So, now that my time at the Rifkind Center is coming to an end, I have some breaking news announcements to post in sequence…
First, beginning this Saturday and through the summer months I will … well, be involved in a series of discussions about art history sponsored through a grant I received from the Hillsborough Public Library Cooperative. It’s all kicking off at the SouthShore Regional Public Library in Ruskin.
The SouthShore Library has a great history of funding arts programs for the patrons in its off-the-track corner of the county and I am very grateful to receive this support and for being able to work around upcoming travel obligations. The library staff had in mind a formal sequence of talks, but the proposal I made is for something more experimental that I have had in mind for a while…
…which is why I hesitate to call these “lectures.” Each session is going to be very interactive and will unfold in a participant-driven way, and there will be a digital component posted for downloading during and after each event.
Some intermittent institutions … I’m probably not going to see them again. I always wonder what “the last time” doing something or going somewhere will be like, if it’s better if you know beforehand or preferable to find out the continuum is now a memory afterward.
I have been going to the Castle, Tampa’s gothic and industrial music nightclub, in its various iterations, since I was a teenager. No matter how long I would move away for, it would always be here when I returned. Over the years, I was able to compare it experientially with all sorts of clubs, from Sanctuary in Salt Lake City to Warsaw in Miami to Berghain in Berlin and scads of “rave-themed” house parties in Antwerp and Brussels.
This past year I haven’t gone out as much in general, but I still met up with longtime friends on Mondays once in a while. We wouldn’t set up a date or anything, you’d just show up and some of the crew would be there. Attendance has been down on Mondays and while Ybor-City-in-the-Nineties legacies like the Senator and Theo Wujcik still make the scene regularly, eventually, the world will move on. It’s sad in a way to think of this last vestige of the once incredible Tampa Bay electronic music scene, which at one time including rotating DJ nights at Rene’s, Empire, Trax, Palladium, Club Detroit, Masquerade, and pop-ups at Act IV and other places (not counting London Victory Club, which began it all) falling into history but … I was really happy that the Castle has made so many attempts to keep up to date with electro and added lots of cool newish elements to its rotations, particularly in the music video department, mixing in Ladytron, Interpol, Cut Copy and Presets to the “hits.”
The last night I went to the Castle, I was braced to be a little disappointed, since I’m one of the people who actually prefers the new material to, you know, the entire Hacienda playlist from 1987. But actually it was just perfect. My friends were there, it wasn’t too crowded with glowstickers, and there was a lot of room to dance, yet it wasn’t empty. I don’t know if I will see the Castle again but this was a good way to remember it if I don’t.