12 March 2017

Blast From the Past - Rediscovering My Old Youtube Channel

When I made my (first) Youtube channel I had one intention in mind - to illegally upload rare music that wasn't uploaded to Youtube before. I've used the website to discover new music (and still do), so I was very disappointed to not be able to find certain songs by my favorite artists. This needed to be changed.

At certain point Youtube changed it's policy and tied all the accounts to Google, which made me start using my current account and forget about the old one. But still the old one lives with thousands of views on the different songs I've uploaded, comments from all over the world and people thanking me for sharing the music. Even friends posting an occasional song here and there on Facebook, probably unaware that it was me who uploaded it ;)
I wouldn't upload any piece of music by any artist without their consent nowadays, but looking back and my most favorite music from when I was 17-20 makes me nostalgic and happy to have encapsulated this small fragment of my personality online.
If you haven't noticed, documenting myself is one of my favorite things to do.

So aside from a few embarrassing high school boredom moments, I've started the channel by sharing my fascination with Peter Hammil's music by uploading 2 of his songs from his "mid life crisis" album, Over. This number is in my opinion one of his best songs:


Uploaded in 2008, back when making a song-Youtube video involved making titles and credits....
Seriously though, this song is haunting! If you're planning on geting devorced, buried in a suit or committing suicide in the process, this one's for you.


Things got real when Boris and I discovered The Birthday Party, which made me want to upload some songs that have never seen the light of Youtube, like Zoo Music Girl and Ho-Ho. The latter was a more favorite song, but not having them online felt like a miss. I tried uploading Mutiy In Heaven, one of my favorite songs, but it always got put down due to copyright. And as an aspiring 17 year old longing to share this geniussness of post punk with the world, I felt very betrayed...

There were a few other numbers in between, like a part of Einstürzende Neubauten's song from their movie Halber Mensch (with a very wrong german-title attempt), which I've idolized at the time, and some songs by Russian & Ukranian musicians like Kolibri and Fleur.

Discovering Cinema Strange was totally a thing, and I began uploading a few missing songs. I was getting to know all these goth bands, it felt so great! I can still feel my excitement through these silly uploads; wanting to know more about the band, wanting to grasp every aspect of it!
One of my favorite Cinema Strage songs is actually a small instrumental from their Quatorze Examples album. Very eerie and atmospheric, not so over-the-top as they're otherwise are. I bet not many people know this song to begin with!


Do you know why I liked this so much? It reminded me of Opeth's accoustic pieces. The "Maria seal of approval".


Are you ready for the next atomic bomb of this blast from the past?! I'm not sure you are, because aside from me writing about it here and there, I have never actually shared any visual evidence of my army service.
This is perhaps one of the most "Israeli things" you can get. Soldier girls dancing in their uniform like it's no big deal. For most of you, the fact that we are actually soldier girls is already pretty unheard of. But it's Israel, baby, and as a very none-rebellious, obedient teenager - I was hoarded into the army system just like the rest of them.

Just a quick note here - the army was the worst time in my life, and instead of serving the normal 2 years for girls (!!!) I have been there 9 months before I said "fuck it", went to the army psychologist and bailed out on lying about mental problems, suicide and depression. Except that I wasn't lying. I was in a place/system where I hated everyone and everything, didn't believe in its common goal and felt like all my potential, my very true being and my determination in life has been taken away for something that served the most ridiculous purpose. Sure, I am smiling in that video, because I can adapt very well and was never one to sit in a corner and mop. But soon enough, every little sell in me would rage in despair, for I would want a different life, a different choice with a completely different goal in mind.
Since going to the army is so embedded in the Israeli politics/culture/etc, NOT doing it is still considered a huge no-go. You get judged, you are told it's a bad decision for your "future". And it's all bullshit.
And after 9 horrific months, 6 of which were spent without Boris since we broke up, things have changed. Gloriously. I have never rebelled at the age of 14, 15 or 17. I rebelled at 19.

My army experience definitely deserves a post of its own. Or few...

But for the time being, we were dancing the stupid polka song because we were waiting half an hour to get the permission to go home for the weekend. And it was fun!


I am first from the left.
I spent only the first 3 weeks in a classic military camp through my basic training period. After that my service looked nothing like it, I went home every day after teaching a class at grade school. Many soldiers have it way worse in the Israeli army; people stay for months in the base; people actually fight and see their comrades getting killed. My service and "struggles" are considerably humble in comparison, but hey, it's my life and my own perspective on it...

Things began to get even gothier on my channel when I started posting some Corpus Delicti. I was somewhere around 20. I still love listening to that band no matter how cheesy they are.
There were other bands like Neva that I uploaded, which at the time I though I was the only person in Israel even being aware of this band. What growing up in the periphery of the world does to your feeling of self importance :)



Another notable mention from my channel would have to be Boris' post punk band from that time, Vivid Noir. They had a few gigs and even recorded an EP, but unfortunately broke up shortly after. Some recorded songs can still be found on youtube, uploaded by their synth player.
I looked up to every one of them. I glanced at their singer in awe for being so badass. I was definitely the biased groupie, no less. I was excited something like this has even happened in a relatively "sceneless" country like Israel, at least when you talk post punk...
Luckily, things have changed a bit since 2011 and there are new bands on the rise. Those were fun times though...



I have continued to document other shit on my current channel. All those old videos of me awkwardly talking to the camera... Since I enjoy browsing my previous channel so much, I know I will never delete them :)

Maria

6 March 2017

90s Grunge Goth Inspiration - Betsey Johnson Autumn Winter 1997/8

I was browsing Pinterest the other day for some 90s goth style inspirations and stumbled across the following number. Spring is just around the corner here in Berlin and I feel like it's time to wear thinner stockings and shorter sleeves.

I have generally been in a very romantic goth style phase - I wear lots of long black skirts and tight black long sleeved shirts with lots of jewelry. It's a very comfy style to wear and leaves room for thick thermo leggings and winter socks. Yet those go to the back of the close now and I want to pretty much wear the same thing but with tank tops.

All images found on firstVIEW.


Betsey Johnson has always been off the wall. She's kind of like the American Vivienne Westwood, only tackier... 
I love how the above are so street wear. It really brings you back to the classic 90s goth look. Very medieval inspired, long silhouettes, straight hair, HUGE crosses...
Makeup wise, I have been rocking this for over a year now.

If a goth would wear it, it's not exactly reinventing the wheel, but when I think about it, you don't see goths dressing this way today either. Maybe you have this in a grungier version, or throw a shrug over it and you would have "witch goth". Either way, we need to fucking bring these shoes back!

Those glasses though!

There were a few more "trad" looks found on Johnson's Winter 1998 collection. Suddenly there's big hair! What happened? It also looks very Kinderwhore, appropriate to it's time.
Check out that white dress look! We need to sport white goth outfits more often! Aside from a huge white button up shirt, I never did!


I have found the 1997 runaway on youtube. Shitty quality and it's uploaded in 4 parts, but part nr. 2 (below) is where it's at, and where the looks from the beginning of the post are taken:

I loved the entire show!

Would you rock this look or is it dated/ cheesy? Is this "very 90s NYC?"
What are your recent style inspirations?

Time to blast off some Mephisto Waltz and pretend I can stand 90s gothic rock :)


Maria

3 March 2017

What I Dislike About My Favorite Bands?!

I frequently criticize the things I love. Surprising? Not really... I love finding out why I like what I like; what makes a piece of art - be it a book, a film or a piece of music - touching? Why am I attached to something so much? I am the last person to try and explain things with reason, so my "search for meaning" is rather introspective - I just want to understand myself better by questioning what I love. 

So lets play a game where I pick out my favorite bands and ruthlessly elaborate about what I don't like about them. I am always praising my favorite bands/albums/songs, but nothings is perfect. Balance should be everywhere, and even Opeth are no exception (gasp!). Speaking of which:




Ok, so it's my favorite band in the world, right? Well, up until a certain album. And that certain album is Watershed. Ever since Opeth dropped the death metal subcategory of their music and took things more 70s prog rock, fans have been divided into 2 groups - people who love the "new" Opeth, and people who hate the "new" Opeth. I definitely belong to the latter group. I respect Opeth immensely for always changing and doing what they like, a band can never be stuck in one place, it's impossible and kind of disappointing. 
But things finally ended with Heritage for me, what a strange Jethro Tull attempt... What a contrast to the heavier sound of Blackwater Park and Deliverance; where are the growls, where are the heartbreaking waves of guitars? I don't think you can fully remake 70s prog rock, with all my love for 70s prog rock... 
Their last album Sorceress didn't make things better either. I could appreciate it, sure, but Opeth will forever be the gloomy, death/doom mix of their first few albums, which I find remarkable. My humble opinions on the Opeth discography deserve a post of their own, but as long as Mikael Akerfeldt doesn't growl, I and a lot of other "old" Opeth fans are not too happy.



Fortunately, they play a majority of old songs live and going to their gigs is an experience I want to relive every single day of my life.

And another thing: for the most part, I couldn't care for their lyrics. Sure, I cite Opeth lyrics like all the time, and I have my Instagram to prove it. But it's just sentences here and there that I find beautiful. When I was younger, I tried reading the lyrics of my most favorite songs but couldn't make sense of it. Yeah, dream/forest/woman/sadness blah blah blah.... every now and then I would enjoy an entire song's lyrics, but it's rare. I just love the music, really. I really can't stand their lyrics videos, who cares?
I am such a hypocrite fan ;)



Nothing makes lyrics more irrelevant for me than my next favorite band - The Mars Volta. Really, Cedric Bixler Zavala, aside from being an incredible singer and a gorgeous looking man, has really fucked the whole lyrics thing up.
I know, I know - super progressive, philosophical, our of this world, beyond consciousness and acid worthy lyrics type of shit going on. I get it, it's what TMV are all about. But come one - I can't even remember at least 1 song by it's lyrics (ok, not entirely true but still) plus they make zero sense. It's completely abstract and to some may sound unemotional at all. 
Frankly, TMV's music is so emotional to me that like with many bands that I love - I couldn't care less about the lyrics. But god, can you at least give me a thread here? Lead me to at least a hint of a story? 

Here's an example of one of my favorite songs, Inertiatic ESP (the title "says it all"):

"What of this mongrel architect   
a broken arm of sewers set 
past present and future tense 
clipside of the pinkeye fountain  
Now I'm lost" 
 Yeah, I'm fucking lost too...



Next up are....


What can I possibly not like about Bauhaus? Well, maybe the fact that they don't play anymore? At least not in that formation, it's just Peter Murphy now (which I haven't seen live yet! urgh...).

There's the whole lyrics part again. Have you tried reading Bauhaus lyrics? They are pretty abstract most of the time... they're not even that goth (because Bauhaus are technically not goth - ha!); they're not even that romantic either... I mean, Peter Murphy sure gives you a sleazy, disturbing feeling with his attitude as a front man. I've always found it interesting, so I guess I cannot mention it as something I dislike.

Another thing would be - yet this is a contribution of the goth subculture - that Bauhaus are regarded as a goth band. They're so not, and Peter Murphy himself stated that they couldn't make sense of the goth label. Bauhaus are a post punk band - a post punk band with dub influences and a bunch of other shit. Shrinking them into just the goth label is frankly an insult to this great band.


And last but not least...


Just please release an album already!!!!!


I think I've said enough for now. Maybe we can continue this another day?
What do you dislike about your favorite bands the most? 

Maria

18 February 2017

Teased Orange Hair: Update & Inspo

I know what this blog hasn't seen in a while - hair and makeup looks! Since I got a new phone for the holidays I've been documenting my face a lot more. My old phone's camera was gone, plus the phone was really old and slow, so using it for other than making calls was impossible.

from a while ago, going out. I need to overdraw my lips more!
We all look at inspirations for our style, and even though I do no do it too often, I love looking at picture of 80s goths for some hair goals. I know a lot of people pull off the look a lot better than I do, it's just an interpretation after all.
But I like looking at pictures of people with orange hair especially, since most goths have black hair.

 Found on Now This Is Gothic

Source
This is my favorite "warm toned" teased hair of them all. I love the length, I am aiming for it!

By now I have pretty much settled on a hair coloring routine. I wanted to make a post about how I color my hair but ended up not having the time to take pictures during dyes. Yes, dyes - it's a 2 step process, as I need to lift my natural brown hair to a brighter color. I've been orange for a year now and my hair feels amazing, so I will stick to the same routine for now. For a change, I do not have plans to change my hair color. This hair simply rocks.


From last night

Teasing long hair is more challenging than teasing your hair in the first place.
The Nr. 1 rule for teasing long hair is - hair products! Your teased hair is like a building, you need to build a solid foundation before going higher.
So before I hit the comb I apply mousse to my entire hair.

  1. Wet hair in sections
  2. Apply mousse in sections
  3. Blow dry hair upside down
  4. Start teasing with hairspray, again in sections.

These are the products I use:

  Source                           &                          Source  

The Taft mousse really does the trick, and the Got2B is a big hair staple by now for goths and punks alike. These products are unfortunately not cruelty free.

There is also an option to use teasing powder, but I haven't tried it yet since the above combo works. Does anyone have any experience with it? What would you recommend?

Having your hair cut in layers is also a huge help. I do want to have long hair, and I will probably only cut the most top layer frequently for that Patricia Morrison look.
I also don't straighten my hair (anymore). My hair is wavy which makes for a nice teased texture. I am damaging my hair enough already.

Then there's the biggest teasing trick of all - the brush. Some people use a thin comb, some use a special teasing comb. However, for my thick heavy long hair I use a round brush:

Source
This is a trick my friend showed me, and I would have never thought about it myself! This is not exactly good for your hair, but when is teasing anyway? This brush helps picking up big sections, and with your solid foundation on your really don't need to stand half an hour in front of the mirror ripping your hair out.
With a solid foundation and the right tool, your hair will last the night. I sometimes re-tease it during the night with the same brush. Take a backpack lol! There's also a mini version of the brush available in most stores.




It's funny how my hair color looks different depending on the lighting. I have to edit the saturation of my pictures to really make the red shine through the phone camera. Funny enough, all selfies in this post show my true hair color, it just depends with which lighting you look at it, hehe.


I have dyed my roots since then as can be seen in the previous picture

Here's a post-teasing aftermath. You can tease your hair, but can you bring it back to normal?
Personally, I sleep with my teased hair and detangle it the day after. The hairspray loses it's hold so it's easier.
Needless to say you need to section your hair and slowly comb through it without pulling. I use my regular brush, which is also a detangling brush. 
Some people prefer to soak their hair in conditioner and comb it when it's wet. That make sense, but I prefer the dry option. How do you do it?


Hope you liked this little hair update. Do you have any hair tricks/goals?
Wish everyone a wonderful weekend!

Maria

15 February 2017

Favorite Youtube Channels | February 2017

I love youtube. It's my TV, my carefree alone time, my relaxing evening time in front of the monitor. Despite the controversies and my harsh opinions (on goth youtubers especially), I still love to follow certain youtubers that are just very creative, entertaining and very good and making you smile.
And not just people, corporate youtube channels too.

I follow a lot of channels, so for this list I've decided to include only the channels that inspire me most; that make me really anticipate their next videos, and that most of which Boris and I watch together. And considering how much Boris doesn't like individual youtube bloggers, it's saying something...

If you like watching various youtube bloggers/channels as much as I do, then I hope to put some new names to your subscriptions.

In alphabetical order:


1. Amber Scholl
How to make cheap clothes look expensive

This is perhaps the most unexpected entry on the list. Amber is a relatively new youtuber, she makes mostly diy videos about how to be fabulous and extra on a budget. If there's a person in the world more Kardashian than all the Kardashians put together - it's got to be Amber.

Why am I watching this?
You know how you watch certain youtubers not because of the content but because of their personalities? Exactly. I might not have the same style and not be a Kardashian (or any other mainstream pop culture icon) follower to say the least, but there's something very sincere and honest about Amber that drips through any camera editing. I love her perky personality, and I loved her story too. You can tell she's being herself with integrity, plus her fancy diys are actually very good!



2. Angela Benedict

I have mentioned Angela in a separate post a while ago, which should tell you how much I love her channel. Again, this is a combo of content and personality for me - I absolutely love the way she tells stories from her baby bat years as a teenager in the 90s. Her way of reminiscing on the past is very romantic and sincere. This is another good example of sincerity maintained on camera (an interesting thing, since Angela has a past in acting ;) ).

This is the only goth youtuber I have been watching for  along time without getting bored, cringy or disgusted. It has been but the opposite of that, and I am very excited whenever a new video from Angela is out. She even makes me like 90s goth music, haha!



3. Ask A Mortician
Do hair & nails grow after death?

have mentioned Caitlin Doughty's book Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: and Other Lessons from the Crematory in the past and have been following her channel ever since. There's not much explanation needed - it's pretty much history lessons about death around the world, and as much as her book was fascinating - so is her channel. I love learning about all that fun and gruesome stuff, plus she gives nice book recommendations from time to time on the subject, so you can start building your own spooky library.

This is a great example of an entertaining and informative channel. There are more to come on this list.



4. CineFix




One is not simply a music nerd without being a cinematography nerd. I rarely write about movies here, but you can sure count on me being a movie snob. I was so happy to come across this channel to find various videos dedicated to the art of film - from top 10s to reviews to random facts, these guys really do their job. If you're into analyzing what you're watching, I highly recommend this channel, plus you discover a bunch of new movies in the process. The editing of the videos is great and the guy narrating is funny.

The video above is one of my favorite youtube videos ever (yeah, that much!) - dive into different color palettes and how they're used in different movies, and what it does to your perception as a viewer. Marvelous!!!




This guy does visual essays, and this was a new medium to me as much as it maybe it for you right now. I discovered him through his essays on movies, but he has a lot more on art, music and politics. I do not know much about this guy, but he was on TED, so that's saying something.
Nerdwriter can be a bit overwhelming sometimes, because it really makes you think and get in touch with many personal subjects that he so skillfully integrates in his essays. It's not really a channel for mindless viewing, for a change.

Again, I marvel at the beautiful editing and on the thought being put into his youtube compositions. You can tell the guy is educated on every subject possible. If you wanna get your culture on, grad a cup of tea and discover why The Beatles changed cover album history; why Melancholia pictures depression on film and many, many more.


6. Simply Nailogical

Personality over content? This is another one of those youtubers for me. Not that Christine doesn't have great content - hell, she's probably one of the most entertaining, creative and hilarious nail art youtubers out there! The chance of me attempting any of these nail tutorials is very little (though that one above is absolute killer!), but it's just so satisfying to watch her do her own nails. Needless to say her character wins it all. You can tell there's a very shrewd person behind that camera! I just admire her wits sometimes.






Continuing with the review-type channel, this is my favorite music reviewer, Anthony Fantano, aka theneedledrop. This is the guy that has been inspiring me to make youtube videos more than ever lately (and sadly I will probably never find the time to do it). I absolutely love the way Anthony critics... everything! He's hilarious, witty, sarcastic to the core but also serious and gives great attention to the various music components making a good song/album. This is music nerd soul food for me.
One of my personal favorites is his review of Miley Cyrus' album. I have never laughed so hard (I had to give the album a try after this, and he was right!).




I have been oblivious to only one of the very first diy youtube channels until a few months ago, and I instantly fell in love with both Corinne and Rob. This is my fun TV time - they are both hilarious, their projects are hilarious and mostly just very exciting to watch. I follow their individual channels too, which if you found yourself entertained amongst all the swearing and sarcasm - I can only recommend. Will I attempt even one of these diys? Probably the food diys some day, but this is just plain fun. I think they totally rock their channel, there's a reason why it's their job!



Let's leave this list for now, but I might do another one. Tell me if some of these channels have sparked your interest?
What are your favorite youtubers of any kind?


Maria

10 February 2017

A Bunch of Psychedelic Collages

I've been obsessed with collecting psychedelic collage art on Pinterest. This is like one of those random things that I just enjoy looking at and that makes me instantly happy.

I don't know much about collage art, I only know there are countless ways of making them. I love vintage-looking collages the most, they kind of give you a Summer-y feeling we could all use right now. Disfiguring reality is fun!

Here are some of my favorite ones. Some sources to the pictures were incorrect, so if there's no source mentioned, go to my Pinterest board.


First, there's the classic galaxy themed collages:

                                                                                    Source

                                                                                  by Joe Webb


Some moon collages were dope too:


by Rachel Brice

The claustrophobic city collages are what really did the trick for me. I love how using photos of regular objects in a different setting makes for a very unsettling composition:

                                                                   by Sammy Slabbinck

 
Cymophobia much?                                                                           Source


Hope this gave you some inspiration, or at least some Summer vibes! I love browsing this kind of pictures the most, they thrill me and give me a whacky look on reality when life's too boring.



Maria

3 February 2017

Going to Wroclaw to see Stoned Jesus, Sunnata & Dopelord

A while ago I told you I was eager to take a 4 hour bus drive to Poland to see one of my favorite contemporary bands - Stoned Jesus. Which I did, with the accompany of a good friend who was as motivated as I me.

We were also excited to see the other 2 bands in the event - Dopelord, which I knew of before and Sunnata (who I wasn't aware of, and glad I do now). It looked like a killer lineup.

As often happens with very awaited events carefully planned ahead - I began to get sick the night before, and the day of the trip didn't get better. My throat was hurting all the time and I was weak. My friend had a cold as well. Yet nothing stopped us from getting on that bus, riding through the white fog and the snow.

You know you're crossed the border to Poland when the road gets bumpy
 We had a few hours to walk around the city before the gig. We have both been to Wroclaw before to Return To The Batcave Festival. I realized I missed the city so much! I love the old town, the squares with the churches, the little passages between them... You don't have that kind of historical architecture in Berlin.





In one word, the gigs were dope! I was happy to see all 3 bands, starting with Dopelord, which I think are a better representative of the contemporary stoner/doom genre. Now, I am not the biggest stoner rock fan, and most stoner bands are not my thing, yet I really loved that Dopelord had 2 vocalists, creating harmonies on top of heavy, tuned down riffs. I loved the single components of their songs, and they painted their live performance with deep dark colors, yet always leaving some room for beautiful light singing. I though that was a very cool combination for this type of music you don't hear often.

I also think there is more of psychedelic elements in their new album. Loved the songs Skulls & Candles and Reptile Sun especially:



Next up were Sunnata, and after someone posted a song of theirs on the event, I was really excited to see them, since it promised a more proggy experience. Oh boy, did I need one.

Indeed, it seems like it was a blend of nu metal, doom, stoner, prog and whatever else. I don't think I have ever heard such long songs live before, and realized how I craved some. I loved every single thing they played, I think each song was very well constructed and proved for a heavy experience with not a single boring moment. There were aggresive & loud parts for some good headbanging, but also quiet eerie moments where you didn't know what will happen next. The world needs more bands like this! I have to see them again!

Beasts of Pery and New Horizon were my eprsonal favoite:



Speaking of headbanging, by the time Sunnata were on stage I finally got my way through the long waiting line to the bar. My throat was hurting badly and I had to get some tea! Beer was out of the question. And that's how I managed to headbang with a cup of tea! And I have the picture to prove it:

with lemon and everything!
Excitement was even higher when Stoned Jesus were finally on stage. I couldn't wait to hear all the songs from Seven Thunders Roar. It's so cool when bands play and entire album you really love, it happens so rarely!
One of the best parts of their gig was how the frontman communicated with the audience. He got us laughing and generally made for a very homey atmosphere. I felt happy seeing them on stage and hearing the songs by them that I love. Every moment was simply awesome (the bassist is so cute! There, I said it...). They all looked so happy all the time!

Funny enough, in comparison to the other 2 bands, Stoned Jesus were not as heavy. You could hear a lot more 70s influences in their music than anything else. The sound was pretty minimalistic, which makes sense considering influences like Black Sabbath. A nice change from all the drop tunnings that were going on before ;) 
They even played the beginning of Starless as memory to John Wetton of King Crimson, who recently died. I was so happy to even hear the first moment of that song live. Chills!



Despite being sick, we had lots of fun. It's nice to go to a gig and mingle with the people of a different city/country. You kind of feel belonged, in a way. People were super nice, and I even got compliments from a lovely girl on the way I looked. Makes me want to visit gigs in Poland more often. 
Can't wait for the next musical field trip!


Now to lie in bed and get better.

Maria