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After reading p_cat's nostalgic post on '90s gothclub music, i found myself scratching my head yesterday, trying to work out what my own Olde Days soundtrack would be.  I couldn't even put a finger on an Olde Days that i could feel nostalgic about.  When i think about it, it seems that for most of my clubbing years, i actually loathed the bulk of the music that was played at the clubs i went to.  There were exceptions, and i did have many good times and met some great people, but musically it was always Russian roulette and too many times a good night out was one in which i *hated* less than half of what i heard.  When i look back now, it's the disappointment i remember, and a sense of settling for less and wishing for something different. 

Ironically, it's only been in recent years, since the deathrock revival has caught on, that the sort of scene i spent most of my 20s and 30s longing for finally exists.  Of course i'm now in my mid-40s, with different interests and priorities, and that sort of thing doesn't seem to matter as much any more.  This weekend there's a big deathrock night on at DV8, with live bands and "my kind of music" all night, but i've been in two minds as to whether i could even be arsed going.  It's not that i wouldn't enjoy it (i always do) but the question is whether it's worth feeling wiped out not just for the weekend but for the rest of the week.  I think i will end up going, even if it's partly out of nostalgia for a Good Old Days that never actually happened.

Do you think i if asked nicely they'd reschedule it to maybe 15 years ago?
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For some reason i've been thinking about good ol' fashioned goth style today - not the punky deathrock stuff i've been enjoying in recent times, nor as a loose generic term for the range of tastes and styles of people i know, or the hate-to-think-what* meanings the word might be used for these days - but the big, pompous, top-hat-and-ball-gown, overblown neo-victorian ubergothick cliches of yesteryear.  The days when people called themselves by names like Azrael and Na'haliel, swirled hands in the air while dancing two-steps, took photos in cemeteries and went to Gothic Balls.

I think it might have started with a conversation over the weekend, which included mention of the band Darkness Visible, a name i hadn't heard in maybe a decade, and it's brought to mind a thought that's been bubbling away in the back of my mind for a few weeks, since an earlier discussion about the re-emergence of that sartorial bent at last year's Whitby.  When i think of that style, and the days when 'gothic elegance' seemed to be at its zenith, the time i associate with that is the 1990s, perhaps with the mid-'90s as its peak.  Yet that's also the time i think of 'goth' as i know it as having been dead, the time when everything was NIN and Snog and Front 242 and me sipping disconsolately on a beer in the corner at 3am "..counting off the hours 'til that fifteen lousy minutes of the Cure and Sisters".

Something don't add up.  Perhaps my memory of the chronology is out of whack, though i'm sure those same bands i sat at home listening to, wishing i could hear them in a dark, smoky club with like-minded folk, were the ones i'd read about in the same magazines that advertised those clubs where i hoped in vain to hear them.  Perhaps it is a case of the the right time but wrong place, and all of that was happening Somewhere Else.  More likely it was under my nose and i just wasn't looking in the right place.  I've already figured out that i was going to The Wrong Clubs at the time, and who knows what else was going on that i didn't know about.  Or maybe other people just didn't see the connections between music, fashion and subculture to be as inextricably linked as i did (though i still find myself unable to conceive of Ministry and FLA as the obvious choice of mental soundtrack for wandering a cemetery with a lace parasol and veiled top-hat).

Not that any of that really matters now.  It's just funny how my memory works, holding two seemingly contradictory recollections at the same time.



* Note - doing an image search for "goth" can be have depressing results, especially with porn filters turned off.

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