LE SIGH

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate this time of the year? Every year, you say?

Well, I still do.

I don’t know what’s happening with this Cyanotic/Chemlab tour. Which is bad, considering that I should be booking my time off now, if it’s happening. The problem with being involved in Cyanotic is that you can never really count on anything; the ground is always shifting whenever you look the other way.

…which is fine, given that I’ve been neglecting Ad·ver·sary as of late, due to post-cyanotic-fatigue and pre-label-frustration. I’ve got a handful of releases in various states of completion that I need to deal with:

International Dark Skies: My 2005 demo that labels keep saying they want to release and then not releasing. Current label: Fich-Art, run by the Ars Moriendi crew (Asche, etc). This thing is years old, and I’m tired of it just sitting here.

Bone Music: Full-length album containing some tracks from IDS, some newer reworkings of IDS tracks, plus remixes of IDS from other artists. International Dark Skies 2.0, really. Mostly done — just need to collect remixes and finish one or two tracks.

Channel Zero: This is what I’m working on now. All new material, concept album. Maybe 1/3 done. I’m probably biting off more than I can chew with how I’ve planned it, but we’ll see how it turns out.

The Raven Prince: This won’t be an AVS release — it’ll either come out as a self-titled (if there’s not already a band called The Raven Prince), or I’ll release it under Jairus Khan. 3-track EP soundtrack to a children’s origin-myth-slash-fairy-tale I’m writing.

It would be nice if any of these ended up the way I see them in my head.

Ryan’s a good friend, and I hope his new night is a smash success (and selfishly it would be awesome to have a place where Leslie or I could play an all-goth industrial-free guest DJ set), but I really wish that someone would do a weekly that wasn’t marketed as a statement about Industrial Strength Tuesdays (or “the scene” or whatever). It’s always “re-vamp” and “making the scene a threat” and “the REAL underground” and etcetera. It would be nice if someone did an event that was just marketed as “You like good music? Come to our night! We play good music!”

(Here’s the part where I sound like an arrogant jackass) Aside from Victor (RIP Le Bistro), I’m the only person in town who’s run a successful goth-oriented night in the last ten years (if I’m missing someone, let me know), and I did it twice. The reason they were successful is because they weren’t a reaction to Leslie’s night; if we picked them up and dropped them in a club in Montreal or Boston, we wouldn’t change anything about them. All of the nights/events that have started as an ‘alternative’ to Tuesdays have crashed and burned, because a) the music they play will always be defined by the music played on Tuesdays, and b) there just aren’t enough people who wear black to support two competing events — and let’s be frank — Industrial Strength Tuesday has over ten years of inertia, and any of the events that have openly and directly positioned themselves as competition are punching far above their weight.

The only events that have done well here in the last fifteen years (and this includes Zaphods, Le Bistro, Thunderdome, Dark Crystal, Absinthe, or any other) are the ones that worked to compliment the nightlife, rather than compete with it.

You can run an event that’s founded on aesthetics, or the community, or what-that-guy-across-the-street-is-doing, but they’re not sustainable. The only events that have any staying power are the ones founded on the music.

I’m done now.

53 thoughts on “LE SIGH

  1. I’m not trying to make a statement about Industrial Strength Tuesdays. I’m truly sorry if it is coming off that way. It is not my intent.

  2. Like I said — even if we pretend Zaphods doesn’t exist, it’s always a statement about ‘the scene’, at the very least. It’s always reactionary.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think re-vamp is a brilliant title (and I wish I had thought of it), — but the very definition of ‘revamp’ is to rebuild or fix. It’s a great title, but it’s also a statement. So was ‘Conspire Perform Unite’ or whatever else. You know what I’m saying?

  3. I forgot all about the night on George St at the place where Cashe (sp?) was (could have been when you were in Toronto). Always remembered the Maveric Room one. Then there was the one Cliff was involved with at Babylon, the fetish night one which I forget the name of.

  4. It was the bar next to Giant Tiget, upstairs. It failed in a few months, Luke had something to do with it, they also used a bar near The Mavric Room for a while as well.

    I never went to Club Slut.

  5. No worries, man. I’m not offended or anything. It just seems symptomatic of a mindset which will probably not be that helpful in the long run, and as I said, I want the night to succeed.

  6. Not my mind set. I’m just looking to jump back into the scene a little more noticeably that I have been since Pagan and Re-Vamp is cliche-gothy sounding.

    My plan is to play music I like and provide a place for other Pale and Tragics to show up and have fun. That is my goal. Nothing more and nothing less.

  7. It kind of sucked, 10-20 feet from the PA and you could not hear much.

    The Maveric room one was, you, Cliff and was it a few others? I kind of rember Luke.

  8. I’m very much looking forward to being pale and tragic while listening to music and not ‘working’, so to speak.

    I ran into Frederick the other day at a bakery. We should do the foods soons!

  9. wow
    this is the most wordy that you’ve posted in a while!!

    CPU was a fun project.. it was a good way of promoting shows, without the stress of having to deal with touring acts
    and i think it was more of combining different scenes and making an *event* out of it rather than just saying.. oh its industrial night, better get out my goth clothes

    i totally agree though – ottawa is way too small to have competeing scenes/clubs/whatever
    if you can make something that compliments eachother, thats cool

    and in other news
    i like beer

  10. Yeah, I was reading some of my old writing yesterday, and I realized that I should try to spend a bit less time surfing and a bit more time writing.

    CPU was a frustrating experience from my end, because I tried really, really hard to offer support (logistical and otherwise), and a few members made it clear that I was not welcome.

    Not that I’m comparing that to Ryan’s night or anything. I just think most events in Ottawa are reactive, rather than proactive.

  11. its cool that chris from dekcuf/mav’s is going for it
    i tried to get a metal night going last year sometime but he never seemed receptive to the idea
    then with the metal night at the oak on saturdays, and now sabbath sundays – there’s oversaturation for anything
    maybe i’ll get some guest dj-ing goin on

    the wasted space and lack of good venues in this city drives me nuts.

  12. Chris has been exceedingly cool with myself and Jeff. He was originally wanting us to do the night on Wednesday or Thursday but really didn’t have an issue with the Sunday night when Jeff went back to him and told him that we were sure we wanted the Sunday.

  13. again though
    are sunday’s the best night, considering you have to compete with the sabbath sundays (which i’ve heard them bust out some joy division/cure/smiths,etc)?
    not that i’m some zaphods fanboy
    i just see too much competition in the underground scenes in ottawa

  14. I think it’s coming around again. We’ve had probably a 60-70% crowd turnover in the past two years, and now it’s all new, young people that neither Leslie nor I know. I don’t know what the Toronto scene is like but our Tuesdays are in a state of growth and renewal (both in crowd enthusiasm and bar sales), not atrophy.

  15. Actually, yes I do. Given the choices available to us Sundays were the landslide preference of the twenty or so people we talked to.

    And in many ways, the fact that there are other successful nights on the shows that there are people who are out and about clubbing. For me that is kind of encouraging.

  16. I wish that I could do something like have a night where it was like “awesome music/have a good time here” and just do a dif theme every time or something sick like that..

    but thinking like a rational person my idea of a hip hop night would work better hahahah :)

    in other news I should see you guys soon went to Toronto this weekend so *shruggles*

  17. y’know, i love tuesdays, but i always wanted a place where i could listen and dance to “goth” music… oldschool, classic shit. i’m intruiged by what’s going on in your comments here… another goth night? i’m lured by the prospect of an alternative to zaphod’s; not as competition, but as variety :)

  18. You and me both. That’s why we tried to do the retro_underground nights, so we could do old goth, post-punk, etc.

    I hope I’m not giving the impression that I think this night will be competing with Zaphods, that’s not how I see it at all. I think it would be good for the city and the crowd if there was more than one night for people who wear black.

  19. I’m excited for Re-Vamp, and strangely excited by the possibility of ACTUALLY GETTING TOGETHER WITH YOU SOON.

    In other news, FtL: THIS FRIDAY. Me=Excited as fuck. I’m gonna see some bitches dance!

  20. There are those that remember me going to it as a regular even though I don’t have so memories. One of the individual’s arguments to prove I was wrong said “well you’re black and I remember a black guy there so it had to have been you because I see you at phods all the time.”
    Now how am I supposed to compete with that? Especially when referred to by a name that isn’t mine…

    Stupid humans.

  21. I still find it interesting that dolston and moonlessnight’s project is still being thought of as “another goth night” in relation to Phods.
    Maybe I missed something but I never really saw Tuesday’s as goth night. Sure goths went and go there (and people think I am one… sorry I’m too dark to be that dark :P) but it was fairly clear it was an industrial night. Then again, I was mislead by retro 90s nights at Barrymoore’s as soon as the year 2000 hit.

  22. I think the crossover between the industrial scene and the other scenes is really what’s killed it in other cities, too. There’s so much less airtime to support emerging industrial (or goth) artists when you’re also expected to play goth (or industrial), synthpop, retro, deathrock, NIN/Nintendo mashups, futurepop, and whatever else gets airplay in most industrial (or goth) nights.

    This is the big reason why you don’t hear goth music on Tuesdays. Leslie and I both (literally) have crates of goth vinyl in the basement, but it’s not the place for it.

    I’m very glad there’s going to be more airtime for underground music.

    Also, I can’t wait for the retro 00 nights.

  23. Yeah I hope the evening gets off the ground as well and is supported, beyond principle, by those it’s aimed toward. In that way I see there as being an element of competition as it relates to the amount of finite time and possible dollars available to interested parties. Competition in that light is brilliant because then people will go where they want to be and enjoy where they are. Yay!

  24. I don’t think competition is the right word, though. A tea shop doesn’t compete with a coffee shop. They share a market, but they compliment each other.

  25. Hmm. Quite true; they are complimentary but I have often noted people thinking in terms of ‘this’ versus ‘that’ within a market. Once the distinction is made it stops being such and hopefully many people will be having fun doing what they want to do.

    And now if I could just finish this damn project, I’d have time to relax before class… grrr….

  26. All of the nights/events that have started as an ‘alternative’ to Tuesdays have crashed and burned, because a) the music they play will always be defined by the music played on Tuesdays, and b) there just aren’t enough people who wear black to support two competing events…

    Well, has there ever been an industrial club night that forgoes the expected “people who wear black” niche? I know Zaphods doesn’t enforce a dress code, but its inertia is undeniably something of a goth aesthetic. I’m curious if there’s an untapped audience out there who is interested in industrial music, but not interested in going to a “goth club”.

  27. I don’t expect so. To be clear, though, I’m not looking to create that environment, or anything. Just saying that Ottawa isn’t Toronto, where the G/I community is big enough to have a Savage crowd and a Sanctuary crowd.

  28. I never go anymore

    Industrial music has become very commercialized – it’s like you can buy a do-it-yourself kit. Stores will sell you the necessary clothing to go with the 4/4 bass drums… the energy is dead
    commercialization is never about tapping into another world and pulling things out of yourself.. it’s about people doing it for you.

    This music is not even really dark either

    Peter Christopherson never wanted music to follow a formula so why are the “followers” creating formula music?

    There is so much good stuff out there these days with these new technologies but the clubs and the vampire wannabe websites are only exposing a very dead energy

  29. I suppose that depends what kind of industrial music you’re listening to. Cyanotic, Empusae, Morgenstern, S:Cage… hell, even the last albums from FLA and Ministry — they’re not paint-by-numbers, and they’re pretty fucking dark.

    Industrial music is thirty years old — almost as old as Punk music, and Punk became commercialized about fifteen years ago. If industrial is becoming commercialized, I’d say we’re doing pretty good by comparison.

    …not to mention, I think it’s obvious at any of the larger industrial events (Maschinenfest, COMA, Providence) that the atmosphere and aesthetic aren’t commercial by any definition.

    But to answer your question: People are making formulaic music because anyone with a torrent client and Ableton Live can make it now. Remember when everyone got a copy of Photoshop, and suddenly everyone was a designer?

  30. well there is nothing wrong with making sounds with ableton.. ableton is sooo sexy, sure if they want to call themselves a musician or whatever, that’s great for them. there’s no this is a musician and this isn’t a musician.. or any kind of heirachy (in my opinion)

    I kind of went down the path of projects like Coil, DVOA, lustmord, download, plateau.,recently threshold houseboys choir.. *drools*.., black sun productions

    The music I listen to religiously is probably best consumed at home with a lot of fun drugs
    not really cluby/dancy stuff haha

    I will check out that new night though.. cheers

  31. Coil is probably my favourite act, if I had to pick and choose one. The houseboy’s album is pretty fucking good, though. Plateau i can’t get into anymore. Probably because I don’t smoke enough pot. Download has aged pretty well, I think.

    When I listen to the music I write, I hear a lot more in common with the acts you’re talking about than I do with the acts that i hear in most clubs.

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