Tuesday, March 31, 2015

12 Months of Goth, Horror and Dark Biographies for a Gothic Book Club

Tired of literary fiction, the usual Dracula and Frankenstein and television host book club picks? Form a gothic book club in your town and choose a bit more intellectual readings to ponder over and discuss with your book club members. Take turns hosting at each other's dark and drearily decorated houses, seeing who can outdo each other with book-themed cocktails and desserts each month.

Following are some suggestions for intriguing reading for thoughtful goths:

JANUARY:

Chapter and Verse: New Order, Joy Division and Me (2014): Bernard Sumner's take on things. Book reviews include The Guardian and The Register; and here's an article where Peter Hook dissects the autobiography and one where he bashes it.

FEBRUARY:

Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division (2013): Peter Hook's history of his band Joy Division. Here's the reviews from The Guardian, The Boston Globe and the LA Times.

MARCH:

Who Killed Mister Moonlight? (2014): David J's biography of his life and his time as the bassist for Bauhaus. Check out a review of the book at Goldmine and at Blinded by Sound.

APRIL:

Robert Smith: The Cure and Wishful Thinking (2005): While we wait for a more updated biography or (dare we hope) a Robert Smith autobiography, this will have to do.

MAY:

Morrissey (2014): Autobiography from the lead singer of The Smiths. Morrissey can be a bit polarizing, so not everyone in your book club might want to read this.

A Light That Never Goes Out (2012): Perhaps your group would prefer reading about the Smiths band as a whole, not focusing on Morrissey. There's an updated 2013 version as well.

JUNE:

Dark Entries: Bauhaus and Beyond (2001): This looks like a nice drama-filled read for your book club. Maybe set out some extra wine or whisky for your book club meeting this month.

JULY:

Siouxsie and the Banshees: Entranced Story (1989): Out of date, but still an interesting read on one of the seminal goth bands.

Siouxsie and the Banshees: The Authorised Biography (2003): Perhaps then move onto this more updated biography for the second half of the month of your book club.

AUGUST:

Edgar Allan Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance (2008): Of all the many Poe biographies out there, I chose this one from its melodramatic title and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. Sure to spark some lively discussions.

SEPTEMBER:

The Lady and Her Monsters (2003): An intriguing biography of Mary Shelley. Great reading for steampunk and Victoriana fans too. Here's the reviews from New York Times and Persephone Magazine.

OCTOBER:

Ministry: The Lost Gospels (2013): Al Jourgensen's stories of his time in the industrial band. You can read reviews of the book at Intravenous Magazine and at Louder than War. There are some outtakes from the book at Vice, too.

Vampira: Dark Goddess of Horror (2014): W. Scott Poole's biography of actress Maila Nurmi and the "Vampira" character she portrayed. You can listen to an interview with the author here.

NOVEMBER:

Bram Stoker and The Man Who Was Dracula (2002): Read the publisher's excerpt and you'll see why I think this book would lend lots of drama and excitement to your book club discussions this month. Wow.

DECEMBER:

Remembering Jonathan Frid (2014): Friends and colleagues reminisce about the Dark Shadows actor. You can read an excerpt of the book here, and listen to a podcast with the author here.

Touching from a Distance (2014): Deborah Curtis, widow of singer Ian Curtis, writes about his life and time in Joy Division. Here are book reviews from The Telegraph and The Guardian.

Happy reading!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Wine from Vampire Vineyards for Gothic Dinner Parties

Now you can order Vampire Vineyard wines on Amazon (depending on your state's wine shipping laws) to serve at your next gothic or vampire-themed dinner party. Obviously this works best if you display the bottle so your guests can see the vampire label, rather than open the bottle in the kitchen and bring out wine in glasses.

The Vampire Mixed Pack includes a 2012 Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon, a 2012 Vampire Merlot, and a 2012 Vampire Pinot Noir. Each are 750 ml.

My favorite white wine is Pinot Grigio. I can't believe I used to like Chardonnay! Here's the Vampire Vineyards pinot grigio from 2012.

The Dracula pinot noir is from 2007.

For summer, they make a sangria called Fangria.

The Vampire Vineyards cabernet mixed sampler includes a bottle of 2012 Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon, a bottle of 2009 Chateau du Vampire Cabernet Sauvignon, and a bottle of 2011 Trueblood Cabernet Sauvignon St Helena Napa Valley.

Explore Amazon Wine for more Vampire Vineyards offerings, including the Trueblood tribute wine, and their Vampire Merlot.

Cute Damask Outfits for Little Goth Girls and Babies for Easter and Spring

This ruffly damask outfit is a tunic and shorts set. I love the ruffles and polka dots on the shorts!

For moms who aren't quite ready to goth up the baby just yet, here's a nice damask sleep sack in a soft pink but with a hint of black.

I prefer this damask onesie because the black is more pronounced.

Pair these damask bloomers with a black bodysuit or a black onesie.

Wrap your baby in this beautiful damask receiving blanket.

I can't decide if this tiered damask and lace romper is obnoxious or adorable.

Here's a tiered damask dress I like a lot better.

This one's got it all for the budding goth girl: hot pink, black, damask, and a skull as well as a ruffly tutu!

This damask bodysuit comes with a matching flowered damask beanie hat.

Here's a more formal damask dress for Easter churchgoing or Easter brunch with the grandparents.

Here's a darling black and white damask pettiskirt.

This damask dress comes in toddler sizes.

Here are a cute pair of damask baby shoes to match some of the outfits, too.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Stylish Dark Baby Bassinet Carrying Cots for Goth Parents

I love the look of these carrycots for infants, but they sure are expensive. They're from the "Mamas and the Papas" company, and they're meant to fit into various stroller designs (Mylo, Armadillo, Urbo and Urbo2). They help transform a bulkier stroller into a walking stroller, with the lift out carrycot to carry your baby around in. I like how different they look from everything else similar I've seen on the market, and I love the dark colors! I threw in a couple goth-friendly red and purple ones too!

Urbo Carrycot in Black

Urbo2 Carrycot in Tweed

Sola Carrycot in Black

Urbo Carrycot in Brick Red

Armadillo Flip Carrycot in Black

Mylo Carrycot in Plum Pudding Purple

Urbo2 Carrycot in Mulberry

Friday, March 20, 2015

Funko's Obsession with Maleficent Toys

Funko has made many Maleficent figures, including this one with a white face. She's also sold on Amazon.

They also made this Maleficent with a green face. She's also available via eBay.

Funko started making a line of cute plush toys, and of course made a plush Maleficent. The plush Maleficent is also sold on Amazon. Note that sometimes she has a smiling mouth, and sometimes she has no mouth at all. I'm not sure why there are two versions.

Now they've come out with this quirky Funko Blox Maleficent, too. She's also sold on Amazon.

For really serious Funko collectors, here's a Maleficent prototype. Why am I thinking of The Gimp from Pulp Fiction right now?

Maleficent says, "I Make Bad Look Good." I don't see the word Funko anywhere on the box, but apparently this is a retired (and I'd assume rare) figure they made for Disney years ago. Apparently they had a Wacky Wisecracks line.

When Goths are Forced to Go Camping or to Outdoor Parties

I really, really do not enjoy camping. You could even say I dread and despise it. But once in a while a dear friend or a nice romantic interest "makes" me go camping with them. I try to go cheerfully, and of course slather on tons of sunscreen and stay out of the sun as much as possible. I have to say, if I could go camping in a stylish black tent like this one, my attitude might improve greatly. This is the 10x15 tent - they make other sizes. This is more of a party tent than a camping tent though.

Here's a more traditional two person camping tent in "Black magic."

Their little 5x5 pop-up tent might be the perfect thing for my outdoor office. I do like to work in the backyard in summer as much as possible so my dogs can be out with me enjoying the yard all day. (One of my demon dogs is prone to sneaking away under the fence if unsupervised, grr!) I could fit a little chair, a little table to hold my iced tea or let's face it, sangria pitcher, and work with my laptop on my lap.

This massive 10x20 black tent would be perfect for taking a gaggle of goths to Wave Gotik Treffen. (Should I have said a funeral of goths? A cemetery of goths?)

This tent is black and red, in case you're camping with pirate goths. In fact, I've been on a pirate camping trip before (with non-goths) and it was really surprisingly fun.

Ok, these are party tents, not really camping tents. But anyway.. Are you giggling at this Black Flames tent like I am? Is it a bit too rocker or metalhead?

Here's another huge black and white 10x20 party tent.

I own a QuicTent (in turquoise) and love how easy it is to set up. But I wonder if the white windows rather ruin the gothic aesthetics on this one?

Here's a similar tent from MTN Gearsmith.

What if you don't need a whole tent, just a canopy to provide shade? Here's a Burtonesque striped black and white 10x10 canopy.

Or here's a larger striped canopy, 10x20 for big goth festivals.

This horror-themed Field Monsters Tent by FieldCandy cracks me up.

Don't forget your sunscreen!!!