Oh, wretched world, where have all the goth nights gone? In Club Scout's twinkie days, black was the new black, and the best clubs were makeshift warehouses cloaked in clouds of clove-cigarette smoke. The boys wore latex dresses and the girls bled mascara -- and how melodramatic it was to be seen at Temple of the Morning Star or the old Wreckroom (back when it was at 1082 Broadway, pre-building collapse).
But now you can pull up those striped tights, soldier, because the dark army still fights for a cause -- even if that cause is just looking cool while you flail limbs on the dance floor. Give SoCo (that's South of Colfax, for those of you who don't speak club owner Regas Christou slang) a chance on Wednesday nights, when the lights at the old Jonas Bros. Furs building at 1037 Broadway, which was first resurrected as Serengeti and is now Shelter, get turned down real low. Renaissance is Shelter's mid-week funeral party for all the vinyl-clad, badly made-up, big-boot-wearing children of the night. Spread throughout three rooms, it's a maze of a club experience with resident DJs Peter Elsi, Kaya, Gary S. and Random Intent filling every eardrum and hallway with bump-bump-bump.
Last Wednesday, the black-and-white, mod-friendly Milkbar in the building's lowest level reeked of industrial lite, with mixes of KMFDM, Rammstein and an awful cover of "Personal Jesus" by Marilyn Manson. The windowless break-core room was jammed with a hybrid of rave heads and suburban B-boys, as well as a girl with lights in her high heels. Even farther back in the labyrinth was a space redecorated for the evening with pillows in dark corners and acrylic paintings of John Lennon and Steven Tyler. Of the three dance areas, this seemed the most popular; by midnight it was filled with moody stares and judging glances. Getting to the bar usually meant weaving through a crowd of pained souls reenacting the dance of Saint Vitus, but admission was free for ladies ($5 for guys), and most non-top-shelf drinks were a bargain $2. For more information on Renaissance, Shelter or any of Christou's clubs, log on to www.coclubs.com or call 303-572-8700.
But first, one last tip: Wearing black does not a goth make -- really, it just makes you sweat in warm weather.
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Mark your calendars: On May 6, the Alley Cat returns to its old home above the Diamond Cabaret, 1222 Glenarm Place, when Tabu turns over Saturday nights to Kevin Larson Presents and "artistic eroticism" with Return of the Cat. The grand-opening party runs from 9 to 11 p.m. with no cover and free drinks; the May 13 installment is dubbed "Stripped and Dipped." For information, go to www.kevinlarsonpresents.com. And finally, watch for action to return to the Roxy, an old movie theater at 2549 Welton Street, where the marquee now promises that a new Roxy will soon debut with DJ Adam at the helm.