After a process that took years and likely, lots of frustration before coming to fruition, the new student radio station finally took to the airwaves on April 1, 2000. At the time, FM radio still maintained a bit more relevancy than it does today; for while internet radio was indeed becoming a reality, venues such as Pandora Radio, last.fm, Rhapsody, and YouTube had not yet become a reality. Local music affectionados had long awaited the on-air arrival of KXUA and its potential as a source for alternative music. It was time for the new venue to deliver; or was it?
I tuned in to the new station's 88.3 frequency on that Saturday morning and was surprised to hear, rather than the expected music, an onslaught of political speeches. "What's this shit," I asked to no one in particular each time I turned the radio back on. I believe it was later in the day when the musical programming finally kicked in; this, after the announcement that the barrage of political diatribe had been an April Fool's joke.
I don't remember if it was that first Saturday evening or a following one during which I found myself at home and tuning in to the station. Either way, music was playing that I found compelling and exciting. Interested in knowing who the artists were that were performing these extraordinary tunes, I waited patiently for the DJ to come back on. When she took to the microphone I heard names that I'd never heard before--names like Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, the Sisters of Mercy and Type O Negative. What I found equally compelling was the way in which she segued into the next musical set: "You're listening to The Crypt," she said, "and I...am the Death Mistress!"
That's all it took and I was totally addicted! I listened to her Saturday night program almost religiously after that, and I luxuriated in that new sound (it was new to me anyway) and in learning about the dark but compelling subculture that was associated with it. Before long, I had bought my first black trench coat and was beginning to darken my outward aesthetic.
In a sense, I had missed the boat because the Goth culture had been flourishing for quite some time before I became aware of it; and even after the realization of its existence struck me, I had a long road ahead before I would gain any real connection to the scene. I tell that part of the story in a previous post entitled Isolation, which you can find by going here.
As I sit typing out the conclusion of this post, I do so with great gratitude to the Death Mistress; for it's because of her, that on a dark night during the spring of the year 2000 Goth came to me.
Photo Source: Gothic Pictures Gallery, .