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' Ball
This was a very successful "first annual" event, in my mind. Coterminous with the Northern California Pirate Festival 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.