Cold Cave / Black Marble / Choir Boy

I stumbled across Black Marble’s music about a year ago through a friend of mine. “Iron Lung” was the song that got me obsessed. The opening bass and guitar lines is reminiscent of my high school summers driving around with the one friend who had a car.  Every one of the acts at this show was off the charts good. While all in the same genre ballpark, each act brought something that made them stand out on their own.

Cold Cave / Black Marble / Choir Boy

My partner and I arrived during the opening acts set. I never heard of Choir Boy before this show, but the dreamlike goth surf sounds had me instantly hooked. What was interesting was to find that they hail from Utah, as I was convinced they were a UK band at first. The vocals were beautiful and churchy, the name “Choir Boy” is not a gimmick.

Black Marble was up next and played an amazing set. Currently, they only have two albums out and I am really looking forward to more music from them. What I liked about them is you can tell they are dedicated musicians, and not just in a band for the sake of it- as you see sometimes with newer gothy acts I’ve found. They ended the set with “Iron Lung” which I thought was a brilliant move.

I was really blown out of the water by Cold Cave. While I’m familiar with there more bouncy electronic tracks but I had no idea how goth rock their sound was. They sounded like a contemporary Sisters of Mercy but with more synths. The visuals were really well done and interesting as well. Sometimes I find visuals can be a little distracting, but the visuals here were in subdued black and whites and melded perfectly into the band’s style.

Surprisingly the show was not crazy packed. That was a blessing in a way as it created a nice and spacious environment, ideal if you’re an anxiety nugget. Being able to walk around with more room was a nice change of pace from crowed sold-out shows. There still was a lot of people, but a lot of things were going on that night and I know Black Marble played not too long ago (I believe as headliners). That may have been the contribution to a not packed house. I don’t go to nearly as many concerts as I would like too and this was a special one I was glad I was able to attend.

Up Next: Hole of Sorrows

The Soft Moon / Boy Harsher at Johnny Brenda’s

Boy Harsher has become one of my favorite new dark electronic groups. I was so stoked to see they were coming to Philadelphia and, unusual for myself, I bought tickets in advance. Good thing I did since the show sold out.

The Soft Moon / Boy Harsher at Johnny Brenda’s

I like Johnny Brenda’s as a show venue, mostly for the booking they do. The space may be a bit small and the sound can seem muffled, but I’ve seen many of my favorite artists here. The spot holds some major nostalgia for me.

Boy Harsher started their set promptly and they absolutely slaaayed. They began with “Underwater“, my second favorite song of theirs and continued on with all the best ones, including “Modulations“. Unfortunately, it felt like their set was much too short. However, as a frequent opener myself, I know how it goes.

When The Soft Moon took the stage, the audience became absolutely mesmerized. They are one of those bands that I have heard about a lot, but haven’t really ‘heard’ before.  Their overall sound was a dreamy nod to Depeche Mode.

My favorite part of the night was seeing so many of my wonderful friends. Late stage capitalism combined with mercury being in retrograde has made life a little tough right now. It’s nice to be part of a community of people who are genuinely sweet and look out for one another. It was really special to see my friends Casey and Michelle. Casey has been battling pancreatic cancer for a bit now. He and his wife Michelle have been fighting it with grace and unfaltering strength. If you can, please donate to their GoFund Me. Thank you!

 

Next Up: Underworld / Our Annual Cure Night / Free Event

Nightdrive//No Boyfriends

 

Some of my favorite nights are the double duty ones that Kung Fu Necktie has often. It’s extra special when both the upstairs and downstairs events are BOTH killers. Night Drive and No Boyfriends were two events that merged perfectly.

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No Boyfriends is held upstairs and features resident DJ’s Diamond Girl and Tony Modica. Both are DJ’s who have been crucial to the dance music scene since way back in the Medusa Lounge days (R.I.P.). Guest DJ was Abe Dubuque, in from New York City. I was happy to run into some old friends at this one. The music was excellent from every DJ. Tony Modica has an expertise in Disco, and he mixes it well with other genres. No Boyfriends is a relatively new event, and I am excited to see how it progresses.. It’s fun!

Night Drive has been going on for a bit, and it was good to finally make it out. It’s a party featuring all the early aughts and beyond synth wave. Justice, Hot Chip, all the Ed Banger records artists, etc. The new retro wave music movement has been warming my heart for a minute now, and the nostalgia this night brought on for me was sweet. I remember playing Justice-Cross on my little radio show back in college. Knowing that there is a monthly event that caters to this scene just shows how diverse Philly nightlife really is.

Speaking of a diverse city, I checked out The 4th Annual Philadelphia Alternative Taxidermy Contest held at Ruba Club, before heading over to Kung Fu Necktie. The event was hosted by The Strange and Unusual Philadelphia, an awesome oddities shop on south street. My personal favorite taxidermy piece was this coffin squirrel.

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Of course, all of the pieces were incredible and now I absolutely want to try my hand at taxidermy. All of the contestants were extremely talented, and it was amazing to see how women dominated the competition. I can’t wait for next year!

Keep up kids, this is a spooky month with a lot of events coming up. Be sure to check out my October itinerary post as I will be updating it throughout the month.

Next Up: B2B Vacation Beach 006//TFNJ w/ Brian Creswell, Sarahcuda, Decosoul

Unknown Pleasures

I’ve lived in South Philly for a number of years now, and to be in such close vicinity to a monthly goth night is a pleasure (no pun intended). The cool thing about it is that the crew who runs the party know their music and history of the scene. The crowd can be a mixed bag, but you always can catch at least some of the dedicated goths at this party.

 

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Unknown Pleasures

I admittedly have not been to Unknown Pleasures in a bit but stepping into the Dolphin for the party felt like home. Ian is a strong DJ and is the owner of the killer record store Beautiful World Syndicate, so he obviously knows his stuff.

Seeing Littlespacey progress as a DJ has been awesome. She plays a very eclectic range of contemporary goth to the classics. You are bound to discover a new dark audio treat when she’s up.

Guest Dj Shawn Ryan (Universal Cave/Superprince) did not disappoint. Cheers to him for playing Cities in Dust, my favorite Siouxsie and the Banshees song.

I was able to catch up with Ian, and we had a great conversation about the nature of this party. Unfortunately, a lot of club events at The Dolphin can bring in a bro crowd, the type who are pretty much total creeps to women and don’t understand personal space (clubs get crowded of course, but there is an art to using the dancefloor), I think a lot of this has to do with the location, which can’t really be remedied, and it’s a good club location.

You will see these bro guys or goth tourists as I call them, at Unknown Pleasures at least for a little bit, my friend and I experienced it last night. However, at this party, those types never stick around for very long. Ian’s words were that that demographic is used to fitting in anywhere, and when they come to this event and see the dedicated crowd of weirdos, who are in the scene for the music, they realize it’s not just any kind of club night. Ian was adamant that this can be anyone’s clubhouse as long as they are respectful to others. He is adamant that it is an inclusionary party, especially for the queer and trans community.

This event truly is. While I do love The Dolphin, I am very choosy about the nights I go to because, to be honest, the crowd can reach levels of absurdity with its disrespect for others. I have never hesitated to go to Unknown Pleasures for this reason.

It’s not a typical party you will see at this typical club. See you at the next one!

Next Up:  A Black Celebration