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Growing Old Gothically
October 26, 2011 2:59 AM   Subscribe

An article in the Guardian asks why do so many Goths stick with their subculture through their adult lives, through career, parenthood and well into middle age.

The article quotes the work of sociologist Dr. Paul Hodkinson, who is following up on a study of young Goths in the late 1990s, and finding that more of them have stayed with the scene than would be expected from most youth cultures. There is an accompanying photo gallery.
posted by acb (104 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Once you go black, you never go back.
posted by atrazine at 3:08 AM on October 26, 2011 [35 favorites]


See also Paul Hodgkinson's book on Goths: Goth. Identity, Style and Subculture (Amazon link)
posted by pharm at 3:09 AM on October 26, 2011


I always assumed it was because surgical removal of flying buttresses is prohibitively expensive and causes widespread structural problems.
posted by The World Famous at 3:14 AM on October 26, 2011 [72 favorites]


Indeed, goths I spent time with often made use of their ability to recognize fellow participants. For example, if unable to find their way to an event, it was an established strategy to identify other goths and follow them, with considerable confidence, from their appearance, as to where they were going.

Angel on a Saturday night is basically like a salmon spawning ground, directions are not required.
posted by atrazine at 3:15 AM on October 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


When I was in LA, I had to go to my insurance company so they could take pics of my new car for valuation purposes, etc.

The insurance agent was a late 30 something year old female version of robert smith. Blew my mind...and then I noticed the BLACK swingline on her desk.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:18 AM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Because black is timeless as far as fashion goes? So a middle aged person wearing a lot of black doesn't look like a complete moran who's trying to pretend to be 20 years younger.

Also maybe because black is very flattering for the figure? And you tend to chub out as you get older so why not stick with black. And a lot of goths were chubby in the first place. That's the whole reason wh...
posted by uncanny hengeman at 3:20 AM on October 26, 2011


I mean, you just took over the Roman Empire. Why change now?
posted by cthuljew at 3:20 AM on October 26, 2011 [33 favorites]


Why the hell wouldn't they?
posted by LogicalDash at 3:30 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Goths aren't the only subculture that lasts into middle age; if you go to any indiepop weekender, you will see C86 veterans, sometimes (depending on the event) with their kids. A lot of people who were in bands back in the day still play, or if they don't, go out regularly to see younger bands in the genre. (I've run into a number of Sarah Records veterans at gigs in London.) One famous example would be Amelia Fletcher, formerly of Heavenly and Tallulah Gosh, who divides her time between her career as a senior civil servant, bringing up her child(ren) and playing with her current band, Tender Trap.

Mind you, it's probably easier to recognise a goth than an indie-pop kid.
posted by acb at 3:32 AM on October 26, 2011 [15 favorites]


The Strawberry Fair in Cambridge always used to have a lovely collection of people who had stuck with the subcultures of their youth. So there would be ageing hippies, slightly younger ageing punks, still younger ageing goths, and so forth. I imagine in twenty or thirty years' time it will have a stratum of middle-aged people in fifties tea-dresses and waxed moustaches.
posted by Acheman at 3:41 AM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Goth is certainly easier to grow old with than punk. "Live fast die young" starts to sound like a sad joke by the time you're in your thirties and either dealing with mortgage payments or stuck in a dishwashing gig for life because you pissed off too many people. Also, goth music never got co-opted and turned into children's music as did punk rock.

Also, from my experience, goths generally have a better sense of humour than they're given credit for. A sense of humour is a pretty crucial tool for getting through life.
posted by spoobnooble at 3:47 AM on October 26, 2011 [20 favorites]


It's because black is slimming and you get fatter as you get older.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:49 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Plus some of that gear is expensive as hell.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:50 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dressing up like a corpse is an easy transition for the elderly?
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:51 AM on October 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'll probably move onto goth once I'm too old to be a skateboarder anymore.
posted by orme at 3:56 AM on October 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Goths aren't the only subculture that lasts into middle age; if you go to any indiepop weekender, you will see C86 veterans, sometimes (depending on the event) with their kids.

Absolutely. I wonder if this is because 'classic' indie attire doesn't look daft on older folk, being practical and fairly conservative, and is built to last - it's not like you ever need to buy a new duffel coat!

Another persistent post-youth subculture: casual - see any football crowd for examples of impeccably turned out 50-something men in outfits that cost three months wages (along with hundreds of tedious Burberry 'n' Stone Island clones). Of course, the fact that casual effectively became the default mode of dress for men in the UK muddies the waters here, but it's fairly easy to spot a proper casual in a crowd of random dads in jeans and Adidas.
posted by jack_mo at 4:04 AM on October 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Old punks usually turn into roots rock weirdos.
posted by snofoam at 4:05 AM on October 26, 2011 [9 favorites]


Old punks usually turn into roots rock weirdos.

It's been observed that an fifties' pompadour can camouflage a receding hairline.
posted by spoobnooble at 4:18 AM on October 26, 2011


Scooter boys were another lot who seemed to stick with it around our way.
posted by Abiezer at 4:23 AM on October 26, 2011


Over the past few decades of concert going I've watched at least a few dedicated rockabilly fans maintain the look and style as they got older. For some reason I feel a bit better knowing that some of the old guard are still holding up rockabilly tradition (and doing it quite well).
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 4:28 AM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lovely article, thank you. One of the things I love about the goth subculture is its acceptance of older people and families. And wasn't that family photo in Whitby adorable?
posted by daisyk at 4:33 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the childcare at festival ideas. They could call them "Rosekindergarten Funeral of Sores (and Diapers)"
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:40 AM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


For additional goth reading check out Chuck Klosterman's article about Bats Day, where a few hundred goths descend on Disneyland for a day.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 4:40 AM on October 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'd bet the "jocks" stick with it longer, but, oh right, being psychotically into sports is "normal."
posted by milarepa at 4:48 AM on October 26, 2011 [38 favorites]


The photo of Robert Smith is not an example of growing old gracefully.

Also, goth music never got co-opted and turned into children's music as did punk rock.

I think you forget Hot Topic?.


This article is sort of a puff piece. You can swap most any "subculture" in it, it's like talking about your Dad that still listens to the Dead, wears a tie-dye t-shirt and has some groovy drums in the living room. What exactly are they supposed to, "turn into"? Just some bland boring nothing? That's not how people work.

If anything, many of the Death Rock acts evolved into other interesting things. Nick Cave may have been a part of The Birthday Party, but who thought that would have evolved into the Bad Seeds (and beyond)? As far as I'm concerned, that's doing it right. Don't be a hanger-on to a scene you're twice removed from.
posted by alex_skazat at 4:51 AM on October 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


Metalheads and Deadheads stick with it well into middle age, since it's really not difficult to keep sporting jeans and a band t-shirt.
posted by jonmc at 4:52 AM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't know if she specifically identifies as "goth," but I've gotta give this lady credit for panache. (via)
posted by taz at 4:53 AM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Obviously, they haven't heard of Goth to Boss. Go to the bloody top!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:03 AM on October 26, 2011 [9 favorites]


They stick with it because it's a culture predicated on self-acceptance and generally positive group dynamics. It's healthy, stabilizing and makes people feel good. Also, you can have just one set of clothes and scale the goth factor with accessories as needed by personal comfort and circumstance. It's not a cheap wardrobe, but it is flexible.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:03 AM on October 26, 2011 [18 favorites]


As another example, really, really rich people keep their subculture into middle age and beyond.
posted by glaucon at 5:19 AM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


On Goths Aging Gracefully
posted by FunkyHelix at 5:33 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was just at a diy hardcore / metal show last night, an in-store where the audience was dispersed amidst the shelves of CDs and records.

the people with the best seats in the house were two siblings, a boy and girl, atop their parents' shoulders, in full ear protection, nodding and pumping their fists
posted by eustatic at 5:38 AM on October 26, 2011


Goth Babies!

I feel a Tumblr coming on.
posted by k8t at 5:38 AM on October 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thinking Allowed (a BBC Radio 4 show featuring sociologists talking about their research) did a show on this a few months ago.
posted by naturalog at 5:56 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't be a hanger-on to a scene you're twice removed from.

Surely there are some scenes that should be left with age. Wasn't it Eddie Izzard who observed that a 50 year old man with a ponytail is a FIFTY YEAR OLD MAN WITH A PONYTAIL.

But I get the impression that these aging Goths aren't even half removed from the scene at all and that's the reason they maintain some of the dress and style.

Goth ain't my scene, I don't even remotely get it, but I surely like seeing people my own (middle) age still keeping it real. It's cool and they're cool.
posted by three blind mice at 5:57 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


All of my raver friends are in their 30s now and still identify as ravers and still go to clubs, but none of them are walking around with fairy wings or baggy pants any more.
posted by empath at 6:06 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought the photos were adorable, except for Robert Smith, as noted above.

I also think that there's a difference between retaining the visual aspects of a subculture, like the goths he was interviewing seem to do, and maintaining other aspects. I work with a bunch of guys who are older than myself, all of them middle aged, middle class guys with graduate degrees and mortgages and spouses and kids and divorces and car payments, you know? And fuck me if half of us don't still love punk rock, old and new. So there's maybe more nuance than this (obviously brief and superficial) article gives credit for.

I also agree with the person above who noted the aging rockabillies you see -- that's also a look that seems to work well with advancing age, unlike trying to combine male pattern baldness with a mohawk, say.
posted by Forktine at 6:15 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


None of my raver friends are walking around with fairy wings or baggy pants anymore, but they're still consuming ludicrous amounts of psychoactive whatnot any time they can line up a babysitter. For some subcultures, clothing isn't really the most important marker anyway.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:22 AM on October 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't have a lot of experience with goths, so pardon me if this is naive. But I think that goth perspectives don't get as trod upon as you age.

It's like The Clash said: "Every cheap hood strikes a bargain with the world, ends up making payments on a sofa or a girl.. Death or glory becomes just another story."

If you're a 40-year-old hippie, you start to think "When is the peace train going to fucking show up? Everyone's still awful to each other."

If you're a 40-year-old punk, you start to think "The old social order's still in place. How much longer do I have to keep this up? And know what? I can't stand being hung over any more."

If you're a 40-year-old goth, you can look around ans say "when I was 17, I thought that everything was depressing and shitty and it was an inevitable fact of life. The only way to deal with it was to withdraw. How was I so wise at such a young age?"
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:25 AM on October 26, 2011 [61 favorites]


Yeah, goth is more about the aesthetic angle than a political or social perspective.

I put it down to most of them being happy goths.
posted by permafrost at 6:35 AM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Goth culture is may surprisingly persistent, but it can't be any more persistent than geek, jock, prep and cowboy culture (to name the big four from my late 80's Texas high school experience.) Those folks are, for the most part, still obsessing over gadgets, still wearing jerseys and showing up to the game, still dressing to the nines and still wearing boots and hats and heading to the rodeo, respectively. I definitely saw that in action at my ten year reunion. (Skipped the twenty). I guess the main difference is that those aren't seen as "youth culture" like goth is.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 6:37 AM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


happy goths, pffft. PerkyGoths.
bounce, bounce, cartwheel!
posted by zengargoyle at 6:39 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


The preponderance of goth baby clothes at the local goth shop (this being the time when it's okay to dress your kids up without their preferences being taken into account) could have told you that aesthetic tastes in spoo0ooky don't vanish over night. Why should it? I like doom bats even though nobody believes I was a high school goth anymore.
posted by Phalene at 6:44 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


White pancake makeup covers wrinkles admirably. :) But for my money Mayor Curley has it; I've seen nothing in the last 20 years to suggest "be cynically nihilistic and carry on" isn't still the right way to deal with the world. I can't really be bothered with lace so much anymore though...
posted by adamt at 6:53 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


For additional goth reading check out Chuck Klosterman's article about Bats Day, where a few hundred goths descend on Disneyland for a day.

Oh god, 2003? I was at that one.

And a nice thing about growing old as a goth is that there are multiple styles within the gothic aesthetic. As you get older, you might feel silly wearing the PVC stuff or a fishnet shirt, but a black suit jacket (maybe with a single, tastefully placed Current 93 pin)? Timeless and versatile.
posted by infinitywaltz at 6:55 AM on October 26, 2011 [6 favorites]


My mom is still waiting for me to grow out of this "phase"...wonder if I should forward her this article.
posted by JoanArkham at 6:57 AM on October 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


(Also, just saw The Damned on Sunday (amazing!) and there were plenty of old punks there...)
posted by JoanArkham at 6:58 AM on October 26, 2011


Punks grow out of it and ravers stop raving. Why do goths just carry on? Sociologists can explain.

Only alluded to here is that ravers neither grow out of it nor continue raving because their events are targets of the war on drugs and many of them spent their late twenties in prison or on probation. At least, that's how I've always seen it, more of a legislative than a sociological phenomenon.
posted by doteatop at 7:01 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


They stick with it because it's a culture predicated on self-acceptance and generally positive group dynamics. It's healthy, stabilizing and makes people feel good.

seanmpuckett, you've hit on something I noticed as a fringe fan (OK, I dated a goth...). Goths spend a TON of time getting ready to go out, doing their makeup, hair, nails, accessories - all of it to create a general impression of malevolence and villainy. Simultaneously, they are among the most violence-averse, accepting music fans out there.

And the kicker for me came when I realized that goth culture is the only one I'm aware of where people are judged first on their self-decoration, and only minimally on their natural looks. IOW: it's not what you are born with, but what you do with it. The over-the-top get-up can do that; I've been completely wow'ed by the sex appeal of some goth, only to think afterwards, "Actually, in any other context, she's fairly ugly/unattractive...".

The goth kit allows people to transcend bodily beauty ideals. And goth culture embraces that, wholeheartedly. Since few of us get prettier as we age, who would want to leave that?
posted by IAmBroom at 7:04 AM on October 26, 2011 [9 favorites]


As a 42 year old in a punk band, I'm not sure how to take this.
posted by lumpenprole at 7:11 AM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


The photo of Robert Smith is not an example of growing old gracefully.

Fat Bob may not be growing old beautifully but he's still kicking it at shows. His younger look isn't necessarily one that ages well, though.
posted by immlass at 7:20 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]



Burning down, burning down Hot Topic!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:26 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Only alluded to here is that ravers neither grow out of it nor continue raving because their events are targets of the war on drugs and many of them spent their late twenties in prison or on probation. At least, that's how I've always seen it, more of a legislative than a sociological phenomenon.

Ravers end up in prison for having taken MDMA? I thought that it was only "minority" and underclass drugs like crack and crystal meth that were subject to draconian possession prosecutions, with small-scale possession of nice middle-class evil drugs like MDMA (and powder cocaine) getting suspended sentences, fines and such.

Anyway, from what I understand, the War On Drugs is somewhat less harsh in Europe (as are most law-and-order matters), and the limiting factor on active rave culture involvement has more to do with developing a tolerance for MDMA and/or losing the stamina required to dance continuously for hours on end.
posted by acb at 7:41 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was recently introduced to the phrase High Funtioning Goth and it amuses me.
posted by The Whelk at 7:56 AM on October 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


I told you it's not just a phase, mom.
posted by 2bucksplus at 8:01 AM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Robert Smith may not have aged well but he's still helping make some pretty okay music.

It is silly to like the Cure!
posted by dismas at 8:10 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, at one point I found out the rockabilly and goth subcultures can trade clothes with little alteration, leading to the brief appearance of The Undead Greaser Look at certain East Coast colleges.
posted by The Whelk at 8:10 AM on October 26, 2011 [4 favorites]


Gothic dance!
posted by The Whelk at 8:11 AM on October 26, 2011


After 25 years of dedicated collecting my black wardrobe is so extensive no way I am giving it up as I age. Replacing it would be insanely expensive and anything else would be boring. However, because I'm now in my 40's and work at a university I don't dye my hair purple anymore.

It's interesting that goth and being plump are now associated in alot of people's minds. I have noticed that alot of the younger goths who have appeared on the scene are plumper but then I observe that 20 year olds in general are plumper now days than back in the 80's. I wasn't ever plump and neither were any of my goth friends in the 80's. In fact goth and skeletal thin was more the case.
posted by Gwynarra at 8:34 AM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


rockabilly and goth subcultures can trade clothes with little alteration

Ah, you mean like my favorite pair of shoes evar ?
posted by jkaczor at 8:38 AM on October 26, 2011


As a dark haired pale person who favors dark clothing, I sort of end up defined as goth no matter how much I protest.
Sometimes I fight it - lately its been enjoying a bit of a resurgence, so I've been embracing it, even though the realization that it's now "retro" reminds me that I am olde.

It's really fun to goth it up, the clothes are flattering and dramatic - my favorite outfit compliment was, "You're like my dark Jaqueline Suzanne heroine." And they aren't that expensive if you're resourceful - I ain't afraid to dye.

Plus, if some wag should say to you that "goth is dead" you can reply "well of course. It always has been."
posted by louche mustachio at 8:38 AM on October 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


I was at the goth wedding in that picture. I'm happy to say no-one involved is attempting to age gracefully.
posted by Jilder at 8:40 AM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]



As a dark haired pale person who favors dark clothing, I sort of end up defined as goth no matter how much I protest.
Sometimes I fight it - lately its been enjoying a bit of a resurgence, so I've been embracing it, even though the realization that it's now "retro" reminds me that I am olde.


This is complicated by the fact that "goth" was hyped as The New Big Thing among mainstream trendies at various times over the past decade or so; hence vaguely dark/fetishy fashions, acts like The Horrors, The Knife and Zola Jesus who have no connection to any goth scene making it big in the hipster blogs and such. (One could possibly add Noel Fielding's IT Crowd character to this.) In contrast, veteran goth labels like Cleopatra and Projekt failed to cash in; actual living goth culture is insufficiently old to be authentic retro and thus collectible. So you got two definitions of "goth"; the veteran scene, with its own dress codes, bands and clubs, and an ersatz goth revival.

On a positive note, the threat of the Hot Topic/Marilyn Manson/Evanescence mall-goth culture seems to have been averted; apparently they call themselves emos now.
posted by acb at 8:48 AM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, Goth fashions can be retrofitted to modern Grownup Professional Wear pretty easily, maybe even more os cause it leans toward the formal. Kind of like how that Geek Chic "everyone dress like Dr. Who" thing is still popular. Trends bleed into each other.
posted by The Whelk at 8:48 AM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]




However, because I'm now in my 40s and work at a university I don't dye my hair purple anymore


I have a friend who works at a university and still dyes his hair purple on occasion. He is also the author of the ever so educational series Gothic for Goths.

(He also fixes my computers, which is how he got the pronunciation-assing scotch.)
posted by louche mustachio at 9:19 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was party to a Very Serious Business Meeting About Numbers and Money where the head of the meeting was a man in a nice all-black suit with skull cufflinks and a floppy mohawk and the very serious young woman taking notes had purple hair draped over one eye in an otherwise (well fitting) but anonymous black business dress.

I think I like the future.
posted by The Whelk at 9:23 AM on October 26, 2011 [9 favorites]


I am surprised that some of the people in the picture gallery are pegged as Goths. A tattoo + corset makes you Goth? That's normal attire at a BDSM club and most of those people don't self-identify as goths. I dress "normally" most of the time, but I own scads of NSFW black clothing and boots and the thought that I was a goth never crossed my mind.
posted by desjardins at 9:23 AM on October 26, 2011


veteran goth labels like Cleopatra and Projekt failed to cash in

Yeah, it's always surprised me how they never managed to ride the wave with a lot of these goth-y/witch house/whatever bands and break out some of the artists they represent in a big way. Not that I think they're doing anything wrong, but the break between goth music outside goth culture and goth music from inside the culture has always seemed strange.
posted by immlass at 9:24 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


I stopped going to goth clubs in the mid 90s when i discovered house music, then in 2005, randomly ended up at a VNV Nation show. Apparently at some point goth's started listening to cheesy eurotrance.
posted by empath at 9:26 AM on October 26, 2011


I'm less confused by people who keep up being "goth" past their 20's (or 30's) and more confused by the apparent revelation of "Well, picking my own clothes out was fun, but I'm suddenly compelled to dress like I work in retail 24/7! Khaki's and polos here I come!"
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:31 AM on October 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm less confused by people who keep up being "goth" past their 20's (or 30's) and more confused by the apparent revelation of "Well, picking my own clothes out was fun, but I'm suddenly compelled to dress like I work in retail 24/7! Khaki's and polos here I come!"

Wait, so people don't "pick out their own clothes" and choose to wear khakis and polos? Khakis and polos are cheap, simple, and functional; I don't see how its confusing that a lot of people to choose to wear them.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:38 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Congratulations, I misspoke. I still don't get the appeal.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:46 AM on October 26, 2011


There's an appeal to not being The Weirdo at work. My ex-coworker's penchance for black velvet, tattoos and bright hair colors absolutely hurt her career (in-house designer at a law firm).
posted by desjardins at 9:59 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wish I could multifavorite acb because everything Amelia Fletcher does is awesome.
posted by whuppy at 10:32 AM on October 26, 2011


There's not 100% overlap, but there's definitely a blending of goth/BDSM culture and fashion around the edges...especially in places like DC where each subculture is too small to survive on its own.

On any given day at work, I doubt anyone pegs me as a closet goth...but if you watch my entire wardrobe rotation, you might notice a bit more black than "normal."
posted by JoanArkham at 11:19 AM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


BDSM is to Goth what Hell's Angels are to hard rockers and bike messengers are to fixie hipsters.
posted by acb at 11:28 AM on October 26, 2011 [5 favorites]


Iman give the smackdown to a designer who calls goth "trashy" on Project Runway Canada. (Iman awesomeness starts about about the 2 minute mark.)
posted by vespabelle at 11:38 AM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Though it's touted as a youth culture, age has always given you Goth cred. If you're old enough to have seen The Fields of The Nephilim live you have instant status. Baby Goths or "babybats" have always had to start from a position of proving their bona fides. It's kind of like being a vampire in the old White Wolf RPGs. The longer you've been at it, the more Goth powers you have.

Goth has (un)lived longer than punk because it's mainly aesthetic. Goth has also shied away from cashing in because its relative obscurity is part of the appeal. It's for the people who don't want you to like their music. I wrote a blog post about this but I'm not sure if it's bad form to link it.

Once and future Goth chick, at work right sporting purple hair & black nails. Oh, and pretty well over 30.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 12:31 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Question for frequent wearers of black things... Do any of you have cats, and if so, how do you keep the cat hair from showing up? I pretty much had to drop black from my clothing color palette when I got cats and I want it back.
posted by drezdn at 1:11 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Question for frequent wearers of black things... Do any of you have cats, and if so, how do you keep the cat hair from showing up? I pretty much had to drop black from my clothing color palette when I got cats and I want it back.
posted by drezdn at 9:11 PM on October 26 [+] [!]


Stick to black cats. Problem solved.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 1:21 PM on October 26, 2011 [9 favorites]


(Also, just saw The Damned on Sunday (amazing!) and there were plenty of old punks there...)

Black Cat? Awesome, I was there too. Pissed that we missed the Legendary Shack Shakers, they were no small part of the reason I went to that show. If the club announces doors open at 8, the show is expected to start at 9, not like 8:15 or whenever they went on....
posted by FatherDagon at 1:32 PM on October 26, 2011


Do any of you have cats, and if so, how do you keep the cat hair from showing up?

1/3 lint rollers and 2/3 just not caring that much...

Black Cat?

Yep, and we only caught 1/2 of LSS due to parking difficulties. That neighborhood was so much easier to park in when everyone was afraid to go there.
posted by JoanArkham at 1:37 PM on October 26, 2011


Also, at one point I found out the rockabilly and goth subcultures can trade clothes with little alteration, leading to the brief appearance of The Undead Greaser Look at certain East Coast colleges.
posted by The Whelk at 8:10 AM on October 26 [4 favorites +] [!]


You've not heard the term Gothabilly? That's been around for ages!

I stopped going to goth clubs in the mid 90s when i discovered house music, then in 2005, randomly ended up at a VNV Nation show. Apparently at some point goth's started listening to cheesy eurotrance.

Jeeeesus bloodfucking christ, don't I know it. The early-mid 00's were a shitty time to be a proper rivet-goth in the clubs, with all this synthpop garbage choking up the dancefloor. NO WE DON'T NEED TO HEAR VNV FIVE TIMES IN ONE NIGHT YOU BASTARD DJ
posted by FatherDagon at 1:38 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Question for frequent wearers of black things... Do any of you have cats, and if so, how do you keep the cat hair from showing up?

I don't have cats, but black clothes and lint rollers go together like cider, lager, and blackcurrant.

Apparently at some point goth's started listening to cheesy eurotrance.

One of the goth club nights in S/E England (but outside London, which is why I only ever went once) used to sell t-shirts that said "You can take that glowstick and shove it up your arse".
posted by atrazine at 1:43 PM on October 26, 2011


My wardrobe is all that stands between myself and a white or ginger cat. Luckily the dark-furred ones aren't hard to come by.

This puts me in mind of an old alt.gothic slogan: "Woe to the Goth who loves powdered doughnuts."
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:49 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meet my ex-roommate, the goth accountant.
posted by cereselle at 1:49 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Question for frequent wearers of black things... Do any of you have cats, and if so, how do you keep the cat hair from showing up?

answer

Needless to say, I don't own any white clothes.
posted by desjardins at 1:50 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Meet my ex-roommate, the goth accountant.

I saw her profiled somewhere. Filament or Bitch Magazine, maybe?
posted by Kitty Stardust at 1:52 PM on October 26, 2011


NO WE DON'T NEED TO HEAR VNV FIVE TIMES IN ONE NIGHT YOU BASTARD DJ

Goth DJs are literally the worst DJs. I went to a goth club in DC for years because it was 18 and up and they let me drink, and I think the DJ must have had only 10 cds.
posted by empath at 1:56 PM on October 26, 2011


I saw her profiled somewhere. Filament or Bitch Magazine, maybe?

I don't recall... oh hey, look at that, she was in Filament! Good catch.

We lived together when the Columbine shootings happened, and watched the TV reporters stand outside our clubs, talking breathlessly to the camera about how there didn't seem to be any gang activity occurring here at the moment...

Empath, what club was that?
posted by cereselle at 4:26 PM on October 26, 2011


Tracks, naturally. Was there another goth club in dc that was 18 and up in the mid 90s? :)
posted by empath at 4:32 PM on October 26, 2011


We stayed out of the sun, so we're not aging too badly either. Forty years old, still getting carded for smokes.

Scooter boyfriend still scootering 25+ years later. Well, on the one that actually runs, that is.
posted by _paegan_ at 6:04 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


We stayed out of the sun, so we're not aging too badly either. Forty years old, still getting carded for smokes.

I occasionally still get the side-eye from the door staff at bars. They look at my ID, they look at me, they look at my ID, they look at me, sometimes they ask questions, like what year I was born. 1971. Yes. Really dude.

And scooter people still ride scooters because they are fun as hell and the best thing ever.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:10 PM on October 26, 2011


Tracks, naturally. Was there another goth club in dc that was 18 and up in the mid 90s? :)
posted by empath


Heh, 18 up barely meant anything at traxx.. I think I started there when I was 15 with a fake ID. You could've used a baseball card with '19' scrawled on it with blue crayon and the bouncers wouldn't care. I wasn't even a cute girl!

But yeah, traxx had a pretty damn limited selection of music on the goff side. Industrial Rev at Capital Ballroom was my first love tho.. Always seemed like they had a broader selection.

On the whole, goth crowds are damn staid in their hit dance faves - trying to branch out into new veins is pretty hard to get them to play along with (just ask Uther Bentrazor, heh).
posted by FatherDagon at 10:02 PM on October 26, 2011


Meet my ex-roommate, the goth accountant.

Holy shit, it's Psyche! Man it's a small world.

I remember a long while back when my dad got me an interview at the company he was working at, he mentioned offhand that there were some other spooky folk who worked there, and maybe I knew them. I responded mock-indignantly, "hey, it's not like we all know each other or something. Sheesh!"

Then, the day of the interview I went in, I came out from the meeting and then said "oh, hey Ben!" Six dismal degrees of bleakest separation.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:13 PM on October 26, 2011


Heh, 18 up barely meant anything at traxx.. I think I started there when I was 15 with a fake ID. You could've used a baseball card with '19' scrawled on it with blue crayon and the bouncers wouldn't care. I wasn't even a cute girl!

Being a cute girl wasn't any help at tracks, I don't think. But yeah, they definitely didn't care about serving alcohol to underage kids at the bar, for sure. It's a tragedy that there's nothing left in DC like the Navy Yard used to be for underground clubs.
posted by empath at 10:20 PM on October 26, 2011


The text of the article makes it seem unlikely there is comparable research about punks and ravers. So I would say the premise of the article is weak and premature.
posted by dgaicun at 12:56 AM on October 27, 2011


Being a cute girl wasn't any help at tracks, I don't think.

Heh, true.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:32 AM on October 27, 2011


On the whole, goth crowds are damn staid in their hit dance faves - trying to branch out into new veins is pretty hard to get them to play along with (just ask Uther Bentrazor, heh).
posted by FatherDagon at 1:02 AM on October 27 [+] [!]


Sometimes you can create new favorites by sandwiching in a track that fits between two solid "hits", like putting your dog's worming pill in a ball of hamburger, but it is indeed a Sisyphean ordeal. I'd say more, but thinking too much about it during the week makes me want to jump off a bridge.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:03 AM on October 27, 2011


Tracks, naturally. Was there another goth club in dc that was 18 and up in the mid 90s? :)
posted by empath


I dunno, I was 21 by then. :) I mostly went to Roxy Resurrection, cause I could walk there from my apartment. And they were really good about playing stuff you brought in. They trusted us not to give them crap.

Some of my best friends came out of the goth club scene...
posted by cereselle at 7:04 AM on October 27, 2011


Sometimes you can create new favorites by sandwiching in a track that fits between two solid "hits", like putting your dog's worming pill in a ball of hamburger, but it is indeed a Sisyphean ordeal.

Somehow, The Macarena became a Tracks anthem months before it broke out in the US. I have no idea how that happened, but it was highly, highly amusing to watch goth's doing the dance in between My Corrosion and Crab Louse.
posted by empath at 7:12 AM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's funny you should mention; my sister works in radio in CA, and one year when we were out visiting her, she was playing a tape of a couple of the current Spanish-language dance hits, the only two i remember were both versions of the Macarena and a C&C Music Factory track. She ended up giving me the tape before I left, and then months later, the Macarena was all over tv and the news, and I'm sitting here like "oh yeah, this."

Be all that as it may, I could never bring myself to say, even ironically "I was into The Macarena before it was cool"
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 7:35 AM on October 27, 2011


Plus, if some wag should say to you that "goth is dead" you can reply "well of course. It always has been."


Undead undead undead
posted by grobstein at 8:49 AM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


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