That is, the parts where running Wicked forces me to do things I might not do ordinarily. In my pre-Wicked life, even during the event portions of it, I would be interested in performers, true...but I wouldn't actively seek them out. I wouldn't spend my time looking around, trying not just to see what's out there, but to appreciate an ever-wider range of sensations.
To write this post, I had to immerse myself in some of The Dark Clan's music, because I wasn't really familiar with them. ...and all of a sudden, I got that "new band" contact high. Do you know the feeling? Some people get it, some don't; it's that sensation when you've come upon something you really, really love, and voila! the world has one more pleasure to offer you!
Here's what makes it for me: This is incredible Gothic music. But it displays much, much more variety than almost any performers I've ever worked with. And I fully see both people who love Gothic music, and people who don't care for it, vastly, deeply enjoying this band.
There's more. I try not to focus on humor, because while I'm an enormous fan of humor, not everyone wants a lot of funny in their salad. Plus, bands who do funny music get pigeonholed; they're humorists, they're novelty acts, or what-have-you.
But seriously. Those of us outside the Gothic world, don't most of us think that the coolest, most fun Goths we've met have been those who didn't take themselves seriously all the time? I'm not sure what charms me more--to talk just about songs you can access for free on their Myspace page (www.myspace.com/thedarkclan) - I dare you not to be charmed by "Goths On A Boat"--which, in a terribly ballsy move, isn't content to poke fun at that great-but-weird true concept, the "Goth Cruise"...
....but also takes at least three different tones, shifting musical style, singing style, even lyrical style to poke fun at different kinds of Goths. That's not simply funny; that's impressive talent, and it really makes the song cohere.
It's not just that, though. It's "Real Vampires Don't Sparkle", which takes a familiar snarky slogan and then plays it seriously, and pulls it off. It's "New London", which pulls off the epic "music from the cathedral" feel I associate with the Limelight club in 1998--and has just a gentle enough touch, just enough quiet self-assurance, to hold it. The song could easily come off as overwrought - and perhaps it is -- but it has such unassuming adroitness that we can enjoy it without irony.
As for "The Cinal Fountdown"...well, I kind-of wish I hadn't already used the term "ballsy" above, because I want to use it about twelve times here. Instead, I'll tell you to check out that Myspace page, and I'll go sign off.