April 13th, 2019



I have been listening my way through Voltaire's discography the last couple of days. We are going to go see him live in Portland tomorrow! I am super excited. I've always liked his stuff, but I knew him almost entirely as a nerd-parody songwriter (The U.S.S. Making Shit Up, The Sexy Data Tango, etc.) and I hadn't listened to his more serious stuff until now.

It's good! I feel like as a musician he's basically competent. Catchy tunes, solid, enjoyable performances, nothing super genius, but well-made, workmanlike stuff. (This is a good thing, to be clear.) But his lyrics... Oh gods. Not only does he love wordplay, but the stuff he writes abut is so me. It's the goth-nerd experience, distilled down to its basic essence.

It's interesting, because these days nerd spaces are diluted. Nerd media (Marvel, Star Wards, etc.) is the biggest thing in the world, nerds run billion-dollar companies, computers are a part of everyday life, and everywhere you go, the nerds have gone mainstream. There's no longer that "the world rejects us, so we reject the world" feel to being around nerd culture. Goth culture, though, hasn't lost that. Goth will probably never go mainstream. And his songs often capture exactly that feeling of being other, different, on the outside, that is why I felt instantly at home in goth culture when I ran into it.

My "space", my safe place, my "I go here to feel like I'm really me" place during a certain period in my mid-twenties was in fact a goth club. It was called Sanctuary, because it had once been a church, but that's literally what it was for me. I wasn't even that into a lot of the music (some yes, but some I was very indifferent to), I just needed a place where somebody who didn't fit in anywhere, who was not-a-girl but hadn't figured out how to "be" a guy yet, who was still Mormon but knew I didn't "belong" at church, who had strange thoughts and obsessions, who found pain and blood fascinating in ways that were supposed to be bad, but felt good, could just be and feel all those things, and nobody cared.

After the Voltaire concert, the venue, which is normally a dance club, is having a goth-industrial dance night. I am almost as excited about this as I am about the concert. Sanctuary closed down more than a decade ago, and I've moved cities three times since then. So it seems like this weekend will be a chance to visit a little bit of my own past. I wasn't quite raised by bats, but I certainly lived in the belfry for a while.

It's good to go home.

This entry was originally posted at https://bladespark.dreamwidth.org/1523730.html.