Transmission – a Dark Danse Party 

The Barbary is a club that has been standing the test of time so far in the Philly club circuit. Us nightlife people are painfully aware of the influx and outflux of available spaces for parties. Like Kung Fu Necktie, the two-party a night business model works well when it comes to bringing in a crowd.

The staff at The Barbary are some of the nicest and socially aware people. They manage an interesting monthly itinerary of functions and the sound system is well built. Overall the  space is what I consider to be safe and inclusionary.

These wonderful elements aside, I just can’t seem to get into Transmission.

Transmission – a Dark Danse Party

Long gone is the heyday of goth events in the city. Unfortunately, I was too young to experience the lore of a party happening almost every night of the week. Economic and environmental times have changed, and I wonder if a goth party a night would even be sustainable in Philly these days.

This isn’t to say there is a dry spell. We have Spellbound (back from hiatus in August), Uknown Pleasures, A Black Celebration, and a ton of quality shows happening at Lacquer. Transmission is easily one of the most frequently attended. It’s also an important event in the scene. The crowd tends to be a mixed bag of familiar eyelined faces and goth tourists. Sure, creeps definitely can rear their ugly heads here, but the staff at The Barbary have a no-nonsense policy for that behavior. Recently a friend told me of getting someone kicked out for saying transphobic things about someone who works there. I’ve never felt unsafe at a party here.

Transmission is also a great party to bring your non-counterculture friends and expose them to music they may not have been aware of before. However, this is where I hit a wall with how much fun I have. While I’ve never had a bad time, It seems lately that every time I come the exact same songs are played by the same handful of artists. It makes sense to play classics of course, and New Orders Blue Monday will never get old for me. However, there are a lot of classic and danceable tracks that aren’t featured, let alone contemporary goth. A few years this wasn’t the case at Transmission. You could hear songs by TRST being played or lesser known songs from The Cure. The DJ’s are very talented in technique as well, so I’m unsure why the variety of tracks has waned.

The quality of music is my first in personal preferences for what I look for at an event and I haven’t been impressed lately here. However, Transmission is never gonna be a bad choice for a fun outing and is a safe choice if you’re not sure what else is going on that night.

Next Up: June Itinerary

 

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