Last night was Underground vs. Amoeba. Larry G. and Diana M. played at Amoeba in Hollywood early Friday night. At the same time, I was playing a pretty hefty opening set at the Grand Star. I was just thinking about how cool it would be to do a split-screen webcast of something like that. Regardless, Larry and Diana joined us at the Grand Star later that evening and we traded off sets as normal. It was a fun night with a good crowd. Check out what I played. (Note: I tweeted the above photo while I was packing my crate. Ended up playing two out of six of those selections.) Continue reading →
Here’s my set lists from Underground on Friday night. We celebrated Robert Smith’s birthday by playing The Cure and other related stuff.
Best moment of the night was when I played “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” by Boys Don’t Cry. I only brought it because “Boys Don’t Cry,” as I’m sure you know, is also a Cure song. Wasn’t expecting it to do well, but people were all packed on the dance floor dancing with imaginary lassos. Continue reading →
When people talk about the “Comic-Con Effect,” usually, they mean it terms of movies getting a big boost from their high-profile appearance at the San Diego convention. In fact, here’s an article from Deadline asking whether or not the movies that get all the buzz at the convention actually benefit from it in the theaters. That’s not how I see the Comic-Con Effect.
Comic-Con’s influence on pop culture goes far beyond the convention itself, far beyond comic books, television or film. That said, the actual Comic-Con Effect is when the sort of big-budget marketing techniques that overrun the convention seep into other industries, other events.
That happened last night at Coachella. I wasn’t there. Ultimately, I’m glad I wasn’t there because I detest the desert. For a moment, though, I felt a pang of remorse when a friend shared a video of the video that played on one of the big screens in the middle of a polo field. A trailer for the new Daft Punk album had been unveiled. Even back in L.A., watching a video of a video on YouTube, I couldn’t help but totally nerd out.
I go to San Diego Comic-Con every year. Although I no longer go to Coachella, I’ve been to the event so many times that I can’t remember who I saw which year. They are very different events. At Comic-Con, you wait for hours to get a chair in a room so that you and a couple thousand other people can start screaming over a new trailer or other teaser footage. At Coachella, you wait in line for hours so that your skin can fry while you’re running to catch favorite bands who will always be playing up against each other on opposite sides of the field.
But then Daft Punk– arguably the nerdiest duo to ever make dance music– changed that. They captured the crowd in Indio and online with a trailer. A freakin’ trailer.
That’s the Comic-Con Effect in action.
I’m a pretty big Daft Punk fan. If you read my webcomic, Los Animales, you probably know that. Every time Daft Punk pulls a new stunt, I love them more. After seeing the video of last night’s trailer, I’m more excited for Random Access Memories than I thought I could be and it’s not solely because of the music. The only way the music industry can thrive in this era is if they borrow the marketing techniques of the fan convention world. Daft Punk obviously knows that and, for that reason, Radom Access Memories deserves to be a blockbuster. Daft Punk knows the future of music marketing and it’s up to them to show others the way.
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 →