Friday, June 28, 2013

Tag!

Thanks to Katelynn at The Life of a Babybat for tagging me! I've been shying away from doing posts about the most fabulous wonderful goth girl ever myself on this blog since most of you already know me from my old blog and that one turned into a bunch of senseless dribble more suited to a Facebook profile. However, there are some new followers over here (hi guys, thanks for stopping by!) who don't really know anything about me, so here's this little tag to enlighten you slightly!

Rules

  • Thank the person who tagged you for this challenge and post a link to their blog. 
  • Tag 5 blogs with less than 200 followers. 
  • Wish them to tag more bloggers to help keep this thing going! 
It's me! I miss my crazy colored hair...

5 Things You Need Everyday
  1. Some personal time alone to create art, music, or to read. Most of the time I am rather hermit-like, and I sometimes decline to go out with my friends even if I haven't seen them in a while and have been doing nothing other than sitting around my house because I do value my private time! I will usually emerge from my reclusive state within a few days however, so I'm not totally antisocial *ahem*
  2. Something sweet. I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world and absolutely no willpower. If I can't have at least one dessert in a day, I have been known to resort to crazy measures such as eating a bowl of whipped cream or making "candy" from corn syrup. It's bad. I've noticed that those "dessert gums" have improved this unhealthy habit somewhat. 
  3. Time on the computer. I check my e-mail about 15 times a day (mostly hoping for comments from you lovely people!) and sometimes I'll get online to do nothing more than stare at things I can't afford to buy for hours. Lately I've been trying to curb my internet time, especially since it's SUMMER I've been trying to get outside, but allergies coupled with my fierce loathing of The Great Fiery Orb have thus far confined me to the house until the evening. 
  4. Music. Gotta have it. Blasting from my boombox, the computer, or my i-pod, I have an extremely bi-polar selection and have been known to put The Cure, Deadmau5, and classical violin music on the same playlist... :P
  5. Tea or coffee. During the school year it's mostly coffee, during the winter it's usually tea, and during the summer it's either iced tea or iced mocha. I refuse to accept the fact that I'm addicted to caffeine...(actually, it truly is psychological in my case. Once my mom bought decaf coffee and I used it for a whole week, feeling entirely alert and awake the whole time).  
5 Books You Would Recommend (mine is technically 5 authors I would recommend)
  1. ANYTHING by Neil Gaiman, but especially Neverwhere, Stardust and Coraline.
  2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy. 
  3. Tithe, Valiant and Ironside by Holly Black. 
  4. Hairstyles of the Damned by Joe Meno. 
  5. The Replacement and The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff.
5 Materialistic Wishes For Christmas Presents
  1. Cosmetics. 
  2. Roses. They're my favorite flower (red please, or if they ever discover how to do it, black ones!) and I love to enjoy them fresh and dried. It's my dream to eventually inhabit a house that has beautiful urns all around it, each of them overflowing with dried roses...
  3. Gothic jewelry. I have some jewelry, but most of it isn't very gothy. I want more shiny skulls, roses, crosses, bats and spiders! I am especially obsessed with poison rings. 
  4. Candles (in pretty holders would be nice!). I love love LOVE candlelight, I love the smoke when candles are blown out, I love the smell of candles and I am a proud pyromaniac. :D 
  5. Emily Autumn's book The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls. It was through an Amazon search for asylum books that I discovered this one, and the wonderful Miss EA herself. I am now entirely obsessed with anything Emilie or her Bloody Crumpets touch, and I've wanted this book for soooooooo long, it looks like a beautiful work of art and I really want to read the story. 
5 Places You Wish To Visit
  1. IRELAND!!! I love everything about this country, absolutly everything. I will live there someday...
  2. Italy to discover my long lost Italian relatives. :D
  3. New York. I was born there and my Dad has so many fun stories about growing up there, I'd love to go and visit, just him and my sisters and I, and he could show me all the places where his childhood happened. 
  4. Europe in general. I've never been out of the United States, but we get a lot of European (especially British) influence here from music to actors to Youtube people. It seems like a fun place to live! (Isn't it strange how all Americans want to go to Europe and a bunch of Europeans want to come to America?)
  5. India. The culture!
5 Adjectives That Describe You
  1. Dorky
  2. Neurotic 
  3. Creative
  4. Rambling
  5. Curious
5 Things You'd Say to People About Life
  1. You only get one, so LIVE! Experience a little bit of everything, never be afraid to be new at something, and chase down opportunities. 
  2. You are responsible for yourself. People around you will sometimes create drama and stress, but instead of rising to their negativity, conduct yourself with kindness and love and project these feelings towards everyone who enters your life. Never hold on to anger or hate because it will consume you. 
  3. You exist to contribute something wonderful to society. Create, create, create!
  4. Sometimes life will suck. A lot. But you truly cannot experience happiness without experiencing sorrow. 
  5. Animals are people too. 
Tag, you're it! 
  1. Katie
  2. Cherish
  3. Oculus
  4. Rah
  5. Meh...I tagged four people! 
Song of the Day: 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Extended Addam's Family: Alice Cooper

Here's a post I forgot to bring over from my old blog! For this trip through the Extended Addam's Family, we're going to pay a visit to: 
I like his music and I want his hat!
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Alice Cooper has always seemed like a fitting name for the man who is arguably the world's first Shock Rocker, but he was born with a pretty cool name: Vincent Damon Furnier. He didn't adopt the stage name until he went solo in 1975, having previously played with Glen Buxton on lead guitar, Michael Bruce on rhythm guitar, Dennis Dunaway on bass, and Neal Smith on drums in a band called Alice Cooper during the 1960's. The group got started in 1964 when Cooper assembled a group of his fellow cross country teammates: Glen Buxton, John Tatumm, Dennis Dunaway, and John Speer, to compete in the local Letterman talent show. None of them knew how to play any instruments, so they dressed up like the Beatles and pretended to sing and play to recorded Beatles songs, calling themselves The Earwigs. The group payed girls in the audience to scream like the Beatles fans on the Ed Sullivan Show, and won the talent show with their performance. After getting a taste for the stage, they hit the local pawn shops to buy instruments that they taught themselves to play. 
Aw! Look how sweet and innocent he was! He's holding a puppy!
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The high school band went through a number of member and name changes, switching from The Earwigs to The Spiders, and making rounds about the Phoenix area with a giant black spiderweb as a backdrop (see the gothy appeal there?), playing music inspired by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Who, among others. Why Don't You Love Me was The Spiders' first single, recorded in 1965, and their song Don't Blow Your Mind became a radio hit in 1966. 
The Spiders then became The Nazz, making trips to Los Angeles to play and releasing another single: Wonder Who's Lovin' Her Now. They finally became Alice Cooper in 1968, after discovering another band was already named Nazz. Alice Cooper was a name that came from a session with a Ouija board. With this band, Cooper achieved musical success with the singles I'm Eighteen in 1971, (which I shamelessly blasted on my 18th birthday) and School's Out in 1972, (which I always play on the last day of school, who doesn't?). 
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As the band progressed, their image became darker and more controversial. Around 1978, the group decided that the theatrical stage presence of a male serial killer in tattered women's clothing and makeup, would stir up the public and grab headlines. So they started dressing up like B-movie horror villains, and eventually attracted the attention of Frank Zappa after a failure of a gig at the Cheetah Club, wherein Alice Cooper emptied the room of patrons after playing for ten minutes onstage. Strangely, the music manger Shep Gordon saw this performance as an opportunity to seize a strange act and make it work, so he hooked the band up with Zappa, who told Alice Cooper to come to his house for an audition at 7:00. The band mistakenly showed up at 7:00 AM, and Zappa was so impressed that they were all ready to play psychedelic rock at seven in the morning that he signed them a three album deal. The first album, Pretties For You did not reflect too much success. Although it reached number 193 on the US charts for a week, it was ultimately branded a critical and commercial failure.
The Chicken Incident
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Alice Cooper's reputation as a shock rocker manifested itself largely by accident, starting with "The Chicken Incident" at the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival concert in 1969. Apparently the band had planned on a stage routine involving Alice Cooper and a feather pillow, but somehow, a live chicken made its way onstage and into the pillow. When Cooper ripped it open onstage and found the chicken inside, he threw it out over the crowd, expecting it to fly away. Unbeknownst to Cooper, chickens do not fly very well, and the poor bird instead plummeted into the first row of concert-goers, who allegedly ripped it to pieces. The incident blew up in the press, with newspapers reporting the next day that Alice Cooper had "bitten off a chicken's head and drank its blood." Zappa called Cooper, and asked if the story was true. When Cooper denied it, Zappa seized on the publicity opportunity and told Alice: "Whatever you do, don't tell anyone you didn't do it."
Source
From then on. the band's image became crazier and crazier. In 1970 after relocating back to Detroit because of the unenthusiastic California crowd, (Alice Cooper once said: "L.A. just didn’t get it. They were all on the wrong drug for us. They were on acid and we were basically drinking beer. We fit much more in Detroit than we did anywhere else") they continued with their second album of the Zappa contract, releasing I'm Eighteen in 1970. The single reached 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972, and  the band continued their dark stage performances, featuring  mock fights and gothic torture devices being imposed on Cooper. They often ended shows with a staged execution by electric chair. Alice Cooper's tight, sequined, glam rock style costumes contrasted majorly with the hippie bands of the time. Cooper said "We were into fun, sex, death and money when everybody was into peace and love. We wanted to see what was next. It turned out we were next, and we drove a stake through the heart of the Love Generation."
Source
Alice Cooper's next album Killer, continued the successful trend (and crazy theatrics including billion dollar bills, guillotines, decapitated baby dolls, an eight foot tall furry cyclops and a dental psychosis scene complete with dancing teeth) of the previous album, and the group went on to record their most successful album to date: Billion Dollar Babies. The success of the band after this album was like nothing they had seen before, with hoards of new teenage fans supporting Alice Cooper and even more terrified parents, the BBC banned the music video for School's Out  and the group was eventually barred from playing in Britain at all. Grueling tour schedules, the constant pressure of getting into character, and demands for more CD's eventually pushed Cooper over the edge with alcoholism. During the tour for the 1975 album Welcome to My Nightmare, Cooper's struggles with various substances reached a peak. He tripped over a foot light during a performance in Vancouver, and plunged headfirst off the stage to land on the concrete floor below. It was a few minutes before bouncers could pulls frenzied fans away enough to rush Cooper to the hospital where his head was stitched up. Amazingly, Cooper returned to the venue a few hours later to try and finish his concert, but within minutes he was forced to call it off. 
Source
Cooper combated his problems with alcohol largely by obsessively playing golf. His career continued through the 1980's,and 90's, and he's still going strong in the 2000's. He recently made a cameo appearance as himself in Tim Burton's Dark Shadows, and his most recent album was an anniversary release of Welcome to My Nightmare, titled Welcome 2 My Nightmare

For More Information: 

Song of the Day: 


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Goth: Fashion VS Music

It's a debate that goes back to the beginning of goth. Before Siouxsie met her Banshees, before Bela Lugosi became undead, back when wayward teenagers were burning sticks to make their own eyeliner. Yes, at the beginning of it all, the subculture of goth was born and a central question was hatched: "What are we about really? Music, or Fashion?"
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The conundrum will probably never be solved because there really isn't a right answer (like all good conundrums) and because both sides have so many good points. Every goth who knows their black is aware that the subculture as we know it today evolved from Punk. So it's tempting to say that early goths (much like early man yet we have significant evidence to support that 80's goths evolved from bats instead of apes) started to set themselves apart from their Punk counterparts by listening to different music. Groups like The Sisters of Mercy and Bauhaus had Punk roots, but their sounds started to turn darker, featuring morose lyrics and harnessing the eerie effects produced by stereo feedback. It's possible that Punks from the 80's started to become influenced by darker bands and began dressing to reflect them. As more bands started producing goth music, their members probably started to dress goth, and the Punks that had been attracted to these bands in the first place drew more inspiration for fashion, so eventually all the different fashion subsets of Goth as we know it today evolved.
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But wait...there's another side of the argument...

When someone mentions the word "goth" an image pops into many people's heads, and that image is usually swathed in black. The subculture has a very visual aesthetic! From the dramatic makeup to the crazy hair to all the different kinds of goths out there (cyber-goth, gothic lolita, and fetish-goth to name just a few) goths express themselves through the way they look. And a very important part of the scene, passed down through its punk predecessors, is DIY. Most people think of DIY outfits before they think of DIY music. So is it possible that Punk happened, and some members of that subculture started dressing spookier one day without any influence from music? Can you fathom people becoming a member of the gothic subculture without first having been Punk? You can bet your batty little selves it happened!
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Which is more essential to "being goth?" It's difficult to say. For one thing, gothic fashion and gothic music are both very prominent characteristics of "being goth." The subculture is different for everyone, and since there's no set standards that must be met to be allowed to call yourself goth, one simply can't say "Okay, listen to Joy Division and you're a real goth" or "Add some corsets and striped stockings to your wardrobe and you're a real goth." The wonderful Lady of the Manners takes a stance on the fashion side of the debate. She says that it takes time and motivation to really assemble a good gothic wardrobe, and that amount of effort points to fashion as the more important aspect. The lovely Allison Eckfeldt clearly upholds the other side of the argument stating: "Goth is music. Without it, there's no goth." I personally have to stand on the side of the music. I think if someone wants to identify with a subculture, they have to look into what the subculture evolved from, and early goth (at least to me) seems to have really been based on music. I also take the side that "goth" is a state of being, not just a physical look, so someone can be goth without dressing it. Someone can dress darkly and be into creepy literature and spooky history and horror films, and I think that would just be that person's personality. But the connection I truly feel to the gothic community is the strongest when we can all recognize a Cure song at the local club, or discus obscure bands that no one else has heard of. :D
Source
I'm not trying to say that if you don't listen to traditional goth bands you aren't goth. It's a personal thing. In my mind, music is more important that fashion where being goth is concerned, but I don't feel a need to impose this belief on everyone who associates themselves with the scene. I also recognize that times have changed. Most people who discover goth nowadays discover it through the fashion. They'll probably flounder around in Tripp pants proclaiming the gospel of Evanescence for a while until they do a little research, discover goth bands and start to create their own looks. So I'm not trying to discredit the fashion side of goth, its one of the most fun aspects! In my mind however, gothic music holds more importance. The debate will shuffle on, zombie like, for as long as the subculture flourishes (and I hope that will be for a long long time). It will probably never be won, but it's always a great discussion! What do you think? Is fashion or music more essential to the goth scene? I'd love to hear your opinions in the comments.

Song of the Day

Thursday, June 20, 2013

ATTENTION MAKEUP USERS!!

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Good news everyone! Everyday stores such as Walmart have started to stock cruelty free makeup brands! For me, cruelty free makeup is an absolute no brainer. Animals are blatantly tortured by big name companies such as Covergirl, Maybelline, Revlon, and so many others that we see in the stores everyday. With demand for a multitude of their products (seriously, have you  looked inside your makeup bag lately) these are billion dollar corporations. They have so much money already, yet many of them will not make the switch to cruelty free cosmetics because some of the places they trade with (China is a big one) require animal testing to sell a company's products in their countries. Some makeup corporations don't want to stop testing on animals because the safety methods in place to make sure our moisturizers won't melt our skin off are a tad bit more expensive when not using animal hosts. Basically, it all comes down to money.

Many consumers say they can't afford to purchase all their body products from stores like The Body Shop. They are more expensive, but let me put it this way. Purchasing makeup from such companies does not support cruel practices endured by millions of animals a year such as this:
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and they really are better quality products. Most makeup lasts a while, so my argument is to refuse to support evil companies and pay the extra dollar for cruelty free brands, reaping the benefits of better quality makeup while you're at it. However! I bring to you good news! On my last foray to Walmart (yes I know, I'm blogging about stopping the support of evil corporations and I purchase from a company that is really big on worker abuse...sorry) I noticed they are stocking the brand Hard Candy! This is wonderful! Hard Candy is just as affordable as other "regular" brands, and they are 100% cruelty free. I'm starting to notice other cruelty free brands such as E.L.F. popping up in easily accessible stores too. So yay! Same price, same distance to purchase and skip the torture and abuse of animals? Sounds like a deal. Please please please switch your makeup to cruelty free brands by looking for the leaping bunny symbol when you buy:
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or any other printed notice featured on the product along the lines of "this product was not tested on animals." Be warned though! Animal testing extends beyond the boundaries of the makeup industry. Hair care products and lotions are also big ones to check labels for. Many "reconstructing" shampoos contain Keratin, a product made of animal proteins, and nail polish removers usually contain gelatin, a product made of animal hooves and tendons, that supposedly strengthens the nail base. There are also sneaky ways for companies to get around labeling. They can be approved as "cruelty free" if the finished product wasn't tested on animals, some of the ingredients in it might have been. Companies that don't test on animals can sometimes be owned by companies that do. Also, the label "vegan" means there are no animal parts included in the product, however, this doesn't always mean the product wasn't tested on animals (although most vegan companies are pretty cool about that, Manic Panic for instance is a very awesome company, and most of the products sold at Hot Topic are cruelty free as well as vegan). So be an informed consumer. Animal testing is one of the most swept under the rug issues of the corporate world. No one wants to think "Easy, Breezy, Beautiful" actually stands for "Torture, Pain, Misery." Research the companies you're going to buy your skincare and cosmetic products from, but also be reasonable. It'll be fairly difficult to make sure EVERYTHING you buy has never seen the inside of an animal testing lab (unless you live in a part of the EU because they just passed a ban on animal tested products YEAH!), but do what you can to avoid it.

Purchase
Blackheart (cruelty free & vegan)
Manic Panic (hair dye & cosmetics)
Hard Candy
E.L.F

Research
A list of brands, animal tested and not
PETA's brand search

Song of the Day:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Skin Care and Heavy Makeup

I have very sensitive skin, but I like to wear a lot of makeup. Hard to believe I've become accustomed to such dramatic looks when a year ago, I didn't even own any eyeliner! I'm still on a crusade to find ways to indulge my growing makeup obsession without totally ruining my skin. So! Here are some tips I've come across and please feel free to share your makeup/skincare secrets in the comments. I'm hungry for more...
The beautiful eyes of the beautiful Allison Eckfeldt!
First off, an overview of my skin! There are all different types of skin the world, so what works for one person may not work for another based off of genes alone. I have dry skin that is more prone to redspots than acne, however I do get the occasional blemish. If you have oily skin, my tips may not be as useful to you. My skin is also very tempremental. It freaks out over product switches, seasonal air, Parliament changes in Europe...so I have to ease it into different routines if I find out one isn't working. If you are lucky enough to have skin that takes easily to routine switches, then you won't have to be as careful in buying new products or trying different remedies to attain your perfect complexion! 

Step One: Cleanser
It's very important to keep your skin clean! This usually involves washing with some kind of cleanser, and I'd also suggest keeping your hands away from your face as much as possible. Hand oils can cause your skin to breakout. Lately, I've been washing my face simply with Dove Soap. It is very gentle and leaves my skin feeling smooth. I wash in the morning and the evening although some people say there is no need to wash in the morning (after all, you've just slept on a clean pillowcase all night). 

Step Two: Moisturizer
After cleansing my face, it is absolutely essential to moisturize! My skin is so dry that I can use Cortizone Maximum Strength cream as a daily facial moisturize, although it is very heavy, so I typically do a light layer of this cream, and then follow it up with a slightly thicker layer of Aveeno "Positively Radiant" Moisturizer with SPF 15. This cream is my favorite! It's very light and easily absorbed, and anything with sunscreen is a bonus for those of us trying to maintain a porcelain complexion.     

Step Three: Makeup!
Of course, putting on makeup is the most fun part. I like to create bold looks around the eyes that extend up and past the brow, so its covering a lot of skin in makeup. The skin around the eye is very fragile, so I've found that the best thing to do is not be a perfectionist. I tend to freak out if my wing tips aren't exactly even, so I scrub them off and start over. Doing this four or five times puts a lot of stress on this delicate skin, so it's best to just leave it alone. I also try to use eye shadow where possible instead of eyeliner as it comes off easier. Angled brushes are lifesavers for this method because they're great at making thin precise lines that some people use eyeliner for. Also, try to avoid waterproof anything because it is really hard to scrub off, and it will still get all over your face if you cry, trust me. 

I am not yet brave enough to shave off my eyebrows.
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Step Four: Remove
After you've strutted around in your extravagant makeup all day, it's important to remove it. This is where I have to be the most patient. I'm usually ready to SLEEEEEEP at the end of the day, and I don't want to spend a lot of time taking my makeup off. In the past, I've attacked it with a Makeup Remover Wipe, scrubbing none too gently. Needles to say, that was shit for my skin. So recently, I've promised my face a gentler removal. I use my ring finger (the weakest and also the gentlest) to dab baby oil around my eye and then I let it sit for a while before gently rubbing it off from the outside of the eye in towards the nose to remove my eye makeup. I still haven't come up with a good trick for removing the waterline because getting baby oil in one's eye is very painful. :P 

In summary, keep skin clean, be gentle when putting on and removing makeup, and moisturize! Anyone have any gentle makeup remover tips? Please post them! Also, I have a problem with my makeup running off during the day. I have been considering applying foundation in an attempt to get it to stay on better but I am currently broke...so any tips for long lasting makeup while I wait for more money? :D

Song of the Day: 
P.S. please vote on the poll at the top of this page! I've noticed some formatting inconsistencies between computers, and I'd hate to think that half of you are seeing a very generic "raindrop on the window" background as opposed to the cool spiderweb one I found.

Monday, June 17, 2013

A New Best Friend

Sometimes, I have to love living in an eccentric sort of neighborhood because of the wonderful value of...Curb Sales! Where I live, people just leave their unwanted stuff out on the corners with big FREE signs. Although some consider it trashy, I have managed to pick quite a few treasures from this trend including a vanity table, a bathroom cabinet, a plant terrarium (that looks like a Victorian house!) and the best find of all...a rat cage! I've been wanting a rat forever but the cages were very expensive. So the second I saw the cage sitting outside, I snatched it up, spent a good few days sanitizing it, and then I hopped online to the shelter website to find my new best friend. :)
Isn't she adorable? 
Her name is Lydia and she is absolutely perfect! She loves to be cuddled and held (she especially likes riding on my shoulder nestled under my hair and *ahem* trying to climb into my bra). She is so soft and because of her red eyes, she prefers the darkness (just like me mwahahaha!). There are several misconceptions about rats that sometimes keep people from seeing them as good pets. However, far from being diseased (come on, we all know the Plague was the flea's fault) rats are quite clean, very smart, and very social. The lady I adopted Lydia from said they're very like miniature cats! People sometimes don't realize that small pets, including ferrets, bunnies, hamsters, gerbils and rats are widely available for adoption through shelter programs, sometimes more often than cats and dogs. So if you're considering a miniature addition of love and joy for your home, think adoption first! 
Welcome home Lydia!
Fluffy says hello :)
Alaster was very curious, but apart from
some sniffing, neither of the cats seemed to
care too much. Although I'm keeping them
out of the room when I'm not there for now.
Yay!
Song of the Day: 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Folklore Friday: Sluagh Sidhe

All the mirrors were covered in white sheets and all the clocks had been stopped. This was a time of death. Fionn Landsley filed through the bedroom doors, heard bowed, to pay his respect to the dead. If truth be told however, Fionn had never had much respect for Aiden Gossower while he was alive. He shuffled towards the deathbed only out of a sense of duty. Aiden Gosswer had not been a good man, he was neither compassionate nor kind. Aiden was the ringleader of a street gang of which Fionn had just recently become a part, and all members had to see off their fallen leader.
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Not remarkably, Aiden had died in a knife fight down some shady alley in the middle of the night. Those closer to him had brought him back to headquarters to be laid to rest. As Fionn approached Aiden's lifeless body, laid out under a white sheet with coins on his eyes, the Flowers of the Forest, a traditional Irish ballad, spun from a CD player in the corner. Fionn wasn't sure the former gang leader deserved it.
Candles were lit around the body, providing the only source of light in the entire house. They had been burning for some time, and many flames began to sputter in pools of their own wax as their wicks grew ever shorter. Fionn was alone in the room with the dead man. He leaned over Aiden's body, touching two fingers to his lips and then to his left shoulder as was the common salute of his gang. And then, because he was alone, Fionn told Aiden the real reason he was there.

"You killed my brother you son of a bitch," Fionn said under his breath, "If you were alive I'd have gotten you back by now. Since someone else got there first, I'll have to think of another way to avenge him."
Fionn turned to go, and suddenly the candles all around the room were extinguished in a smokey wind. An otherworldly laughter started up around the edges of the room, growing in volume until it sounded as though someone was standing right behind him.
"You think you can threaten me?" a familiar voice hissed "Neither heaven nor hell will take me lad. I am the mighty Sluagh Sidhe, the 'restless dead,' and I will haunt this Emerald Isle for a year and a day!" 
The voice vanished as soon as it had come. Fionn was not easily frightened, but he left the death room hurriedly with his heart beating against his ribs. He felt the weight of a curse settling in on him. He wondered just what he'd gotten himself in to, insulting the dead Aiden Gosswer.

A few hours later, Fionn was required to help the rest of the gang members dig a grave for Aiden, and to say the final rights over him as they put him in the ground. The members were not welcome in most churchyards live or dead, so they traipsed deep into the Ballyboley Forest to begin the work. Several boys carried Aiden's body into the trees while several others, Fionn included, began the laborious task of clearing out a grave amidst the stones and tree roots of the forest floor. All the while, Fionn felt a pair of eyes on his back, but whenever he turned to look there was no one to meet his gaze.

"Let's get this over with shall we then?" said Niall Fletcher, a strapping lad who was no less nervous under the trees. They lowered the body into the grave and had just managed to put a good layer of dirt over it when the sound of footsteps could be heard through the forest. Twigs snapped and foliage rustled, creating such a din that there was no doubt in any of the boy's minds that whatever was coming was big, and it was coming fast. Fionn contemplated his circumstances for a moment before dropping his shovel and taking off into the night. Many of the other boys followed suit, and the beast followed in the darkness, gaining ground all the while. Fionn ran faster and surer than many of the other boys, and he soon found that he had outrun them all. Panting, he peered through the gloom. He was quite alone. The sounds of the other boys and the pursuing beast had faded away. Fionn wished desperately for the light of the moon, but it was a black night and he was utterly lost.

"You knew it would come to this," someone said right over Fionn's shoulder. He whirled around, fists raised. It was the same voice he had heard back in the room with Aiden's body.
"You were a fool to think you could best me," the voice said, coming from over Finn's shoulder once more.
"Show yourself!" Fionn bellowed his challenge to the silent forest. "Or are ye a coward then?"
Something cold and clammy seized Fionn's wrist. He glanced down and cried out, it was a pale hand...a corpse's hand. He looked up into Aiden's face then. One of the coins was still in place, wedged into the sickly skin above and below the left eye. The other had fallen, to reveal a blank eye, slightly rolled back in its place. Aiden's lips were smiling stiffly. His hair was matted down on one side with blood from where he had split his skull when the attacking gang had rolled his body off a wall after it had succumb to the knife wounds.  He was dressed in the winding white sheet they had buried him in.

"Hello Fionn," Aiden spoke without opening his mouth, "let's go on a little trip together, just you and I."
A cold wind started around them. Fionn felt himself growing weaker, and Aiden's other hand grabbed his shoulder, brittle nails digging into his flesh. Suddenly, Fionn was floating above himself. He watched his body collapse to the ground and as he continued to rise into the air, the hideous specter of Aiden Gosswer rose with him, his grip fast about Fionn's wrist, dragging him towards some darker fate.

Song of the Day:


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Black Veil Brides: Not Just Another Hot Topic Band

I've been investigating some new bands lately. Since I'm too cheap for i-tunes (except for gift cards, I covet i-tunes gift cards) I usually partake of those wonderful services known as Youtube and Pandora. They're great ways to discover new music, and since Pandora constantly shuffles through bands that are similar to the one you put in, you tend to give music you haven't heard before a chance. This is how I discovered Black Veil Brides.
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Well, I'd technically known of the band for a while. Two of my friends are HUGE fans, but I hadn't listened to them, unfortunately, because of a stereotype I'd put in place. What was that stereotype you might ask? The annoyance of "Hot Topic Bands." United States readers will be familiar with the giant flaming debate that is Hot Topic within the goth scene. For foreign readers (although you guys might have heard of it too) Hot Topic is a store that caters to teenagers. It used to be almost entirely stocked with goth related brand names like Tripp, Demonia, and Hellbunny. Nowadays, living up to its name, it tends to spew out mass quantities of whatever is "popular" from My Little Pony to Harry Potter to Adventure Time. There are two stances on the Hot Topic front, those who insists that buying anything from such a box store ultimately labels one a Mallgoth/Goth-In-The-Box/Loser, and those who don't entirely care, if it's something you want to buy and enjoy, who cares where it comes from? Generally I tend to side with the second argument although I will agree that you're not a very unique little gothling if everything you own comes from Hot Topic (although you must be a very rich little gothling).
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My gripes usually lie with Hot Topic's music influence. They claim to be "all about the music" and they certainly stock merchandise from lots of different bands, some I am quite happy with (Emilie Autumn and Black Sabbath) and some I don't really care for (Justin Bieber and Nikki Minaj) but there's no doubt that Hot Topic's willingness to provide band merchandise has given rise to lots of misconceptions regarding goth music. Bands like My Chemical Romance, Sleeping with Sirens, Suicide Silence and Falling in Reverse while terribly goth friendly, aren't technically "gothic music." THIS DOESN'T MEAN THAT GOTHS CAN'T LISTEN TO THEM! Goths can listen to whatever they please, but it's slightly irksome to meet some lovely looking gothlings in the mall, strike up a wonderful conversation about Bela Lugosi, and suddenly find yourself attempting to wade out of a sea of gushing Hot Topic Band fandom.
Aww!
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So back to the point...
Being so high and mighty, I tended to avoid those bands that churned their little black sound waves out of the Hot Topic doors. In my humble opinion, many of them have wonderful fashion sense (usually erring on the side of Visual-Kei) but it usually isn't supported by worthwhile music. I own a Bring Me the Horizon shirt, but I do like my screamo tinged with a little bit of singing, and perhaps some lyrics that have a bit more meaning than "MY LIFE IS HELL EVERYTHING IS DEATH KILL EVERYTHING!!!" Other bands like Blood on the Dance Floor and Cannibal Corpse  (widely available at Hot Topic) tended to follow this same path, so up until now, I've written off bands from that store.

But!

The other day I started listening to Black Veil Brides, and found myself pleasantly surprised. Not only does that group's visual aesthetic touch close to bands such as Mötley Crüe and Kiss but their music is  like a pleasant blend of  Avenged Sevenfold, Rise Against and something entirely unique. Let me put a disclaimer on this by announcing that no, Black Veil Brides is not a goth band, their music isn't goth, and I haven't the faintest idea if any of the members consider themselves goth. What really hooked me on Black Veil Brides however, was their message. Evident in most of their songs, Black Veil Brides truly believes in being who you want to be and living the life you want to live, no matter what others may say about it. For instance:

It's really refreshing to hear a band that is perfectly capable of spreading a message of teenage angst and counterculture while at the same time presenting a non violent image and a mantra of individuality and coexisting with your fellow humans. Black Veil Brides also earned some gothy stamps of approval in my eyes by signing with an independent record and funding and filming their own music videos. Oh and there was one more reason I continued listening to Black Veil Brides...
This. 
Jinxx playing violin.
*heartbeat heartbeat*
I'm a sucker for violin music...
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So here's to giving bands a chance before avoiding them based on "where they come from." Keep listening to music, discovering new bands, and enjoying their creative outputs!

Song of the Day: 
Currently my favorite BVB song. Such a beautiful video too!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Not So "GoodGoth"

I don't spend money all that often, so whenever I do its a big deal and I look forward to enjoying the things I buy. Such was not the case with my recent purchase from GoodGoth.com. Perhaps I was sucked into a marketing trap, but I've been a part of GoodGoth's "Deal of the Day" mailing list for a while, and they seemed to offer some interesting things tinged for the dark at heart. One of their big "deals" is their Mystery Bags.
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$40 worth of accessories of our choosing for only $14.95.
Might be jewelry, rings, necklaces,
hosiery, handbags, socks, you never know!
I'd been eyeing the bags for a while. They seemed like a pretty good deal, and when I got a coupon that knocked an extra $5 off the price, I figured, what the heck? $10 for $40 worth of stuff? Might as well! Here's where I met the first downfall. I had my mom place the order, and she went ahead and had it sent even with the extra $7.50 for shipping and handling. So now my "$10" order was more like $20. Once the bag arrived, I was a little let down. It's actually not that big. 
Rather smaller than expected...
 I figured I'd get some pretty little gothy gems, even if the bag wasn't as big as I thought, it was $40 worth, so there had to be something good in there right? WRONG.  Behold my goodies: 


A mustache necklace, a beaded choker, a fake spike bracelet made of plastic, three lip glosses, and an infinity necklace. This is worth $40? 
To make matters worse,
all of the lip glosses were also LEAKING & STICKY
And the infinity necklace was BROKEN
I may wear the choker and I'm salvaging the chain from the mustache necklace. The necklaces did come with some cheap "diamond" studs (although they had no backings) and the spikes on the ridiculous bracelet glow in the dark, perhaps something there for some future Zombie Bunnies? Also, each mystery bag is different because they're basically rounding up the last few items that they aren't planning to continue, so I guess its possible that some people got some cool stuff. But overall I was more than disappointed. I was under the impression that the things in the Mystery Bag would be made up of clearance items from the GoodGoth website, and I was hoping the items might be at least a little oriented towards goths. Of course the Mystery Bags are non-returnable, which would make sense for this type of promotion if there was anything of value included. I can't speak for the items purchased regularly through GoodGoth. Overall: :( 

Song of the Day: 


Friday, June 7, 2013

Folklore Friday: With It He Goes On All Fours

What would any good horror movie be without it's main monster? Would ghost stories hold any goosebumps without the things that go bump in the night? Of course not! For centuries, humans have created stories to explain the unexplained. The strangest fact however, is that many different cultures have crossovers in their mythology and monsters. Perhaps they were all dealing with similar circumstances...or perhaps there is some truth to the legends. I am fascinated by all kinds of folklore, as much to read into the culture the stories are born from as to experience a good tale. So voila! I have brewed up a harrowing dose of monster myths to take place every Friday (as if I needed another post that requires a two part title), a good ghost story to send you into the weekend. Sweet dreams...
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Yiska focused on remaining deathly still and slowing his quickened breathing so as not to be heard. Squeezing his eyes shut, he concentrated. It was silent in the forest. Yiska exhaled slowly when a branch suddenly snapped just to the left of him, it's noise like a gunshot in the still air. Yiska shot to his feet and whirled around, notching a brightly painted arrow in his willowy bow and letting fly. A moment later he heard the body of the deer hit the ground. His hunt had been successful. Yiska stepped lightly through the trees and knelt at the fallen creature's side. Pulling his arrow from its flesh, he bowed his head and silently thanked the great Spirit of Creation for the animal's sacrifice which would sustain his life. Once finished, he opened his eyes to claim his prize. Someone was staring back at him. 
Yiska gave a cry and stumbled to his feet. Standing across the carcass of the deer was a lean woman with widely tangled hair and barley any clothing, save for a bronze animal pelt she had slung over her shoulders. She was dirty and stood slightly hunched, almost as if ready to spring. With a sudden motion, the woman tore open a pouch hanging about her neck and blew a fistful of white powder into Yiska's face. The boy felt his body seize up. He could not have run even if he wasn't a warrior. Yiska was forced to stare into the woman's face and he couldn't help but notice her eyes. They were a deep golden color, like those of some great cat, and they seemed to glow faintly in the dying light. Yiska was ensared by her eyes.  
"You will remember me young Yiska," she spoke in a voice like coals burning at the bottom of a fire, "for your name foretells that Night has Passed, yet the darkness for you is only just dawning." Then the woman began to laugh and as she did, her laughter turned from the deranged cries of a lunatic to something more animal, screams of bloodlust and rage. Yiska thought he could remember those sounds from dark nights huddled inside his home with his mother, who would tell him they would soon go away, the animal never came to attack humans. 
As she laughed, Yiska crumpled to the ground and the woman stopped, bending over him and gently rearranging his limbs so that he was completely spread out on the ground. 
"For what your father has taken from me, I will seek my revenge," the woman snarled over Yiska's unconscious form "for my name is Haseya, 'she rises' and rise I shall from the ashes of my family." 
Then, with a guttural cry, the woman shrugged herself into Yiska as though he were no more than a coat. The boy's eyes snapped open and he would have screamed in agony, but his body was no longer his own to control. Against his will, he found himself rising to his feet and setting off towards his village, faster than he had ever moved in his life. An alien power had taken hold of him, and he was at its mercy. 

The village of the Navajo was settling down for the night. Fires had been extinguished to burning coals and nearly everyone was asleep. In a small hut near the outskirts of the village, Ajei, was tending to her last duties of the night. Her grandmother was sleeping in the next room and Ajei had bid her goodnight on the pretense that she had some last minute sweeping to do before bed. She was really waiting up for a certain someone, someone who had captured her heart. Ajei knew Yiska was betrothed to another. He was the cheif's son and must have a fitting bride, not just any pretty girl from the village with a head on her shoulders. But his wedding was not until the leaves fell, and Ajei liked to think Yiska didn't care about her father's wishes regarding his heart as much as she didn't for her grandmother's concerning hers. Tonight they were to meet for a few precious hours. So by the light of the dying fire, Ajei swept by the door and waited. 

Sometime later, Ajei woke with her head pillowed in her arms and her broom lying across her lap. The moon was much higher in the sky, and she realized several hours must have elapsed. Her heart was heavy with the realization that Yiska had not come to see her, but her feelings suddenly turned to fear...what if something had gone awry with his hunting trip? As she brushed herself off and contemplated what to do, Ajei became aware of a presence outside her house. Her heart filled with joy. It was Yiska at last. But as she moved towards the entrance to her home, Ajei hesitated. 
"Yiska?" she whispered. There was no reply. Ajei squared her shoulders. Something did not feel right. As she stood listening, she could have sworn she heard footsteps outside the window. They were slow and muffled, almost as if they belonged to something with padded feet. 
"Yiska?" Ajei whispered again, her voice quivering. She whirled around at the sound of scratching just outside the door. 
"Yiska if that is you, show yourself. It is late and I am frightened." Again the girl received no reply. She was just about to dismiss the sounds and go to bed when a shadow threw itself across the moonlight streaming from the kitchen window. It was a human shadow. Ajei ran to the window and peered out. 
"Yiska!" she called. There was no one to meet her at the window. Ajei sighed and folded her arms. A face appeared in the window. It was covered in hair and had deep golden eyes. Fangs protruded from it's mouth to hang over its lower lip. It smiled. Ajei screamed and the creature vanished. 

"Ajei?" the girl's grandmother had woken up in the next room. "What is it child? Why did you cry?"
"Ama' Sa' ni! 'grandmother'!" Ajei yelled, running into the old woman's room "There was a monster at the window!" 
"What are you talking about Ajei?" Ajei's grandmother was wide eyed and alert. 
"There was a face in the window Ama' Sa'ni! It had golden eyes..." Ajei flung herself into her grandmother's arms. 
Suddenly, there was a voice from outside. "Ajei? Can you hear me? I've tracked a fearsome beast to your house. You must come outside to escape it, I fear it will run into your house." 
"Yiska?" Ajei cried, pulling her face from her grandmother's shoulder. "Is that you?" 
"Please hurry Ajei, bring your grandmother!" 
"We must leave Ama' Sa'ni," Ajei said frantically, trying to pull her grandmother to her feet. 
"No Ajei, do not listen to it!" her grandmother said. 
"What do you mean? That is Yiska's voice I hear, he is trying to save us from the beast I saw!" 
"No child," said Ajei's grandmother, "I fear a curse has come to our village. What you hear outside is not your friend. It is the yee naaldlooshii." 
"The skinwalker?" Ajei breathed. 
"It is using it's powers to speak with Yiska's voice." 
There was a deafening crash as something broke through the front door. Ajei fell to her knees in terror. The monster she had seen outside the window now entered the room. It was only slightly human now, it's body was sleek and rippled with the muscles of a giant cougar. 
"Why do you not come to me my Ajei?" the beast spoke with Yiska's voice. 
"Leave us in peace!" Ajei's grandmother commanded and the beast turned its eyes towards her. It laughed, a high screaming noise, and then it began to change. It's one body became two, the fearsome cat vanashing back into the body of a haggard woman, and Yiska. His form slumped to the ground, hollow and inanimate, meerly a second skin. Ajei cried out in fear and sorrow. 
"You will remember me," the woman cried, "I am Haseya, she who rises in many forms. Many years ago, this boy's father attacked my village with his warriors. He spared no one, not even my children. For this I have sworn revenge." The woman looked up, clutching a fistful of powder in her hand. "I shall have my revenge." 

Song of the Day: