Gothic Rock's Not-So-Dead

Peter Murphy/ Illustration by Bob Aul

To be honest, I don't even know what Bauhaus is up to these days—besides being eternally dark—other than the fact they reunited in 1998 and are currently touring with Nine Inch Nails and Peaches (yeah, seriously—Bauhaus with Peaches).

Often credited with being the first Goth rock band, the Northampton group helmed by Peter Murphy was influenced by everything from punk to glam to dub, and then in turn played a major role in the shaping of the whole post-punk sound—which then brought about "post-Goth": you know, shoegaze, dream pop, stuff like that. So, yeah. Bauhaus? Did. A. Lot.

Their first (and most well-known) single, "Bela Lugosi's Dead," named after the horror-film star and clocking in at more than nine minutes in length, still serves as a sort of atmospheric anthem for Goths (or not: Are there even any Goths around still? Where have all the Goths gone?). And even if the name doesn't register, I'm sure you've heard it before: Remember Chris Kattan and Molly Shannon's SNL skit, "Goth Talk"? That rhythmic, driving theme song? Yeah, that was Bauhaus.

But don't confuse the band with what Goth is presently associated with: Slipknot shirts and bondage pants from the local Hot Topic, crude teardrops drawn with black eyeliner, "troubled" 12-year-olds, and all that fun stuff. Sure, it's an easy mistake to make, with Bauhaus' strict monochromatic wardrobe and album cover art, but don't worry—all that over-the-top stuff came later. Goth (in its modern sense) didn't even exist when Bauhaus was first around. And thank god for that. Or, well, maybe not God god, but, well, you know.

Bauhaus with Nine Inch Nails and Peaches at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, 8808 Irvine Center Dr., Irvine, (949) 855-8095; Fri., 7 p.m. $25-$52.50. All ages.

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