Dancing in the dark

Natalie Liquori


Natalie Liquori is a lot of things: deejay, studio technician, fashion plate, voice-over actor, musician and mortician. Her ongoing celebrations of goth music include the upbeat, obscure ’80s music happening, Fascination, which occurs on the second Saturday of the month at Old Ironsides. The impeccably dressed Liquori and her guest deejays (sometimes including David J from Bauhaus and Love and Rockets) blast out songs that have rarely been played in nightclubs. Liquori also spins at the Retox Lounge in San Francisco every third Saturday.

How is Fascination musically different from other ’80s nights?

It’s not your typical ’80s music. We don’t play Madonna. We don’t play Prince. We play more new wave and darker ’80s music. New romantic, gloom and doom … the more obscure stuff. We have had nights where we feature bands like the Smiths, Morrissey, the Cure, Joy Division and New Order.

I have always been amazed at the variety of people at your shows.

All sorts of different people are welcome, as long as you are respectful of everyone else. It’s not like going to a dance club and everyone is just showing off their clothes and looking at each other. It is more of a gigantic party that I’m throwing than a nightclub event.

It is the only time that you won’t see a baseball cap at Old Ironsides.

(Uncomfortable silence.)

How did you get David J to deejay at your shows?

I wanted to get someone in here to shake things up, and so I went to his website and saw that I can book him. So I said, “Oh, maybe I’ll hear from his manager or something like that.” Well, I immediately heard back from him. He has premiered music that he’s working on at Darkness.

How did you get interested in music?

I’ve always been really attracted to music, and I’ve always been musical. I was a band nerd and was in the marching band in high school. I used to be a jazz drummer from when I was 6 years old until I was about 19. I was also in the Santa Rosa Symphony as a pianist and percussionist.

Why, after being a deejay for all these years, are you starting a band (Vinyl Vendetta)?

Deejaying is an easy outlet from having a professional job all week, but it doesn’t take quite as much effort and I wanted more. I found a group of women that have similar musical taste and are all multi-instrumentalists. The one attractive thing about this band is that everyone can play everything. Everyone plays keyboards.

What turned you on to goth music?

The first song that I ever heard that really moved me into darker music is the Cure’s “A Strange Day”; that I heard on Live 105, when I was 10 years old. Then I started dressing in dark colors. I’ve always liked to wear dark colors; when I was, like, 4 years old, I wanted to wear black. I didn’t know why. I was already attracted to working with dead things.

Which brings us to your profession as a mortician.

People think that being a mortician is cool because you don’t have to speak with anyone and you just work with the dead. That’s not true. It’s really about the living and setting them into a place of healing, so you have to be social.

Was your favorite TV show Six Feet Under?

I hated that show. Do you know why? It became so dramatic and about their lives. I remember when it first started it was really fun, because they did those really weird commercials about things that funeral homes use, like eye caps and stuff. But then it just turned into a soap opera.

Who is currently your favorite band?

IAMX. They are from England, but live in Germany. They are one of the most popular, successful bands that is unsigned by any record company.

So how did you hear of them?

They have distribution through record companies, but they are not signed to a record company. They run their website and try to be interactive with their fans.

Where did you get your exquisite fashion sense?

I went to New York when I was 10 to visit my aunt, and she was really into death rock. When I got off the plane after staying an entire summer with my aunt, my mom didn’t recognize me. She was so upset. I was wearing a black top hat and a red-and-white dress. She said, “My baby has died.”