On Saturday, there was a raffle as part of the Bats Day festivities. Paul won a bag of random stuff. I immediately claimed a stack of these items, including the devil horns you see me wearing at right. Which I proceeded to wear all day Sunday in Disneyland. Paul said they suited me, somehow. To which I pointed out, such observations shouldn’t surprise him.
Let me just run through the highlights of the Nightmare Before Bats Day events. Friday, I was too busy primping to make it down to Stolen Babies. Paul, however, specifically wanted to see them, and described them as “Oingo Boingo with a demented demon on accordion.” I did, however, manage to fix my hair and makeup and lace myself into my favorite PVC dress in time to get downstairs and see Seattle’s own Abney Park, who were WAY better live than they were on CD. I liked the sound on CD – goth rock with a heavy layer of Celtic folk and neo-Victoriana – and I thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Somehow, I knew all the songs, too – probably because I’ve had the albums on repeat on Rhapsody for months. Also, electric violins ROCK.
Ayria took the stage after Abney Park, and that was when I found out that she was Canadian. Ayria is sort of the girl version of Assemblage 23 – an industrial/EBM solo artist, with a heavy leaning towards what I refer to as “the goth techno side of the spectrum” Because I like dance music, I happily bounced around for a while, and cheered when Ayria mentioned Toronto and/or Canada and/or the US Customs guys being jerks. But by the time HMB came on, I’d stopped moving, and even though I like Haujobb a lot, and I like Claire Voyant when I’m in a slower mood, I didn’t have the energy to stay awake any longer.
Saturday, we sat down for the sit-down dinner, and while waiting for our salads, watched the slideshow from Bats Day 2005, and listened to the instrumental Disneyana being piped into the ballroom, the same instrumentals that are piped into the park. Finally though, dinner was over, and after an hour long raffle (for which Voltaire teased the event host/organizer, Noah K), the evening’s music began. DJ Lurch spun some tunes (he was eight feet tall with stage makeup and a suit on), and Mr Uncertain took the stage. I skipped most of their set – I’m not so much on the macabaret unless it’s totally retro – but came back in for Cylab. I like Cylab, quite a bit. They’re an EBM band, but a bit dreamier, with a sweet-voiced singer who had a lot of stage presence.
But the headliner for the night was Voltaire. Let me explain something about this Voltaire: he has, somehow, become something of a spokeman and educator for goth culture. He has two books out on the subject: What is Goth and Paint It Black: A Guide to Gothic Homemaking. He started his career as a goth comic writer creating zine-style comics to promote his shows in the New York scene, and since then, has created a half-dozen comic series – some with merchandising. He has five albums out, including one of Star Trek parody songs. He’s got an entire mini-empire of goth.
Voltaire’s set was just him and his guitar, on stage for an hour. He started off playing a version of “Du Hast” with parody lyrics. He ramped through one of his own songs, “Ex Lover’s Lover” with drinking game suggestions. He did two or three minutes of patter and monologues between every song, interacting with the audience, hawking his products, talking about getting really fucked up. He demonstrated the goth dances that he outlined in his book, which, while satirical, are really true. I catch myself doing the Pulling the Evil Taffy dance a lot, or the Who Spilled Coke On The Floor dance when dancing to industrial. But Voltaire is an entertainer from the goth culture – not a band – and that was what set him apart from the other seven acts we saw over the weekend.
I’m running out of writing steam, and have to get back to reality for a bit, but meanwhile, you can check out my post on Sunday at Disneyland at blogging.la. Next entry: more about Disneyland!