Tag: music

Blood is life: The Vampire’s Masquerade Ball

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Vampire Masquerade Ball, photo by Sepp BernhardI first heard about Portland's Vampire’s Masquerade Ball by chance. I was coming out of a period of intense navel-gazing and decided I needed to leave the house more often. I saw that my friend was a guest DJ at an '80s goth dance night and decided I’d go for maybe an hour, make myself dance if I was feeling brave, then run back to my hidey-hole. But that’s not what happened. First, some very friendly people saw that I was new to the scene and introduced me around, and then I met Sean who, wouldn't you know it, has attended the VMB from the beginning. Anyway, he told me about the ball and I was intrigued; it sounded like the perfect opportunity for me to make some sparkling entrance back into the wider world. Read More

The Columbine Effect, by Beth Winegarner

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Goth legs, by Bryan LedgardThe Columbine Effect, by Beth WinegarnerThe Columbine Effect: How Five Teen Passtimes Got Caught in the Crossfire and Why Teens are Taking Them Back, by Beth Winegarner Lulu, 9781304431219, 249 pp. (incl. appendix, notes, and bibliography), 2013Every generation of teenagers has grown a little wilder and a little more transgressive as society becomes increasingly complex. Teenagers are attempting to find themselves and a supportive peer group while navigating a society that is more socially active and integrated on levels we have never experienced before. Beth Winegarner writes a thought-provoking and well-researched piece highlighting teenage angst and shedding light on some of the occult practices that have been tarnished by bad media coverage on the heels of incidents like the Columbine shooting.When the Columbine shootings occurred there was a competitive media frenzy that led to significant misinformation about the culprits, citing heavy metal music and musicians like Marilyn Manson as influences. There has been an element of this blame-shifting present in each school shooting and social tragedy since Colombine. If a pentagram was found in a culprit’s bedroom or adorning their school binder, then ideas of Satan worship and dark powers have been brought to the forefront as causation, often overshadowing the more realistic factors of personal loss, loneliness and depression. Because of media coverage like this occult practices have become synonymous with dark practices, and are surrounded by fear. Read More

Temple of the Drum, by Dragon Ritual Drummers

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Temple of the Drum, by Dragon Ritual DrummersTemple of the Drum, by Dragon Ritual DrummersTemple of the Drum, by Dragon Ritual Drummers CD: Dragon Ritual Drummers, 12 tracks, 55:34 min., 2011I am extremely grateful that a friend pointed me in the direction of Dragon Ritual Drummers a few years ago. In the intervening years, I have had the pleasure and opportunity to receive and review several of their releases and I have yet to be disappointed by the quality of the performances and production values. These folks know how to use their instruments to attain the best possible results.Almost all of their music is written by members of the group, though they do include a few traditional songs to add a little extra flavour and variety -- “Fanga” and “Shaharazad” are examples on this album. Perhaps the most striking thing about their performances is that they don't use “studio tricks” to make their recordings: there is no sampling from other sources, no instrumental enhancements of any sorts. What you hear is all natural, although it is possible Read More

Avalon, by Heather Dale

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Heather DaleAvalon, by Heather DaleAvalon, by Heather Dale CD Baby, 19 tracks, 2010It’s clear that the musical and mythological world invoked by Heather Dale’s new album Avalon is the world where the artist feels most at home. Arthurian mythology provides a rich field of inspirational stories, and so they have been rendered into music many times before; in that respect Dale’s musical project is ambitious and challenging. Can she do something with the mythology that has never been done before? My answer is Yes. Dale’s album accords to the stories the space to reveal themselves in their own way, as if she is working in true partnership with all the various writers who contributed to the literary sources. At the same time one also hears the unique and unveiled sound of her heart. Read More

Sacred Sounds of the Female Orishas, collected by Raul Canizares

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Sacred Sounds of the Female Orishas, collected by Raul CanizaresSacred Sounds of the Female Orishas, collected by Raul CanizaresSacred Sounds of the Female Orishas: Rhythms of the Goddess, collected by Raul Canizares Destiny Recordings, 1-59477-071-9, 60 mins., 2005Raul Canizares, who collected and produced the recordings which are the basis for this CD was the head of the Santeria Temple Orisha Consciousness Movement in Manhattan, and the author of Cuban Santeria, as well as the producer of another CD , The Sacred Sounds of Santeria.The emphasis of this collection is the female aspects of divinity. It helps to know some of the stories associated with these strong female images, although it isn't absolutely necessary. The liner notes give a little sense of the strength of these goddesses. There are no shrinking-violets in this collection. Even the orishas associated with love are strong, independent figures. Their songs convey this as well. The rhythms are forceful and compelling. You can feel their presence and power as their songs are sung. Read More

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