This is an excavations post not into the archive, but into a dark and lurid future, as projected by the New York musicians known as Salem. Above, Salem live in New York City, June 2009. Click and immerse yourself; it's a nasty ass ride no matter how you absorb it.
Salem digs below all known comfort levels, spatially, aurally, morally.
In the video for their track "Dirt" (audio doesn't begin until more than a minute into the track, and embedding is disabled), a tormented woman appears to be attempting suicide in a closed garage with her car engine running. Then, in the twist straight out of Hell, a naked female (or female-like) figure appears on the hood of the car, dancing suggestively.
The attraction here is the sheer transgression, the bending, the channeling of the terrors we all know are just around any corner. The group's sound itself is difficult to describe, but it's been called "foggy, distorted," "muddy," "surreal and uncomfortable," and "goth/electro/juke." You can find plenty of tracks and remixes by Salem at The Fader, including discussion of their apparently poorly received performance at this year's SXSW. The We Make It Good Mix is especially good.
Salem singer John Holland is interviewed in a recent issue of Butt magazine (NSFW -- or for young children), where he talks about previous stints as a male prostitute and offers details of his drug use. Of the band's label aversion, Holland says, "I don't really know why everyone thinks it's 'Goth.'"