Techno! Dancing! Pretension! All this and More, Tonight at Thunderdome

Filed in Arts & Entertainment, Local Events, Things To Do by on September 18, 2009 0 Comments

Do you like that post-workout feeling but hate the actual workout? Then I have some good news for you, because tonight, Thunderdome will make its boisterous return to Boston.

The public party gets underway at ten P.M. at the Villa Victoria Center for the Arts and will feature performances by techno acts like #1 Dad and DJ Fred Mertz. Admission is ten dollars and, given the gallons of gin that will undoubtedly be sweated out throughout the night, is restricted to those twenty-one and over. In the interest of full disclosure and assuaging any guilt I would suffer for not including a disclaimer here, I must warn you: in addition to the cover charge, the price also includes the hidden fees of both your ear drums and most of your dignity.

The only thing worse than generic electronica music is really, really, loud generic electronica music. And the only thing worse than really, really loud electronica music is the same but with hundreds of shrieking voices to accompany it. There is also the sweat and the gyrating and all which, while fine under other conditions, are not enjoyable when combined with the aforementioned loudness. So, when put altogether, you can understand why I would warn you away from such a gathering.

Despite my disinterest in electronica, I still feel it would be unfair to categorize an entire genre of music as a total waste; though I hear nothing nice in screeching buzzsaws, interplanetary signals, and stolen song snippets, some people certainly do, and those people should be allowed to enjoy their music in peace and loudness. Hence Thunderdome, which provides electronica devotees with the chance to enjoy it on a warehouse sized dance floor, and electronica loathers with the chance to have a night free from the pulsing backbeat of what sounds like one never-ending song emanating from a neighbors windows. In that sense, I suppose Thunderdome is the answer to my wrathful, 3 A.M. prayers when sleep is made impossible by such booming beeping and booping.

Though the music alone is enough to warn even the most curious person away—I think of techno as something like a cat’s yowl, a horrendous noise intended to instill fear and prompt flight—the egocentric ethos of the whole thing is even more cause to keep your distance. Though hard liquor and dancing usually serve as a prime combination for one form or another of bacchanalian unity, these dance parties tend to be more about the individual, about standing out in the crowd through the most gimmicky gimmick. What would usually pass for absurdity is not enough here; a Catholic schoolgirl getup will only ensure a seat in the boring realm of normalcy.

If you want to be seen tonight, I suggest something more experimental, such as enclosing yourself in a black, soundproof box, something like the kind used for intense sensory deprivation. Though I suppose anything to counteract both voice and appearance would work just as well.

If dance parties are your idea of a good time, then Thunderdome is probably for you. As for me, I’ll be home pondering what exactly to make of the declaration on Thunderdome’s Myspace page that, “THUNDERDOME IS A MOVEMENT.” I assume the movement is one of bombastic inanity, though I have as yet been unable to confirm this with a representative for Thunderdome.

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