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Space Radio USA in the OC

16/07/2017

The Gothic/horror community is not typically thought of as inherently possessing a collective intelligence. Sure, fans of Goth music and horror films frequently have overlapping interests, often dress similarly, and are typically regarded with the same raised eyebrow by those existing beyond their realm, but not much evidence exists as proof that scary sounding music and horror films have a tendency form a superorganism. Regen Robinson’s podcast, Space Radio USA, may provide the missing link to prove that the dark side does, indeed, have a mind of its own.

As it was written in the good book, “No prophet is accepted in his hometown.” Robinson arrived in Long Beach after leaving her home in Detroit, Michigan, nearly six years ago. Around that time, the lifelong competitive swimmer, with a marketing degree, started sharing her gothic perspective through some freelance writing gigs, and then she decided to add podcasting to her résumé. “I ended up making all these crazy, goth, electronic dance mixes just for myself to work out to, or what not,” she recalls.” And I kind of mixed in, like, horrible movie clips of really off-the-wall stuff that I found.” These early experiments served as the content she soon learned to put online and make available through iTunes. Then, the people responded. “I started getting messages from people telling me how funny these were,” Robinson says. “And then, after the initial embarrassment of realizing other people were actually listening to these things wore off, I decided to keep it going. I’ve had it for about six years now.” The show’s tendency towards darker content is obvious. That being said, as with many products of dark-leaning entertainment, it is easy for audiences to identify a strong tongue-in-cheek bent in the programming. Robinson likens Space Radio USA to a mashup between a Goth aesthetic and Mystery Science Theater 3000. About the musical content, she reveals, “A lot of the music that’s in the Goth-bar clubs and that I play isn’t Goth or spooky at all; it’s really just . . . synth pop and dark wave type stuff . . . so [the show has] ended up being a little less like Sisters of Mercy and more like the Mortal Combat soundtrack." Regarding the presence of samples from cheesy horror films, which are peppered throughout the shows, there is an aura of mystery.

Many of the film clips come from the work of a particular filmmaker, whose identity Robinson refuses to divulge. “It’s top secret!” she says “If anybody figures it out and asks me, then I’ll own up to it. . . . [But mixing the music] with these really over-the-top horror movies is kind of like my own little inside joke.” Fair use laws enable the incorporation of the film clips Robinson uses in her show, but the collective steering of programming comes directly from the community. To a certain extent, Robinson has formed relationships with artists and labels that are similar to those of DJs. She routinely receives promotional packages; furthermore, she has remarked that artists in the goth genre are especially accessible to podcasters. However, the truly collective spirit of this enterprise is most evident through the activity of her listeners. Robinson reports that it is they who supply her with “updates on new artists that have come out or a new release I haven’t really heard. I place that all into the show, so it kind of becomes like a hive mind almost. . . . So you’re not just listening to me, you’re listening to a whole bunch of people coming together, and that makes [the podcast] a more interesting medium besides YouTube or Soundcloud or something. It’s kind of like more of a family.” Robinson’s “family” is kept alive and free from advertising through listener donations. For wannabe podcasters, there are free platforms available. However, those enable interference with the nature of the organism by, say, inserting an Applebee’s ad, which Robinson says, “is like a total Goth kill.”

Consider Proper Seduction of Metal Heads

17 July 2017

Pretend you're a drug dealer, or if it's more appropriate pretend you're still a drug dealer. If our memory of the D.A.R.E program serves us well then the key to successful drug dealing in the acquisition of new clientele through free distribution of choice merchandise. Once they're hooked, then they belong to you. Now for us, the drug is goth music, and lately we've been doing as much recruiting as possible. The best way to get more acts to visit town is to encourage fandom, so our overall goal is to make Houston a choicer environment to host bands we've always wanted to see. The thing is, if we knew how to sell things we wouldn't be doing this job. So we put the question to the Gothic Council. What song or band serves as the best gateway drug into the world of goth? Is it specific to various sub-fandoms? Would you use the same tune to ensnare a punk as you would, say, a metalhead? That was the aim of our meeting. Joining us this week is artist Darla Teagarden, Jvstin Whitney of the Church of Melkarth, DJs Regen Robinson and Martin Oldgoth, and living historian Morrighanne Burns. Darla Teagarden: Well, if you've got someone really into metal I'd play them a little taste of Killing Joke because they combined rock, synthpop, metal, and goth, and they influenced a slew of bands. They were somewhat unique and perhaps a good gateway drug to a metal-head.

What makes a good song?

18 July 2017

Like a lot of people like me, the key to a good song is to be able to identify with it, be it through past experiences or the state of our lives now and to me a good song will always bring back the memories of both good and bad times.

I have no doubt that there is some psychological term attached to it, but for me it is how I learn what has been good for me and what has been bad. Feeling that tingle down my spine when I listen to ‘Saviour’ by VNV Nation brings back memories of good times and ‘Leaving You’ by Blutengel is the opposite.

Funkenstein v2.0

06 August 2017

This podcast is a redo of an old show called Funkenstein. I did this first a few years ago and thought it was a good show then, and now its even better. Featuring artists like Bruderschaft, Midnight Resistance and SITD this show is a good one, and the movie is a funny and as weird as always! This is Space Radio after all!

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