I wasn’t sure what to expect from a DJ set by industrial-techno legend Martin Atkins — member of Public Image Limited and Pigface, contributor to Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. I was pretty sure he wouldn’t open with a pounding dose of Chinese traditional music fused with cutting-edge Asian industrial. But he did, and following those Asian sounds, he assaulted the crowd again with a mash-up of eardrum-shattering industrial and disco. Then again, if we were looking for something predictable, we sure as hell wouldn’t be spending our Valentine’s Day evening listening to goth-industrial at the Melody Inn, would we?
Atkins’ set was a rousing combination of unique world musics, modern industrial and bizarre remixes, merging Van Halen and 1950s classics with Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. It was surprising how well it all worked. Plus, in addition to Atkins’ set, we got all sorts of heartfelt dedications to the, um, intensity of Valentine’s Day emotions from the likes of local goth-industrial DJs Rony, Caroline and Hearsay.
All these sets were part of the larger Anti-Valentine’s Day, a yearly event that has become something of a tradition among those who either want to say “screw it” to love or, more generously, just to the syrupy sweet love typified by Val Day. The night was a repudiation of all things commercial and traditional, from the spoken word “How I Got Fucked Over” competition to Atkins’ corporate satire. (“When sport utility vehicles are no longer enough, you need … THE TERMINATOR!”)