"That is not dead which can eternal lie.
And with strange aeons, even death may die."
-- H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of CthulhuI have
returned from what appears to be manifesting as an annual cloistering from the end of November through most of January. It's mostly an "overwhelmed by holidays and forced socialization" thing, though I wouldn't be entirely surprised if there was some seasonal affective disorder in there somewhere, too.
Either way, though, I have returned from the worlds beyond!I spent most of today trying to catch up with data from the usual haunts, though I still have much to do and will be filling the event pages and calendar out further as time goes on. Missed a God Module show the other week, though, which was disappointing to me.
But that's what I get for being a hermit, I suppose.In more positive news, Emily Autumn's shows in Oakland and Sacramento are next week! I'll be at the Oakland one while my buddy Draeden from Songs of the Goddess will be at the Sacramento performance. Let me know if you'd like to connect with either of us!
We also have a decent number of other
concerts happening throughout February and March (including Velvet Acid Christ
, Cradle of Filth
, and Marilyn Manson
- quite a range of musical styles for the darkling community to choose from).And don't forget Club Nocturne in Oakland on February 16th.I'm also currently hoping to make time for the Uncultivated Vulgarity II art show in March.Speaking of which: I've also managed to do some updating in the Gothic Media portion of the site (and will hopefully find the energy to add some more bits and pieces as time goes on - especially the currently blank "Game" and "Art" sections), so feel free to take a look around and make suggestions, comments, or even the odd complaint. If anything, it let's us (by which I mean: me) know that you're reading!Also, if you would like your art featured in that currently blank "Art" area of the aforementioned Gothic Media, shoot me some images of work that you're willing to let me post/show and an address for your website (or at least a Facebook page). If I like what I see, I'll happily share it with the community. I've already got one artist committed (locked in a padded cell and everything) and I've got one or two more in mind to accompany her when I finally do get something together, but, really, the more the merrier.-- Mr. M.
"Boys and girls of every age,
would you like to see something strange?
Come with us and you will see
this, our town of Halloween!"
-- Danny Elfman, "This is Halloween"
October was excellent. So much to do! Only one month to do it all in!
I should have written something sooner, of course. But STUFF!!!!
So, here's my thoughts on some of the highlights:
PEERS Steampunktoberfest Ball:
This was delightful. Everyone was dressed excellently (including, if the ladies are to be believed, yours truly). Bangers&Mash provided amazingly good music (as they usually do). The drinks and snacks were fabulous (seriously, the people who were constantly bringing out more and more tasty vittles deserve to be lauded!).
And the waltzing was exquisite! I even got to try out a few "scripted" dances with some friends. All-in-all, a truly wonderful evening!
Being in San Mateo, it was a little further away from home than is ideal for me, though Oakland and SF folks shouldn't have nearly as much of a problem with that.
Steamstock was, to put it bluntly, fucking amazing
<== And, seriously, look how awesome I looked!!!The vendors were really neat and the music was pretty damn epic across the board. They really packed the musical acts in, but Brian Gardner and the SwingGoth folks had the ingenious idea of having two stages, so that the crowd could run to one stage to watch a performance while the
next band was setting up and sound-checking on the other stage.Abney Park and Thomas Dolby were quite excellent (as was to be expected), and I enjoyed being able to see Vernian Process live. But for me, the highlight was in getting to hear some really excellent acts I hadn't before. Lee Presson & the Nails
were the biggest newly-discovered treat for me. Seriously, a goth swing band? FUCK YES!
And Lee was just... excellent. Super high energy, amazing voice, and he looked really god-damned dapper in that all-black zoot suit with his slicked-back hair and pencil-moustache. Now I really wish I knew how to swing dance!Other delightful discoveries included Hydrogen Skyline and Victoria & the Vaudevillains (Victoria Victrola is fucking adorable, by the by); though, to be fair, all the acts were fun to hear and watch.Good news is: they're already planning the Steamstock for next year! Personally, I hope they can use the same venue. The Craneway Pavilion was a really cool place; lots of room with an excellent view of San Francisco from the water.My only complaint (I've always got at least one) -- I wish more of the vendors had more stuff. A lot of the stalls seemed really sparse on what they were offering. Even though what most of them were offering was pretty cool, there just didn't seem to be much of it. The exception was the Holzer & Combe Haberdashery stall -- they were positively bursting with crazy-awesome stuff to buy.
You should seriously visit their website.And a little more seating and maybe an extra food truck would have been nice.Club Elysium:
I managed to make it out to the opening of the Club Elysium goth night at the new Purgatory Club in Sacramento (on the arm of a very, very
lovely lady, I might add).While the opening night suffered a few hiccups (like the top floor not being open yet and there not being enough bar staff on hand for the crowd)
, Club Elysium was quite a hit.The venue is actually kind of swanky. Purgatory is clearly still in some kind of state of renovation, unfortunately, but the underground "Hell" floor was in excellent repair and was packed to the gills with gothling folks.
Lots of nice booth seating with tables all around the perimeter. Clean bathrooms. A huge dance cage AND a stripper pole. All on just the bottom floor... I'm actually a little excited as to what the top floor will be bringing to the table when it opens up.And the music was pretty damn awesome. It's the first time I've had the pleasure of listening to DJs Blixx and Keyz spin, and, I must say, I was impressed.I do wish that there had been a little more "swirly goth" though, since the single floor issue crimped the whole "two floors - one for stompy/one for swirly" plan. More for others than for me, of course, since I'm a stomp-monkey. But a few breathers wouldn't have gone awry.Good news is that it seems that Elysium blew the venue owners away as much as it did the Sac-Goth crowd. With only the one floor, the place quickly reached capacity by about 11 p.m. and the venue owners did manage to call in some back-up on the bar.
For those that don't know the background, Club Elysium is a goth night constructed by
members of the Sacramento goth scene specifically to fill the wants and desires of their local scene as a whole. And while it's certain that they won't please everyone, they're definitely approaching the whole thing with arms (if not always eyes) wide open and really trying to meet as much of the community half-way as they can. There's an energy, a drive and passion, that really fuels this thing. Hell, they even had folks walking around with clipboards, taking notes
on what people liked and didn't and jotting down suggestions their fellow darklings had.My final summation is that Elysium is off to a really grand start. The only thing I see holding them back now is the venue itself getting fully up-and-running (in other words: more bar staff, opening the top floor, cleaning up some of the place's "rough edges", and making sure the bouncers stop letting people jump past the line ahead of people that have been waiting twenty minutes to get in)
. I can't see the future, but Elysium certainly felt like a solid heir to the Sunday-night scene in Sacramento.Other stuff:There were other things I made it out to, but I don't really have the energy to go into all of it now. And a lot that I wished I could have made it out to but didn't: like Ariellah's ShadowDance and DNA's Halloween Bash... Lack of cash and an overabundance of depression leads to all sorts of stupid missing-stuff-I-like
Don't forget, my darklings -- Friday:
- Strangelove's Dia de los Muertos in San Francisco
- Le Bal des Vampires in Alameda
- Subkulture's DeathWake in San Francisco
- Club Elysium in Sacramento
- Komor Kommando at the DNA in San Francisco
Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Goth,-- Mr. M.
"Far over the misty mountains cold,
to dungeons deep and caverns old.
We must away ere break of day,
to seek the pale, enchanted gold."
-- J.R.R. Tolkien, the HobbitMade it out to the Uptown Nightclub for the first time this week... then ended up there a second time for another dose of delightful depravity.The Uptown Nightclub, for those that haven't been, is a fairly nice venue. When you first enter, you get a long view of the bar which is fairly well-stocked. Parallel to the bar, but with a wall between, is the "theater" which is as big as the barroom is, but just has a few tables mounted against the walls and mostly empty space for standing with a nice little stage at the end.The bathrooms are clean and well-lit (this is a much rarer "plus" than one would like to think). The smoking area is enclosed and out back, with plenty of seating and space - and can easily hear what's going on in the theater area.Most drinks are about as expensive as they are in SF-proper, which was a little bit of a disappointment - but not heart-breakingly so.
Bottled water is about half price, though. So that's like a win, right?The first show I went out for was Unwoman's CD release and Birthday party back on Wednesday, 9/19.
She played most of her new album, with a couple of songs from previous albums to fill out her repertoire for the evening. I personally found her enchanting - her music was, of course, excellent (it was, in fact, the reason I was there to begin with) and it was more than a bit fascinating watching her use the looping pedal to turn herself into a one-Unwoman string quartet. But she was also very charming up on stage, flirting and bantering back and forth with her crowd, and more than a little bit lovely.I suspect that I have something of a schoolboy crush on her at the moment. But I see no reason why I shouldn't, honestly.The second show
I went to was the final Cabaret Perilous!
of 2012 on 9/22. An all-round enjoyable show, truly. With swing music by Mari Mac & the Monitors
, magic by Mysterium
, beautiful burlesque by Jay Siren
's... well... Sirens, violated Disney tunes by Princess Creampie
, and, last but not at all the least
, a pair of numbers by the unreasonably
beautiful Standfire Collective
(with my personal favorite: Unsinkable Molly
).To give you an idea of how good Standfire is, I overheard (and am ruthlessly stealing... and probably misquoting a little, but the point is the same) someone's comment from last night: "It says something that, in a show that included beautiful women taking off their clothes, that the act that got the loudest cheers by far was the trio of women that didn't take anything off."
I think Shutterpunk Neil Girling
was the one that said this... so credit where credit is due.If you haven't seen Unwoman perform or heard her music or you have not seen the Standfire Collective or Unsinkable Molly dance, these are oversights that you absolutely must work to rectify as soon as is humanly possible! The truth is, if you are unwilling to repair these failings on your part, I must only assume that it is because you were dropped frequently as a child or that perhaps your mother drank an inordinate amount while you were in the womb - as such, you are beyond my help, but I can look askance at your sorry life in pity and thank the stars that I am not forced to live an empty life devoid of music or pleasure.
In other news:
We've got Amanda Palmer
(accompanied by the above-mentioned Unwoman
) coming to San Francisco on Wednesday 9/26; the Days of Terror Horrorfest
in Sacramento on 9/28 and 9/29; Unit77's Allegiance
in SF on 9/29; Steampunktoberfest
on 10/6 and 10/7; and a whole mess of other shows, concerts, performances, and other madness.
Tremble in fear and joy, oh gothlings, for October and the Fall cometh!
Keep checking the calendar and the event pages so that you don't miss anything awesome!!-- Mr. M.
"Are you suffering?
I want your suffering.
I want your beautiful suffering,
I want to see your pain."
-- Emilie Autumn, Liar
So I managed to get out to see Emilie Autumn last week at Slim's (with the lovely Tesla Dethray on my arm).
First time I've actually been inside Slim's (I unfortunately missed the VNV Nation show late last year due to financial limitations). It's a really nice venue. Very posh bar. I wish there was more seating (that isn't VIP), but maybe it gets more packed for other shows so the floorspace is at a premium? That being the case, I wish there was some tiers, so people in the back can actually see the stage.
The show kicked off almost an hour later than posted. So that was a little vexing.
And it started out kind of slow. The energy seemed really down when the Crumpets and eventually Ms. Autumn finally took the stage.
And that's pretty much the end of my complaints. After about fifteen minutes, the energy picked up immensely and the show really got into swing.
Ms. Autumn was wonderful, of course - dressed initially like some terrifying combination of rat-monster and Skeksis (yes, from the Dark Crystal... And yes, I really do see the whole world through film-references). I heard lots of stuff off the Opheliac album (the only one I've actually heard) and a smattering of pieces I'd not heard before (I'm assuming from the upcoming Fight Like a Girl album). All in all, good stuff, even if we didn't get to hear as much from her as I'd have liked.
If you get a chance to see Emilie Autumn in concert, I definitely recommend it. Her show is visually striking, very fashionable (if you like pseudo-Victorian gothiness), and slightly deranged in an awesome and fun way.
One of the surprise delights of the show was the Bloody Crumpets; the group of saucy corset-clad strumpets that accompany Ms. Autumn on tour. They mostly provide backing vocals and lots of visual candy and set ornamentation. In between songs, they also interacted with the crowd, flirting and having fun and just being sexy.
Really, the most impressive part is all the running around and singing while in very tight corsets. Bravo, ladies. Bravo!
My favorite was Captain Maggot, probably because I seem to like "short and adorable" (see also: Tesla), but Blessed Contessa and Naughty Veronica were quite lovely and fun, too.
I'd say it was an evening well-spent, all told. I enjoyed the show immensely once things really got moving and Slim's is actually fairly classy.
Remember, kiddies, that Dark Shadows is tonight at the Cat. I won't be in attendance, as I'm broadening my palate by attending Pink at Mission Control tonight.
Who knows? I might be adding a whole Fetish section to the site in the near future. That might be fairly awesome.
-- Mr. M.
"I’ve seen the sky just begin to fall And you say, 'all things pass, into the night.'"-- Q Lazzarus, "Goodbye Horses"
Yes, I quoted that
song. Is it wrong to admit that Buffalo Bill is my favorite
character in the entire
series of Hannibal movies? If so, I'm not sure I want to be right. (I'm totally
dancing naked in front of a mirror in my head right now...)I got myself out to the first Dark Shadows of the year! Hooray!The night got off to a slow start, but it eventually picked up. It got a tad crowded, but that's exactly the reason they're doing it twice a month now instead of once.As usual, people were excellent! Got to see the ooh-la-la Lady Ariellah and
the lovely DJ Femme Mystique
again; so all-in-all, an awesome-sauce evening for me!In other crazy news, there's a whole slew of awesome concerts coming up:1) Jackalope and Left Spine Down at the DNA Lounge (1/22)2) Emilie Autumn at Slim's (2/2)3) GIGANTOUR!! with Megadeth and Motorhead at the San Jose State Event Center (2/23)4) Adam Ant at the Regency Ballroom (2/24)5) Stromkern at the DNA Lounge (3/18)6) Everything Goes Cold and Chapter One at the DNA Lounge (3/20)7) Faderhead and Savi0r
at the DNA Lounge (3/21)8) Aesthetic Perfection at the DNA Lounge (4/12) UPDATE: This show appears to have been CANCELLED.Find further details and updates on the One-Time Events page!Also, for all you Club Nocturne fans, Club Nocturne's next installment will be on 1/28 and, this is important, will be at the EZ5 Bar in San Francisco (no longer at the Vagabond in Oakland).-- Mr. M.
"Let's go dark to see what we find.
Turn out the lights and start to lose our minds."
-- God Module, "Let's Go Dark"
So, I had a weird night last night. In some ways it was amazing, in others, really kind of crap.
Let's start with the amazing, shall we? (I'll leave the crap part for the end so that you can skip it.)
The show at DNA was fucking awesome. Hands down. Do not pass Go. Balls to the proverbial wall. AWESOME.
Quick run down:
Twitch the Ripper was an interesting 2-man crew. Good beat, high energy. A sort of strange electro with Depeche Mode-style vocals. I'm not sure completely what my final analysis is. They were odd without feeling goofy. They were energy intensive, without being over-the-top. I definitely enjoyed them, so, thumbs up, I guess? How non-committal of me.
System Syn was a whole lot of awesome. Good solid energy and they played well to the crowd. You probably already know how good they are if you've heard any of their albums. So multiply that by two, at least, when seeing them in concert.
God Module - How to describe these guys? Imagine the best parts of the Cure getting in a car wreck with a bus-load of Heaven's Gate cultists. Limbs mangled and twisted and their music and screams turned to a rhythmic shriek of twisted steel while half of them start turning into zombies. Well, that's what I think of God Module.
In case you couldn't tell, that's my morbid idea of a compliment.
Imperative Reaction - The headliners. The primary reason many of us were there (not to say that System Syn and God Module weren't excellent draws on their own, but IR is really damned awesome). These guys were even better than the last time I saw them back in March. Pure high-intensity electro-industrial pretty-boy goodness. Where everyone else's energy was high, these guys were through the fucking roof and they didn't stop the whole time.
Of course, Clint Carney was basically on stage for everything except Twitch's performance, since he's involved with all three of the latter bands. If he was exhausted, he didn't let it slip, though.
Also, the whole crowd sang Happy Birthday to Adam Vex... Let it not be said that SFGothic wishes anything different: Happy B-day, Mr. Vex. I hope you found your party as much fun as I had watching it.
The evening closed with a final IR song with all the bands taking over the stage and screaming into the mics. Pure, unadulterated awesome, straight to into my black little soul.
Which was nice, considering that the non-musical portions of the evening kind of sucked ass. (This is the part that is skippable, if you're not interested in anything other than the performance - but it's my blog, so I'm going to take the space to vent some of my angst.)
First, I was stood up. That was extremely disappointing and left me in something of a funk as the show started up. (I'm trying to pacify my indignance with the knowledge that this person missed a very excellent show.)
Second, one of the DNA staff kind of jammed me up about dropping off my business cards for SFGothic. Now, I've asked the bartenders in the past if it's okay for me to leave cards laying around and they didn't seem to object. The remainder of the staff has seen me dropping off my cards for the past six months (including this staff member that gave me the hard time). And, to add insult to injury, I just spent part of an evening last week defending the DNA staff from some acquaintances that were complaining very strongly about past issues they've had with them.
To be charitable (and in retrospect), the staff-member was certainly just trying to give me a more-than-fair warning - he told me that the staff have been instructed to immediately eject people doing what I was doing. And, instead, he gave me a warning and let me stop. So I should probably be immensely more grateful than I'm coming across.
But it came off a little intimidating and, coupled with the aforementioned "being stood up", it just threw more bad feelings all over my evening.
Third and finally, heading home, I was going a bit too fast on the Bay Bridge. So, like those guys I'm usually laughing at, I got pulled over by the CHP. They gave me a quick sobriety test and a pleasant, but stern, warning (rather than a ticket) and then very politely gave me directions on the best way to get back on the 80 after being pulled off onto the 580 for my temporary detaining.
But still. Most surreal evening in a very long time.
-- Mr. M.
"A quick taste of the poison. A quick twist of the knife. When the obsession with death The obsession with death becomes a way of life."-- Emilie Autumn, "Dead Is the New Alive"(EDIT: New updates are marked in GREEN)
Now that October has rolled around, we seem to be in the Grand Tour season for the overly-eyeliner'd.It makes sense, really. Between All Hallow's Eve (a favorite holiday among many a darkling heart) and the dropping of temperatures allowing for more heavy attire
, as all the Romantic and Victorian goths no longer have oppressive heat and sunlight keeping them out of their nicer duds - this really is
the time of year for the undead to kick off their coffin lids and come out to torment the living.And boy are we ever. The set list for the coming months is positively a mass-grave of concerts and Halloween parties and even a ball.
So I figured I'd wax lyrical a bit of stuff coming up in the coming nights.To start, don't forget about your regularly-occurring clubs to get your through the lengthening nights:
And now for some of the less commonly occurring events of note (that I know of as of this writing):Friday, Oct. 7 -
Strangelove's Undead Wedding will be happening at the Cat Club.
(San Francisco)Saturday, Oct. 8 - Barely Legal's monthly Rocky Horror Picture Show performance will be happening at the Albany Twin
. (Albany)Club Gossip's Tribute to Ministry at the Cat Club.
(San Francisco)Friday, Oct. 14 -Die Maschinen
at the Cat Club - Featuring Down Machine Down CD Release Party
(San Francisco)Saturday, Oct. 15 - Munsters Go Home and Butch Patrick at the Bal Theater
. (San Leandro)Club Solace at the Vagabond Ballroom.
(Oakland)Club Satori at the Blank.
(San Jose)SHEVIL DEAD at Cell Space
(San Francisco)Thursday, Oct. 20 - DavidJ DJing and CD Release at the Cat Club's All 80s Thursday
(San Francisco)Friday, Oct. 21 -Portishead
at the Greek Theater. (Berkeley)Dark Shadows at the Cat Club.
(San Francisco)Hubba Hubba Revue's End of the World Party
at DNA Lounge. (San Francisco)SHEVIL DEAD at Cell Space
(San Francisco)Saturday, Oct. 22 -Reverence's Halloween Party at Club 21.
(Sacramento)Club Nocturne at the Vagabond Ballroom
(Oakland)Sunday, Oct. 23 -Anthrax and Testament
at the Warfield. (San Francisco)Thursday, Oct. 27 -Bone Bash XII (featuring Judas Priest)
at the Pavilion (Concord)Imperative Reaction and God Module at DNA Lounge.
(San Francisco)Zombie Science Night at Nightlife (San Francisco)Friday, Oct. 28 -Dancing Ghosts' Halloween Party at the Cat Club.
(San Francisco)SHEVIL DEAD at Cell Space
(San Francisco)Saturday, Oct. 29 -The Damned at Slim's.
(San Francisco)SHEVIL DEAD at Cell Space
(San Francisco)Sunday, Oct. 30 -DNA's Halloween Extravaganza at DNA Lounge
. (San Francisco)Monday, Oct. 31 -Death Guild Halloween Bash at DNA Lounge (San Francisco)Thursday, Nov. 3 -LESTAT at Apparition at Club Lido.
(San Jose)Friday, Nov. 4 -Strangelove's Dia de los Muertos
Celebration at the Cat Club. (San Francisco)Shadowdance (part 1) at the Vagabond Ballroom. (Oakland)Saturday, Nov. 5 -Disorder at Bar 355.
(Oakland)New Wave City's Duran Duran Video Dance Party at the Mighty. (San Francisco)Shadowdance (part 2) at the Oakland Metro Operahouse.
(Oakland)Friday, Nov. 11 -Die Maschinen
at the Cat Club. (San Francisco)Saturday, Nov. 12 - Le Bal des Vampires at the
Alameda Elk's Lodge (Alameda)Barely Legal's monthly Rocky Horror Picture Show
performance will be happening at the Albany Twin. (Albany)Friday, Nov. 18 -Dark Shadows
at the Cat Club. (San Francisco)Saturday, Nov. 19 -Club Solace
at the Vagabond Ballroom. (Oakland) Club Satori
at the Blank. (San Jose)Monday, Nov. 21 - VNV Nation performing at Slim's.
(San Francisco)Friday, Nov. 25 -Dancing Ghosts at the Cat Club.
(San Francisco)Saturday, Nov. 26 -Reverence
at Club 21. (Sacramento)Thursday, Dec. 1 -The Cell triumphantly returns to the Vagabond Ballroom.
(Oakland)-- Mr. M.