I love going to decade specific nights at the Bell House. It has a huge dance space in the concert/event “big room”, and at least one Saturday a month they through a decade specific dance party. Usually this takes the form of Party Like It’s 1999, the 90s dance party, at which I can relive all the greatest dance hits that I didn’t like the first time they were popular, but at least now are laced with nostalgia! (The DJ once played almost all of “Out of Time” one time in the first hour before the club filled up though so I can forgive him constantly trotting out “The Boy Is Mine”)
More recently, the Bell House has seen a rise in popularity for DJ Jane Elizabeth’s “Tainted Love” nights. These are described as “building on a solid foundation of New Wave” but in reality, have turned out to be far more esoteric. Here’s the playlist for the 4/21 edition that Paul and I went to:
When we walked in, my first reaction was that, unlike the 90s nights, I was on the younger side of the Tainted Love crowd. At 90s nights, even though I graduated high school in the middle of the decade, the Millennial “baby boom” that started in 1983 outnumber those of us born earlier. Therefore, the DJ plays more late 90s songs to appeal to the millennials nostalgia, instead of sticking to the good half of the decade. We all know that the back half of the 90s sucked for music because it was all downhill after Kurt died. (see also: shitty pop punk, rap-rock, overproduced R&B, boy bands, girl bands, etc). This means that by 1am, I’m totally over the music that appeals to people who are only a couple years younger than I am and feel like yelling at them all to get off my lawn because they are kids with no taste in music, as if there’s a real generational divide there
JUST PLAY VS AND CALL IT A DAY
My second reaction was that this was an audience looking for older mainstream 80s music. I am nostalgic about the late 80s from having been a child, and nostalgic about dark 80s from being a goth. But I am too young to have seen John Hughes movies the first time they came out. Paul isn’t even old enough for that kind of nostalgia (1975), and neither of us have any nostalgia for Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” outside of Bootie. The crowd around us was gleefully screaming along “JUST A SMALL TOWN GIRL, LIVIN’ IN A LONELY WORRRRRLD”, so at that moment we felt like we’d fallen into the wrong soundtrack.
Then DJ Jane Elizabeth put on “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” and i was placated. First of all, see above on Early 90s nostalgia from childhood. Second, BLACK MIRROR! That’s literally the soundtrack to the only happy ending episode, which is about finding your True Love (SPOILER IN VIDEO)
I’M NOT CRYING YOU’RE CRYING
The irony goes layers deep here, people: “Heaven Is A Place on Earth” is now a song associated with a show that correctly identified our culture’s desire to spend eternity in an artificially created nostalgic environment, and it was being played in an artificially created nostalgia environment that I just didn’t have to upload my brain into in order to access. Also, I would like to spend eternity dancing my MY true love as well, but Paul and I both agree we would have to go to the evil club in town, which was playing Paul’s favorite band (the Pixies) and honestly, just looked like Bar Sinister (Why does the evil club always just look like Bar Sinister? Honestly, most goths are HARMLESS)
Still, I’d kind of like a club night that skews to my age group. Not those Nickelodeon watching kids that came after me, not the mainstream-80s nostalgia, but someplace that would hit people in the Xennial band. It would run from the late 80s through the Britpop craze, and cut out the worst parts of the late 90s. But because I fall in the 1977-1983 gap between the Xers and the Millenials, I don’t think my subset of people have the numbers to make it happen yet. In the meantime, I’ll just have to lean on GenX nostalgia to placate me until I can either upload my brain into a 1996 environment for nostalgia therapy…or these millennials take their stupid Third Eye Blind and their stupider Blink 182 and all the other awful bands with numbers from the 90s and get off my lawn.