Daphne Lawless
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Liner notes from the Anastasia EP

Anastasia Moonshadow - or, as her parents call her, Stacey - is not a real person, or even an impersonation of one. However, I can safely say that I have met her.

The wiccan/neo-Pagan movement is no longer distinct from the gothic subculture, to, I believe, the mutual disbenefit of both sides. This is mainly due to people like Stacey.

Nevertheless, these songs are supposed to be affectionate and funny satires. I bear all the real life Staceys out there no ill will at all. And let's face it - some of them are pretty hot. This is perhaps more information about my private life than you needed. Never mind.


To take the songs in chronological order:

WEEKEND WITCH

The first two lines came easily, and it was all downhill from there. Llewellyn Press was at the time of writing (and perhaps still is) the publisher of choice for cheesy, pastel-and-rainbow coloured Wicca 101 books. The movie referred to in the first verse is The Craft (1996): a film worth seeing for the hilarious combination of an accurate and sensitive description of teenage neo-paganism and insane horror-movie cliches. And Fairuza Balk, who was pretty hot. Bauhaus were, of course, the first of the post-punk rock groups to be called "gothic", and are still the most fashionable.

Many of my wiccan or gothic friends enquired suspiciously after it was released who it was about. The correct answer was, of course, all of them.


ANASTASIA'S CLONE

This song is based on a story I was told as fact from local gothic circles, which later turned out not to be. So, this is a work of fiction based on a work of fiction. It can be criticised for making queer female desire look demented and obsessive, although it stands in that regard fully in the tradition of most lesbian romance fiction up to about ten years ago. The "posters of Death on the wall" of course make it clear that our heroine is a fan of Neil Gaiman, an extremely talented author and charming man who is followed by packs of Stacies wherever he goes.


CROWLEY IN A PREVIOUS LIFE

The Sebastian type is as well known in neo-pagan/Goth circles as the Anastasia type. Aleister Crowley (1875-1947) was a poet, occultist, mountaineer, drug addict, chess master, hedonist and arguably "the wickedest man in the world" - at least he always argued he was. Feckless and pretentious young men are often known to take him for a role model. "Nullum Nigrior" is Latin for "None More Black" - fans of the work of Christopher Guest will get the reference - while Azrael was of course the cat of the evil wizard from The Smurfs. I did have one particular young man in mind when I wrote the song. Enough said.


The Anastasia Saga is not yet finished, I think. Funnily enough, soon after "Weekend Witch" was first performed live, I got an email from a young woman in a neighbouring town who wanted to know about any wiccan events and organisations in my home town. The name of the sender was... Anastasia. I wondered whether someone was taking the piss.


daphne

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