You may want to include Lipgloss at Beauty Bar in your Halloween plans this Friday for a DJ set with Cold Cave's Wesley Eisold.
It's a fitting guest for the venerable party: while what often passes for goth today is very far removed from the music and subculture that laid the foundations, Cold Cave manages to embody the dark spirit of that music and its aesthetic much better than the poppy EBM and de-fanged industrial music that dominates that genre.
See also: Lorde Is Not a Goth
"I think I'll just be going through a lot of songs that I love and that are influential, but I won't be playing anything too obscure because I think the point is to dance and have fun," says Eisold about his upcoming set. "Songs like that are fine for opium dens but I think with Halloween people want to have fun so I'll probably play some older Depeche Mode and Christian Death and older Ministry and things like that."
Growing up in the '80s and '90s, Eisold was drawn to first wave post-punk from a very young age. Bands Christian Death, Sisters of Mercy, Alien Sex Fiend and the Cure were part of his teen years soundtrack.
"I saw the premier of the 'Just Like Heaven' video," recalls Eisold. "I would just watch MTV incessantly when I wasn't allowed to like after school or something. I was just suffering through all these bad videos and then one day that came on, and that was what I'd been waiting to hear and see.
"I think that video was special for that time because it visually struck the mode of the song. MTV before that was really bad kind of hair metal and strange dad rock like Foreigner."
"I remember being a kid in '87, probably, and I was talking about The Cure a lot," continues Eisold. "My dad mentioned to his friend what I was listening to and he said, 'You know the people in the mall? They're listening to this band called the Smiths.' So that was my introduction to that band, and I knew it was going to be something that I loved. Because I loved going to the mall and seeing these people and going into these chain stores and staring at the pins they had for sale and patches. It's an era I do miss, and I think that comes through in my music."
Though Eisold was better known for being in hardcore and experimental rock bands like American Nightmare and Some Girls, he and his band mates could be seen sporting classic post-punk and goth band t-shirts because of their collective roots in that music. Since starting Cold Cave in 2007, Eisold has carved a nice for himself in the world of electronic music. In the past two years, he has toured with Boyd Rice of NON (who served as a member of Cold Cave for the tour), Douglas McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb, Gary Numan and Nine Inch Nails.
But perhaps the strangest experience of that period was Doug Aitkin's Station to Station tour, when Cold Cave performed shows with Jackson Browne and Giorgio Moroder.
"We played in Barstow, California in this abandoned drive-in movie theater lot with Beck," says Eisold. "It was really cool, because Doug Aitken built this UFO that was suspended by a helicopter that flew over the town of Barstow and didn't tell anybody. You were supposed to call the police and report this Unidentified Flying Object. There were a bunch of calls; it was on the radio. You couldn't see the helicopter, because it had its lights off. \You just saw this silver UFO flying over while Beck was playing. It was pretty great."
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If you'd like to contact me, Tom Murphy, on Twitter, my handle is @simianthinker.