Laurie’s World Goth Day Celebration

Laurie Gallardo

The clothing is divine, the make-up amazing, but listen! Goth is all about the music.

Laurie Gallardo, looking quite Hammer horror at Triple Six Social.

Few things in the goth subculture can garner more ire or heated conversation within the community than the question – the question – What is goth? It’s enough to put you off your pikes.

But one thing is certain: Goth is a subculture deeply rooted in music. And, in honor of World Goth Day 2024 (Wed. May 22), I’m sharing a handful of resources to explore the music and its many different sub genres, as well as art, literature, lifestyle, and so much more. There’s not enough time or space to cover the gothic culture’s vast, detailed, and multi-faceted expanse in a single website post like this, but there are a few links here to jumpstart you onto your dark journey. Enjoy!


YouTube is one major gateway to several goth and goth-adjacent creators in the scene from all parts of the world, including incredible music lover (and proud classic hearse and Trans Am owner) Madi Danger – an Urban Heat fan, FYI; multi-talented musician and artist Aurelio Voltaire and his channel, Lair of Voltaire, an excellent source for inspiration in dark home decor and beyond; Random Goth Couple, featuring the wonderful Connor & Lynn on everything from goth festivals to clothing, to goth’s rich history and the culture’s ongoing evolution; the ever-knowledgable Dr. Sanders and his informative and fun music podcast, Gothcast; and the quite lovely Black Friday, a longtime YouTuber who’s currently working on an extensive documentary about the subculture.

Random Goth Couple
Madi Danger
It’s Black Friday


Another podcast recommendation: An excellent resource and endless wellspring of information is Cemetery Confessions, hosted by Dani Ashes, featuring discussions related to the goth experience, with different guests each month. And from this awesome podcast, I discovered the segment All Goth Considered (something us public radio geeks can appreciate), presented by Obscura Undead, a superb introduction to many different bands and artists, as well as a thoughtful exploration of 40-plus years of the gothic subculture, including music, movies, books and beyond.

Cemetery Confessions
Obscura Undead


Did someone say books? Two excellent ones come from author, DJ and journalist Natasha Scharf: Worldwide Gothic, a look at goth’s impact worldwide, and The Art of Gothic: Music + Fashion + Alt Culture, an insanely gorgeous and in-depth dive into the artwork, design, cinematography and visual representation from the culture, and how it’s evolved. Something irresistible from journalist/poet/YouTube artist Liisa Ladouceur, Encyclopedia Gothica: A Novel, incorporates humor and brilliant writing as an introduction to gothic vernacular. And a special recommendation brought to my attention by Ladouceur, Darkly: Black History and America’s Gothic Soul by Brooklyn-based writer/designer Leila Taylor, delves into the horrific story of America’s own dark story and the resulting trauma, from which arises art, music, film and literature – a culture shaped from the Black experience.

Darkly by Leila Taylor
The Art of Gothic by Natasha Scharf
Encyclopedia Gothica: A Novel by Liisa Ladouceur

The Austin Goth Experience

Time for local love and Austin shout-outs, including plenty for soon-to-be closing The Glass Coffin and adjacent vampire parlor The Velvet Casket, both providing unique shopping experiences for the darkly inclined. Though they’re permanently shutting their doors in August, there’s still time to visit and explore their wonderful eerie wares. Their celebratory World Dracula Night event this Saturday honors the OG creature of the night himself with spooky vendors, live music, photo ops and more.

For any gothic wardrobe needs, you can always swing by an OG Austin go-to Secret Oktober, 5318 Menchaca Rd., and darkwear and home accessories purveyor Bloody Rose Boutique, 805 Stark St. And additional shout-outs go to longtime Austin alternative nightlife experience, Elysium, home to various themed nights and live shows featuring goth, industrial and more; the gloriously frightful Bat City Scaregrounds, where Halloween reigns eternal; and a recent discovery for yours truly, Triple Six Social in San Marcos, a bookstore, gift and oddities shop, and coffeehouse for lovers of a darker aesthetic.

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