A change of speed, a change of style, a change of scene, with no regrets,” Joy Division’s Ian Curtis once sang. The Dawning, Charlottesville’s long-running local goth and industrial dance night, might take those words as a motto, since it will be joining Satellite Ballroom and 214 Community Arts Center in the search for a new home this summer. Feedback caught up with Dawning organizer Chad VanPelt, a.k.a. DJ Rift, via e-mail to learn more.
VanPelt, who’s been spinning tunes at The Dawning since 2001 and running the night since 2004, tells us that Outback Lodge, the night’s host, has decided to use its downstairs space for something different on Saturday nights. “We’re not quitting, we’re not shutting down,” says VanPelt. He and the Dawning crew are working to find another place, but the search is still on. Such a hunt is not a new experience for The Dawning, as a previous search landed it at Outback in 2004, after six years at the Tokyo Rose ended with a knife incident.
UPDATE May 27: The search is over! Feedback has learned that The Dawning has found a new home at ourspace, below the Tea Bazaar on the Downtown Mall. The first night in the new space will take place on Saturday, June 7.
Synthetic Division will play at The Dawning’s final downstairs throwdown at Outback Lodge on Saturday, May 31.
|Listen to "Sign" from Synthetic Division‘s Get with the Programs:
Make sure to catch The Dawning’s last throwdown at Outback on Saturday, May 31. Local new wave/electro duo Synthetic Division, featuring Shawn Decker on vocals and Marshall Camden on synths, and Richmond’s Myotis will provide exciting live sets, and DJ Rift himself will man the decks.
What we’re listening to
“Your Lips Are Red,” by St. Vincent (from Marry Me)—It starts harsh and guttural with a cacophony reminiscent of New York on its worst days. Then three minutes in, the noise disappears, and Annie Clark’s fragile voice crones “Your skin’s so fair it’s not fair.” Can’t but love the contrast.
“London Homesick Blues,” by Jerry Jeff Walker (from Viva Terlingua)—It’s a song about missing Texas, but anyone who’s been far from home and lonely can relate.
“(She Don’t Use) Jelly,” by Drugstore (Flaming Lips cover)
“Black and Brown Blues,” by Silver Jews (from The Natural Bridge)
“Heart Like A Wheel,” by Linda Ronstadt (from Heart Like A Wheel)
So what’s this “something different” that Outback Lodge has planned? Venue owner Terry Martin invited Feedback over to have a look. Martin plans to start an exclusive dance club in Outback’s downstairs space and has been working on revamping the upstairs as well. The downstairs club will be open on Fridays and Saturdays and entry will require membership or sponsorship from a member. “It’s going to be a very upscale dance club, the closest thing to private we can do,” Martin says. “It’s going to be like a city nightclub where not everybody gets in.”
When we dropped by, new faux brick paneling had already spruced up the dark walls both upstairs and downstairs, and the formerly grimy bathrooms had been fixed up nicely. Martin is also working on a new sound system, lights, leather couches and fancy drinks for the downstairs space, which will be nonsmoking except for a designated area in the back. That designation doesn’t seem to have begun yet, though, as Martin puffed on a cigarette as he showed us around.
We were happy to hear that bands will still play downstairs on some weeknights, as we’ve seen some great rock shows in the room. If the new downstairs venture is a success, Martin may expand into an adjacent vacant room in the building.
“I hated to oust The Dawning,” he told us, but cited lower attendance at the night as one reason. “The room has to make money on the weekends,” he says. “I’ll still work with them on doing some shows upstairs.”
Martin plans to open the new downstairs on June 6 with an open-house night to let people see what it’s all about, so mark your calendars and start getting that classy outfit ready.
Feeling like you need a dose of nature, but don’t want to leave the tunes behind? Well, Feedback has the solution. Last week Humpback Rocks Mountain Farm, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 5.8, kicked off its Sunday concert series, and on June 1 Charlottesville blues slide guitarist Ralph Rush will perform under the farm’s walnut tree. The series runs each Sunday from 2 to 4pm through October and offers a wide array of traditional Appalachian music acts, including Lexington’s Breakin’ Nu Ground, who started things off last weekend and perform again on July 6, Sunnyside with Carol Phillips, who perform old-time and “Carter-style” tunes on June 8, and more local and regional acts throughout the summer and fall. Check the C-VILLE calendar each week to see who will be picking and strumming away in that wonderful mountain air. Then grab the family and a picnic and make your way to the mountain.