By Liz Ohanesian
the latter half of the 1990s, I was spooky enough to DJ at a club
called Coven 13. The scene itself was well over a decade old at that
point, but still managed to draw large amounts of suburban teenagers
like myself who were looking for someplace where we could grow giddy
over serious music. By the time I left that world, goth had already
hit the cultural zeitgeist (see SNL's “Goth Talk”) and
felt the backlash following the Columbine murders and other similarly
heinous crimes committed by youngsters. I thought then that goth was
nearing its end. That was eight years ago.
the new millennium, the subculture retreated further underground. The
post-punk revival came and went while largely ignoring the
contributions of this clan. Emo angst and hipster irony dominated the
teen scene. The community itself fractured, with the distinction
between goth and its sister movement, industrial, growing more
pronounced while numerous subgenres sprouted within both realms.
Newbies came to the clubs, but the crowd on the whole grew older,
with the kids who partied all night at eighteen now in their
late-twenties and thirties, balancing careers with their love of the
just a great place to be among people who are creative and take in
the tableaux of everything,” explains Tim Jankowski, a goth
club-goer since moving to Los Angeles in 1993, while sipping on a
drink from Ruin's absinthe bar.
fashion has altered only slightly, with Lolita, cyberpunk and
steampunk styles influencing outfits that remain eccentric and
semi-formal. The music has been updated and, since the legalization
of absinthe, the favored cocktails have changed, but the craving to
exude happiness on the dance floor while a voice through the PA
appears on the verge of tears remains.
Ruin Hollywood, Every Friday @ The Monte Cristo, 3100 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038