Gothic Council vs. Marilyn Manson
I was in high school when Marilyn Manson's Antichrist Superstar came out, and yeah, I played it until everyone around me begged me to stop. Though I've grown to appreciate deeper and better artists, Mr. Warner has always had a place in my heart for introducing me to a darker world.
I still think he's highly underrated as a lyricist. He's quite gifted with the odd turn of phrase, at least the equivalent of Axl Rose, and his showmanship is undeniable. That being said, he's often sewn onto the goth scene like Belial gets sewn back onto Duane at the end of Basket Case.
I've argued before about his inclusion under our little black parasol, and mostly I get gnashing teeth in response. However, I would put forth that as a Reznor protégé his credentials check out, and that many of his tracks, particularly off of Mechnical Animals, fit perfectly as modernist goth tunes.
Plus, I have never seen any goth scene cooler than the faux-goth gangsta thing he pulled in the "Tainted Love" video. But I knew I'd feel more comfortable if I had some experts, or at least a few people who were still awake and listening to the Mission, weigh in on the subject.
I summoned the Gothic Council to pass judgment on Mr. Manson. Joining us this week are DJs Martin Oldgoth and Regen Robinson, fashion designer Batty, living historian Morrighanne Burns, blogger at Night's Plutonion Shore Sarah Fanning, co-founder of the Age of Decay festival Alethea Carr, author of the Encyclopedia Gothica Liisa Ladouceur, and artist Darla Teagarden.
Martin Oldgoth: Nope. Just can't accept him in my gang. Reznor (in my opinion) wrote one very average album and went downhill fast when he chose the irritating shouty, loud guitar shit as a career path.
I rank both alongside Rammstein as being one of the primary causes for the death of the goth scene as we knew it, paving the way for people to accept just any old crap as being "gothic." There was no need to ignore the bands putting out genuinely good music at the same time in favor for industrial-lite, metal. Kill it with fire.
Batty: Gotta agree with Martin. Kill it with fire. I also think Reznor wrote a couple mediocre albums that were really catchy and while they did suck a lot of people into the scene that moved on to liking better stuff, he and Manson also sucked in a lot of the people that killed the beauty of the scene as well and devolved into things that appeal to the lowest common denominator.
I won't deny that Manson is a brilliant businessman who knows how to sell himself; however, the ability to make money doesn't make one spooky. Does not like. I like dark and mysterious and the delicate beauty in the dark in our scene, not the grotesque route he takes.
Martin Oldgoth: Yeah, got to give him that much. He's a manipulator, all right.
Batty: Also, If we want to go for grotesque and shocking but in a pretty way, Sopor Aeternus hands-down kicks Manson's butt in any goth brawl of the weird.
Morrighanne Burns: I can see where Martin is coming from, but Antichrist Superstar was a good album, especially from a DJ point of view. "Beautiful People" filled the floor every time I played the bugger, and it is good to have a dance to, but that might be because the drums remind me of listening to glam and New Romantic stuff when I was a child.
I prefer some of his earlier stuff. "Sweet Dreams" is an inspired cover and "Lunchbox" makes me smile when I'm on the bus listening to my iPod.