24 December 2014

My 2014 in Music

It´s that time of the year again, to browse my ipod and the folders of illegally downloaded music to see which bands have been with me the entire year.

This is a tradition I have been keeping since my Hebrew blog days. Here is the post from 2013.

1. Agalloch

Agalloch have become to be kind of like Opeth- they are always with me and speak to me more than any other post punk band. I have been enjoying the album Marrow Of The Spirit especially this year. I must say that I´ve listened to only 2 Agalloch albums so far (The Mantle was the first) and it takes me eternity to move along from one album to the next. I feel like I can enjoy the same songs over and over again without having the need to check out other stuff.

To Drown / from Marrow Of The Spirit

2. Siekiera

I know I have mentioned this band a lot lately, but I have been into Siekiera since a couple of months this year, and I couldn´t emphasize checking their Nowa Alexandria album enough:

3. Burzum

A second metal band (musician, whatever) on the list! I don´t know why Burzum accompanied this year. Maybe it´s the dark atmosphere, maybe it´s how pretty Varg was when he was young, or maybe it´s because I find this type of music to serve for angry, relaxing and sexual purposes at the same time? Either way, I still think Varg is a nazi racist son of a bitch. But don´t hate me for liking his music.

Feeble Screams From Forests Unknown

Here is a great contemporary band which I had the honor to see live twice already. I adore their album and their live acts, because DS are great on stage, and because I am having such a kick imitating Max´s Italian accent (guilty pleasure, I admit). I went as far as to stand front row at a gig and sing the lyrics with that accent the entire time while laughing my ass off. I never have so much fun at other live shows. But if to be serious, Dystopian Society make very good dark punk and I totally recommend checking them out. I still want to see them live again and again!

Death Signals

Here is why this year has been more full of live music than ever. I have practically been swimming in whatever Boris is doing with TWOD, his recordings (and recent mixes that hopefully will be out soon!!), new band members which have helped to shape his post punk project into a psychedelic wave band, and I pray for him that it only will get better from here. I have observed how hard he is working not only on the music but on organizing gigs, finding people to play with and writing to basically every living human in Europe in order to hopefully organize a tour. I am very happy for him making his dream a reality, and it looks like my part as stylist/ makeup artist/ photographer/ dancer is yet to be over.

Still Remember The Day

Moving along the live acts, the other band where Boris plays guitar have become not only good friends but also an opportunity to travel and see the world in its subcultural glory. Many thanks goes to Sergej the bassist for making me able to hop along Totenwald gigs to travel with them to Copenhagen, Poland (where I visited my first ever music festival!) and to be able to contribute and help them, whether by sitting at the entrance or DJing, and finally- introducing the band here on my blog. I am more than happy to help whenever I have the chance.

Stereotypes, live from Copenhagen

7. The Smiths

On the one hand, I kind of wish for listening to this band more in my teenage years. On the other hand- if I would have listened to them I might have not been among the living today. Which is why I sometimes find the favorite sad angsty songs of The Smiths too childish for my current, mature mind. Yet they still are my happy music, in an ironic kind of way Morrisey would probably appreciate. It´s their melodies and lyrics which do it for me, and I mostly keep away from lyrics in songs unless I find them utterly beneficial for understanding the music. The Smiths´ whimsical touch can really brighten a lovely cynical day.

Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others (I love how the guitar reminds me of the Russian Kino).

The only band which followed me from last year, that I can say I am still obsessing about as before. I have told you about them already, and probably will continue until I will finally see them live. They have released a new album lately which I am yet to check out, I am saving my spirits for it to grand a special day where I would consume it´s content. Scofferlane are the best thing to come out of Russia yet, so make sure to check them out!

On Predators

Those are the main acts. I can include a huge number of honorable mentions, as I have discovered a ton of bands that I like more by songs rather than albums, and which have inspired me to create playlists for DJ sets. I was happy to see Monowelt and their live concerts, supporting my friends felt great and I loved to hear how they developed their darkwave sound through each gig. I also enjoyed bands as Kryzys, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Auction (enjoyed so much as if I have discovered them for the first time) and some more which have left a song or two to keep playing in my mind.

What musical acts have made your year? You are welcome to do this kind of post as well, I would be thrilled to read about your musical 2014.

N. Finsternis

19 December 2014

Blast From The Past: first makeup experiment

It´s december 2009, I am 18 years old and had free time on my hands to experiment first time with eyeliner. My face was 90% cheeks in previous years, so you couldn´t really see my eyes. That´s why I came to makeup so late in my life. It just didn´t suit me. Now I cannot go in public without it (because of the permanent dark circles under my eyes which you can partially see in the photo).

Due to recent hair doubt I have been enjoying looking at these old pictures. Waist long hair and fringe looked nice, I am thinking of bringing the fringe back. You can tell I was excited doing this experiment; the realization that eyeliner made my eyes BIG has changed my life forever.

I am also still very happy about this edited picture, which would become my first FB profile pic. One could never underestimate the editing program of a Sony Ericsson phone.

This is by far one of the first "darkest" images of myself at age 18. I am a late bloomer when it comes to looking alternative, and I am glad it has turned out that way.

N. Finsternis

13 December 2014

Face of the night: braid hair

much punk, very contrast-saturated edit. I got inspired by Marika´s latest selfies!
Last night I sat at the entrance to a Totenwald gig, they played together with Dividing Lines from Leipzig in the infamous squat, Köpi. Unlike usually the concert was held in the basement of the place which was horrifyingly cold. I may look oh so stylish in the photo, but I never got out of my winter coat the entire evening! 

I was happy to help with djing after the gigs as well, and to finally blast some multi-cultural post punk! I had so much fun during last night putting music that I like, we all danced, my set got sabotaged by some italo disco towards the end (thanks, Trish!) and we even listened to some German rap after my set ended thanks to the punks at the bar. That should have been filmed on video, but unfortunately wasn´t.

Hair obviously didn´t stay in braid for more than 5 min. I missed doing black eyebrows!

Also, for some reason, taking part in subculture related events makes me beyond satisfied and happy, as if I have been dreaming to do just that (and I know I haven´t thought it to be possible while living in Israel). So I do hope to DJ, sit at the entrance and contribute in any way I can for future events, which are all being organized by friends anyway so if you won´t do it yourself, whoever will?!

Weekend continues tonight with a movie night at a friends´ place. Have a delightful weekend everyone!

N. Finsternis

11 December 2014

Musical Obsessions- Zimna Fala -or- Polish Post Punk (part I)

A lot of you were interested in a post about Polish post punk, yet I only got myself familiar with bands from the genre a short while ago, namely exactly after Return To The Batcave festival, and felt like if I to do a post about the genre I would still miss out of a ton of bands which I am yet to be familiar with (fearing to piss off a lot of you Zimna Fala experts! :x )

So instead I have decided to write about my occasional musical obsessions, making this into a sort of post-series. This way you would get a small portion of bands every post and could (and should!) recommend me on additional bands.
As probably said before- we are all here to learn...

I shall bravely disclaim this by saying that I am indeed nowhere near knowing all the classic Zimna Fala bands, the mentioned here are just the ones I have been obsessing about the past time, as the title suggests ;)
So if you know about other Polish post punk bands which you believe I will like, please do share and educate me on them!

1. Maanam

Courtesy to Ra The Luppensammler for introducing me this band! They have been everything to me this past week. Maanam make very catchy new wave music, oftentimes very popy with occasional melancholy tunes that make my heart sink. I can guess that their singer is like a star ever sine the 80s? Correct me if I´m wrong.

Maanam/ To Tylko Tango

Unfortunately I wasn´t able to find my 2 favorite songs from youtube with the blogger app, so if you are interested to hear more please visit the following links:
1. One of my favorite songs is of course Lipstick On The Glass. It is on repeat practically every day.
2. Another one is Luciola, a very touching song (minute 2:27 in the song is when I really melt down)

For some reason, these 2 songs make me veery nostalgic, throwing me into a feeling as if I am trying to remember something that never took place, or fail to remember a time in which I have never lived. It is a very special sensation which is hard to express with words. I have no idea why Maanam´s music makes me feel this way, but they somehow found a very deep place in my heart and I totally recommend them! I am yet to find a website to download their music from....

2. Republika

Another jewl introduced to me by Ra, thanks girl!
I found Republika to be heavy and ska sounding at the same time. The piano parts are so awesome, which makes into very unusual compositions, in my opinion. In comparison to a lot of Russian post punk, I have noticed that Polish post punk is a lot better produced and recorded, and it seems like a common thing in East European post punk to mix instruments like piano/ sax/ flute in their music, which is the exact kind of stuff that I like.

Republika / Smierc w bikini (Death in a bikini)

I have yet to explore all their stuff, here´s another song which I have posted before:

Republika / Biala flaga (white flag)

3. Siekiera

Unlike the mentioned above, I have been aware of Siekiera since last year after being introduced to them by 2 very good polish friends who live here in Berlin. I have sort of ignored the band until a few months ago, and I was so overwhelmed by their music I cursed myself for not listening to them properly before!
When it comes to Siekiera, I have noticed a similar tendency in Polish post punk to repeat words during the song, and not singing really lyrics, rather making a cluster of words which builds a certain atmosphere within the song. I find this very mysterious, I´ve never encountered this sort of thing in other post punk bands (aside from Belgrado who have a lot in common with Siekiera in my opinion).

Siekiera / Bez konca (no end)

Siekiera (translated as ax, btw) have their early punk period and the late new wave period. I haven´t listened to their punk period, but from people who love the band I understood that you either love this or that.

Siekiera / Ja stoje, ja tancze, ja walcze (I stand, I dance, I fight)

Here is another favorite of mine from the album Nowa Aleksandrija.
I am waiting for the day I can DJ this song:
Siekiera / Ludzie wschodu (people of the east)

I really recommend listening to the entire album Nowa Aleksandrija, as every song there stands out. You can listen it on youtube here.

This is all for now, till the next Zimna Fala post, as there are some more gothy and even dub inspired post punk bands which I would love to share.

N. Finsternis

7 December 2014

Impressions of Wroclaw and more Return To The Batcave memories

During the second day of the Return To The Batcave festival we had a chance to take a walk in the center of Wroclaw (Breslau?). I wasn´t expecting much of Poland, thinking I will see the stereotypical post soviet union land shaft, but I was luckily wrong with my assumptions and Wroclaw, which was a German city turned to be a magical place with colorful doll-like houses, much history and magic.

I then hugged a chicken.
The center of the old town revealed a christmas market. it was very beautiful though very cold.

I absolutely loved the city and would love to return there again.
The festival itself left a few band-highlights as well. From the remarkable performance of the Polish Joanna Makabresku which I didn´t know before, the kicking ass gig of The Mescaline Babies (killer pogoing was guaranteed, the guys nailed it, they were amazing live!) and new discoveries such as the Polish Alles who played very minimal yet energetic synth wave, 
I was overall very impressed by the choices of bands, mixing post punk, deathrock and contemporary wave music giving each sub-sub genre it´s fair place on stage. Totenwald rocked as well, from reviews I heard they were liked by the crowd, cheers for that!

And then there was the other less sober part of the night: sharing a hostel room with Soror Dolorosa, being sensually kissed on the forehead by their bass player (as a result? who knows...) meeting very amusing and lovely goth people and just hanging out backstage with friends was absolutely amazing.

And then this bigos and goulash happened:

courtesy to the lovely Anoli Nicure
I have been drowning in Polish post punk music ever since the festival, thanks to Ra who has been introducing me to some amazing bands. I would so love to write a post about all of them, but more research and youtube digging shall be made before I do that.
But here´s a taste:

N. Finsternis

3 December 2014

Outft of Return To The Batcave Festival

What a weekend we had in Wroclaw! Great live acts, amazing people, delicious food and lots of booze. This and many more, as I cannot sum up the experience of the festival in just one post!
I had so much fun and I would love to come back there again. Tomas Woodraf who organized the festival is doing a huge favor to the scene indeed.

Here are some pics of our outfits for the festival. Being away from home and given the cold temperature I ended up wearing the same outfit to both days, simply because I wanted to stay comfortable. And well, a nice outfit could have been ruined thanks to the killer pogo we had. I am still bruised ever since!

a pic from the first day
I proudly wore my Totenwald shirt the entire time, might as well work as a mascot for the band! 

On the first day I also met the beautiful Ra the Lumpensammler and Lucienne, both have awesome bloggs you should check out! How exciting it is to meet bloggers for the first time!

I also met Joanna Invisiblemartyr for the first time in person. I really love her photography works on DeviantART, you should check her out if you haven´t already!

Here are pics from the second day, before Totenwald played their gig and before another massive alcohol consumption.

I really loved the venue of the festival, which was a kind of squat spread on 2 buildings, so that one served as a concert on the first floor and the backstage on the second, and the other as a bar and merch room. 

I only slightly altered my makeup each day. Sleeping with teased hair and teasing it again the day after seems like a good recipe for everlasting huge hair. I don´t miss bringing it back to normal though XD

I will write a following detailed post about the gigs I loved the most and impressions of the beautiful Wroclaw which we had a chance to browse on the second day. I am still so happy that I had a chance to visit the festival, I met so many nice people and made new friends, the atmosphere was just right!

N. Finsternis

25 November 2014

The 100 Day Song Challenge - Days 31, 32, 33 & 34

Day 31: If you were to have a party for your birthday, this song has to be played.

Since this birthday I attended the Minicave festival in Münster and saw Urban Grey first time live, this song by them got to me and has been stuck in my head ever since. I am completely in love with this song, it is very chill out and romantic, you should totally check UG out, they´re going to release a 7" soon!

Urban Grey / Only In Me

Day 32: A song in the current charts you like the most.

You know how I like the current charts, so here you go:

Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj / Bang Bang

Day 33: A really short song.

Really short indeed, and one of my favorite The Horrors songs.

The Horrors / Death At The Chapel

Day 34: A song performed by an actor/actress.

I don´t think I know any actors who make music, not that I can think of any right now. The first that comes to mind is Jared Leto with his band which I dislike, so let´s try someone else:

Jenifer Lopez / Booty

N. Finsternis

18 November 2014

Return To The Batcave Festival

Calling all goths!
On the end of this month we are going with Totenwald to Return Of The Batcave Festival which will take place in Wroclaw, Poland.

Look at this lineup! I am very excited to go to my first ever festival! I´ll help selling Totenwald merch and possibly will collect some reviews for a zine we are thinking to start with friends from Copenhagen about the europe goth and diy scene. 

If you live in Europe somewhere join us all! 
Or if you know people who still haven´t heard of the festival please spread the word around and share the even on FB! :)

N. Finsternis

15 November 2014

Face Of The Night - much elegant, very cleavage

We went to a pub yesterday, this was my makeup:

Kind of went overboard with the pronzer, but what the hell.
I am currently growing out some hairs in the beginning of my brows to shape them better. Somehow the left brow always looks weak.

My lipstick for this look is a dark shade of plum by an Israeli brand called Careline. They are cruelty free and their lipsticks are my absolute favorite. This one is going to run out soon (in like a year or so), need to ask my mom to buy me some.

Restocking on eyeliner recently, I could finally ditch the awfully uncomfortable liquid eyeliner that I had and buy some gel liner. I had gel liner before but it dried really fast. The reason I´ve decided to buy it again is because of the super easy application. I hate liquid eyeliner. I always contour my lower lash line and liquid eyeliner always sticks to them, staining my fingers after I wipe off each lash.

I put mousse in my hair. Can you tell? I couldn´t...
This wonderful ring necklace was given to me by my aunt from Uzbekistan. I usually wear it a lot higher, but yesterday was a "velvet v-cut tank top outfit" kind of mode.
I am thinking of taking pictures of my face with my camera again and not with my phone. Then again, the lighting in my house is so bad the phone actually makes it look better. Never underestimate a phone camera, that´s what I say.

On we continue our weekend with another The Wings Of Desire gig. I am excited!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

N. Finsternis

13 November 2014

Book Review: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: & Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty

Earlier this month I told you about the book Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: & Other Lessons from the Crematory- the stories told by Caitlin Doughty after her working in a crematory.
Now that I have read the book I can review it for you guys.

The book is basically a memoir written by Doughty, featuring her first ever experience with the death industry, her studying in mortuary school later on and her establishing The Order Of The Good Death.

It is a book about her personal experience with working with death (as a job and concept) as well as a book about the death industry. I was happy to dive into her own confrontation with dead bodies, mourning customers of the crematory she worked at and the way she herself described the subject of death and dying and how her view on it is changed throughout the book.

Though I was also excited that the book had a lot of information about the trade in itself: what practically happens in a crematory, how bodies are embalmed (I was equally grossed and satisfied with that very detailed chapter) and how the death industry established itself in the United States.

If you are someone completely new to the subject then you have a lot to discover about the trade in this book. The historical information provided was very interesting for me, I am happy that I stumbled across a book which turned out to be so educational!

As for the perspective on death part, I personally wasn´t new to the subject of death, as we subcultural people do come across it in it´s philosophical sense quite often. I liked that Doughty presented the way people address death nowadays, and how the death industry profits from selling caskets and "death packages" like any other business in the world, which is a bit sad considering the different ways we can embrace death (not in the goth way of the word).

There is a lot of room for wondering about the subject of mortality in the book. Doughty´s life story and her personal development as a "character" in the book provided a sort of a plot, which is exactly what one might expect from a memoir.
It left a very touching feeling when I finished it. I delayed finishing this book, it was a lot of fun to read, easy yet deep, grim yet funny with lots and lots of juicy details. I recommend!

N. Finsternis

11 November 2014

Film Review: 20,000 Days On Earth

On the 10th of November Boris and I celebrated 8 years together, and we couldn´t think of a better way to commemorate the day than with a movie about Nick Cave.
Nick Cave has been a huge inspiration for Boris and his music, and Cave´s Berlin days with Blixa Bargeld have indeed inspired us to move to the infamous city. I recall I have told you about the film The Wings Of Desire numerous times before lol.

Official Trailer

We were beyond excited to see the film. We heard some mixed reviews but came relatively open minded. We do not love Cave´s current music but this was not a reason not to see the film (one of the main reasons was to see him without his horrific mustache).

In short, the movie is a semi documentary and tells Nick Cave´s 20,000th day on earth (52 years). We watch him wake up, do his daily duties like writing, visiting a psychologist (lol), playing music in the studio, recording, performing (well not on the same day presumably) and even going to his private archive. His fucking, private archive...
If you can sense my opinion shining through the words, then yes- some parts of the film I did not like, and felt they were kind of portraying a superstar in his "sort of a regular day schedule". Stuff like Nick Cave wearing ugly huge golden rings annoyed me a bit, and some song scenes made me cringe since I do not emphasize with their lyrics and don´t find them charming like they used to be.

Also, if you are looking for crazy rare footages of The Birthday Party and Cave´s 80s concerts- don´t expect too much. There is not a lot of it in the film except of some photographs and stories from the past.

But- but! 
This is where my criticism ends, as I absolutely loved the rest. Through the film you can hear Cave´s narrative, him talking about a bunch of things like writing songs, the experience of performing on stage etc. from his point of view. I found this narratives incredibly inspiring and I could connect to every word. As a musician Boris felt really attached to them too.

We managed to get a bunch of postcards from the theater!
The film is visually beautiful- the editing is great and I could sink into it while watching.
But the best part for me personally was probably in the end, the scene where Cave performed on stage during which his old performances were shown, making it a collage of Cave from the past and the present. I cried at this part. It was incredibly touching in a very positive way. The comparison of the old and the present made me appreciate everything we are doing in Berlin, in terms of our music especially. 
It was a very emotional moment for me, since to me Nick Cave associates with The Boys Next Door, The Birthday Party and The Bad Seeds in the 90s. Those little scenes of him performing with his backcombed hair, red shirt + black vest and the entire band so young had really inspired me.

We went out of the film with a very positive feeling. The whole superstar Cave in some moments of the film wasn´t too bad, more so it could have been presented in a worse way... Instead we got the impression that Cave as he is today is a bit lost, as if in previous years he had more direction, more confidence. But perhaps it was only our impression.
I also had a very young feeling after the film. It was not like watching some old rock star and thinking "this is all well and good but I don´t want to end up like this". Nothing of the sort- the film depicted Cave in a very heartwarming manor, not snobbish (as it could have been) and still very dark and wondering...

I have a heroic plan about stealing the film poster later this month, since the nice girl in the theater said they are not even allowed to sell it to anyone. I hope I will be able to pull that one off.

I encourage you to go see the film if Nick Cave´s music has ever touched you, his way of thinking and view on life. Despite us not liking his music today we still enjoyed the film greatly.

N. Finsternis

7 November 2014

Face Of The Night, good ol´ smokey eye and Kryzys

I have reached this point in my life where I refuse to experiment with makeup and just stick to routines, since by now I have already found the makeup looks which suit me best and make my face look like I want it too. 
Aside from the occasional third eye dots and crazy lipstick shades (lipstick is probably my favorite makeup item) I don´t do any cut crease eyeshadow (and on my asian eyes it is merely impossible), not crazy liquid liner eyebrows, no false upper and lower eyelashes (I´ve told you already how I feel about this type of masochism) and no super exaggerated cat eye. Maybe Siouxsie eyes every once in a while, since you can never be wrong with that.

For some reason I find black lipstick the perfect complimentary for smokey eyes. This "black lipstick" is probably my best makeup "trick": a heavy layer of chapstick with a thin layer of black lipstick on top. 
I use the cheapest Halloween lipstick there is, since to make life simple I do not believe there is that one perfect black lipstick in this world. Stick to the simplest product and make it work for you, somehow. Since cheapy black lipsticks are dry as fuck, chapstick is the perfect base for them. And it stays on very well, I kid you not.
I also love the half transparent look it gives you. You can apply a couple of layers to achieve a pitch black color of course, but I like the light gray-brown shade better, since a good brown lipstick is also quite hard to find. 
And there you have it, two in one. Fucking a, right?

I should be coloring those roots by now after having my tips cut last week, but I´m always lazy to (make Boris) do it. I´ve noticed that I color my roots every 2 months, which is frankly a big time to wait. I just don´t want my hair to fall out at once, but gradually. Everything is planned, you see.

Oh, and I´ve been wanting to share this awesome Polish post punk revelation that I came across while searching for songs to dj. 
The band is called Kryzys (= crisis), and if you are a Polski post punker you´ve probably known about them and about Brygada Kryzys (=crisis brigade) which followed after Kryzys´ disbanded. But I haven´t.
You know that feeling where you stumble upon a band from a very explored (at least in your perspective) genre and go excited beyond belief how this band is everything you´ve been loving about that particular genre and how come you haven´t discovered it before?
Well that was the feeling about Kryzys for me, since the young, dub-inspired-saxophone-featuring post punk is the exact kind of post punk I enjoy (the early music of Russian Auction having a similar sound).
So here is some nice post punk to brighten up your mood, but which would still make you wonder about... things! While you´re dancing!

You can listen to the entire album 78-81 here.

I´m slowly spotting some other Polish post punk goods and would love to write about them here, since this kind of music is one of my favorite. 

N. Finsternis

5 November 2014

Face Of The Day - Red Matte Lipstick

One of the many souvenirs I got from Uzbekistan was this red matte lipstick by the brand Golden Rose.
I am very familiar with this Turkish makeup (mostly lipstick?) brand, since it´s a cheap brand sold in many Israeli pharmacies. I couldn´t find in anywhere in Berlin and was excited to see it in Uzbekistan.
This matte red came from their matte (duh..) series which I haven´t encountered in Israel before. I was desperately looking for a good, deep red matte lipstick for a while. 

Absolutely love this necklace combination.
There is no info about Golden Rose being a cruelty free brand, so unfortunately I cannot say anything about that. I own 4 different Golden Rose shades by now and I promise to do a lipstick collection at some point in my life to show you how beautiful their lipsticks are.
Their lipsticks are full of pigment and very creamy too, which is essential for my always dry lips. Even this matte is not dry at all, which is a major plus.

I had to slightly edit the picture to show the color´s full potential. Sorry for the low quality photos.

N. Finsternis

2 November 2014

I´m not a boy - Gender Questioning

Straying from the usual subculture-selfies-post punk related posts, I would like to share my little gender experience. This is a very personal matter to me, so I apologize in advance if I would (again) sound melodramatic or utterly confused, since often I am indeed confused when it comes to this.

The reason I chose to write about the matter here is because I love being frank about things and I
don´t believe in taboo topics. Maybe my experience will ring a bell to some, maybe you could give your opinion on gender matters as well and we could all learn(?).

I do fear however, that this might come up as a "trending topic", as if you are spending as much time on the internet as I am you might notice that it has become more than common to wonder about ones gender identity, to come out as this or that and deny all possible stereotypes, claiming that how some people portray themselves is very complicated.
It is true that I haven´t addressed this topic ever in my blog nor do I speak with people about it (only with my closest friends) but I have been dealing with some personal questions for a long time, and I would just like to share it here.

I love men.
I love men so much I love to watch them with other men.
I love men so much I wish to be one of them sometimes.
I love men so much I wish to be one of them to be with other men as a man myself.
I love men so much that being seen as a woman by them is sometimes not enough for me.
I love very particular, long haired, feminine, makeup wearing men.
I´m not attracted to women, but I love femininity.

I have been struggling with the above for a good amount of years now. My love for all things gay and homoerotic was and is something I cannot explain.
This issue has 2 sides which are the main reason for my problem:
  1. I love wearing makeup and dressing like a woman, I love having long hair and I love my feminine body. I was raised to love it and I would never in the world change it, not with hormones or surgery! I love the way I look more and more as I grow up. I do not feel that I was born in the wrong body.
  2. Yet sometimes something in me doesn´t fit. The average young woman would sometimes think "I wish I could look like that" while looking at other young women on the street. My mind has the same thoughts whenever I look at other young men on the street! I literally caught myself on this thought so many times by now. I envy how other men look and I wish to look like them.
These 2 extremes are the source of my dilemma. If I don´t want to physically become a male, what´s my deal then!?
Exhausting Boris with this talk and wishing to actually do something to know for sure rather than wondering "what if", I´ve decided to do a little experiment. On the last The Wings Of Desire concert I dressed like a man, and even did my makeup differently:

What a disappointing experiment it was. Look at me- I am nowhere near looking like a man. This is the closest of going without makeup as I can get, and even without any I would look worse than this. My round face is too feminine, and my face features (especially my eyes) are the complete opposite of what I would like them to be.
I was very discouraged after appearing in public like this, when I finally understood what was my problem.

I am not a man, not in this body at least. This body is dedicated to something else, and it is not where I will find the solution.
It is my mind.
I am a man on some days, especially on paper, when I write about things, be it this blog or fiction, into which I pour a lot of my gender questioning. I am a man in my mind, and in my mind I know that if I would posses the body of a man, I would be looking completely different. I would be a lot taller, thinner and I would even be of a different race.

Having a penis and growing a beard would not solve my problem. In fact, I don´t even like masculine features that much, and I am positive that if I would have been born a man I would have been very feminine.
This is a stupid cycle I am going through every once in a while. I am blessed to have a partner like Boris who more than understands this, yet sometimes I do not really know how to express the feeling of being a man in my mind. Being called a different name even with masculine pronouns didn´t work either. I felt awkward and not like myself.

That´s why I have put the issue aside for now. Sometimes a lovely thought comes to me, that I am not less of a man when I am wearing a skirt and makeup. I do not wish that society will see me as a man, I am more than comfortable staying as a woman, since I know that my appearance has nothing to do with my gender identity.
I don´t know if this is common or not, but I do think that most people who´s gender identity is opposite than their sex will have the need to change their appearance according with their gender. It´s not my case, far from it. I sometimes feel that "being a man" is a sexual stimuli, it´s something connected with eroticism in my head, as I have been writing homoerotic short stories for a couple of years now, and it is the only way where I can dive into that masculine place in my mind, and dare I say- play out the scenario of what could have happened to me as a man in this world.

I am ending the topic on a positive note. I´ve run experiments to find a solution to my problem, and found out more about myself. I cannot identify as girlfag or queer or what have you... I´ve read a lot on the subject and no category seems to fit me, even so that the more specific I go into those categories the more confused I feel.
But little things seem to make me feel in place, for example like writing and being honest with myself. Talking to Boris has been a huge help as well.
Funny though, that unlike everything else I have tried, finding my "man name" was really easy, and it is one of the things I identify with the most. It makes me happy to know it, even if no one addresses me with it. None should, since I am a man on paper. The closest to describing it would probably be like having an alter ego, or when a writer is using a pseudo name.

So is this a coming out post? Maybe, maybe not. I just wanted to share an aspect of my personality, and it makes me feel relieved to share this with the world. I am not ashamed of it.
If you have any advice or thoughts on the matter please share them! It could be nice to hear a different perspective, regardless if you emphasize with the subject or not.

Alexander F.

1 November 2014

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory

I do not celebrate Halloween, but this year I thought to treat myself with a theme appropriate book.
Last month I´v stumbled upon a review of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory by Caitlin Doughty.
Doughty is a mortician and in the book she describes how it is like to be one, featuring a lot of gruesome stories told with a lot of humor.

I was happy to discover that Book Depository (where I recently began to buy books from) has it. It was a total of 15.62 euro including shipping (shipping is free worldwide in Book Depository).

Doughty has a youtube channel dedicated to the subject as well, called Ask A Mortician. I didn´t know it before and I found it really entertaining; her perky manor of approaching the subject of death will bring butterflies in the stomach of every goth.

I am currently finishing a sociology book and haven´t begun reading Smoke Gets In Your Eyes yet, but going quickly through the pages I am sure going to love it. Besides, aren´t you excited when a book starts with the following:

Fun Fact: on the same day when I read a review about the book, I have met a person who actually worked as an embalmer. So getting this book was meant to be I guess.

I think that this is the one goth cliche I actually fit- I have always been interested in death and I find it fascinating. So I am very excited to read the book, since I have absolutely no idea how bodies are cremated and the whole process. I find the profession of leading humans to the other world very mystical, I hope to get some inspirations with this book since I have been writing about death all the time in my teenage years and kind of miss that ;)

Have a wonderful Samhain and Halloween everyone! I am going to see a themed movie tonight and hope to blog about it afterwards!

N. Finsternis

27 October 2014

10 Ungoth Confessions

When I was little, my mother always told me to be myself and to not blindly follow the crowd. This little rule goes for being goth or alternative for me, as being alternative within the mainstream society is fun, but a being non-conformist within the subculture itself- is gold.

And let this be a reminder to all of us to just be ourselves!! Regardless of the stuff we like or dislike. Never let the horde decide for you!

  1. Something I´ve mentioned here a couple of times: I absolutely hate The Sisters Of Mercy. I think they are overrated, boring and just silly. I´ve tried loving their music, I really did, and I can understand why people like them. But I don´t.

  2. I am not goth at home. I don´t wear makeup at home and couldn´t care less about my appearance. Home is where I wear most colors (or rather boring colorless clothes). My home isn´t goth either; aside from a bat wall and random party posters with goth icons on them I have very little "gothic home decor". I love having colors at home, I don´t think I could live with black walls and black everything around me XD
  3. Continuing the wardrobe section; I do wear almost only black, but I have a surprising amount of bright fuchsia underwear. Or just pastel colored underwear....

  4. Perhaps my biggest confession yet: I have absolutely no problem with pop culture. I enjoy the occasional pop hits (especially from my childhood), I love Katy Perry and Shakira, am amused by Nicki Minaj and love watching all those horrific music videos. I am somehow, though unintentionally, very updated with all that crap! You are always welcome to twerk with me, too. (I hope I broke your heart with this)
  5. I love watching trashy TV Series, like Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl. I will usually watch them until I am fed up with the plot/ characters. I just love the way they style those beautiful girls.
  6. Speaking of television material, I am a huge fan of Ru´Paul´s Drag Race. Although this reality show is less mainstream than others, (and if you don´t count Sharon Needles as goth) it still provides good stupid entertainment. I just love the show, my favorite season is Season 6, I know so many quotes even Boris knows them without watching one episode XD
    Girl, you got a shemail!

    I just had to share THE BEST lipsync battle of the 6th season!! Adore Delano is amazing!! Party!
  7. I am a Buzzfeed junky. No need to further explain.
  8. I adore the style of early 2000s. Back when early Christina Aguilera had her black/red hair stripes, those really weird latino booty shaking songs, Eminem who is just amazing, Cry Me A River by Justin Timberlake and the list goes on and on. This is just another opportunity to tell you that I love pop music. A LOT.

    One of our favorite viral videos.
  9. I love Internet Memes, I even did a post about my favorite ones! Fortunately or unfortunately, internet memes have so much meaning for me when it comes to making jokes (Boris admits it too!). I can throw sentences one after another which would have meme connotations only. Boris and I frequently watch sketches like Ray William Johnson and the Russian version, This Is Хorosho to be updated on the most bizarre viral videos (as well as Fail Army of course).
  10. Finally, I cannot really call myself goth anymore! Not that it was the purpose of my life to categorize myself (disclaimer, disclaimer...), but I do listen to almost only new wave and post punk and very rarely enjoy gothic rock or other genres of gothic music. Post punk would be my favorite music genre, aside from the occasional Opeth and Agalloch.
    I love to DJ post punk and minimal wave, and I go to post punk parties only. In addition, I despise with all my heart having the need of people in the goth community to buy in commercial goth stores and I hate "mainstream German goth things", like Aggrotech parties and the German gothic magazines. My heart clings to DIY aesthetics and I would feel a lot better in a squat than in some fancy pub with skulls and coffins.

I hope you had fun with this as much as I did, and if you would like to share some of your own then amuse us all!
Have a great week everyone, and watch out for those poseurs! ;)

N. Finsternis

24 October 2014

Eye Of Horus and DJ preparations

I recently purchased an eye of Horus necklace:

I found the cheapest one on Etsy for 4 euro total (with shipping) from this seller. There were 3 pendants in the package (forgot about that!) and came without the cord. I am very happy at the quality of the pendant, and the size didn´t disappoint either. Now I need to buy some more cords since other broken necklaces waiting to be worn.

sloppy face of the day. Roots need to be redyed but I  need to cut tips first.
 Tomorrow I am also taking part in organizing yet another The Wings Of Desire concert, which will take place in the squat, Tommy House.
TWOD are performing together with a post punk band from Amsterdam, Urbay Grey. I saw them live at the Minicave Festival in Münster earlier this month and can´t wait to see them again. They play very chill out, The Cure influenced post punk. I loved their drum machine especially, it was very groovy.

Do you like the poster I made? I used this fragment of The Horrors´ band pic.

Since the concert will be held in a squat it is appropriate to serve band food before the gig (a luxury I am happy to take advantage of on whenever Boris plays with TWOD or Totenwald). This time I have volunteered to help making the food, since I am not doing much anyway aside from DJing later that night. I had a lot of fun helping with veggie burgers before TWOD´s gig in Copenhagen, and it warms my heart to contribute this way.

This will be my second time DJing as well. I liked it so much the first time and had idea for songs ever since. It also saves Boris the hustle of arranging a DJ, and in Berlin everyone is a self proclaimed DJ....
So I set to myself a goal to play only post punk and guitar music. There is a horrible trend in Berlin for (apparently) several years now to play strictly minimal wave and unknown undancable songs, which annoys me beyond belief. So I try to bring some contemporary and old school post punk with some dark 80s hits and deathrock here and there. Let´s see if my DJ skills will improve this time, and if I´ll be brave enough to scatter the snob goths who ask for Sisters Of Mercy songs all the time :P

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, don´t forget to party!