Mr. Moonlight Tour- celebrating 35 Years of Bauhaus

Peter Murphy

They call him the Godfather of Goth. Peter Murphy is best known as the vocalist of legendary sonic pioneers Bauhaus, whose 1979 single "Bela Lugosi's Dead" is largely considered to be the beginning of the Gothic rock genre. But like any true innovator, Murphy has proved himself unafraid to leave behind the worlds that he creates, to tear down the walls of his own dark castle in the post-punk underworld and go in search of unknown creative terrain upon which to rebuild. After he disbanded Bauhaus in 1983, Murphy embarked on years of exploration as both a solo musician and painter. Nearly a decade later, in a sign of his lasting brilliance, he created American pop anthem "Cuts You Up" (1990), which sat at the top of the Billboard Modern Rock charts longer than any other number one hit that year. The musical descendants of Murphy and Bauhaus are well documented, and the artists's style has been a force no less powerful.

"Bauhaus popularized an image of black-clad Goths which continues to influence mainstream fashion," writes Valerie Steele in her book with Jennifer Park, Gothic: Dark Glamour. "Mask is irrefutable evidence that Bauhaus pioneered the dark theatrics characteristic of the Goth genre," continues Park, referring to the band's 1981 album. "Bauhaus was a band that understood the power of image early on...the erotically androgynous good looks of Peter Murphy well suited the Goth emphasis on beauty, and his attention to style again reiterated fashion's ultimate status in Goth subculture."

A Muslim who has called Istanbul his home for the past twenty years, Murphy cites family as his earliest style inspiration: "My father, Michael Patrick, who in the 1930s was a natty turnout in wide Trilby and a wide swathing woolen beige long coat." The e-mail he sends me from California while on tour supporting his recent record, Ninth, is written in a beautiful Joyce-meets-Anthony Burgess vernacular. "My near twin brother Christopher's '70's Ben Sherman shirts," he continues. "Then his full testosterone black three-quarter Crombie coat, dancing to Northern soul and Reggae at our youth club, all pubescent and checkin' out the girls--cool. Not to mention my mother Margaret Ellen's own makeup sessions in our sunflower concave dinner room mirror, the pinnacle of the wist being as she applied her just right, deep crimson, strawberry red lipstick, rendering her own natural beauty just so!"

His influence permeates several generations and genres of fashion designers. It's of course present in the more devotedly Gothic, such as Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, and Yohji Yamamoto (and the subculture of artisan darkwear born thereof, like Carol Christian Poell, Carpe Diem, and it's disciples, and Paul Harnden). But it's also visible in the work of preeminent designers Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs, Martin Margiela, and John Galliano, as well as today's young pioneers, such as Riccardo Tisci, Olivier Theyskens, and Alexander Wang.

And yet, Murphy says, "What I look like and what I wear is not fashion. What I wear is an integral part of my whole. In relation to my music and my work--I see my clothes as part and parcel of the same movement. As I write a song, I write upon myself, too. It's all interrelated."

It's been almost three and a half decades since Murphy's cellar-door voice first cried out its declaration of a new melancholic unity. Lasting victor of the the countless culture wars since, Murphy sits in the dark throne built by his successors--the artists and fans who continue to inherit, reinterpret, and bequeath his influence--his legacy forever undying.

My Jerusalem

"Nobody ever paid money to see Harry Houdini escape being buried alive" says My Jerusalem founder and singer Jeff Klein. "They wanted the small chance of seeing him
killed by the weight of the earth on top of him."

Behold the concept behind Preachers, the second full-length release from Austin's My Jerusalem. From the opening piano of the haunting title track, to the unexpected pummeling guitar and drums on closer "I Left My Conscience In You", Preachers leads
the listener on a cinematic journey through a reckless, jagged landscape of Raymond Carver-esque stories, fueled by Klein's persuasive baritone, ominous guitars, dream-like keyboards and a deep rhythmic pulse.

Recorded in under three weeks by Spoon drummer Jim Eno (Heartless Bastards, Polica, Black Joe Lewis) at his Public Hi-Fi studio, Preachers is the first My Jerusalem album genuinely made by a band, not just performed by a group of musicians. Pushing aside hard drives and laptops to make way for analog tape machines and vintage keyboards, what Klein describes as the "Post-Modern Southern Gothic Soul" sounds of Preachers
were born from organic, live performances Eno carefully captured and tweaked.

Preachers is the follow-up to 2010's critically acclaimed debut, Gone For Good, an album that earned the band performances on BBC Radio 6 and Daytrotter, as well as notices from NPR's All Songs Considered, AOL/Spinner's Song of the Day, and the
iTunes Weekly Rewind. Along with European festival appearances at the Frequency Festival, Musikfestwochen, and Rock Im Saal, the band toured and played shows with a eclectic set of bands including Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Har Mar
Superstar, Avett Brothers, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and White Arrows.

Buoyed by the success of Gone For Good, Preachers showcases a band headed into the studio with a renewed focus and confidence. Preachers contains equal parts swagger
(the swampy gospel of title track "Preachers", the strutting intensity of "Born In The Belly") and groove (the spooky beauty of "Shatter Together", the crescendoing, feral drive of "Devoe", the infectious crooner "Mono"); as much primal ("Death Valley") as it
is humane ("Chameleon").

"It's a darker record," says Klein, who, before forming My Jerusalem in 2010, made 3 records under his own name. "So much had changed since Gone For Good. We'd all kind
of been through hell and back again in different ways, and this was the natural artistic result of all of that. But I think it's a beautiful, comforting darkness. It's real, but not selfish."

"We finally have a shared collective vibe," adds guitarist/keyboardist Jon Merz, "I believe it's more representative of what our live shows sound like. This time around, Jeff would bring us song ideas and we would add our own perspectives to it."

The five-piece, which also features multi-instrumentalist Michael St. Clair, drummer Grant Van Amburgh, and bassist Geena Spigarelli, also had the opportunity to road-test much of the new material before recording, during their extensive touring behind Gone For Good. It was a luxury they didn't have the first time around.

"Working out the kinks live before recording them makes a big difference," reflects Klein, "They get a chance to breathe and grow before committing them to the world permanently. Because of that process, some songs, like 'Death Valley,' sound nothing like
their early version. We're excited to take them on the road and see how they evolve even further."

Equal parts sweet, morbid, strange, and sincere, Preachers is an experience that could convert the most steadfast of non-believers.

$25.00 - $50.00


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