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Unsinkable Molly Mitchell
7/2/2011 at 9 p.m.Where:
50 Mason Social House, San Francisco
The beautiful ladies of Standfire Collective
, including the amazing Unsinkable Molly Mitchell
, will be performing as part of the Evening of Belly Dance.
If you like belly dance, beautiful women, or alcohol, you'll find them all here in spades. Personally, I'm a fan of all three. Thankfully I won't have to prioritize one over another.
Seriously folks - if you really want to see how good belly dancing can be, Standfire Collective is the troupe to see. Facebook Event linkage here.-- Mr. M.
"Stay loyal to the night,
Lost in the shadows."
-- Lou Gramm, Lost in the Shadows (The Lost Boys)
So, I'm sorry to say that I missed the inaugural evening of this new club night last month.
But rest assured that DJs Melting Girl and Daniel Skellington have put together what is definitely competition for the spot of "Meph's favorite club-night".
That's right - you heard it here first, children of the night - Dark Shadows is easily as good as Death Guild, in my not-so-humble estimation (if only it occurred as regularly - though maybe that's part of the draw for the crowd?).The Visceral Vixens were in attendance as ghoulish go-go dancers (as I hope they will be regularly). For those who haven't had the opportunity to see the Vixens, I heartily recommend the experience. Even for those that prefer men - because the Vixens have those, too. They're all a pleasure to watch. My compliments go out to Mistress Fushia
(edited for sand the rest.The Cat Club seemed a little tight for the number of people that were in attendance, especially since they had Eye Scream Jewelry vending in one of the bigger sitting areas.
Obviously, few venues can compare to the DNA Lounge for both space and versatility - but I do think the space at the Cat Club could be utilized a bit better
(most notably by removing the vending space entirely - or at least moving it to a smaller area... say by the mirror?).First Annual Pirates' BallThis was a very successful "first annual" event, in my mind. Coterminous with the Northern California Pirate Festi
val in neighboring Vallejo, the ball draws a lot of visiting Pirates from the surrounding Bay Area.We had a performance by Tempest, a fairly popular Celtic-rock band in the area. If that's your bag, they performed well and their music was fun and in-theme (songs about Captain Kidd and Captain Morgan among them).The night was end-capped by Swoon, who also, if I recall correctly, performed during the Witch's Ball (also put on by the Pagan Alliance) this year.
I'm not sure how to classify Swoon, but if you like a little fiddle/violin and cello in your pop-rock, they'd probably be a good place to start.We also had several burlesque performances by the beautiful ladies of Haus Serpens -
ranging from saucy classic-cabaret-style pieces to a fun (if raunchy) pirate sing-along to a couple of very pirate-themed dance numbers that were especially enjoyable. My hat goes off to these lovely dames, especially to Madames MoJo and Sophia
. I say without reservation that I hope to see considerably more of Haus Serpens in the coming days.I had three complaints with the Ball, though... well, make it four (though the last one is outside of their control).1) Their sound issues were positively awful. Seriously, it took 40 minutes just getting Tempest ready to go before their first set. And then Swoon took another 30 minutes at the end of a very limited-time evening. Shouldn't this have been done earlier in the day? And shouldn't a reputable sound guy be able to keep track of which instruments and microphones are plugged into which lines?
Maybe I'm harshing over-much on the sound tech. But I've seen a lot of faster sound checks and I used to work in the event industry alongside bands and sound technicians.2)
The Pagan Alliance seems to do a really bad job of advertising. I only saw the flyers appear maybe two weeks before the ball was set to occur - and that was only in a handful of goth clubs. I honestly think this event could have been much bigger had they even bothered to put it on their own website
(the Pagan Alliance's couple-of-times-a-year Hunger goth club-night suffers from this same lack of attention). I'm giving them more online advertising presence than they do themselves.3) No seating for non-VIPs. I understand that they sold a bunch of VIP tickets, which came with reserved seating. But there was a giant tent that no one was in. That could have been chair space. Seriously, folks. More butt-space for sitting. Most of the attendees had been walking around the Pirate Festival all day. Did they really need to be forced to stand around some more? Especially during those god-awful sound checks?4)
This one is beyond the promoters' control for the venue - I like the Benicia Clocktower. It's a good space and it's fairly cheap to rent from what I understand (especially if you live in the area). But a midnight cap on a weekend festivity? Ouch. I passed up going to Solace
in Oakland, who would have kept me entertained until 2 a.m. (with food, cheaper drinks, more seating, and less sound-bullshit).So, that's all I've got for now, kiddies. In the words of my favorite Mistress of the Dark: Unpleasant dreams!-- Mr. M.
"My lips may promise, but my heart is a whore."-- Nine Inch Nails, Last
So, I should have written this DAYS ago. Yeah, yeah. Meph's a slack-ass. Get used to it.First off, I went to Love Triangle's Summer Fun event back on 6/10. All in all, a fun little get-together.
Melting Girl and Tomas Diablo were spinning through the night.The Blue Macaw seemed a very... tight venue. But very few people were upstairs, so that was probably quite a bit of that sensation. If you're of a poly persuasion, I hope to see you at the next Love Triangle event. They seem to be a "once a season" event, so... Fall?The next night, 6/11, I went to the Red Devil Lounge to experience Front Line Assembly, 3 opening bands AND a DJ.Venue: The Red Devil Lounge.
All in all, a fairly awesome place. Cozy upstairs. Nice bar (and mini-bar upstairs). The bartenders were awesome folks. Definitely don't miss their "Strong Island" Iced Tea. They aren't fucking around when they say strong. Totally worth the $9+tip in my estimation (it's the City, dude... you're not going to find anyplace selling hard or mixed drinks for less than $8).My only complaint
: Restrooms. See the RDL has 3 bathrooms, each one a unisex single-person room. No big deal, right? Well, the first restroom is by the front door. And it turns out that one gets a line. Why, you ask? Well, because the other two bathrooms are on the opposite side of the bar... Right up next to the stage. You know. Where everyone hangs out during a show. And once you wedge yourself through about 60 people packed liked corpses in a mass grave, you can't really get back out again.
I say this from personal experience, as I made the trek right before FLA started their set.
So I spent the rest of the evening up by the stage... Awesome right? Well, not so much. See, I never planned
on being that close, so I didn't have earplugs like EVERYONE ELSE UP THERE. My ears were still ringing when I went to lunch the next day.The other issue with the restrooms? Well, as a man I probably shouldn't have noticed; but a lot of women were going in and out, so I couldn't help but realize that drunk dudes at bars are even less likely to lift the seat before pissing and, since they're drunk, their aim is infinitely worse.So, ladies? I apologize for the rest of my sex. I'm really sorry that we're so fucking gross.The Show:
The show was awesome. It started late because FLA got stuck in traffic coming over the Bay Bridge into the City (big surprise), so the opening acts got a little cut, unfortunately.
Started with Hardwired
, who I had not heard before. I would describe them, at least in performance, as Pantera if Pantera were a lot more industrial. They kicked the show off right and got about 5 or 6 songs in for their set.Then we got Cyanotic. I'll be honest, Cyanotic got a little shafted. Since the show was running so late, they only got about 3 songs before having to end their set. And since I was at the merchandise booth buying a fuck-ton of CDs for $10 a pop (it's my personal kryptonite... seriously - I don't give a shit about band shirts, but if you have CDs for $10, I'll blow almost every fucking dollar I have to pick up as many CDs as I can), I missed most of the set when I had to run my mass of new purchases back to my car (so I wouldn't have to hold them all damn night).So, I'm really sorry guys. What I heard sounded awesome, and I bought two of your albums for good measure!!Next up was Dismantled, who burned through about 30 minutes before they had to bail due to time constraints. But they were good songs and they had good presence and activity while they were up on the stage. All in all, they were bad-ass and a joy to watch.Then we got a DJ break. DJ Accucrack played for
about 20 minutes. He was okay - he didn't really move me a whole lot and I think I'd have preferred it if the time had been given to another band (like Cyanotic, perhaps?). I mean, he was a DJ in a mostly full house with no real dancing room at a show where people were in attendance to see bands perform. So, nothing personal against him (I mean, he was a pretty good DJ), but meh
. Finally, we got some Front Line Assembly. Last time I saw these guys was 13 years ago at a Halloween show they did with Switchblade Symphony, Spahn Ranch, and Kevorkian Death Cycle. At the time, Switchblade was the only band in attendance I had even heard of... But FLA blew my spats off at that show and I've had a lot of respect for them since.And Saturday's show was certainly no slouch on their behalf. If you're unfamiliar with Front Line Assembly, the best way I can describe their music is Industrial-Punk... and they're positively fucking awesome at it.
As I mentioned earlier, I ended up stuck on that side of the RDL after having to use the restroom - so I got up right on the other side of Inkel's keyboard set. Being stuck never sounded so metal
.My understanding is that FLA doesn't make it out to this side of the country much, so if you get a chance to see them, you should really take it. They put on an amazing show.Just remember to have some earplugs if you value your hearing.-- Mr. M.
Fashion.It's a word that embodies much of the scene, darklings.Whether you're turning old shirts into club-wear or buying yourself some platform boots on the interwebz,
fashion tends to be a driving force in the gothic and industrial subcultures.Since I have become more active in the club-scene, I've suddenly become aware of the paucity of appropriate fashion in my own closet. Certainly, my tolerant fellow dark-siders wouldn't judge me too harshly if I just showed up in
a black t-shirt and black pants... But, part of the point of our little subculture is self-expression - often most apparent through our fashion choices. And if I can't look the way I really want when I'm in the crowd that will tolerate -- nay, even appreciate
it -- well, when the hell am
I supposed to dress up?So, I've begun working on my fashion collection.And let me tell you, kiddies, goth fashion can be god-damned expensive to buy online.So what's a broke little gothling to do? Well, the beauty of our punk origins means that we don't have to buy in to fit in.
That's right, children! Fight the Man! Fuck the System! Anarchy in the motherfucking U.K.!!Wait... what was I talking about again? Oh, yeah... Fashion on the cheap.Below, I'm posting an image of what I wore to the Meat vs. Death Guild night
at the end of May and the total buy-in cost of each item. Let's start at the top, shall we?
- Bad-ass Welding Goggles - $12+shipping from Amazon.
- Spiked Collar - $12 after tax, from a pet store. That's right. I'm wearing a dog-collar. Bought it that day on the way home from work.
- Sleeveless Shirt- This button-up dress shirt ran me about $25 two years ago. But sweat stains had ruined it in the interim - so I couldn't wear it to work anymore. So I slashed the sleeves off (clipping off the sweat stains with them) and left the edges rough and un-hemmed. If you don't have a shirt you're willing to butcher, go to your local Goodwill or other second-hand store and pay $5-$10 for something you are willing to butcher.
- Arm Wrap - Literally a long strip of "throw-away" scrap cloth from something I had tailored for me years ago. I just tied a knot around my hand, wrapped the remainder around my arm and up again, and then knotted it again (I recommend knotting as just tucking it tends to result in it coming loose while dancing). If you want to make your own without having spare scrap cloth lying around, a yard of fabric will cost you a few bucks at a fabric store (I recommend something light, that breathes - mostly-cotton blends or muslin).
- Suspenders - You can't see them very well. But trust me, they're awesome. Cost me $12-$15 at Macy's about a year ago (remember children, sales are your friend!!)
- Pants - A pair of Dickie's I bought at Target for $20 - again, a year or more ago. Also the type of thing you can often find at a second-hand shop in a pinch.
Another idea that occurred to me the other day? Goth/Cyber finger-less gloves
Any of you gothlings out there have some tips of your own for cheap/fast/easy-to-make fashion? Let me and your fellow dark-siders know in the comment section.I also found a site called Antimony & Lace... it's a bit dated since they last changed it, but there are some interesting articles on how to sew or mod your own low-cost goth fashion.
- Go to your local Goodwill.
- Buy a shirt with tight sleeves in an appropriate color - maybe even too small for you to wear usually (guys, this might mean that you need to fish around in the girls' departments).
- Go home, and cut the sleeves off half way. Then, with a razor blade or scissors, slice a small hole in the seam near the "hand" end of the sleeve for your thumb.
- Hem or not, according to your ability or interest.
- BAM! Instant finger-less gloves.
- If you want to go really crazy, add accessories - safety pins up the back are easy and cheap, or, if you have the chain from an old chain-wallet (or any chain of a similar gauge), you can attach something like that with some well placed holes and some key-rings. Or, with a piece of ribbon, you can cut a few holes and "lace-up" your new gloves.
Check out the "Project" and "Articles" sections for some great info.And gaze, again, upon the awesome handsome-ness that is me before you go.-- Mr. M.
Gods be damned -- Who is that hunk of black-clad goth-flesh?