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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Welcome to Arizona’s underground ‘Sadistic Disco’

    A person in a bunny suit peddles cryptic Easter baskets.
    A person in a bunny suit peddles cryptic Easter baskets.

    It’s a Saturday night and I’m sitting in a booth at a dive bar, slightly buzzed, wearing only tennis shoes, tube socks and a small pair of black underwear. Industrial music rattles the tiny Phoenix venue, packed with about 100 people more than what I assume is capacity.

    Looking back toward the band on stage, one of the drummers rips away a piece of wallboard that has caved in on him during the middle of his set. The place is literally falling apart.

    Soaked in sweat from dancing, I begin to pull away from the sticky vinyl seat when my attention is caught by topless girl walking by that has two tiny patches of electrical tape in the shape of Xs covering her nipples. Strangely, she’s no more out of place than I am – or even the guy in the bunny suit at the front door selling blood-covered Easter baskets.

    Welcome to Sadisco, a monthly industrial/noise/electronic music, “”trash of its culture”” music and art gathering. It beats your Saturday night Rocky Horror experience by a mile.

    Sadisco has been wreaking havoc on the Arizona scene for more than three years. Jose Rios, a photography junior, regularly makes the three-hour round-trip to Phoenix for Sadisco and plans to return.

    “”It’s pure 100 percent madness,”” Rios said. “”It’s goth with none of the sad, whiny attitude.””

    This month’s Sadisco was a first for Katie Zingsheim, a nutritional sciences senior. “”I actually saw a little bit of everything of what you could consider, I suppose, the darker, stranger side of our society,”” Zingsheim said.

    Tucson crowds and performers make up a large portion of the Sadisco masses. Tucson-based industrial band Alter Der Ruine, newly signed to the Los Angeles indie label Sistinas, attracted the biggest crowd of the night.

    Tamara Jenney, also known as DJ Plastic Disease, who plays Tuesdays at Asylum, 121 E. Congress St., and Thursdays at the Surly Wench Pub, 424 N. Fourth Ave., regularly attends and has DJ’ed some of the past Sadiscos.

    “”(It’s) like no other event you’ve been to before,”” Jenney said. “”It’s crazy. It doesn’t care what you think of it.””

    Performances often range from the mildly strange to the freakishly bizarre. The most recent of which, the act Grindwhore, featured a small group of people dressed in metal plates with replica metal instruments grinding against electrical sanders sending sparks flying.

    “”One of the guys had a metal cod piece and was shooting sparks out of his crotch,”” Rios said. “”There was also a girl who had a big huge breastplate and was also shooting sparks out of her breasts. It was just wild – I mean you can’t get anything better than that.””

    Sadisco, however, is notorious for getting out of hand. Police informants regularly patrol the crowds for drugs, and the event has had to move venues multiple times.

    Last year a Sadisco was cut short after the “”Fight Club”” theme, featuring actual fighting, alarmed the venue’s owners, according to Sadisco creator Toby Heideveink.

    “”It was our first event at that particular venue,”” Heideveink said. “”Even though we told them everything that was going to happen, they didn’t fucking see it like it was when it was happening, so they freaked out. We told them ‘We’re gonna’ have fighting’ and when they actually saw people fight, they freaked out.””

    Mike Jenney, part of the band Alter Der Ruine, recalled witnessing sexual acts taking place in the middle of a show a few years back. “”It was happening on top of some table in the center of the dance floor, might I add, right around the end of our set,”” Jenney said. “”I’m trying to play, and there’s like two girls naked.””

    More than a stage for musicians and performance artists, ultimately Sadisco is an experience. Next month’s theme is titled “”Sadisco in the Land of Mistreated Sex Toys”” (feel free to draw your own conclusions) and May’s Sadisco is based off of the movie “”Texas Chainsaw Massacre.””

    Despite what conclusions people outside of the scene arrive at, the people attending Sadisco seem generally happy. Conflicts rarely arise among individuals at the event, and the crowds for the most part get along.

    “”We’re like a messed up family,”” Heideveink said. “”It’s ironic, really.””

    More information about Sadisco can be found online at

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