The Red Party, NYC’s long-running Goth club night, held once again at Mercury Lounge, ran another spectacular event June 9 when they drew about 300 imbibers, dancers and spectators. The big draw was of course the most buzzed-about act in the greater New York scene, Disorder, the by-now famous Joy Division tribute band making the rounds at all the appropriate venues in the metropolitan area. Host and CEO Sean Templar was joined by guest DJs Jarek and Frankie Teardrop, spinning from atop the raised stage where the live show also took place. The long front bar at Mercury was jam packed, but not any more so than the back room dance floor in the main, performance space, where an ancillary bartender sent orders into and relayed drinks out from the main bar.
The Redrum Ball was held May 29 on the Sunday preceding Memorial Day at Slake, hosted by Sir William Welles. As is often the case with this recurring event, the theme was cosplay, specifically superhero/supervillain outfits, and there was a costume contest with prizes, a burlesque show featuring the gorgeous Nina La Voix, and a stellar panel of DJs including Aengel, V-Christ, Jet and Paradox. Michael T and the Vanities provided a live tribute to David Bowie.
QXT’s July 7 was to have hosted three industrial bands, but was forced by circumstances to make some lightning-fast adjustments to the schedule. Internationally famous tribal/industrial/experimental band iVardensphere got held up at the U.S. border by Customs and therefore didn’t make the much-awaited show at Newark’s QXT’s, which by now is increasingly recognized as the venue for live performances by top-tier industrial bands. Instead, local Belleville electronic powerhouse, Cenotype, represented by frontman Lenny B, took over the job of entertaining, more than satisfying an otherwise disappointed crowd with his self-styled “dirty Jersey industrial.” Besides serving up a mesmerizing and captivating electronic industrial set from their five-album repertoire, Lenny of Cenotype helped iVardensphere’s lone representative, percussionist/vocalist Jamie, who was without his own drums and electronic equipment, set up and fill in to perform an equally entertaining set of ESA’s bombastic works that further served to satisfy the excited crowd. After straightening out some audio glitches, Chicago-based industrialists Cyanotic, co-headliners with the missing iVardensphere, rounded the evening out at around 1:00 a.m., the only band that was actually there on the original bill.
The other big event was of course the three-night sell out at Madison Square Garden by titans of Goth rock (I know—thus labeling them is controversial) The Cure. Drawing upon a repertoire that spanned 40 years plus adding a new, previously unreleased song, Robert Smith led the band through a two-hour setlist and four encores, locking down their status as the indisputable all-time favorite group in the conglomerate scene of goths, punks, alternative music lovers and ’80s nostalgic pop fans.
Celebratory events and after-parties were held at the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn, where musicologist Andi Harriman gave a lecture entitled “Why Can’t I Be You: Cure Videography in the 1980s,” and led the audience in singing along with music videos. She then opened the floor to fans’ sharing memories and anecdotes about their personal feelings regarding this iconic and quintessential band and its beloved lead, Robert Smith. Harriman later served as DJ at Slake, the former Batcave along with longtime leader of the Goth scene, Mohawk-tressed DJ Jeffo, serving up all-’80s sets of New Wave, freestyle and pop. Cure fans have an unlimited appetite for endless celebration of their musical heroes.
Over the Fourth of July weekend, which was spent in Asbury Park, a musical capital of the Jersey Shore, we had occasion to do some antique store-hopping and made a brief visit to the store-front book store, Paranormal, right on Cookman Avenue. The door opens into a curiosity shop and oddities store with grotesque artifacts including a “life-size” (whatever that would mean) anthropomorphic effigy of Cthulhu, the tentacle-faced beast and some other, less identifiable monstrosities. This front chamber has a plethora of books and videos on the occult plus candles, novelties and horrific knick-knacks. A magazine rack offers some 10 or 20 issues of Weird N.J. for sale.
The back chamber is a museum of sorts with a niche labeled “Palace of Fear,” plus loosely organized creepy puppets and figurines, a floating, robed and hooded skeleton, some plaster death-masks and voodoo paraphernalia.
We just kind of walked in, took some photos and walked out without asking anything of the staff, who seemed occupied in the business of running the joint. We gathered, however, from reading the postings that one could avail oneself of a guided tour of the two-room facility or sign up for a “Ghosts & Legends Tour.” There were also announcements about attending a séance, going on a “Ghost Hunt,” or scheduling a psychic reading. Fun, fun, fun!