26 February 2010

Music to Dig By: Sisters of Mercy, 'Dominion'

I've liked this song forever, but never watched the video until this morning. I had a suspicion, based on all those quotes from Ozymandias in the lyrics, that they might go for an archaeological theme. I was right!

That's Andrew Eldritch looking incredibly dapper in white suit and shades while threatening us with his sword-cane. The impossibly beautiful goth girl is Patricia Morrison, formerly of the awesome LA band The Gun Club and later of The Damned. They're being dramatic in the ruins of Petra, in Jordan.

I'm not going to say anything about the adventure-in-the-desert-with-mysterious-Arabs plotline except that it's "very '80s" and "whatever they're doing, I so want to join".*

Bonus fun fact from Wikipedia: the "Dominion/Mother Russia" medley off of Floodland made it into the Grand Theft Auto IV soundtrack.

*You'll eventually get more from me about the connection between romanticism and antiquity in pop music, but the deep thoughts ain't ready yet.d


  1. So great! Thank you! Floodland is no doubt the best album of its genre. I hadn't caught the Ozymandias lines before (being that I lack a classical education), but they shed some light on the Cold War references throughout the album, I think (empires falling and whatnot).

    In the video, they really look like Thatcherite Goth colonial administrators. I love the eroticized aura of international espionage, which has been done and done by Ian Fleming, Graham Greene, etc. etc. -- but I had never seen a Goth interpretation of it.

    As for Romanticism and antiquity, don't neglect the song Lucretia, My Reflection. And check out that video for a great eroticized treatment of post-colonial industrialism.

  2. In addition, Gatsbys American Dream (a sadly-now-defunct outfit hailing from Seattle) has an excellent song entitled, "My Name Is Ozymandias" whose title and lyrics liken the impending downfall of the music industry to the collapse and eradication of the poetical Ozymandias' empire. It's an excellent listen and (if I don't say so myself) well worth the dollar that it probably costs on iTunes (and if you like to mix your music with pop-culture and/or science-fiction-based allusions, I'd recommend the rest of their catalog as well).

    And speaking of antiquity and music, there was a Michigan-based band that recorded a musicalization (the brother of the novelization) of The Oresteia; if only I could remember what they were called...

  3. @ Tyler: the whole idea of 'Thatcherite Goth' cracks me up. I wonder how much Goth in the UK was fed by necrophiliac feelings for Britain's dead empire.

    @Brennan: Thanks for the song tip! I'm working on a post about Ozymandias, this'll be handy.