Goblin: The Italian Instrumental Prog-Rock Horror Soundtrack of Your Nightmares

Categories: Tonight

"For $200, an Instrumental Prog-rock Italian horror soundtrack band of the '70s." "Who is Goblin?"

They may just be the Danny Elfmans' of Italy, thanks to numerous spooky and seminal film scores, including Dario Argento's 1977 classic Suspiria (ranked by this paper at #100 on a list of the 100 greatest films made in the 20th century); 1975's Profondo Rosso (Deep Red); and the European version of George A. Romero's Zombi/Dawn of the Dead. (Or does it make Goblin more akin to Mike Oldfield, the prog musician whose 1973 "Tubular Bells' hit huge thanks to its inclusion in The Exorcist?)

Many lineups (in true Spinal Tap style: New Goblin, Goblin Rebirth, and The Goblin Keys) and a lack of exposure in America made Goblin a true cult band. But thanks to Internet and hipsters, the group is enjoying a previously unknown fame in the United States.

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Star & Dagger Will Drink to That (...and That ... and That ... and That Too)

Leslie Van Stelten
Forget Thelma & Louise: Star & Dagger are the ladies you really want to take a road trip with. Only, though, if booze, blues and shenanigans in copious amounts are your thing. Or, as guitarist Dava She Wolf (Cycle Sluts From Hell) elucidates her band's appeal: "A subwoofer's cauldron forged by functional alcoholism, pharmaceutical voyage and junk drawer hallucinogens, all under a heavy contraband haze that hangs low enough to embrace the Almighty Downtrodden so they can revel in it."

Yeah, pretty much. Star & Dagger, rounded out by Sean Yseult (White Zombie) and newcomer/old soul vocalist Von Hesseling, are whisky rock-a-rollers. On their irresistible 10-song debut, Tomorrowland Blues, the swampy, sometimes-metallic tunes include the edgy, honky-tonkin' foot-stomper "Your Mama Was A Grifter," and "Before It's a Crime," whose ominous low-fi bass rumblings support lyrics such as: "...So you killed a few men in your time... can't execute you before it's a crime."

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Autre Ne Veut's Arthur Ashin Can Detect Your Cynicism

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Photo by Jody Rogac
When Arthur Ashin performs as Autre Ne Veut, he becomes a self-professed "freak," and not necessarily in the sexy way. Clutching a microphone for dear life with just a few people manning beats and background vocals behind him, he scrunches up his face and bawls like a newborn id into the personal space created by his torso, which by now has curled up in an upright fetal position (unless it's flung backwards in throat-popping ecstasy). Sometimes he falls to the floor for good measure, crawling to the lip of the stage as if to the edges of his own sanity. When Ashin's voice screeches into the curdling upper ranges of a desperate song called "Wake Up," it sounds like Cameron Diaz is trying to sing her way out of Chip Douglas' wildly gyrating body during the karaoke scene in The Cable Guy.

See also: Q&A: Ford & Lopatin On Playing Together And Playing With Studio Toys

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