Morgue City: Pulling Names From A Coffin Box

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It's a well-known fact that most band names are essentially gobbledygook, but here at Rocks Off we're trying hard to find meaning in the oddest monikers.

Recently your humble nameologist has been on a fervent quest to chronicle the history of goth music in our fair city of Houston. One of our rediscovered loves is the act known as Morgue City.

Currently the band is made up of two of Houston's most pedigreed goth performers. Spike the Percussionist has been in projects like Astrogenic Hallucinauting, Childman, Doggebi, Delicate Terror and as the music director for the world renowned flesh suspension group CoRE (Constructs of Ritual Evolution). His partner Raul Bertot hails from M-87 and Bozo Porno Circus.

Put together, their sound is high-octane dark rock that combines elements of goth, metal and even a bit of modern radio hardcore to deliver a black clad slap to the face. We've been addicted to "Hey," a freebie promo that will be featured on the upcoming album Control.

The band avoids many of the darksome clichés to deliver a sound that is all there own. It gets to the point where listing the acts they sort of sound like takes more time that just throwing up your hands and telling people to go check them out.

So it's a band we're glad is around, but that name...

Morgue City? Even for a goth band that's a little hand-stapled-too-hard-to-forehead. It's like they saw a sign for the city morgue one days and just swapped the word order.

"It was a long process of digging through names and names," says Spike. "We even cut up pieces of paper and drew them from a small coffin box I have. No luck.

"Then I was reading aloud some random ideas from a book and ran across City Morgue. Somebody blurted out Morgue City and that was that."

Damn, we hate being right all the time. Still, there's got to be more behind it than just vague, lazy, gothic juxtaposition. Morgue City... that would be like a necropolis, right?

Necropolises, literally "cities of the dead," are places where the primary industries are death and burial. The most famous one in America is Colma, Calif, where the dead outnumber the living 1,000 to one.

When San Francisco outlawed construction of any more cemeteries in 1900 (in order to not waste high value property on the dead), and then later evicted all the corpses inside the city limits in 1912, nearby Colma became the easiest place to find your eternal rest.

The necropolis boasts some pretty impressive residents. William Randolph Hearst is buried there, as is Peanuts composer Vince Guaraldi, Wyatt Earp, and even the United States sole Emperor, Norton I.

"I feel that mortality is a natural process and can't be ignored, so live like it's the last day of the rest of your life," said Bertot.

Clinging to wild life in the city of the dead. We can think of no better definition of Morgue City. They may have half-assed the name, but they don't half-ass its meaning. We look forward to many more years of their necrosexuality.


Morgue City (n) 1. A necropolis. 2. A fevered goth band. 3. Random answers from a coffin box.

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Morgue City plays tonight at Rudyard's with Vertigo Blue and After Party.

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