Wednesday, May 22, 2013
You don't have to wear black to attend Plague, Maine's weekly Gothic night, but it doesn't hurt. You just need to have an appreciation for the Gothic aesthetic and all its trappings.
“DISCO BLOOD BATH”
WHEN: 9 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Asylum, 121 Center St., Portland
HOW MUCH: $2 before 9:30 p.m., then $5. Ages 21-plus.
Every Friday night, Goth-minded people gather at Asylum, and quite frankly, they have a ton of fun during an evening billed as "Plague."
Plague started in 2006 at the Lava Lounge (now the Cactus Club) and moved to Friday nights downstairs at Asylum in Portland. Amy Black (yes, that is really her last name) launched gothicmaine.com to coincide with, and serve as a landing spot for, Plague and the Gothic community.
On Friday, Plague hosts an event dubbed "Disco Blood Bath." Which begs the question: What the heck is a disco bloodbath? Or, for that matter, the other elements of the night, including the "Club Kid Contest" and "Club Kiddie Music"?
"'Disco Blood Bath' " is a theme based on the movie 'Party Monster' starring Seth Green and Macaulay Culkin," Black said. "It's basically a tale of the '90s rave scene in New York and how insane it can become and how far you can fall."
For the Portland party, the focus is going to be on insane outfits that feature things like dreadfalls (temporary colored hair pieces), furry leg warmers, anything fluorescent and, of course, black.
The Club Kid Contest will surely feature plenty of glow sticks and LED poi (spinning handheld colored lights).
"I imagine we'll line folks up, cheer for the best outfits, then make the finalists do a 'dance-off,' " Black said.
As for the music, the Disco Blood Bath will include sets by DJs Znuh, Dehuman8 and Aldaroc playing "Club Kiddie Music."
To describe the sound, Black rattled off bands such as Orbital, Daft Punk, Prodigy and Chemical Brothers.
It all ties into the mission of Gothic Maine.
Per the group's website, it serves as an outlet for the Goth/industrial music scene in the state, and its focus is to "collaborate with all forms of Goth, industrial, musician, alternative, fetish or 'anyone who wears black' to express our culture in Maine."
Goals include bringing in fresh music and ideas; encouraging new people to participate in the scene; allow local DJs, artists, musicians and performers to do what they do best; and connect to regional scenes in New England and Montreal.
Why has Plague stood the test of time? Black's answer came easily:
"I would say consistency has kept us going. We're every week, we do all kinds of great theme nights so things stay fresh, and we offer a place for those into the darker side of life an outlet to be themselves."
But there's also another, perhaps more important, reason for Plague's sustainability.
"If anything, we stay on the silly side of life, and we don't take ourselves seriously," Black said. "I don't think you can say that about many Goth clubs. Conversations you might hear at the club range from comic books to Renaissance fairs to philosophy to computer programming. We're all some flavor of 'geek.' We welcome anyone as long as they're respectful.
"And no, you don't have to wear black."
Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti can be contacted at 791-6455 or at: