Saturday, Sept. 10, marked the 25th anniversary of QXT’s nightclub in Newark. Begun in 1991 on the site of a former Spanish Restaurant called Quixote’s—temporarily known as The Edge—QXT’s has assumed the position once held by the legendary Pipeline in serving as home base to the Goth/punk and industrial community of North Jersey in providing a multi-level dance hall and a venue for touring big name performers representative of those hybrid styles of music. Reverse commuters from NYC are known to patronize QXT’s for both the aforementioned purposes. Both floors and all three dance floors were packed for the event which featured a battalion of the NY/NJ top DJs.
Stimulate at Drom
Across the river in NYC, impresario Xris Smack and the lovely Ashley Bad hosted live performances by En Esch and <PIG>, featuring members of KMFDM et al. for the eighth anniversary of Stimulate, the recurring sensuality-themed music event that is invariably supported by a bevy of suggestively-clad, beautiful stage and pole dancers. Among those in attendance was music industry veteran and jack-of-all-trades, Rey Roldan.
Salvation at Windfall
A recurrence of the famous dance night Salvation took place on Saturday, Sept. 24, at Windfall on 39th St. in the City. This Gothic-EBM-New Wave party takes place every fourth Saturday of the month under the auspices of veteran DJ Patrick Cusack. He and DJ CYN brought this particular underground NYC event into existence when the ancestral event, Albion, got repeatedly moved due to the closing down of such iconic venues as the Bank and the Bat Cave by gentrification. Highlights in the history of Salvation include guest deejay spinning by such stars of the scene as Ronan of VNV Nation and David J of Bauhaus.
This had to have been one of the biggest, most enthusiastic crowds ever, packing the joint with dancers and imbibers while venue manager Chris scouted round the room to see that all were comfortable in the festive atmosphere created by the exceptional musical mix provided by two long time favorite musical mixologists, Patrick and CYN.
While We Were Away
Despite the absence of yours truly while away on vacation, the promoters and deejays at The Red Party (Sean Templar), Procession (Joe Hart and Mark Knight) and Memento Mori (Malefic, Alex and Mike Stalagmike) ran smashingly successful parties on their own monthly schedules.
The Red Party presented the legendary Eva O, formerly of Christian Death. Procession presented All Your Sisters from San Francisco. Furthermore, each of the three above parties were featured, along with Brooklyn’s Arkham, the No Return Post-Punk Society and Society Nocturnus in detail in an article by Wendy Lu in amNewYork, the morning free daily newspaper and hailed on Facebook. Congratulations on achieving mainstream recognition!
Doktor John Seeks The Origins Of Goth In Ireland
For those Goths whose intellectual curiosity is not limited to the dark music and dance club scene, there is a strain of interest in Celtic lore and culture because of its connection with pre-Christian belief systems and its stylistic decorative arts. Ireland has a long, decidedly dark history despite the outward cheerfulness of its people. There are imposing castles, crumbling abbeys and baleful graveyards that haunt the countryside at every turn.
The island has been inhabited for over 10,000 years i.e. since the Stone Age. Around the first century, during the Roman Era, the Celts came to predominate, and it was around this time that the pagan Druid religion, which in some ways is antecedent to modern Wicca, took hold. Then in the fifth century, Christianity swept Ireland. Numerous monasteries arose with the mission of arduously writing down the Christian scriptures employing the most advanced artistic, linguistic and book-binding technology that the monks could muster. This was before the printing press, so every word and every illustration (illumination) had to be re-written and often re-invented, over the centuries as decay, fire and vandalism kept destroying each earlier copy.
The Book of Kells
The Book of Kells, named after the monastery from which it came, is Ireland’s most precious and prestigious treasure. It is an early version of the New Testament of the Christian bible, specifically the gospels of the Four Evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, whose medieval-style portraits are among the eye candy to be found within.
The text and illustrations are extensively decorated in the ancient insular (meaning typical of British-Irish antiquity) style, characterized by wildly distorted plant, animal and fairy tale creations tangled up in intricate, interlocking knots. It was painstakingly written, with creative use of the inks and pigments available at the time, on treated calf-skin vellum around the year 800 CE and survived the vandalism of numerous Viking attacks before it wound up at Kells. Then it had to be moved again to Dublin in the 17th century to escape Oliver Cromwell’s assaults on Catholicism.
Presently it is in four volumes, jealously guarded in the amazingly cavernous, oaken-walled library at venerable Trinity College in a climate-controlled chamber where magnified images of its contents are displayed and explained in all their hallucinatory glory.
Kilmainham Gaol (“jail”)
Kilmainham Gaol is perhaps the most important attraction in Dublin that holds any significance for those with interest in the dark side of humanity. Built in 1796 under rule of the British crown, it was the site of countless outdoor public hangings. Far worse than death by hanging were the dungeon-like conditions under which prisoners were kept, initially storing men (violent and non- violent), women and children—some as young as seven—either together in a single, un-partitioned room; or in cramped, solitary cells. In both instances, they had small, barred but otherwise wide-open windows exposing them to the inclement Irish weather.
The history of the place is long and gruesome, with tiny, incremental reforms coming gradually, but it ends with a bittersweet victory of liberty over oppression, as follows: When 14 Irish patriots were executed by firing squad in 1916—the leader Eamon de Valera was spared because he was an American citizen—it sparked such rebellion among the populace that the British overlords were thrown out (except from Ulster) and the Irish Republic rose in its place.
The Bog Men
The bogs of Ireland have a unique property of preserving human and other remains for hundreds, even thousands of years. Three exhumed and entirely unrelated bodies dating back more than 300 years BCE are on display at the Archeological Museum of the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. Perhaps not surprisingly, each shows indications of torture, human sacrifice and mutilation, possibly in accordance with Druid ritual practices.
Halloween falls on a Monday this year. By the time this makes it into print, impresario Fr. Sebastiaan will have hosted the annual New York version of the Endless Night Vampire Ball at Slake on Saturday the 15th.
Memento Mori will celebrate Halloween at their usual haunt, the Bedlam Bar, on Thursday, Oct. 27, offering an early start to the extended holiday weekend.
DJ Fr. Jeff Ward will be hosting a Soiree and costume contest at Ward 6 at Windfall on Saturday the 29th. Finally, the welcome return of Dracula’s Ball in Philadelphia takes place on Monday, Halloween itself, with Stabbing Westward as guest performers.