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 Gothic Research Project 
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 6:49 am
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Post Gothic Research Project
I am in the last few months of my degree at the U of M and my final project is a research paper on the evolution of the gothic subculture and its clothing. (a degree in goth how useful eh?) I've read just about everything I can get my hands on and feel like I have a very good academic understanding on the subject. But I've come to be more and more aware of the fact that academic understanding (based on the writings of outsiders) doesn't amount to a whole lot. So...

I'm looking for help!

I'm only old enough to have been able to participate in the scene for the last 10 years and what I know of before that is mostly from drunken discussions I'd have a hard time citing. I've read lots of posts on here about how things aren't what they were, the music isn't what is was ect.. So tell me what it was like before!

Whether you consider yourself goth or not, if you're on this site you probably are/were and what you can tell me will be helpful! Anything from pictures, bands that important to you that I may not have thought of yet, or really just anything on the topic. I'm really trying to make this thing interesting instead of a bland recitation of facts and timelines.


Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:19 pm
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
Memorize every Nick Cave album. Then write your report.


Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:51 am
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
Well, for starters we aren't goths or gothlings anymore- apparently we are just 'dark' now. Seems like the more modern term 'emo' gets the old-timers fishnets in a bunch, so apparently that term is reserved for young people that nobody will admit they ever talk to.

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Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:16 pm
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
Ether wrote:
Well, for starters we aren't goths or gothlings anymore- apparently we are just 'dark' now. Seems like the more modern term 'emo' gets the old-timers fishnets in a bunch, so apparently that term is reserved for young people that nobody will admit they ever talk to.


That's awesome.

I have a copy of this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Goth-Subculture-L ... 060&sr=1-5
That I'm too lazy to read.

Want to borrow it for your research? The author sent it to DTC to review, but our book reviewer conveniently moved to DC just before it arrived.


Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:25 am
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
What time periods have you focused on? Most people assume "Goth" begins with the 1970s, but there have been artsy types sitting in coffee shops, dressed in black, smoking and discussing obscure subjects for a very, very long time. At the Caffè Florian in 1850s Venice, they were called Romantics and drank espresso with Lord Byron. At the Cafe Reggio in 1950s New York City, they were called Beatniks and chased their coffee with cigarettes they bummed off of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg.

My personal view of what people refer to as "Goth" includes social histories and influences most people ignore or dismiss because much of it predates or falls outside of the 1970s music-based youth culture so many people associate with it. I recommend starting with the philosophy known as Romanticism (Gothic literature stems from this philosophy), then examine the Romantic Revival of the 1920s we refer to as Art Deco, the Beat Poets, and Avant Garde and darker, Glam-style musicians (Miles Davis and Jim Morrison, respectively) as a means of adding perspective to the subject of your thesis. The influences and contributions to the Gothic subculture each of these represents should be enough to help you flesh out your research.


- Heretic


Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:42 pm
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
You haven't indicated your major or the type of class this is for. It might help generate resources if you could elaborate on your "angle".

(Just don't let Devil tell you that *I* originated Goth in the 70's. 1870's that is. I'm about that old, mind you. But I was on an Absinthe bender back then, and couldn't see straight, much less have originated anything.)


Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:36 pm
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
Ether wrote:
Well, for starters we aren't goths or gothlings anymore- apparently we are just 'dark' now. Seems like the more modern term 'emo' gets the old-timers fishnets in a bunch, so apparently that term is reserved for young people that nobody will admit they ever talk to.

~€~


Does anyone really openly admit to being goth?


Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:56 pm
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
Wodurid wrote:
You haven't indicated your major or the type of class this is for. It might help generate resources if you could elaborate on your "angle".


I'm part of the Program for Individualized Studies so I did a kind of make your own major thing focusing on alternative clothing design and applied business. So it's not really for a class it's for a big giant independent study project of my own creation where I am comparing and contrasting "gothic" clothing with mainstream clothing of the same time (divided by decade)

skywayman wrote:
I have a copy of this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Goth-Subculture-L ... 060&sr=1-5
That I'm too lazy to read.


I actually just grabbed that book from the library, but thanks for the offer!

heretic wrote:
What time periods have you focused on?


for the most part I'm focusing on the late 1970's to now, because that is the earliest I can find any source material on the subculture. I do plan to include background on early gothic literature, and the first two gothic revivals that you mentioned. but they will only be a small part as a main focus will be style trends and their direct influences.

One of the things I can't seem to get any real answer on is where did something start being goth and stop being punk. or was there not as big of a distinction until the 1980's?


Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:10 pm
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
velveteen_bitch wrote:
One of the things I can't seem to get any real answer on is where did something start being goth and stop being punk. or was there not as big of a distinction until the 1980's?

You are assuming that the popular theory of Punk as the progenitor of Goth is correct.

Personally, I disagree with that viewpoint. Early interviews with some of the classic Goth bands that I've read in old British press articles seem to point to Glam rock as the actual source of the music aesthetic behind the Goth music subgenre. I think this explains why prominent figures in Punk music are rarely mentioned, while artists such as David Bowie, Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music, and Peter Murphy of Bauhaus represent obvious influences. I suppose the blame for the emphasis on Punk in the history of the Gothic subculture can be traced back to Siouxie Sioux, her status as a Sex Pistols fan club member, and her band's early performances in Punk music festivals. I imagine that Punks hated the confused comparison with Goths almost as much as modern Goths hate being compared to the Emo subculture.


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Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:34 pm
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
see this is the kind of stuff I need!

any idea which British publications would have those articles? I'm sure they exist in some archive I can track down somewhere. Because all of the stuff I've been able to find in writing does claim that it is a spring off from punk but doesn't give any explanation of how that relates to the influences of the 80's and there is somewhat of a missing link there


Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:53 am
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
In the film "The Filth and the Fury", John Lydon speaks of the time that heroin started to infiltrate the punk scene in England
He insinuates that heroin directly influenced the British goth scene in it's infancy
Most of the goths I knew in Dallas in the mid/late 80s were doing it too

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Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:50 am
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
Siouxsie actually was in a band with Sid Vicious pre-Sex Pistols. The band also included Marco Pirrone (later of Adam and the Ants), so she was more than just a Sex Pistols fan.

The Damned were really quite Goth for their time and became progressively more so. We opened for them in 1987 and by that time were more Goth-metal than Punk.

Locally, there were some great Goth or "Darksider" bands, some former members post on her on occasion. There is a treasure trove of photos of that scene.. the bands included Dark Carnival, Heathen, Timbuktu and a few others that I can't think of right now.

Here's Rifle Sport in 1981 posing at Lakewood Cemetery. Our singer J was into sort of a scary-rockabilly look with the hair hanging over his face, creepers and a sort of Teddy Boy Horror look.
Pretty mild though compared to Dark Carnival and Heathen's look... I'll try to find the link to their photos. Most of the local punk scene in the very early '80s here was into Joy Division, Siouxsie, all that. I sprayed beer all over Nki Fiend from Alien Sex Fiend's face one time at First Ave.. that was funny. All those batcave bands played here at one time or another including Specimen.

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Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:01 am
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
velveteen_bitch wrote:
any idea which British publications would have those articles?

I can't be sure, but I believe I read those article in old issues of NME (New Musical Express) or Sounds. I would start there with back issues from the late 1970s and early 1980s.


- Heretic


Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:27 pm
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
That's a cool project! I love goth fashion; it would be great to see the end result.

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Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:17 am
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
My style leans towards goth in that I enjoy wearing black clothing, black finger nail polish and eye shadow. Sometimes I wear mesh tshirts and fishnet stockings. I hope this helps your project.

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Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:36 am
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
Gothic is like pornography: You know it when you see it and most of the people who are into it like to say that it's not actually what they're doing.


Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:40 pm
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Post Re: Gothic Research Project
velveteen_bitch wrote:
Does anyone really openly admit to being goth?



Only those people who are incredibly secure with their gothiness... so.... no.

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Mon Mar 28, 2011 6:33 pm
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