Mixtape at Milk Bar is a place where you can wear a spiked face muzzle and fit right in
All photos by Eric Gruneisen. Slide show: Mix Tape at Milk
It's rare to have to walk through an Arby's parking lot to get to your nighttime destination, but such is the path to Mixtape at Milk Bar. "I hope you're enjoying our lovely scenery," says a bemused bouncer at the door, an entertained expression on his face. Once inside, Milk's weekly is a haven for devotees of the '80s and '90s alternative movement.
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Eric Gruneisen. Slide show: Mix Tape at Milk
DJ Slave1, Tina Berger-Everroad, is playing a New Order track when we first walk in. One or two people are stationed at bar stools throughout the first room, and the lone occupant of the dance floor looks like she might be a soccer mom rolling for the first time. Next door, DJ Roland is getting ready for his set, and a few people have started to filter in -- someone wearing what can only be described as a spiked face muzzle, a woman with an intricate black and white face paint design and more combat boots then you can shake a stick at.
There's a steady stream of people beginning to fill both rooms, and while each are distinct and cater to both goth and retro crowds, there is no sense of separation, natural or forced. Folks are moving between the two rooms enjoying differing kinds of music seamlessly. The lone dancer from the first room has been joined by plenty of other dancers, pulsing to Depeche Mode and David Bowie, courtesy of DJ Slave1. When Berger-Everroad starts spinning Erasure's "Chains of Love," the whole room sings along to Andy Bell's opening croons.