Saturday, August 7, 2010

Propaganda and it's Antidote

When Jason and I started doing ABSOLUTIONlast year in July of 2009, we were surprised to hear a number of strange sentiments being repeated by people in the NYC Goth/Industrial scene that seemed anti to the club scene getting back on it's feet. Could people really rebuild a functioning Goth/Industrial society if they believed things like "Our scene is dying"?

I decided to assemble a collection of the negative propaganda that had somehow infiltrated the NYC Goth/Industrial scene, now that a year has passed, and contrast that propaganda/negative rhetoric with what has actually taken place.

1) "NYC Can't support a Weekly Event". FALSE. Since we started doing ABSOLUTION, many monthly parties have had grand openings and a very rapid grand closing, or closed after a long period of being slow. But the three weekly parties of NYC- Tuesday DARK WATER@ Ottos' Shrunken Head, Saturday DEFCON @ Pyramid and Friday ABSOLUTION @ UC87, are all still here. Not only that, ABSOLUTION actually expanded and added a floor and regular weekly performances, in the slowest period of the year, summer. Obviously NYC not only can support a Weekly event, it does in fact support Three of them.

2) "Everyone in NYC is respectful of each other's parties". FALSE. Since we began producing ABSOLUTION on Friday nights, a whole slew of monthly parties have tried to open up on Friday nights. So much for that particular slogan.

*NOTE- the poor rate of monthly parties staying open on Friday nights/losing their venues should give people a clue that opening a monthly on the same night as a weekly Friday with so much going on in it is a bad idea. The list of parties that have either closed or lost their venue in the past year on Friday is long and gruesome.*

3) "The Goth/Industrial Scene in NYC is dying". FALSE. Twilight and True Blood are some of the most popular shows on TV in the USA, seeding the public conciousness with Gothic aesthetic and ideas. Never has there been a time more suitable to create a thriving Gothic Society. Also, all over the USA Goth/Industrial clubs are enjoying a regular audience, even right across the river in New Jersey less than 20 miles away from the area where the Goth/Industrial scene is supposedly "dying". (Yes, I guess it IS dying in your particular area if you are going around telling everyone it's dead, creating a "dead zone" where only you are seen as the altruistic patron of this poor, dying scene...oh how noble of you *sniff sniff* How much everyone owes you for taking the time to keep the poor dying scene even half, what a great person you are....shall I continue? LOL!)! The Goth/Industrial scene is far from dead. The minute people were given the chance to come out weekly again, they did.

4) "I just do this to have fun, I don't make any money from the scene". FALSE. Since everyone has to buy Gothic Clothing, Shoes, Jewelry, Accessories and Music, and venues, alcohol, DJ equipment, heating and air conditioning, and the man-hours it takes to design websites, flyers, distribute flyers, do booking and scheduling of DJs, Bands, Performers and Nightclub Staff all cost money, there is a very obvious economy involved in the Goth/Industrial Scene of NYC. Too bad they don't give all that stuff out for free! I wish they did. Events are extremely costly to put on.

*NOTE*- if there is someone who pays out of pocket for these events, pay close attention to them, because nobody does something for nothing. They are, in fact, getting something out of it- trying to influence the political direction these events are taking. I would urge such people to Get A Life.

5) "Cross-Promotion for parties on the same night is good for the scene". FALSE. Who says this? Obviously not a seasoned promoter. If you believe this, I have a bridge to sell you. I covered this topic extensively in my last blog, so if you're interested, scroll down.

6) "It's all about the music". FALSE. The minute you start selling a product (advertising events with a cover charge where you are performing or producing), you become a businessperson. Saying you are "only in it for the music" does not absolve you of the responsibilities and concerns that govern all businesspeople.

I'm sure there is more propaganda that I'm leaving out, but you get the idea. The next time anyone tells you something that doesn't seem to "jive right" with reality, it's time to perform a critical analysis of what they're saying, or get advice from someone who has experience who has an objective viewpoint and no personal stake in the situation if you're not sure.


  1. ::applause::
    It's about time someone addressed this.

  2. i agree with everything except for the making money. i consistently lost money on any goth/industrial night i did, and often the money did come out of pocket. mine. but i always did it cause i just wanted to do a cool night that people would enjoy. no other sinister reason than that ;)

    i still have to come down and check out the night, i always remember absolution being one of my favs!!

  3. @ Mr. Gone- as I stated above, lots of people made money from your parties, just not you! I believe that there can be an artisitc person who just wants to express themselves by having a party. But I do not believe anyone like that is active in Manhattan right now as a producer in my scene.

  4. Out of curiosity, was this your point of view back when you put on Signal or has it evolved/morphed since then?

  5. @ Hunter- back when I did Signal, these issues did not exist. Club life was so established that everybody involved in it would never have tried to, for instance, cross promote a party on the same night of the week as your party, and certainly nobody would have believed anyone who went around saying that the "scene was dying out", and the other things discussed above.

    The conditions that created the state of affairs of last year(which are changed now) came about through a series of rare and unlikely occurances which I won't go into here, but have since been repaired. The scene is now on the mend, and the rules of business which govorned the scene when I did Signal are still very much in effect. They are the rules of ALL businesses.

  6. I guess the reason I ask is because of the noise at Signal. Don't get me wrong, I can dig some noise, but it didn't work well as club music. Impossible to dance to, difficult to even listen to if you're not into it. The club would be busy for the industrial sets, then everyone would go outside and smoke or get a bite to eat, or just go home when 2 hours of noise came on.

    You must have known this back then, so I'm curious if it was "about the music" or you just didn't look at Signal as a business venture like you do with Absolution.

    Regardless, I'm glad to hear that you're doing so well with Fridays now! Maybe I'll even come out one of these days if I can still figure out how to lace up my 16-hole Docs. :)

  7. @ Hunter:

    Signal was the first party I produced myself. I had only worked at one other party previous to that one which I did not produce. I was taking advice from people in the Industrial scene, and I was told that Noise had a following in NYC. I saw that the noise drove people out, but I thought that the Noise DJs would function as promoters and bring in other people who liked it because of the idea of it and not because of the sound(obviuosly, lol). When it became obvious that they either weren't promoting or weren't able to draw if they were promoting, I fired them.


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