PAGAN’s Dead Girls

Graphics used with permission and link back to sources. Some source sites are age rated.

pagandeadgirls

I have fun stalking the darker corners of the webs sometimes, and one of the more fun challenges has been stalking Mike Bilinski, because regular searches for more info on his goth rock band PAGAN lead to so much clutter overload that you need a forklift to wedge through all the pagan historical literature just to find tidbits about the band sprinkled like crumbs, much like needles in haystacks. Here is a compilation of what I’ve gathered so far over the last year and a half. These posts all have lots more links to get you started.

Stalking Mike Bilinski, 101
Stalking Mike Bilinski, 201 #Starskream
Be My Pagan Valentine

PAGAN on facebook is good for update links and what’s happening, but Mike has been announcing new release material all summer on his facebook and instagram, and they are now gearing up for the big album push and tour with a launch party.

Via instagram“The new #pagan album #deadgirls is coming! A fourth track will be released to #radio this week to conside with our #halloween #party at #whiskeytango on #october 8th #goth #industrial #rap #hiphop #horror #horrorcore #rock #metal #tourlife #tour #skull #sugarskull #dayofthedead #skeleton #studio #studiolife #weloveskulls #burlesque #sideshow”

Via facebook “#deadgirls is in the final stages now! Every song is a personal story with a woman at the center. If you know us personally you may know someone who inspired a song. If you are interested in finding out more about the making of the album and the events that influenced us there will be a special #podcast discussion hosted by @kellythul in the official #youtube #playlist in the coming weeks. #pagan #goth #industrial #rap #hiphop #horror #horrorcore #rock #metal #studio #studiolife #skull #sugarskull #dayofthedead #burlesque #80s #vhs”

Via facebook– “PAGAN: Michael Bilinski Jennifer Renée Eberle and Christian Menses also featured on our new album Dead Girls is Vex X Chambers Carl Kavorkian Shy One and Sydney Leigh”

paganfeature

I got to see the cover announcement last December.

“Alright kids! Time to share some exciting news. We are in the process of working on a new studio album titled Dead Girls that will be released in 2016 on the The Genepool/INgrooves/Universal. For this project Jennifer and I will be working with Christian Menses who you know from his work with bands like Psychotica and The Current. The album will also feature a number of guest artists including our good friends Vex from StarSkream and Carl Kavorkian. Check out the cover art and SHARE IT!”

pagancover

Watching this project unfold has been really fun. From August 26 on instagram

“We are about to start putting together the massive digital booklet for the new album. You guys have given us such tremendous support over the years and especially in relation to this record that we feel like you are a part of it. We want to see your #sugarskull make up and the best ones will be featured in a special collage! Submission info will be posted soon. Be creative and have fun! #pagan #deadgirls #goth #industrial #studio #studiolife #rap #hiphop #horror #horrorcore #rock #metal #tourlife #tour #dayofthedead #burlesque #80s #vhs #tattoo”

paganbookletcover

I know, you’re saying but what about the music??? Here you go, check out the entire collection so far on Genepool. No particular reason for choosing that site, just looks really good when it pulls up. You can also go straight to itunes and youtube to hear more.

Tour dates will start with the Whiskey Tango in Philadelphia on October 8, and more dates will be added at officialpagan.com as they become announced. Starskream‘s singer Vex features as a guest on one song on Pagan’s new Dead Girls album, and will also fill in at the Halloween party.

By the way, Mike is looking pretty slick here, guy in the middle. Yeah, same guy that drinks out of a doll head on podcasts. O_o I know, right? *wow*

paganstarskream

evolution of the Nike death shoe

I’m continuing this discussion from “gruesome is the new cool“. I’ll paste that part over so you don’t have to click out.

And what better day to start than one where I’m spiked up on prednisone again because I had a stupid latex dust reaction in a huge Nike outlet store from pilfering through boxes trying to find an acceptable pair of awesome athletic shoes. My fave Nike Air Trackstar 3 black/metallic silver-white is discontinued, but I found a pair in the UK online almost double the cost, but now the order is pending so I’m crossing my fingers while I wait for response to my contact.

And why do I want THESE so badly? Because gruesome is the new cool. (Also, the arch is the most perfect fit for my foot that I’ve ever found, really wish Nike would stop messing around with that.) From one of my surveys on Surveypalooza

Do you wear your shoes in the house? My podiatrist wishes I would. He commanded me to BUY GOOD SHOES to wear in my house, so I bought these and thought Cool, I look like a space cadet. Until I discovered about a month later that everyone in the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide was wearing identical shoes… which I first saw on Ancient Aliens: Season 3, Episode 12 “Aliens and Deadly Cults”

:edit: I’d better mention that I later found out the style is Nike Decades. Click this to see suicide scene pix. Someone blogged about it, click to read. Here is an official journalistic look back. If you do the right kinds of searches you can see people scouring for vintage Decades on ebay and stuff. I say what the heck, mine look cooler, but they are post-90s. Close enough. If you want to see more about the Heaven’s Gate Decades, click here, you’ll see them often enshrined on a purple cloth. I was told when I bought my Trackstar 3s at Lady Footlocker in 2010 that they were the top selling shoe, and I think it’s because it was the closest thing people could still get to the Heaven’s Gate shoes. I looked around today and didn’t see anything else as close as this, so they may be moving away from associating with that image now that color smashing is all the rage. Check out this very interesting Nike problem

Note- I believe mass suicide is a social disease, where a psychopath feeds on the despairing who very sadly fall through cracks and think they find a cool support network where they feel like part of a family. I’m sorry, family won’t kill you. Any belief system requiring your life is erroneous. Why do I love the black Nike death shoe so much? Because when I wear them, they represent living past the despair. I made it. I love that they have become a pop culture symbol and that every time we remember it, we remember those who mistakenly followed a social pervert. When I refer to myself as an ‘evil villain’, it’s not because I’m a psychopath or a social pervert. I’m going to tell you a secret- ok, no I’m not. I’m saving it for the book. You’ll find out why I’m an evil villain when it’s time.

Ok, back to real time.

It took ten days for me to realize that order would remain pending forever because whoever constructed that particular website didn’t allow for orders to fall through cracks when an item is sold out. The rest of this discussion is a result of me doing more research attempting to get the closest thing I can to original Nike death shoe.

Having worked in big retail selling intimates for five years, I’m aware that many customers don’t realize they can migrate to ‘new’ styles when they become frustrated over something like their favorite bra being discontinued. To freshen merch and push new sales, styles are sometimes recycled with very minor changes (a stitch change) and then renamed. Same thing happens with shoes. Nike ‘death shoe’ sales (black with white swoosh), as I’ve been told by sales associates in shoe stores, are actually top selling shoes, so it doesn’t make sense to stop making them. It is understandable, however, why a company would choose to dissociate with a negative image like the Heaven’s Gate mass suicide in 1997. But that was nearly twenty years ago, you say. I know, right? If people still want it, why can’t we get it? It’s not like we’re all going around killing ourselves.

The shoe in the above picture, Trackstar 3, was among the next gen from the original Decade, and this subtle change has continued through the years until it’s very difficult to score a black Nike with a white swoosh any more that still looks close to the original Decade. The closest that I can find that is already discontinued (2014) is the Nike Air Relentless 3, which is a truly awesome shoe. You can still find some sizes on sale, but my size is already long gone. Click the pix to see more.

 photo relentless3.jpg

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And now Nike truly steps away from the original Decade with the 2015 Relentless 4, inserting leopard spots on a gray background. Keep in mind I’m still trying to keep the same fit I had with my Trackstar 3. The problem is, I’m not a leopard spots person.

 photo relentless4.jpg

You can still get Nike black with white swoosh in other styles. You probably didn’t know there is this much awesome out there. Click the pic to see way more. You’re welcome.

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I wasn’t paid to link Nike all over this post. I’m just obsessed with this shoe. By the way, I’m not the only person who will search heaven and earth trying to remain in a particular shoe. Jackie Stiles, a local Bears basketball player, had the Nike company itself scouring the world for her favorite shoe. For Stiles, Only One Shoe Will Do