A funny thing has been happening at Underground lately. People have been going nuts for the old L.A. goth club staples. Clan of Xymox gets people running to the dance floor. We get requests for Xmal Deutschland. It’s a little unexpected, but we decided to go with it and throw a party called Shadowplay last night. We said it was our goth night. It’s really a lot more than that.
We had a full dance floor before 11 p.m. I remember seeing my friend Tony walk into the club and I wanted to play this Creatures song, “Right Now,” for him because we used to always dance to it together back in the days of Helter Skelter and Coven 13. Then I looked at my phone and realized it was way too early for “Right Now.” I waited.
I got my start as a Coven 13 DJ. I’m incredibly grateful for that gig because that’s where I learned to work a dance floor. The gig also put me in touch with the bands who I would bring up to my radio show for interviews. That led to writing. So, Coven 13 played a pretty important role in my career.
After I graduated from college, I left Coven 13 and left the goth scene behind. I started playing at other clubs, playing different styles of music. Sure, I still went to the clubs here and there to see my friends play, but I was preoccupied with other stuff. Last night was probably the closest I’ve gotten to playing a goth dance party in over a decade. It was a lot of fun. I think my favorite moment was when I played “She Sells Sanctuary” and the whole room just went crazy on the dance floor.
I had too much music for last night. I cut my picks in half. Then I cut them in half again. Filled a crate as tightly as I could. I still played less than half of what I brought. We really need to do this again. Continue reading →
My friend, Gavin Hignight, recently released the novel The Freak Table. Last night, Downtown’s Artwalk hosted a group show inspired by the book, called “Won’t Back Down.” I was happy to DJ alongside Del from Tune in Tokyo for the event. I played two sets over the course of the night, both of which are inspired by The Freak Table.
We had a great night at Underground. Thanks to everyone who came out for a little Friday night dancing. My next gig there is March 8. This will also be the release party for Los Animales, the webcomic that Jeaux J. and I make. (Yes, it’s online now. Catch up here.)
It’s been a few weeks since I’ve played my records, so I’m excited to be on the decks at Underground this Friday.
I have no idea what I’ll play. It might be something from this stack. I’ve been wanting to play Adam and the Ants lately, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. This Mortal Coil’s cover of “16 Days/Gathering Dust” did pretty well when I played it back in December, so I might give that another spin. Out of all the “Reunion” remixes, I’m smitten with Mylo’s take on the M83 track. Maybe will hear that too. As for Fever Ray, I’m into the CSS remix of “Seven” that’s on this 12″ single. Maybe I’ll play that too. Who knows? Just make sure you’re there.
If you’re on Facebook, RSVP for free entry before 10 p.m./$5 entry after 10 p.m. (good for you and one guest only). Also, if you want to celebrate your birthday party at Underground, email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Hanging out with my pals Tony and Flora. (Photo: Carlos R.)
You know the “One does not simply…” meme? There was an image going around on Facebook that read, “One does not simply ask for guest list at 8 p.m.” I think everyone who ever worked at a club shared it. I know I did. It’s one of those things that drives club people wild. By 8 p.m., we have our lists printed out and are on the road to the gig. What’s funnier though is when your friend who liked that particular status update texts you the next day, after 8 p.m., with the message, “One doesn’t simply ask for guest list at 8 unless it is Tony.” Since Tony and I have been friends for almost our entire adult lives, and since that text made me laugh so hard that I almost fell off my platforms, he became the exception to the rule. Point being, when you post anything resembling a rule on Facebook, be prepared for your friends to break it and for you to laugh so hard you can’t say no.
So, a few of my friends stopped by the party, which was great because I could dance with them on my breaks instead of sitting at the bar looking at my Twitter feed. The turnout was pretty good and the crowd was dancing all night, even when I threw in Xmal Deutschland. Someone requested that and, since nobody has ever asked me to play them at Underground before last night, I had to do it.
David Bowie turned 66 this week and he celebrated with a new song and video, plus an announcement of a new album. Naturally, Bowie has been on my mind all week. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan and have been pretty much since birth. (Seriously, my mom’s a fan too, his is some of the first music I remember hearing.) I was also fortunate enough to have the chance to see him live at the Forum back in 1995. He’s spectacular.
Since I’m playing at Underground on Friday, I wanted to channel all this Bowie energy into my set. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll play a lot of his stuff. Rather, I want to piece together tons of artists who have been influenced by him. Check out the videos below for a sneak preview.
Underground is at the Grand Star in Chinatown. It’s 21+ and $8 all night unless you RSVP. An RSVP is good for you and one guest to get in for free before 10 p.m. and $5 after that. You can RSVP via Facebook or by emailing email@example.com . If you have a birthday that you’d like to celebrate at the club tomorrow night, contact us on Facebook or through that email to make arrangements.
I usually play all vinyl. However, last night was Suede Nite at Underground and, the thing about Suede (who I still refuse to call London Suede), is that it’s incredibly difficult to get their releases on vinyl in L.A. I had one 7″ and one 12″ single. After spending hours walking around Hollywood and Highland Park, I now have three 7″ singles and that one weird “Everything Will Flow” remix 12″ that I randomly found in a cheapo bin at Amoeba years ago.
That said, I played CDs last night and it was fun. It was a different experience and I think the set list is far from what I normally spin in part for that reason. It’s basically what I played at Bang! back in 2000 and 2001. I even got The Avalanches in there.
Some friends asked about the cover of “Da Da Da” that I played last night. It’s from Elastica’s second album. “You know, the one no one bought,” I answered. The album is actually called The Menace and the “Da Da Da” cover was something I played a lot at Bang! when the album was new. Go look through the used CD bins and I’m sure you’ll find it for cheap. Continue reading →
Maybe someday soon I will tell you about the awesome madness that went down at Underground last night, but I’m going on four hours of sleep, so let’s just stick with a set list. Three sets, mostly old stuff, but songs that are rarely, if ever, played at Underground. Had the floor going before 10 p.m. That never happens at a party that opens at 9. Ever. Continue reading →
I had just turned 15 when I saw Siouxsie and the Banshees. I think I actually used birthday money to buy my ticket. It was at Universal Amphitheater, the place now known as Gibson. I wore a purple dress that I bought at Saturdays. It was corpse purple, I thought, and therefore an appropriate alternative to all-black. My friends and I did our make-up all spooky. To be honest, I looked a little tragic, an ungraceful, awkward gothling. I knew that when I walked into the show and saw all the beautiful people with their perfect MAC faces and thrift store velvet dresses. I had a lot to learn.
That was the only time I saw Siouxsie and the Banshees. They toured again a couple years later, after I had figured out how to dress and dance like a proper goth, but I missed it for some odd reason or other. I saw The Creatures, Siouxsie and Budgie’s side project, several times. In fact, I met them when they played Coven 13. I thought I might faint. I’m kind of a big Siouxsie fan. Continue reading →