Monday, May 7, 2012

The Night Goth Came to Me

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,, 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 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,       . 


  1. My philosophy is that if you get on the boat- it does matter what age, or how you do it, at least you made it. You can't miss the boat for something discovered that you love. No matter when it is discovered once it becomes a part of you- the other things (like other people's opinions on your style and music) become rather, well pointless.I am thankful for the Death Mistress as well. Not because I ever listened to, her I haven't, but because she blessed the Goth subculture with a beautiful soul when you heard her show.

    So a belated "Welcome to the Dark Side. Are you surprised we lied about the cookies?"

  2. ...And I'm also thankful that, because of her program, I later came to know certain wonderful people in the culture as well.

  3. can you not have known who any of those artists were before the year 2000? seriously.

  4. I live in a relatively isolated community in the southern United States. Prior to this century and its internet advances we were even more isolated. There were no forums available at the time that could expose me to music from Joy Division, etc.; at least none that I knew of. Had there been, I'm sure that I would have embraced Goth music earlier.

    I was familiar with the Cure and Dead Can Dance however, and possessed some of their music. I just didn't know that there was an entire subculture associated with them.

  5. With venues such as Spotify,, etc... it can now be much easier to expand on musical tastes and find artists whom you may never had found otherwise. The internet is a blessing in that regard, as well as the curse, for it opens alternative cultures to ridicule and horrifying stereotypes on global levels. - Midi

  6. You know, I've thought about doing something similar, but perhaps, on an A.M. band with a HAM setup.