How Do They Goth in Washington, D.C.?

So they opened up this new freak night a block and a half from where they do Midnight, and on the same night too.  When I first saw the advertisements, I was confused.  Why would they do that?  Is the DC scene big enough for two nights a block apart from each other?  Is it that divided?  You know, I don’t know much about the DC scene, so I can’t even answer these questions, so instead of going to Midnight, I decided to check out Spellbound.

Normally, it is not a good idea for me to critique clubs that I frequent because I have a tendency towards bias.  But in this case, since I don’t know a single person in the DC freak scene, I guess it’ll be okay.  I don’t like to stir up trouble, but what the hell, you only live once.  You know I don’t give a shit about shit.

The Night:
Spellbound at Recessions (I’m not even sure if that’s the name of the venue)
Saturdays, 930-300a
21+ only         

The Location:
1823 L Street, NW, Washington DC in what they call the Golden Triangle. 

Shitty ass parking.  But then all of DC is shitty ass parking.  I drove around for almost 45 minutes looking for a place to park.  According to the website, you can use metro to get there, but that’s not useful for me because I’d be driving around the metro station looking for parking.  I don’t live in DC. 

The Ambience:
I don’t know what the deal is with the restaurant by day, club by night get up.  Sometimes that shit just don’t work.  The ceilings were real low, but that’s because it’s a basement unit.  The bathroom was more vulgar than most public bathrooms.  It was gloomy like a freak club should be but I didn’t get a particular vibe from the place.

But there was a wide screen playing Bela Lugosi’s greatest hits, so… you know, that just makes up for everything.

Drinks and Vendors:
I don’t drink so I don’t know about drink specials, however I did notice there were quite a few patrons who were double fisted.  I also saw a lot of pitchers being passed around, so maybe the drink specials were worth something.  I did not see any vendors, but I also didn’t look for any.

The Dancefloor:
The dancefloor…. Le sigh.  First of all, this place is a restaurant during the day so they don’t have a built in dancefloor.  The shit was like clapboard or something that kept shifting after hours of people doing the DC Wind Up on it.  The proprietors kept having to come out to “jump” the pieces back in place which was INCREDIBLY annoying.  My foot got caught several times in the cracks.  I never wear heels to the club so I can only imagine what it was like for all those guys and gals in stilettos. 

The dancefloor was awkwardly placed in the centre of the joint.  But I also noticed that it’s really the only place to put the floor, as a result everyone has to traverse across it to get to the other side of the club.  That was also annoying.  Then with some guy coming around every 3 1/2 minutes to check the speakers, and some drunk guy standing in the middle of the dance floor checking out some misshapen girl in horrid shoes, there really was no place to dance without bumping into somebody. 

Since I don’t drink and am intensely anti-social, I go to clubs to dance, so the quality of the dancefloor is very important to me and can make or break my decision to go again.

The Crowd:
It’s the typical DC crowd, and I don’t want to make too many comments since I live in this area and don’t want to start fights, but I have to address some things.  First, just because you are tall and skinny doesn’t mean you are sexy.  It just means you are tall and skinny.  Secondly, if the dance floor is only 3X5, you may want to consider that other people would like to dance and not get bashed in the back of the head by your flailing arms. 

What I noticed is that there were a lot of Midnight regulars there.  So I am not sure if this is curiosity that brought them out, or does this suggest that there is no loyalty in the DC scene.  I wonder what kind of turnout Midnight had.  Even the Midnight door guy was there.  I also noticed a lot of people I have never seen before, either at Bound or whatever hell that night was called at Nations or any other freak night.  So maybe there is a huge scene out there that feels unrepresented by the current scene. 

Lastly, I come to The Thorn In My Side.  I HATE this guy.  I see him EVERYWHERE.  I wish he would disappear off the face of the earth.  For some reason, every time I go out, I run into him and he is always standing near me or something.  Of course I’m paranoid when I say he’s doing it on purpose, but I fucking hate the way he dances.  I don’t believe in making fun of the way people dance because I feel like dancing is private (dancer for money… do what you want me to do…) and you should dance like no one is watching you.  But this guy… because he gets on my nerves so, I feel the need to be catty.  At first I thought he was epileptic and someone had given him crack and he was overdosing, the way he was spasming and gyrating.  The first few times I had to restrain myself from reaching for my cell phone and dialling 911.  I thought he needed medical attention.

All right, I’m done being rude. 

I also have to mention the cluster of drunk Middle Eastern guys that kept asking me to dance for them.

How Do They Dress?:
Nothing special to report in this department.  Typically I find DC freaks to be well dressed, except for the girl I see on a regular basis.  She is always wearing the same thing, except this time instead of the soiled sports bra, she was wearing a different sports bra that actually matched the pants that are slightly too small for her.  And you know, a lot of freaks where black all the time and so it might seem that they are wearing the same thing all the time.  I myself have like 30 black skirts that look exactly the same and 25 pairs of black pants that look the same except for varying degrees of tightness.  So to someone else, I probably look like I’m wearing the same thing over and over.  But her pants distinctive.  Every time I’ve seen her, she’s been wearing those pants.

The Music:
The music… Well, this is where you can’t really go by my opinion.  I have to report as to how the crowd responded.  Almost the whole night the floor was packed, so I’m going to say they liked the music.  In my mind, there was an unnecesarily long 80s set.  I abhor 80s at the club.  There was also a good bit of industrial/power noise.  Synth pop and EBM.  At one point there was some goth melodrama playing and that’s when I took my leave.

I don’t know about requests because I almost never ask for any.  The music I prefer is old school industrial, power noise, anything that makes me want to fight someone.  I also don’t mind EBM and synthpop.  I can do lace-fan goth when I’m in the mood, but I don’t do 80s and nothing that sounds like bullshit.  You know, like bullshit … or whatever.

Interesting Tidbits:
I didn’t really find anything to be terribly interesting.

The Best:
The jury is still out.

The Worst:
The skanky ass bathroom and the fucked up dance floor.

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Would I road trip for it:
I can’t exactly say I was Spellbound or anything.  The $7 cover didn’t seem worth it, but when you think about it, $7 is not extravagant.  This is the first night so maybe things will get better.  I like Midnight better.


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