Continuing with my mission to clarify and explain the points I made in my early post 'How to spot a Real Goth', here's part two. (You can catch part one, complete with an explanation of why I am dissecting the old post, over here.)
A 'real' Goth listens to a variety of music, including original, traditional or 'proper' Goth music.
[And before we begin, Kitty Lovett, even you have admitted that, to be precise, you don't like 'MOST' Goth music, which therefore implies that you do like SOME. So don't argue. :-P]
There is much debate, as we all know, about whether the Goth subculture as we know it today stemmed primarily from music, fashion, art and culture, or what is vaguely referred to as the Goth worldview, or, less accurately, 'mindset'. My personal view is that Goth wouldn't be the same delightfully creepy beast that we all adore were it to be missing any of these factors.
But the music of today's Goth scene is what gives members of the subculture as we know it today tangible common ground. Not all Goths dress in black, not all Goths love Tim Burton or have an interest in the paranormal, not all Goths want to picnic in cemeteries - but I'll go out on a limb here and say that all Goths do enjoy and seek out 'dark' music in one form or another.
And I'm not just talking about Goth rock either. As readers have pointed out and as my ongoing comprehensive guide to Goth-friendly music aims to illustrate, there is more to Goth music nowadays than a single genre. There are purists who insist that post-punk is the One True Form of Goth music, but that would be like saying that this current incarnation of 'Goth' is the only outlet there has ever been for those who love and appreciate darker things, which as the examples above hopefully show is not quite true.
The fact is that Goth music has expanded from its roots in punk rock to fill hundreds of different definitions and incapsulate hundreds of different styles, and I'd bet my favourite boots that, whether consciously or unconsciously, all Goths like or would like at least one song from at least one band from one of these hundreds of different genres and sub-genres and sub-sub-genres (yes, Kitty, including classical music and opera).
I am beginning to formulate the theory that the difference, music-wise, between a 'real Goth' and a poseur (I hate using that term o.O) is that the 'real Goth' seeks out and listens to music that they genuinely, truly enjoy, including some Goth or 'dark' music but probably also including loads of other genres and styles.
Whereas the 'poseur' deliberately seeks out bands that the media has labelled 'Goth' (whether rightly or wrongly) or whose aesthetics have a Goth-inspired bent (e.g. Evanescence, Cradle of Filth, Slipknot, Marilyn Manson), because they think it makes them Goth or because it makes them more 'dark'. Additionally, the poseur rejects other kinds of music (for example, would refuse to listen to a pop band, even if secretly they really liked their music) because it's NOT GOTH.
Or, to put it more simply, a poseur listens to Marilyn Manson because he's SO GOTH, whereas a 'real' Goth might listen to Marilyn Manson because they like his music. Doing something because you like it as opposed to doing it to fit an 'image'. The 'real' Goth knows that they are still Goth if they like and listen to anything that isn't 100% dark and creepy, yes, even Britney Spears. And they like what they like because they like it, not because society or the media says 'you MUST listen to this if you're a spooky kid'.
Also, there is no pre-approved list of Goth bands that you HAVE to listen to to be considered part of the scene. It's OK to not like Bauhaus or Siouxsie or The Cure or any other band! Out of hundreds and hundreds of sub-genres there's no reason for every single Goth to have exactly the same bands on their playlist; that would kind of eradicate the whole focus on individuality and self-expression that pervades the scene. Which is why, when I or anyone else says 'proper' Goth music, it's not 'to be a non-conformist you must listen to exactly the same music we do', it's just differentiating between dark music that is 'underground' and the kind of music that is labelled 'Goth' by the media.
Most poseurs would probably enjoy at least one example of 'proper' Goth music, which is proven by the amount of mallgoths who grow up and grow into the 'real' Goth scene. But as yet they are not looking beyond media typecasting of what is and isn't Goth, and are also more focused on trying to be ultra-spooky than on being themselves.