Sorry kids, I still don't have internet. I promise to be better in the future.
Somehow, I've fallen into a scene. Having been a perpetual scenester since my early teens, I've seen a lot. Overambitious gradesters hustling for GPA, intravenous drug-using punk rockers, riot grrls with questionable gender politiks, sexually perverse photography involving tennis racquets, grain-eating, therapy-loving "motivation" examiners--it's endless. But I'm not sure if anything I've been a part, or on the fringe, of, could possibly be as weird as what I've gotten myself into now.
I know. Seriously, I don't think there's anything I can say to explain this away or even make sense of it. I can only being by saying moving to a new country is a very, very lonely time in one's life, and one's decision making abilities are often clouded by the desperate longing for human companionship and free drinks. Also, I think we all know that overall, I'm a miserable person. But the times in my life when I've been happiest are when I've had a gang and been on a scene. That's my best justification.
When I moved here, my only close friend was a DJ. Before I met him, I had been told he was one of the top DJs in Dublin --"Like being the best speller in your 3rd grade class," I later quipped to him--and thoroughly unimpressed, I proceeded to give him the notorious Lina stink-eye and brush-off when we first met. The second time, though, I said "So you're a DJ, eh? Do you know this tune?" I proceeded to list some of the stupidest songs I could think of, and he not only knew them all, he knew their 12" b-sides and the Razormaid mixes that sampled them.
Now, I'm known for having the most random musical preferences on the face of the earth. And not in a cool I-listen-to-60s-French-pop tunes sort of way, but in a kind of lame I-collect-Samantha-Fox-singles sort of way. So to find someone that although didn't necessarily support it, but at least knew it, was a breath of fresh air in this strange, new country.
Little did I know that this was like when the drug dealer gives you your first hit free. Talking about my favorite 80s new wave songs slowly brought us to italo disco, one of his--and now mine--passions. Italo is a word to describe music from the late 70s and early 80s, mostly Italian in provenance, and cheesy and wonderful beyond belief. Think Baltimora's 'Tarzan Boy.' I'm not going to write more about Italo right now because I have too much to say about it to do it all now.
Anyway, as it turns out, my new best friend is known for DJing two types of music, Italo and techno. Mainly techno.
It started slowly. Invited to a show or two, meeting a few people who became friends, getting perma-guestlisted at weekly clubs, but it wasn't until I had a shocking realization that I finally got into it. The predominant fan base at techno gigs are boys. Young boys. This in combination with the free ins I get to the clubs have made me a regular on the scene, albeit a ambivalent one. Don't get me wrong, I love anything with a synthesizer; I was there for the original Electroclash, after all, but I never thought I was going to be having idle chats about 808s with Dutch techno djs. Just last week I was talking to a German techno dj who was in town to play, about dubstep. I was telling him that I had heard it had to be listened to with a ton of speakers, festival-style, to be appreciated and I wondered what he thought about it. "I think if music is good, it sounds good at any volume," he said.
"Like Chris de Burgh, 'Lady in Red,'" I squealed happily, looking up for a sign of agreement.
"Uh, yes, like that."
So clearly I haven't quite learned to fit in yet. That night, I was in the club, leaning against a wall watching said German play. I was watching the dance floor as if it were a controlled experiment and I was a sociologist trying to sort of the relationship between man and ape. I can't begin to describe what really, really, enthusiastic teenage techno-heads behave like after midnight. I was standing with one of my other dj friends--I have about a dozen now--and finally he turns to me and says, "do you even like techno?"
He's caught me. My face turns red. "I just come here for the boys," I say, abashed. "I just come here for the boys."
Anyway. I have a lot more to say about what's going on musically in Dublin, and how last night, a DJ saved my life. Promise to update more.