Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Clockwork Carnival @ Liquid (3/16/13)

I've written elsewhere on this blog about my steadfast affection for the local Goth community.  Hanging out with some of the folks in this scene has helped change me from the insecure, socially awkward young man I was to the slightly less insecure, slightly less socially awkward slightly less young man I am now.  So I might have checked out this Steampunk-themed party even if there weren't any live music.  What earned this event a blog post, however, was the presence of Voltaire on the schedule.  While the public at large probably knows him best for his song "Brains" on The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, he's been a darling of the children of the night for quite a few years.

I counted over eighty people when I got down to Liquid and would count over 130 around midnight.  I found a spot at the bar and studied the various outfits.  I noticed a few civilians milling around.  They seemed pretty cool overall, though one guy looked a bit uptight.  Meanwhile, the waitresses looked slightly bemused by the whole thing.

It took me a little while to work up the nerve to ask a few people if I could take their picture.  I did, though.  Like I said, slightly less insecure, slightly less socially awkward...

(This one was actually easy: these girls are friends or friends of friends.)

Manning the laptop: tireless promoter/sound man DJ Bones.

She who must be obeyed: Ginger Christiansen, the Redd Queen.

Belly dancer Bella Luna did a brief number before Voltaire took the stage.  I would've taken more notes during this part, but... well, let's just say that I was distracted.

Voltaire's solo acoustic set belied the stereotype of Goths as snobby, humorless sociophobes.  His finely crafted tunes and funny, sardonic, deliciously twisted lyrics called to mind another musician who's no stranger to children's entertainment, Randy Newman.  Voltaire sang much better than Newman, however: his rich, dramatic baritone suggested that he could've gone the way of, say, HIM, had he felt so inclined.  Between songs and swigs of Captain Morgan (if that's really what it was), he dropped plenty of warm, playful, snarky banter.  His plentiful calls for audience participation were both shrewd (a happy audience member is a merch-buying audience member) and heartwarming.  The crowd gleefully sang the "Da da da" chorus on "Zombie Prostitute," shouted for brains on "Brains," filled in the blanks on "The Dirtiest Song That Ain't" and jumped onstage to serve as the Beelzebub Philharmonic Choir on the finale "When You're Evil."

And now, before I close out this post, a few shots of the costume contest that took place after Voltaire's set.

You can find info on Voltaire on, Facebook and elsewhere online.  Special thanks to DJ Bones, Ginger Christiansen and Wicked Wonderland.

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