march vladness: the tournament of goth

March Vladness, taking place in March 2019, is the latest in our series of yearly March-Madness-style tournaments of essays about songs. Writers & musicians each take on a song from the 64-song field, and we play the tournament off, essay vs essay and song vs song, each game decided by popular vote, until we crown a champion at month’s end. 

Complete youtube playlist 💀💀💀 Spotify (mostly complete) playlist.

the tournament schedule

(all games begin and end at 9am Arizona time)

the elite 8 — MARCH 22

(1) Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” vs (11) The Creatures, “Exterminating Angel”
(5) Peter Murphy, “All Night Long” vs (6) Christian Death, “Figurative Theatre”

the elite 8 — MARCH 25

(10) Chameleons, “Swamp Thing” vs (13) The Cruxshadows, “Marilyn My Bitterness”
(1) Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Cities in Dust” vs (3) Ministry, “Every Day is Halloween”

final four — MARCH 26 & 27

matchups to be determined

championship — MARCH 29

matchups to be determined


(11) The Creatures, “Exterminating Angel” exterminated (3) Depeche Mode, “Fly on the Windscreen” 110-86
(2) Nine Inch Nails, “The Perfect Drug” held off (7) Tones on Tail, “Go!” 104-96
(6) The Cramps, “Human Fly” buzzed past (14) The Wake, “Christine” 96-80
(1) Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Cities in Dust” dusted (8) Shriekback, “Nemesis” 142-102


(4) The Church, “Reptile” defeated (5) Dead Can Dance, “The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove” 124-113
(15) Sex Gang Children, “Dieche” upset (7) Type O Negative, “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All) 82-81
(5) Peter Murphy, “All Night Long” outlasted (13) Tear Garden, “In Search of My Rose” 193-123
(10) Chameleons, “Swamp Thing” toppled (2) Joy Division, “Dead Souls” 109-80


(1) Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” crushed (9) The Damned, “Shadow of Love” 147-30
(6) Christian Death, “Figurative Theatre” outlasted (3) Echo & the Bunnymen, “The Killing Moon” 152-142
(13) The Cruxshadows, “Marilyn My Bitterness” silenced (5) Mazzy Star, “Mary of Silence” 502-82
(5) Cocteau Twins, “Blood Bitch” soaked (4) The Cult, “Rain”First Round 79-62


(7) Swans, “Let It Come Down” smashed (2) Smashing Pumpkins, “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” 96-68
(9) Birthday Party, “Release the Bats” cured (1) The Cure, “The Hanging Garden” 209-203
(3) Ministry, “Every Day is Halloween” converted (6) Fields of the Nephilim, “Preacher Man” 216-198
(1) Sisters of Mercy, “Lucretia My Reflection” beat down (8) This Mortal Coil, “Kangaroo” 110-38

First Round — March 1

(4) The Church, “Reptile” defeated (13) 16 Horsepower, “Black Soul Choir” 118-42
(1) The Cure, “The Hanging Garden” defeated (16) The Bolshoi, “By the River” 156-52
(6) Fields of the Nephilim, “Preacher Man” defeated (11) Lords of the New Church, “Dance with Me” 173-153
(6) The Cramps, “Human Fly” defeated (11) The Cranes, “Starblood” 99-52

First Round — March 2

(3) Depeche Mode, “Fly on the Windscreen” defeated (14) The Grinning Plowman, “Koo-ka” 115-63
(7) Tones on Tail, “Go!” defeated (10) Inkubus Sukkubus, “Vampyre Erotica” 86-58
(15) Sex Gang Children, “Dieche” upset (2) Marilyn Manson, “Beautiful People” 99-83
(8) This Mortal Coil, “Kangaroo” edged (10) Xmal Deutschland, “Mondlicht” 101-91

First Round — March 3

(11) The Creatures, “Exterminating Angel” upset (6) The Mission UK, “Deliverance” 130-53
(13) Tear Garden, “In Search of My Rose” knocked off (4) Concrete Blonde, “Bloodletting (The Vampire Song)” 105-101
(1) Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Cities in Dust” crushed (16) London After Midnight, “Kiss” 157-31
(5) Mazzy Star, “Mary of Silence” defeated (12) Death in June, “Little Black Angel” 91-68

First Round — March 4

(5) Dead Can Dance, “The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegrove” shrivelled (12) Virgin Prunes, “Baby Turns Blue” 121-47
(5) Peter Murphy, “All Night Long” buried (12) His Name Is Alive, “How Ghosts Affect Relationships” 163-60
(8) Shriekback, “Nemesis” edged (9) Q Lazzarus, “Goodbye Horses” 100-95
(1) Joy Division, “Dead Souls” held off (16) 45 Grave, “Procession” 140-106

First Round — March 5

(9) The Damned, “Shadow of Love” downed (8) Clan of Xymox, “Louise” 94-45
(2) Nine Inch Nails, “The Perfect Drug” nailed (15) Ghost Dance, “A Deeper Blue” 117-50
(7) Type O Negative, “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare-All)” exsanguinated (10) The Sisterhood, “Colours” 79-50
(14) The Wake, “Christine” toppled (3) Rob Zombie, “Dragula” 109-106

First Round — March 6

(1) Bauhaus, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” exsanguinated (16) Switchblade Symphony, “Clown” 156-49
(3) Echo & the Bunnymen, “The Killing Moon” eclipsed (14) Rosetta Stone, “An Eye for the Main Chance” 124-43
(5) Cocteau Twins, “Blood Bitch” defeated (12) Specimen, “Returning from a Journey” 114-54
(10) The Chameleons, “Swamp Thing” swamped (7) Alien Sex Fiend, “Now I’m Feeling Zombified” 170-111

First Round — March 7

(2) Smashing Pumpkins, “Bullet with Butterfly Wings” smashed (15) Nosferatu, “Diva” 110-75
(6) Christian Death, “Figurative Theatre” killed (11) March Violets, “Snake Dance” 104-58
(4) The Cult, “Rain” extinguished (13) Legendary Pink Dots, “The Light in My Little Girl’s Eyes” 107-54
(13) The Cruxshadows, “Marilyn My Bitterness” overshadowed (4) Nick Cave, “Red Right Hand” 690-453

First Round — March 8

(7) Swans, “Let It Come Down” defeated (10) Daisy Chainsaw, “Hope Your Dreams Come True” 77-64
(9) Birthday Party, “Release the Bats” foreclosed on (8) Modern English, “Black Houses” 105-49
(3) Ministry, “Every Day is Halloween” torched (14) Kommunity FK, “Something Inside Me Has Died” 113-37
(1) Sisters of Mercy, “Lucretia My Reflection” held off (16) A Certain Ratio, “Flight” 155-94

And while you’re here, check out some of our pre- and post-tournament essays on goth-adjacent material. Or if you want to write about something goth-adjacent, we’ll be publishing essays through the early summer, so pitch us.



The bracket is set. we welcome discussion.

And if you'd like to write for the tournament, hit us up on twitter or email ASAP. At this point we’ve already assigned all the songs for the 2019 tourney, but we sometimes need backup folks in case someone bails on their assignment. We also welcome essays and poems on songs not included in the bracket, or goth-adjacent subjects. Pitch us, as we'll publish essays and poems in the months leading up to the tournament. 

We welcome submissions or pitches for essays and poems relating to goth or any of these bands, or arguing for a band's (or song's) inclusion. We publish original essays and original and reprinted poems on related subjects before the tourney starts, so hit us up with your arguments for Valor-era Christian Death or why the Sisters of Mercy totally sold out after First and Last and Always, or essays about classic goth clubs or experiences or trying to make sense of this brilliant era of music and lifestyle and fashion and ethos.

Have a pitch or a suggestion? Hit us up on twitter or email.

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