No one move a muscle 'til the dead come home
November 10, 2009 7:51 PM   Subscribe

Help me gather the music of my misspent youth? Call it 1989-90, 1993-96, starting with small-town quasi-secretly-gay-dance-club (but definitely barely-post-new-wave and a little wannabe Stark Club, not radio/"dance" pop) through danceable goth/industrial. I put in my hours on the dance floor, and rarely gave up my spot, but I feel like there are huge gaps in the songs I can actually identify. Can you help?

The ones that seem obvious to me: Sisters of Mercy, the more-danceable/danceremixed NIN/Tool/Marilyn Manson. Nitzer Ebb, Front 242, a little throwback Depeche Mode. The occasional Cure. And there were the dancefloor-packers: "Nemesis," "Headhunter," "Bela Lugosi's Dead" (god, that song hurt in heels, all that slow motion writhing for 14 minutes).

My personal stomping ground was The Church in Dallas (still there, went a few weeks ago, everything sounded like The Worst of Depeche Mode 2000-2007: Remixed for Elevators; get off my lawn, you damn steampunks), and my Oldies may not be your Oldies, and a lot of the music I wouldn't know unless I heard a snippet, but if you were in close proximity to a lot of eyeliner in the early- to mid-1990s and can remember actual artists and songs, I'll check them out.

Clearly I'm not going to get to hear them in public, so it's going to have to be Lyn's Kitchen Dance Party Playlist. Please hope me.
posted by Lyn Never to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
i never liked the church, but everyone i hung out with for a 5 year period of time around then were regulars.

off the top of my head:

switchblade symphony
dead can dance

you might want to look at a genre that's often referred to as "darkwave"
posted by nadawi at 8:06 PM on November 10, 2009

When I was growing up in the NYC suburbs, we had the great modern rock radio station 92.7 WDRE (later WLIR) that played all that stuff. They also had a weekly feature called "Shriek of the Week" where listeners voted for songs.

Whenever I want to download music from my own delightfully misspent youth, I go straight to this list of Shriek of the Week winners (it's chronological, so scroll down). Most of the songs/artists you mention are on there, so hopefully some of the others will trigger your memory. You may also find some of their older playlists useful. oh god Utah Saints!
posted by lalex at 8:07 PM on November 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

hmm - just off the top of my head...

Love's secret Domain by Coil

My Life with the thrill Kill Kult

Lords of Acid

I'll probably think of more later...
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 8:08 PM on November 10, 2009

You definitely need these two box sets.
posted by Jairus at 8:10 PM on November 10, 2009

VNV Nation
Concrete Blonde
posted by nadawi at 8:13 PM on November 10, 2009

Clan Of Xymox fits the bill. Though I'm not a fan of their 90s stuff, I understand they got a lot of club play.
posted by Mountain Goatse at 8:18 PM on November 10, 2009

I'm sure there was some Pet Shop Boys in there. Awesome question!! I'm spending some itunes credit tonight!!
posted by pearlybob at 8:24 PM on November 10, 2009

Maybe you also heard Ministry, Front Line Assembly, Skinny Puppy, Einsturzende Neubauten?
posted by xo at 8:37 PM on November 10, 2009

This will rock your sox: Greater Than One - I Don't Need God

and yes, MLWTTKK: And This Is What The Devil Does
posted by Bron at 8:41 PM on November 10, 2009

Meat Beat Manifesto, maybe?
posted by sugarfish at 8:43 PM on November 10, 2009

Meat Beat Manifesto, Test Department
posted by aperture_priority at 8:44 PM on November 10, 2009

Doh!! I guess that's what preview is for, sorry sugarfish.
posted by aperture_priority at 8:44 PM on November 10, 2009

oh also

Siouxie and the Banshees
Ned's Atomic Dustbin
Jesus and Mary Chain
posted by lalex at 8:52 PM on November 10, 2009

I have a great "Party Mix" a friend made me in the early 90s. It has Culture Beat, Salt-n-Pepa, INXS, Oingo Boingo, Primal Scream, Stereo MCs, Soupdragons, EMF, Stone Roses, Divynls, Big Audio Dynamite, RHCP, Black 47, Sir Mix-a-lot, Naughty-by-Nature that Groove Is In the Heart band and some others that I can't remember.
posted by fshgrl at 9:42 PM on November 10, 2009

Ooh that was sort of my scene in the early '90s. Then I disowned it, so I may be a little hazy, but:

1000 Homo DJs – Supernaut, Revolting Cocks – Beers, Steers, and Queers (Ministry side projects)
My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult
Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine
Tear Garden
Renegade Soundwave – Biting My Nails, Cocaine & Sex

Peripheral bands that ISTR the Dallas scene being fond of (I could be wrong)
Course of Empire – Coming of the Century (Dallas band! Though not really industrial dance)
Big Black - Kerosene
mainstream raver stuff like 808 State/ Shamen/ Stereo MCs earlier, Prodigy/Chemical Brothers later

Also I have been re-watching old Sisters of Mercy videos lately and they are supremely awesome and hilarious.
posted by furiousthought at 9:46 PM on November 10, 2009

seconding xo's recs of Ministry, Front Line Assembly, & Skinny Puppy. My local omgoth teen nightclub played those regularly, along with Sisters, Bauhaus, Siouxsie, early Cure, and NIN. Some other stuff included Virgin Prunes (particularly the ...If I Die, I Die album), 45 Grave, Alien Sex Fiend, Throbbing Gristle, The Normal, The Marionettes, and my favorite, the Swans. Most of these were played in the timeframe you mention, though some may be relatively hard to find outside of compilation albums.
posted by bedhead at 9:51 PM on November 10, 2009

God I wish I could remember more of this stuff too! Some of the things that immediately come to mind are:

Sex Dwarf - Soft Cell
Christian Death
Gary Numan
Love and Rockets (really everything that came after Bauhaus from any of those guys)
Skinny Puppy was already mentioned but in particular, Assimilate

I might need to make my own kitchen dance playlist now!
posted by grapesaresour at 9:58 PM on November 10, 2009

posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:08 PM on November 10, 2009

I also asked my friend who used to go to The Church around the same timeframe. She said most of what they played has already been mentioned but also suggested KMFDM (which I can't believe I forgot!) and Echo and the Bunnymen, particularly "People Are Strange".

I just pulled up one of my old gothy/industrial dance party time mixes and it has Big Black (what? some of their songs are danceable), Kraftwerk, The Birthday Party, and Devo in it, in addition to all of the bands I mentioned previously and a lot of the ones that others mentioned. Now I'm gonna go dance to it.
posted by bedhead at 10:15 PM on November 10, 2009

I just found a wikipedia article on EBM. I never knew it had that name at the time.

You might want to mess around in Ishkur's guide. There are samples of every subgenre to jog your memory.
posted by simbiotic at 10:40 PM on November 10, 2009

A vote for Pop Will Eat Itself's "This Is the Day, This is the Hour, This is This"
posted by Atom12 at 5:54 AM on November 11, 2009

Skinny Puppy
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:46 AM on November 11, 2009

The Church (e.g., "Reptile")?

I don't know how big the Warlock Pinchers were outside of Colorado, but clubs in Denver always played "Morrissey Rides a Cockhorse".

And, as mentioned above - Lords of Acid, and definitely Xymox (e.g., "Obsession") and other 4AD bands (e.g., Lush).
posted by dilettanti at 6:59 AM on November 11, 2009

Also - Killing Joke (e.g., "Pandemonium").

And I know you mentioned Shriekback's "Nemesis" in the OP, but the awesome vid demands to be posted.
posted by dilettanti at 7:09 AM on November 11, 2009

Here's a few that I remember being in fairly heavy to minor rotation at The Church around that time period:

Bullock Brothers - Harley David (Son Of A Bitch)
Bigod20 - The Bog (or their cover of Like A Prayer)
A Split Second - Rigormortis
à;grumh - Dangerzone
Acid Horse - No Name, No Slogan
Airplane Crashers - White Rabbit
Coil - Love's Secret Domain
Consolidated + The Yeastie Girls - You Suck
Cyberaktif - Nothing Stays The Same
Front 242 - Headhunter
LA Style - James Brown Is Dead
Lead Into Gold - Faster Than Light
Lords Of Acid - Out Comes The Evil
My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult - Kooler Than Jesus, Sex On Wheels, Cuz It's Hot, The Days Of Swine And Roses, and so on
Nitzer Ebb - Join In The Chant
Poesie Noir - Pity For Thy Self
Pop Will Eat Itself - Ich Bin Ein Auslander
Severed Heads - Dead Eyes Opened
Sheep On Drugs - Motorbike
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Israel, Cities In Dust

Plenty more, but those seem to be the ones that immediately leapt to mind.
posted by ktrey at 8:42 AM on November 11, 2009

You might enjoy listening to this site that streams much of the stuff we listened to back in the day. I grew up then in Dallas; this music was put up by a guy who frequented the same type of clubs in Houston.

I know I've run across a similar streaming player for Starck-specific music, but I don't think I ever bookmarked it.

There's a Starck Club Survivors group on Facebook. You might want to poke around there, too.

Now ight up a symbolic clove and put on your Benetton sweater!
posted by younggreenanne at 9:45 AM on November 11, 2009

Maggie's Last Party

Section 25 - Looking from a Hilltop (note: this was the song played on Edgeclub and whatnot that advertised for Level V and Starck, if I recall correctly)

The Gruesome Twosome - Hallucination Generation (was also used to promote Club A on the radio, I think)

Heaven 17 - Let me go (this is a club closer track, usually)

Clock DVA - The Hacker

Skinny Puppy - Testure (Assimilate's good, Testure's JUST as good for dancing)

Baby Ford - Children of the Revolution

I'd also recommend the entire "Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Know" album by Dead or Alive.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:15 AM on November 11, 2009

My stomping ground was the legendary Medusa's on Sheffield in Chicago, 1984-1988. Here's my (woefully-incomplete) YouTube playlist of tracks in heavy rotation during the time.

YouTube playlist: Medusa's Mix ('84-90)

“Rain” - The Cult
“Love Like Blood” - Killing Joke
“Final Solution” - Peter Murphy
“Cities In Dust” - Siouxsie and the Banshees
“We’re Rocking Down the House” – Adonis
“Stranger – Clan of Xymox”
“The Beach” – New Order
“Acid Trax” – Phuture
“Go” – Tones on Tail
“Sixteen Days (Gathering Dust)” – This Mortal Coil
“Lucretia My Reflection” – The Sisters of Mercy
“Say it Again” – The Danse Society
“Fury Eyes” – The Creatures
“That Smiling Face” - Camouflage
“Masterhit” - Front 242
“Los Nino del Parque” - Liasions Dangereuse
“All Day” – Ministry
“Hot with Fleas” - Severed Heads
“Bostich” – Yello
“The Great Divide” – Portion Control
“Join in the Chant” – Nitzer Ebb
"Situations" by Cetu Javu
"Sensoria" by Cabaret Voltaire
"World Destruction" by Time Zone
"Din Da da Din" by George Kanz
“Living Inside Me” – Data
“Our Darkness” – Anne Clark
“Hassan” - Fatima
"Dead Eyes Opened" by Severed Heads
“The Bog” – Bigod 20
“American Soviets” – C.C. C. P.
“Biting My Nails” – Renegade Soundwave
“Say It Again” – The Danse Society
“Rejekto”- Robotiko Rejeckto
“Houseman” – Voyou
“Body to Body” – Bigod 20
“Virus” –Frontline Assembly
“The Official Colourbox World Cup Theme” – Colourbox
“Doctorin' The Tardis” - The Timelords (The KLF)
“Dig It” – Skinny Puppy
“Flesh” – A Split Second
“Kebab Träume” – DAF
“Theme from S-Express” – S-Express
“Looking from a Hilltop” – Section 25
“Helter Skelter” – Meat Beat Manifesto
“Certain Things Are Likely” – Kissing the Pink
"Jack Your Body" - Steve 'Silk' Hurley
posted by prinado at 12:31 PM on November 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

If this place was SUPER-COOL, they'd play Public Image Limited's "Memories" and "Swan Lake" from Metal Box.
posted by porn in the woods at 6:37 PM on November 11, 2009

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