fuckin thing than I will like it more until I figure out another thing to take personally and bitch about.”

Don’t fuckin worry about that shit.
Like.
AT ALL.

Learn to write songs that matter to you.
That’s the only important thing.

Because if they matter to you, you will be satisfied and keep going.

I’m not saying they have to make you happy. There are always going to be things you want to make better. But if they don’t resonate with you, they sure as shit won’t resonate with an audience.

And your audience is there.

It may not be huge. Who the fuck knows?
But it is there.
I mean, shit, 311 still has a fan base, right?

Don’t worry if your gear isn’t the best. Hell, we wrote our demos on a four track, our first full length was run through a 16 channel boss mixer to a stereo pair and recorded over. It wasn’t until our second record that we were able to sync our gear with our computer.

Our computer was one of the original pentium one laptops. I used a sound blaster usb Soundcard with $60 hacked drivers that I got from some dude in Germany, that allowed me to get my latency down to a reasonable size.

We recorded vocals in our kitchen and most of the strings were from a Casio keyboard with speakers in it.

By contrast now, I have a shit ton of gear and still write almost everything on my laptop.

Point being that these days you are far more likely to have someone come at you about some sort of bullshit production thing than you are about song writing.

But here’s the kicker.
That demo? And that first record?
They are still in print (along with the rest of our catalog) from our record label Metropolis records. And I don’t mean still as in they have always been. I mean still as they were rereleased as special sets.

Meaning they think they can make money on them. Because they will sell, because we have an audience, because we wrote good songs.

Am I a better songwriter now?
Probably.
But I learned to be one because of all of the material I wrote back then. And even now when I go back to, it still functions. It sounds the way it was supposed to sound.

So, just remember the following three words when that comes up ,”fuck that guy.”

Say it with me ,”fuck that guy.”

No, I’m not saying ignore a legit critique and advice. But seriously, fuck that guy on the industrial darkwave bullshit wave forum that’s bitching about your frequencies.

Steven Archer is a Stoneburner, one half of Ego Likeness, a visual artist, and has several published works. For more information try:

http://egolikeness.bigcartel.com/

http://www.etsy.com/shop/egolikeness

Detroit Darkness

I thought I might write a little something close to home. About the glorious music scene in my very own Michigan. I know, I said Detroit. However as anyone from the D will tell you, all white boys from the suburbs claim Detroit even if they currently live in Kalamazoo MI. While doing the podcast with SYZGYX last night I got excited talking about our local scene. Then figured why not share it with all of you 🙂 Lets start with some bands.

East Side

Josie Pace – Nightmare pop that takes top 40 sensibility wraps a rusty chain around it’s neck and chokes the shit out of it. Josie takes singer songwriter hooks then feeds them through a spicy electroclash beat. With an LA aesthetic and a motor city grit.

Schedule IV – Post Punk synth wave with giant sound and piercing powerful vocals from Steph Strange. They do a wonderful live show that is wound tight and full of soul. One of our favorite bands to play with SIV are a must see.

Vazum – Dark Retro dream rock with a flowing minimalist style. I really like their crunchy 90’s grunge style with dark edges. Large thumping drums and Zach’s slippery shifting melodies carry you on a roller coaster of driving fuzz.

Heavy Water Factory – Textural industrial old school that has been a part of the Detroit scene since I was a high school kid in black boots and a trench coat. When it comes to perfect production and beats that take over the floor Jesse McClure is one of the most respected in the business. It’s electric, it makes you dance, it’s the soundtrack of my angry youth. Just out with a new album after a long hiatus, HWF has not lost a beat.

Ritual Howls – The sinister dark rock poets have brought their European style Nick Cave shadow twang to the motor city and continue to spew forth quality content from the void.

The Ruiners – Detroit Gothabilly royalty have been a little quiet as of late. They hold a special place in my heart. I had the honor of playing with their must see stage extravaganza complete with ex Amaranth singer Nina. Her husband Rick Ruiner is Iggy Pop 1977 brought forth and made flesh. There is no party not made better by throwing Ruiners on the stereo.

Siamese – Thicccc bass lines and lovely crooning vocals are the trademark of shadowy retro rockers Siamese. They really blend the synths and rock seamlessly to create that metal gauntlet in a velvet glove.

Detroit also sports one of the United States oldest and best Goth Clubs “City Club

https://www.facebook.com/pg/LelandCityClub/about/?ref=page_internal

Featuring Djs – Jay Itchon, Charles English, with guests like Sandra Katz, and Leo Oakley

As well as Smalls, my favorite Detroit venue for live bands. They also have a badass Industrial night on Fridays and Saturdays.

https://www.facebook.com/smallsbar/?eid=ARAUlR3Gcafk-qUXIzgdn3iotK5_tNdpe9NuJng0HVB1aUMWYzeVNzuRZ-v5fuoab96DgpJwEkr9Zbd3

Featuring : DJ Aaron Hingst, DJ Elektrosonik ,

Suburbs

Audrey Burne – Our dear friends dark fantasy rockers Audrey Burne bring that witchy energy from Bay City. Powerful vocals and intricate construction. They have a wonderful intimate live show.

Damien Done – He toured through Europe doing dark folk. Then returned back to Michigan and reinvented with incredible midnight alternative post punk with a dark humor. Deep, rich voice that just draws you in. Why have I never played with them? 🙂

Ann Arbor also has a great Monday night goth event I have tragically never made it too. I hear great things though. Djd by Jay Itchon and Leo Oakley

https://www.facebook.com/FactoryAtNecto/

West Side

My home town of Kalamazoo MI sports on of the secretly greatest goth scenes in the midwest. Smack dab between Chicago and Detroit this has been a stopover spot and music mecca for many years.

Katy Needs A Life – Synth Princess and S & S contributor these ethereal 80s prom dream waves are always a great show. It’s lovely, pure, and authentic.

Sexy Toxins – Eurotrash disco sex party duo A Toxin and B Toxin take performance art and ass slapping beats that are a guaranteed good time every time you see them. I can think of few live shows in this life I had more fun at.

Nekomata – These doom metal droning sound explosion are so fucking good they make me listen to metal. It’s beautiful sludgy filth. Have you ever had your ass kicked by sound alone, because this is how you do that. Plus Myah is in this video.

Drink Their Blood – Some like their metal with a little more speed and sizzle and Drink Their Blood are furious wizards of the keyboard. Ben Boggs is a vocal experience not to be missed. Plus Saxophone + Metal !!!

Thee Elder Gods – Kalamazoo’s punk rock icons. The play loud, mean, and take no shit off anyone

Deadlight Holiday – High energy goth slush from Grand Rapids Michigan play a wonderful shoegaze darkness and have an electric stage show full of leather, sweat, and fury.

https://kidsaintnothing.bandcamp.com/releases

Kid Saint Nothing – This brilliant new release from my dear friend Reggie left me floored. It’s tender, genuine and full of pop hooks that stick in my mind. It has transported me with a scope that goes from fury to elegance. You must hear this. I can’t wait to see it played live.

Amaranth – we make bullshit goth about Ninjas, Swordfights and Lambos.

Kalamazoo also sports one of the best goth dance nights around Chaos. Anastasia and Asher (Dj Wyrmwood) have created a beautiful and inclusive environment for music and dancing to thrive. Every time I bring someone from a big city to our local goth party they are blown away wondering how is this happening in the tiny hamlet of Kalamazoo.

https://www.facebook.com/ChaosKalamazoo/

I’ll try and keep adding to this. If your city deserves a great write up to celebrate it’s music culture than hit me up and lets tell people why you are excited.

We could separate the art from the artist, but should we?

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending Cold Waves VIII. There, I witnessed many amazing bands but also got to enjoy the company of fellow musicians and artists. The experience was full of beautiful memories in an inclusive environment. I got to meet a lot of veteran big named acts and was pretty blown away how all of them treated me with acceptance and smiles.

That said, when musicians get together it can be a real sewing circle; they talk. There was a bit of a controversial subject that happened on the final night that had my Facebook feed buzzing with hot takes about a t-shirt, and how it was handled. I also ended up in a few conversations about other artists in the industry going through controversy at the moment. Now this is not a “news outlet.” I am not a “journalist,” so I am not going to comment on any specifics that I have not researched. This is also not a gossip rag so I definitely won’t monger any rumors. However, this is something on my mind, so I was curious to get takes from all of you about how stories coming out on artists effect how you feel about their music?

My personal stance is that in 2019 we have an unprecedented level of access to the people that make our music. I pretty much hold David Bowie up as a deity. I literally have a candle of his image in roman catholic style in my window. Yet I remember the recent news story involving him from two young ladies under 16 in the 70’s who described an encounter with him as an adult man. If I heard of the exact same scenario from anyone I know, this would be someone I would immediately confront about how inappropriate this is. It’s not as though stories like this are unique to David Bowie. I just used him as an example because his music is so deeply meaningful to me, yet this behavior is also deeply reprehensible to me.

This debate that effects our current cultural landscape encompasses a plethora of social issues. Goth/Industrial/Punk has always had politics and social movement at the forefront of the art they create. With social media as a platform to discuss artists thoughts anytime and any place, it is harder than ever to separate what you are listening to from who you are listening to.

I come down on the issue here: It’s not too much to ask the artists you love to be basically decent human beings. I think there is a lot of spectrum for how much of your personal morality you expect from them. It’s your hard earned cash to spend on music, and there is too much available from artists that come within a range you are comfortable with to not draw a line. If you make the choice to be a public performer, this is part of the world. For better or for worse, your choices are on display. That is a responsibility that effects others. If someone can’t find it in themselves to care about how their choices effect those around them, I have a hard time respecting that person, and therefore the music they make. Also, if someone does make an effort to grow after a mistake, when does their penance become enough to warrant forgiveness?

Luckily, we here in the goth/industrial/post punk/ect counter culture have a scene that is very open minded, supportive, and accountable on average. So I choose to end this talking about artists I have encountered who were awesome people and are effecting change in a positive way with their art. When someone does wrong, it tends to spread quickly. I think it is equally important to talk about people going the extra mile for something right.

Jim Semonik – Runs Distortion Productions and Electronic Saviors charity organization. Jim is a survivor of colorectal cancer. Now, on it’s 3rd album, Jim has raised more than $70k in donations for various cancer research charities. This is a great guy who has enormous respect in the industry for letting his heart lead in distribution of music. Speaking with him, I am really impressed by how much he cares about discovering new talent, and finding ways to grow their audience.

http://www.electronicsaviors.com/?fbclid=IwAR3liQ1TSOz7B9QUfbM4OE9gONzmfu0SwQNV1BQDCvMZc289U8QgsGlQx3w

Cliff and Ivy – Alaska’s favorite goth couple are wonderful artists I have featured on the page many times. They run a radio program which highlights new artists, and in general do a ton to promote the scene. Last year they put together an amazing compilation for Identity Inc., a charity to provide services for the LGBTQ community in Alaska called Rainbow Goth.


https://rainbowgoth.bandcamp.com/

You need this compilation: GREAT CAUSE ^^^^^^^^

Black Nail Cabaret – Is a wonderful band that has been hitting their stride recently with their intense dark art house pop. They also put out an EP of covers with proceeds donated to Rain forest Action Network during the recent fires. They also have a track on the “Sounds from the Asylum” project which donates all proceeds to MIND and HEAR US charities for promoting mental health.

https://blacknailcabaret.bandcamp.com/

This cover of Pet Shop Boys “Rent” is straight FYRE! ^^^^^^^

Finally, Cold Waves Festival, who just finished year 8 of one of the best festivals in the scene, with big name acts and a sense of community which left me staggered. They give a portion of the proceeds to Darkest Before Dawn, a suicide prevention charity. The people who run it have done a true honor to their lost friend by raising awareness and celebrating what is best in life.

http://coldwaves.net/?fbclid=IwAR0nl5_jKvh_psZY0bv9GROQzhpOgdWh4BVdLQ5obpl-jHPs5tR6tf-B-xQ

The purpose of this piece is to start a conversation. I want to hear about Bands and individuals that are doing the good work in the scene, so we can help elevate them. Also, what is our role as listeners in holding artists accountable for toxic actions? How do we navigate the minutia in a world where everyone is always on display?

Bowie, Jim Morrison, Mick Jagger, Roger Waters, Andrew Eldrich, John Lennon, Bill Leib, Peter Steele, Ian Curtis, I love all the music. The odds I would consider all of them good examples of humanity……..?

A rookie’s guide to Chicago Cold Waves VIII. 9/20/19

In 2012 a musician and sound engineer much beloved by the scene named Jamie Duffy was taken too soon. In an effort to pay tribute and help his family, a group of bands collaborated to create a music festival. Eight years later it has continued to grow and thrive as a celebration of music, counter culture, and dancing. Somehow in those previous seven years I have never attended this festival. This year I am changing that. I figured I would create a preview of each of the four days line up. Then try to share them before I head to Gotham City this weekend. Friday is sold out but tickets are still available for the other days and I would love to share my Cold Waves deflowering with as many of you wonderful people as possible.

Day 2 was the first day to sell out and it is an amazing lineup. I will be charging to the front of the stage like the big goth Saint Bernard while I am dancing like a 42 year old demon in sensible shoes. Lets break down this lineup.

On the Smart bar side Physical Wash from Portland OR. Susan Subtract of High Functioning Flesh does a synth slither dance groove with obscure samples and growling chant vocals. Some lovely heavy pad work here.

Patrick Codenys of Industrial forefathers Front 242 does an EDM DJ set spun by a master of the craft. If this doesn’t get you shaking you might need to hit yourself with the paddles because you are dead.

At Metro Chicago’s own Wing Tips are an amazing retro dream flow of beauty playing a party in the post modern world. The duo of Vincent and Hannah transport you to the dark parts of science fiction and high school melodrama. I’m so excited to finally see them live I may spin myself into a tizzy.

Klack is our most recent review of Madison WI dynamic duo of Matt Fanale and Eric Oehler. They mix fierce dance beats, witty humor, and electric energy with an old school flair and dynamic grinding style. There is a chance I might loose my shit for this so be forewarned and give space.

Just wow, Shannon of Light Asylum is a force of nature. Crackling explosions coupled with the rawness and elegance both of Grace Jones and Patti Smith. The odds of Rachel having a fan girl breakdown during this performance is currently 10/1 and I will not be betting against that action.

When Haujobb had to cancel IVardensphere of Alberta stepped up to fill some big shoes with there pounding rhythmic sonic assault. Furious beats fired at you through a particle accelerator.

Metro closes out with Electronic music deities Nitzer Ebb . I think the last time I saw them was in Chicago in the 90’s and it is a experience which changed my view of music. An engine of burning sound running red straight through your bloodstream . Even if you didn’t save anything this will be a shot of pure adrenaline.

Food trucks are available, lay down a base. Stay Hydrated. Bring your most comfortable footwear. By day two this will be a marathon not a sprint and you will not want to miss a moment.

A rookies guide to Cold Waves VIII Chicago day 1. 9/19/19

In 2012 a musician and sound engineer much beloved by the scene named Jamie Duffy was taken too soon. In an effort to pay tribute and help his family, a group of bands collaborated to create a music festival. Eight years later it has continued to grow and thrive as a celebration of music, counter culture, and dancing. Somehow in those previous seven years I have never attended this festival. This year I am changing that. I figured I would create a preview of each of the four days line up. Then try to share them before I head to Gotham City this weekend. Friday is sold out but tickets are still available for the other days and I would love to share my Cold Waves deflowering with as many of you wonderful people as possible.

Thursday Sept 19th lineup is a monster one. Lets break down who you will see.

http://coldwaves.net/?fbclid=IwAR14BGkA1nBmGq0oS1uPTuQgYd8MRX8U2-4MjDVqu6GiHMih-r8zsMjeaMg

Chicago’s own Panic Priest from Negative Gain records is playing Smart Bar and Jack Armondo will be bringing his honey rich baritone voice over delicious electronic beats and sizzling guitar licks. If you have never had the pleasure of witnessing it live, it is a must see.

This couldn’t happen in Chicago without some old school boot stomping in your face industrial. Sean Payne/Chris Harris and friends doing Conformco will give you that in excess. Get on this dance floor now!

Bootblacks – of New York is a driving post punk electroclash sizzlefest that has to be seen live to truly be appreciated. I saw them play with frequent life partners Actors in Detroit this past year and was floored by the energy and passion of their set. They have a new record coming soon “Thin Skies” produced by Jason Corbett so you might get to see some preview material. Just seeing Panther’s dance moves alone is worth the price of admission.

Far from done here it’s we are still talking about day 1! Curse Mackey with his debut solo album “Instant Exorcism” I have already reviewed this year and it shook me to the core. Curse has a storied history in Industrial music playing with (Pigface/My Life with the Thrill Kill Cult/Evil Mothers) and this personal and powerful record is a ritual charged electronic inferno. I am yet to see him live so I couldn’t be more excited.


Acumen vs 16 VoltAcumen lead by the Novak brothers has been an intense hard hitting metaldustrial band since the late 80s. Their guitarist Jamie Duffy and his tragic passing was the focus that brought this festival together. No doubt making this a very personal show each year. 16 Volt with Eric Powell from LA also lean towards the metal side while adding electronic and synth elements. I’ve always really liked their vocals and cadence. I’m not sure exactly what the combination will sound like on Stage but with that level of talent in one place it is sure to be memorable.

Jared Loche and the Chemlab crew from Washington DC are part of any serious discussion about what Industrial music is. Chemlab has always held that early Throbbing Gristle art piece style of industrial music for me. They push the edge in the best possible way. It’s been a long hiatus since 2012 when they last played. It is a swirling, electronic Pandora’s Box, Like a pressure cooker filled with chaos brimming over into your eardrums. I can imagine what that many years of ideas is going to look and sound like.

Pop Will Eat Itself the UK based dance explosion that has been shaking the cement off clubs since 1986 with napalm bright guitars and electric stage shows and effective rapping. I think it has always been the extreme cleverness of this band that makes it stand out. My dear friend Josh Garman said it best “PWEI is so good they did a diss track of the Jesus and Mary Chain and I still love them” PWEI really deserves it’s own lengthy article about their contribution to the bigger musical picture.

Other important news, WAX TRAX will have a collectors corner set up with both the WAX TRAX documentary film and several rare test press, first press collectors items from the label.

My friends we are only at day one of a four day musical celebration and the names keep this exciting as the weekend goes on. So hydrate, pace yourself, and leave everything on the floor.