October 27th, 2003

toothybear

Pictures Dietrich Schoenemann/Tony Rohr Show 10/25/03



I filled up my memory card, and threw away a lot that were either duplicates or real crap, and I still ended up with about 100 pics. A couple of decent ones of Tony and Dietrich. I like the ones of the shirtless DJ (Reaktor) who was spinning hardcore. I thought it was a surprisingly varied night, with some down-tempo, tribal techno, hardcore, and Tony&Dietrich doing pretty relentless banging minimal techno. The show fell on the cusp of the switch from Daylight Savings so there was a solid 6 hrs of music. The turnout could have been better, but that's the story in Iowa (and I suspect the rest of the US) -- we're in a real trough of demand for underground dance music, and the whole Ashcroft police state and anti-rave laws have had a real chilling effect on the scene.

But everyone says that dance music is dead every couple of years; whatever. When attendance and record sales are down, it concentrates the scene -- local talent becomes more prominent because flying in 'name' DJs and producers isn't economically viable, and all the people who were in it for the drugs or because it was fashionable find someplace else to be clueless. So you're left with a more DIY, grassroots scene with a great vibe, that can then begin attracting a wider audience again.

One shitty aspect for us locally is that the City Council enacted a 19-up ordinance -- no one under 19 can be in any venue where food is less than 1/2 the total revenues after 10 PM. This was exactly the sort of stupid comprimise that comes out of democracy from time to time -- they were going to make all bars 21-up only. But what it has done is shut out high school and college freshmen from the live music scene in town, except for 6-PM all ages shows. The economics of a city the size of Iowa City precludes anyone running a no-alcohol live music venue, so show attendance here is off about 30% across the board.

Good ol' American politics: decide something is a social problem (underage & binge drinking), and then enact a law that does nothing to solve the problem, but makes it look as though you care and are doing something.