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  • Writer's pictureRachel E. Pollock

Spotify spins the music of Decadence

This image was taken in 1999 by my friend Sue Travers, in the DJ booth of Boston's oldest established permanent floating goth club, Ceremony (Sue ran the door and gave me a ride to the club pretty much every night). I spun there from 1997 til 2003 [1], and i can't actually even list the venue because in the time i DJed at and promoted for the club, we went through four different venues, and i haven't the foggiest which one this might have been [2].

So, the point of this post is that i spent a decade of my life playing and promoting music in clubs just like Decadence, the setting of my current novel, and those bands and songs and playlists are inseparable from the communities which existed and continue to exist in nightlife spaces. And, sure, the music is present in the novel in reference and allusion and so forth, but I decided I really had to put together some Spotify playlists that correlate with the timeframe of the book to augment the writing experience and (hopefully) the reading experience as well.

As i was working on revisions of the manuscript, i actually turned up an old notebook of playlists that i kept during 1998, the year in which the novel was set. Back then, not only did i keep a running playlist and request list in this notebook, but after a given event, I'd post that playlist to relevant Usenet newsgroups and local email lists--one of the ways clubgoers found out about new underground music was through DJs sharing their playlists online, well before streaming audio became a thing.

So, i put together a Decadence playlist on Spotify using that old notebook of the music i spun in 1998 at clubs like Ceremony, the legendary ManRay (gone but not forgotten), and conventions around the country.

Then, I figured that if I was going to make a playlist for Decadence, I ought to make one for the other club in the book, a glitter/glam/Britpop dance night called the Nazz, which is inspired by the string of such events that popped up in Boston in the late 1990s/early 2000s (I spun at one called Bottle Rocket, at O'Brien's Pub in Allston). So there's a playlist for the Nazz as well.

AND THEN, I decided that because playing the piano was so important to the development of the character of Hype, I'd make a playlist for that musical strand of the braid as well. So there's also Hype's playlist.

Check them out. But be advised, you might just get up and dance.

[1] I think. I might have left in 2002 though. Things are blurry.

[2] Not An Tua Nua or RiRa, because that booth was open-walled without a resident library of CDs like you see behind me here. This might have been the Spot, or Paradise? Who knows.

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