Taylor Swift: Goth Icon In The Making
As the summer and its hateful amount of sunlight begins to creep towards us like some kind of humid, rat-borne plague, Gothtopia has been a bit hard-pressed to find spooky news to bring Houston. But today we have an emerging Goth icon whose presence MUST be discussed before she blows through town leaving hearts broken in her wake. Her name is Taylor Swift. Gothtopia is going to get kicked in the balls with stompy boots for this article, so give it a chance, OK? On the surface, Swift is just another young, pretty pop-country songster. New country, not even old, sad country like Johnny Cash. What can we say? That's the surface. If you want what's in the coffin you have to dig. But her inner spooky chick will rise to feed upon America's blood. You may bank on that, missy. Take her video for "You Belong With Me." The premise of the song alone echoes the sentiments of something like Depeche Mode's "Somebody" - it's a pining need not only to love someone, but for understanding for an outcast. She even goes through a period of image changes in the video looking for the one persona that will be the siren song necessary to woo her love, including a classic Goth look. And that's not the only track of Swift's that can be linked up with Goth. Here's a bit of "Teardrops on my Guitar":
I fake a smile so he won't see What I want and I need And everything that we should be
I'll bet she's beautiful That girl he talks about And she's got everything That I have to live without
Seriously, those lines could have come right out of Joy Division's "Love Will Tear Us Apart." If we told you those were lines from a new Evanescence song, you wouldn't be able to tell. Somewhere inside Swift is a big old mass of existential angst and a penchant for black eyeliner.
Even her personal life backs this up. ShedatedthewerewolffromTwilight. There, we mentioned it. Moving on. Her tiff with Kanye West... ah ha! Walk through any mall in Amercia and you will see there is a quiet but brutal fashion war between Goths and hip-hoppers. Over the last decade, rappers have steadily begun integrating the death imagery and poetic poise of the Goth culture. Now they're shopping in the same stores, and believe us, it's making the background music selection eclectic. So when Kanye West jumped up onstage, Gothtopia knew what we were seeing: Just another example of rap trying to steal from the Goths. But don't worry, she's shown that she's a trooper. And she'll keep sending out her secret spooky signals to those of us who are true believers. We knew when we saw the cover for Love Story, that was actually a clue. Rifling through our CD collection, we ran across Swift's obvious inspiration in Rasputina's Cabin Fever. Melora Creager of Rasputina is who Swift obviously longs to become once she's collected enough redneck paychecks, and we here at Gothtopia will be the first to tell you, "I told you so" when it happens. THINGS TO DO IN HOUSTON WHEN YOU'RE UNDEAD
In local Goth news, relief has come in the form of Ex-Voto's latest release, Antioch, which is a hell of a good death-rock record showcasing the more pop approach that defined Ex-Voto's side project Ardour of Angels. The single "Your Fate" in particular has been on a constant loop in our car. Next week brings us two great shows for the caped crowd. Naika Whisperwish's HaVoK will host Android Lust, the singular vision of Bangladeshi-born Shikhee, at Numbers. Rake-thin and wiry, her appearance belies the venomous and cathartic music she's been creating for over a decade. Though well-known in the underground electronic scenes, Android Lust began to gain a cult following after her music was used on CBS show NCIS. Saturday, June 5, Numbers will keep Houston in the black when cyber-rock outfit Slick Idiot hits the stage Our own Asmodeus X, returning to the stage for the first time in more than a year, supports
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.