Unknown Pleasures

I’ve lived in South Philly for a number of years now, and to be in such close vicinity to a monthly goth night is a pleasure (no pun intended). The cool thing about it is that the crew who runs the party know their music and history of the scene. The crowd can be a mixed bag, but you always can catch at least some of the dedicated goths at this party.

 

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Unknown Pleasures

I admittedly have not been to Unknown Pleasures in a bit but stepping into the Dolphin for the party felt like home. Ian is a strong DJ and is the owner of the killer record store Beautiful World Syndicate, so he obviously knows his stuff.

Seeing Littlespacey progress as a DJ has been awesome. She plays a very eclectic range of contemporary goth to the classics. You are bound to discover a new dark audio treat when she’s up.

Guest Dj Shawn Ryan (Universal Cave/Superprince) did not disappoint. Cheers to him for playing Cities in Dust, my favorite Siouxsie and the Banshees song.

I was able to catch up with Ian, and we had a great conversation about the nature of this party. Unfortunately, a lot of club events at The Dolphin can bring in a bro crowd, the type who are pretty much total creeps to women and don’t understand personal space (clubs get crowded of course, but there is an art to using the dancefloor), I think a lot of this has to do with the location, which can’t really be remedied, and it’s a good club location.

You will see these bro guys, or goth tourists as I call them, at Unknown Pleasures at least for a little bit, my friend and I experienced it last night. However, at this party those types never stick around for very long. Ian’s words were that that demographic is used to fitting in anywhere, and when they come to this event and see the dedicated crowd of weirdos, who are in the scene for the music, they realize it’s not just any kind of club night. Ian was adamant that this can be anyones clubhouse as long as they are respectful to others. He is adamant that it is an inclusionary party, especially for the queer and trans community.

This event truly is. While I do love The Dolphin, I am very choosy about the nights I go to because, to be honest, the crowd can reach levels of absurdity with it’s disrespect for others. I have never hesitated to go to Unknown Pleasures for this reason.

It’s not a typical party you will see at this typical club. See you at the next one!

Next Up: A Black Celebration

Acknowledging Club Drugging and What We Can Do Better

When I went to Soft Leather last week, I touched upon the frequent incidents of party goers getting roofied, and the responsible steps The Dolphin took in light of that information. I want to divulge more into this topic.

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The Philly club scene has a few big problems, and nonconsensual drugging is one that seems like is becoming just a normal part of the scene. This is not something any of us want. What makes it a unique problem is that it their are incidents pf people being roofied with no apparent more sinister motives (I’m talking about rape y’all). For example, at the last DSJC party a friend of mine, a cis white male, realized  the next day that he had been drugged. The details of how he came to that conclusion aren’t necessary, but thank goodness he was ok and looked out for. Unfortunately, no demographic is safe from a potential sexual assault, but for the sake of context it seemed odd for my friend to have been drugged.

The first time I witnessed this type of at random drugging was a New Years Eve awhile back. A bunch of my friends and I were at a warehouse party thrown by a responsible crew. A dear friend was with her her husband all night and got roofied. She was sick for days and did not remember her night. It turned out multiple people experienced the same thing and the general consensus was that someone was straight up going around drugging drinks rather adventitiously.

Why is this happening? Is this just another example of rape culture? I mean, yes. Though maybe not in every one of these incidents. Recreational drug use may be a part the scene, but it’s not an integral one. Is the thinking of these culprits enacting random druggings that they are just giving a party person a fun time? Probably not, my friends who have been roofied have had terrible come downs and never remembered the night before. Maybe there is no solid reason (unless it is an aforementioned more sinister one).

What can venues and community members do about this problem? There are some ideas, but I’m not even sure these would be total remedies. I’m surprised to see some clubs still have community water, and it was really proactive that The Dolphin ended that practice. Other clubs should take note. Some clubs don’t seem to check bags either, and checking bags consistently is a good idea too.

Talking and opening up the conversation is one of the most important steps. It’s important that we talk about this more and come up with solutions together as a community. This is toxic behavior has no place.

How can we do better?

Next Up: Spellbound with Hogwasche