Wingtips / Technophobia / Plastic Ivy / DJ Shari Vari at Lacquer

Philly venues have an interesting pattern. Sometimes it’s dance space central. In other seasons it’s as though most of these places are dead and buried. Currently, it has been feeling like a graveyard. Rizumu is long gone, the Irish Pol closed (a surprisingly neat venue), etc. Granted, the winter has been long and particularly depressed and the venues will come again. One place, however, has been around for a few years now (please don’t let this be jinxed, everyone please pray to your god). Lacquer is the coolest space you may or may not have been to before…

Wingtips / Technophobia / Plastic Ivy / DJ Shari Vari at Lacquer

Lacquer is a small space in a larger space. Two years ago I went to an event here and I impressed myself with remembering how to navigate. It was witch cold, and the bathroom situation is what one would expect.  These were all minor inconveniences as this was one of the best events I have been to in a long time. When I left I felt refreshed from the positive and safe energy.

DJ Shari Vari had played the night before, at Spellbound, Her set then I see now was a prelude to incredible setlist this night.  Honestly, I could spend this whole post gushing. Instead, I’ll leave a taste of her set here:

Planet Soul- Set U Free

Plastic Ivy opened and is perfect. A total renaissance woman, she plays modular synths and guitar, melodica, she sings, she  loops. She does it all. Her music balances from heavy to dreamlike and will always get you moving.

DC natives Technophobia create a big, ethereal space with their sound. Katherine has a beautiful voice and  I can only imagine that she has had some kind of vocal training. The way she carries her voice will carry you to another world where everyone dances and wears black.

Finally, Wingtips blew me out of the water. My partner had looked up their music before we went, so she had a slight idea of what to expect. When I go to an event where there are some unknown acts, I don’t look them up beforehand. It has been a long time since I have been so excited about a newer band. Their synthy shoegaze sound, heavily influenced by The Cure, got me smiling. I’m talking about a big stupid smile on my face that didn’t leave the entire time they played. They provided a great stage presence and emanated genuinely sweet energy.

A little-known attribute of mine is that I am an empath. Music has always provided solace for me when my energy becomes too low. This may come across as cheesy, but it’s the truth I feel about this band. The music they played felt healing, and a few songs brought me to tears of joy. Wingtips hail from Chicago and are currently touring. Please listen to them, buy their music, and tell all your friends about them. They just might be the answer to contemporary goth music.

Okaay enough fangirling for one post, yikes. The February itinerary has been updated. Some events are popping up that I need to add on, but in the meantime check it out. Next weekend the plan is to check out a v cool techno jawn so stay tuned.

Next Up: Goodie no.93 : 6 Year Anniversary

February Itinerary

Are you ready for February? There are so many amazing events happening this month. Ya better shine those dancing shoes.

Events will be added as the month progresses.

February 2nd

February 3rd

February 5th

February 6th

February 7th

February 8th

February 9th

February 10th

February 15th

February 16th

February 17th

February 19th

February 21st

February 22nd

February 23rd

February 24th

February 28th

Next Up: Wingtips / Technophobia / Plastic Ivy / DJ Shari Vari at Lacquer

 

 

 

[●°INDUSTRIAL_PICNIC°●]

Club events and shows are always fun to go to and are a great way to facilitate a lot of authentic friendships. Some of my closest friends I met at whichever random goth night are people I would invite to my wedding. While these types of events are fun and keep the scene alive, it’s cool to get a group of like-minded individuals together in a different environment, hence Industrial Picnic

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Industrial Picnic

Industrial Picnic was born from Jernike Whitman, who also models as Nike Bonez. I was happy to able to talk to her about her idea for this. She wanted a lowkey, relaxed setting where members community could get together to talk and hang. The two of us have had some pretty deep conversations, especially during the whole Combichrist fiasco, about problems in the scene. Hearing Jernike’s input has been eye-opening. As a mixed-race woman, I know she has experienced sexism and racism within the goth/industrial/EBM scene. She also believes that discussion and deep bonds are the way to combat that ugliness.

The picnic was held at Race Street Pier and it was a beautiful and sunny day. I truly thought the location was on point. Being surrounded by water is a very important nature connection for people. Though the temperature was hot, the area provided some good shady spots. Many of faces I did not recognize, but everyone was friendly and welcoming, and amount of snacks and drinks that people brought made my stomach smile because I just, really, really love food. Jernike and Evan (Spellbounds own bby DJ Strkk9) had a great idea and ran with it. It makes me happy to see people thinking outside of the box in ways to keep this scene going and I hope there are more events like this, especially when the weather is still ideal.

Next Up: The Shakedown: Residents

Extra Dark

Philly is blessed with a diverse group of talented DJ’s and producers, and Extra Dark has a knack for showcasing diverse, underground talent that this city offers. It’s no wonder though since the event is run by powerhouse trio Dentana, Stateschoolgirl and Lojit, along with varying guest DJ’s and musicians, help concoct a heavy hitting techno potion.

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Extra Dark

The guests for this edition of Extra Dark were Philly favorite, Diamond Girl, and TIM. Diamond Girl started it off way right with her set. It was chill and served as a good premonition for the night.

I never heard of Tim before this event, and I was  blown away by the deep, deep techno he played. It was incredible to see the dance floor move without any inhibitions. The entire vibe of the night was freeing.  A cool party bonus was the free tarot readings by my friend Justin. My card reading was incredibly on point.

It was pretty crowded on a Wednesday night, but this event usually has a good turnout. Dentana is an active producer and marketer of her events. She keeps in the spirit of collaboration, which is something that I think can make events more successful. While some crews do bring in guest DJ’s, Den keeps the genres of guests really eclectic. Just, for example, she had me play at an Extra Dark and my music is very different than any sort of techno (shameless self-promotion, check me out at Gravers Lane ).

Both Dentana and Stateschoolgirl are forward thinking, kind-hearted, and easy to talk to people. Part of my meter of judgment when looking for queer and trans-friendly parties is if the crew who runs it are, above all else, genuinely proactive about creating a safe and comfortable environment for everyone. Extra Dark is a stellar example of this.

Next Up: Unknown Pleasures

DJSC//Trieves 15

DJSC (Depeche Mode/Joy Division-New Order/The Smiths/Cure) is an unconventional party, in the fact that it is not held at one specific venue. It’s been at Voltage Lounge, The Barbary, Silk City, etc. This was the first time it was held at Kung Fu Necktie.

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DJSC at Kung Fu Necktie

This was my first DJSC party and I was happy to see it was at Kung Fu Necktie this time. It’s one of my favorite venues as a performer and as a spectator. I rolled in a little before 11 p.m. and it was packed. In my last post I mentioned how Philly starts partying late, but I have to put my foot in my mouth with this one. It was so crowded when I got there.

As I waited to go in, I had a friendly conversation with some strangers and their positive energy set the tone for how the night was. When my foot finally got into the door, I could literally feel the energy seep into my skin. Everyone seemed so joyful, the music was killer (thank you to the DJ’s for playing some songs from my beloved’s, Siouxsie and the Banshees) and the crowd was a really interesting mix of young and old goths and punks.

A sad but true fact is when navigating in the club world, is that every woman has had the experience of being ogled, or had their space encroached upon. Though it was crowded, my fiancee and I did not feel any of these vibes. DSJC gets a 10 out of 10 for cultivating a party environment of high spirits and mutual respect.and mutual respect.

Trieves 15

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I bounced back and forth between the double duty parties at KFN last night, but I spent more time down at DSJC. However, I wanted to give a nod to Trieves 15 because the music was the techno that I love. Sean Hearn (The Magic Message) is a DJ who has been in the scene for awhile (side note, his girlfriend owns the clothing store, Toile, that has all of my dream clothing and I implore you to check it out). On a personal level, he is genuine and sweet in any interactions I’ve had. This is the type of attitude that should be celebrated in DJs, and in people. The music he was banging out was heavy in the best ways. I wasn’t familiar with Jesse Tyler before, but both DJs vibed off of each other well.

This is an interesting weekend for parties and especially electronic music parties. A lot of our friends are at Movement this weekend, and it seems like every year this ends up being a huge weekend in Philly as well. It’s hard to pick which parties to go to for sure but, besides the fun aspect, DJSC and Trieves 15 are the right kinds of parties.

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Next Up: Acknowledging Club Drugging and What We Can Do Better

Combichrist and the Subject of Social Responsibility

The other night I made a brief statement on Facebook about the news surrounding Combichrist and their blatant racism and violent sexism, I would like to expand on my thoughts today. The video below was played during the final moments of the Ad·ver·sary and Antigen set at Festival Kinetik 5.0. Ad·ver·sary has been very open with his criticism of Combichrist and Nachtmahr, two bands that he was opening for at this fest.

You can see the video here.

Combichrist was my unfortunate first exposure to the Industrial scene back when I was a little baby bat. I learned quickly that Throbbing Gristle and Einstürzende Neubauten slayed, but I never got super into the industrial scene (aside from listening to the music) because I felt a strong machismo vibe. I didn’t feel this vibe just from music videos or articles I read, but from face to face interactions with a lot of rivetheads at the time (the early aughts for clarification).

Some industrial musicians seem to find themselves teetering on the fine line of strictly just fascism aesthetic (Laibach) to actual nazi sympathizing…which brings me to the Combichrist controversy.

While I am not surprised that a mainstream and macho band like Combichrist has racist and sexist members (you can see examples in the Festival Kinetik video, I don’t want give publicity to them on here), what I am surprised by and happy to see is artists who are calling out other artists on this nonsense and holding them publicly accountable. There is a lot of forward thinking that is present these days in various subsets of the goth scene. I think it is part of the reason why there has been a great revival of the Philly goth life these past few years.

I have been involved in the scene for over a decade as a spectator, party goer, musician, promotor, and lover of the community. As a very recently out lesbian with a fiancée who is a trans woman (NOTE: Trans women ARE women), community acceptance is just as crucial as cultivating a safe space for party goers. We are already weirdos and isn’t that what brought us to the goth subculture in the first place? There has been a big influx of women, LGBQT, and people of color (though I would like to see more people of color in the scene, it’s unfortunately often whitewashed) bringing in some essential new music, art, and events in the scene. More people these days are telling not only artists, but other community members, to take ownership for discriminatory behavior and demanding that they do better. Standing up for the more ostracized (by society’s standards) members of the scene is just one more step towards a better world.

Next Up: Rizumu 15yrs/27hrs