100 Creatives 2012: Carmina Bell

Categories: 100 Creatives

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What She Does: Carmina Bell has been the promoter, host and one of the primary DJs at Numbers during their goth-centric Underworld events for 13 years. Her reign as the majordomo at the center of all things spooky in Houston began after returning from living in various other cities around the country, and realizing that Houston could definitely support a gothic/industrial night.

Since then she's brought a legion of great bands to Numbers, including the Mission, Combichrist, and the Genitorturers (Best bumper sticker ever, "My Honor Student Was Sodomized at the Genitorturers Show."), and many local acts like Asmodeus X, Provision, and Psychonaut75 built followings with her help.

She's also the mind behind the annual Miss Spooky Beauty Pageant, which is always the highlight of the Houston gothic social calendar.

Why She Likes It: "I am just glad to have the opportunity to work at Numbers and help keep the type of music we cater to at Underworld alive in our city, and feel that it is due greatly to the support of the club and all the friends and patrons that have kept coming and supporting all our efforts through the years. I enjoy DJing because music has always been a major part of my life; this is my creative outlet to bring music to others."

What Inspires Her: When it comes to planning events and shows, Carmina does what any great promoter does. She keeps her ears and eyes open for what her regular attendees would like to see. She's like a genie that you rub for wishes, as long as your wish is to see Crüxshadows and the Last Dance live onstage.

This willingness to listen applies to her DJ style as well, catering her set lists around careful notice of what songs elicit response and what songs react well with requests. Her style is to keep the early songs more low-key and building throughout the night, the set list being analogous to good foreplay leading to great sex.

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If Not This, Then What: "With or without Underworld, I would be involved in the club/music scene in some fashion."

If Not Here, Then Where: "After traveling to other cities and although I found some other venues/club nights enjoyable, I could not imagine doing this in any other city but Houston."

What's Next: On February 25, Underworld celebrates its 25th anniversary, followed by the Annual Miss Spooky Pageant on March 31. Rumor is that Bell will be working with Kris Prudhomme and DJ Frankie Fang to begin bringing more deathrock acts to Numbers starting this summer.

More Creatives for 2012
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer

Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director
J.J. Johnston, theater director
Mary Margaret Hansen, artist
Richard Tallent, photographer
Viswa Subbaraman, opera director
Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist
Sonja Roesch, gallery owner
Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor
Sandy Ewen, musician
Camella Clements, puppeteer

Wade Wilson, gallery owner

Magid Salmi, photographer
Carl Williams, playwright




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10 comments
Deaconkhet
Deaconkhet

what about daniel quinn, or is he too old for this order?...

Carmina
Carmina

It really is sad how many misinformed people there are out there. I know that it really does not matter what I say at this point because people will always hate and find fault if that is what they are looking for. But I am going to say a few things that I feel need to be corrected. 

First off to those that think the whole goth/industrial/ebm night we do is old and tired that is fine it is not for everyone but yes we still have a lot of people that enjoy the music and come out. We do play goth music if you came you would know this and it is not just a goth night in the sense of music we cover a wide range of new/old goth/industrial/ebm music. I have not taken a ride on others coat tails I have been helped and helped others and worked jointly in partnerships. I have never taken full credit on any event done with others. In this article Jef wrote "the mind" behind the pageant - I never said that. I have always maintained that Dana came to me with the idea to do a pageant and we jointly did the event together. When she wanted out due to her personal reasons she left. There was nothing to give to me. Our friendship ended for other reasons. 

As for Bands I have booked many bands that personally came to me to do a show at Underworld, also some where through other promoters that needed a venue and sometimes it was bands needing a venue because other promoters where not able to help them and I did. 

I have no issue with those people that do not like me and think I am old and tired and want to bash me all day long. Everyone is entitled to feel and think what they want. 

I have 13 years of running and djing at a nightclub and in the business this for some is an accomplishment and to others it is not - no big deal. But to say a club such as Numbers has kept Underworld around as a favor is silly. No Business will keep something that is costing them money. I am proud to be part of Numbers and its History. And yes it is something to go from Thursday Nights to Saturday Nights(sometimes twice a month) is a positive thing in the nightclub business since Saturdays are prime nights for any nightclub. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend doing whatever makes you happy. I will be celebrating 13 Years of Underworld at Numbers. 

Carmina Bell  ( I can sign my name because I have nothing to hide nor do I use the internet as a tool to spread false information or as an opportunity to hide and hate on someone) 

WTF
WTF

what? this was the LAST person i would expect to see a "creative" article about! she is "old & tired", can't accomplish anything new and exciting herself, so she has to go doing interviews taking credit for things that others have done??? I know for a fact that Dana Dark started the Miss Spooky Pageant back in the day, and anyway, Underworld is just a JOKE lately. Who even shows up? They should just hurry up and demolish Numbers already! This is so LAUGHABLE.

Ronnie
Ronnie

While I give Carmina some credit for attempting to keep the "goth" scene alive. the problem is that Underworld is not a goth night. If you go there expecting to hear classic goth songs by the likes of Bauhaus, Siouxsie or Sisters of Mercy you will be greatly disappointed. Instead, you're likely to hear out of date EBM or graver music from the 90's. If you're going to play old music, at least play the good songs that the scene originated from in the first place. There are still plenty of people in Houston that like real goth music, they just don't waste their time going to a  club night that won't play it.

Anon
Anon

Another great article from the HP "Limited Interest" desk. Mommy, what is a goth?

CNKAW
CNKAW

I agree, as the goth scene is also old and tired, as you say. These folks that keep gothing themselves out as they grow older are ridiculous (it was fun in hs and college), kind of like when you see old people dressed in hippie clothes that still think its the 60s. Grow up. And who cares about the goth night at numbers? What is this, 2001? I am surprised its still hanging on.

Bobolue
Bobolue

yes, dana started the pageant and asked carmina to be her partner. they both did it for many years. from what i remember, dana was going to do one more because she was pregnant and moving on with her life. apparently carmina went ahead and did the pageant anyway without consulting dana who was going to give it up to carmina. this cause a problem and another 3rd party coming between them. they have not spoken since. it is really stupid if you ask me and they both need to grow up and sort things out. i know carmina is no angel but she has worked her time to keep things going as a lot of people have with this scene. i don't agree with "demolishing" numbers. every scene has it's ups and downs.

ahahahahahahahaha
ahahahahahahahaha

i'm not gonna defend this article because i hate that bitch, but i will say you're a stupid faggot for not opening your mind to people who are different than you.  you're probably hate on some moderately successful local rappers because they are black and you're an uptight white fuckface.

Anon
Anon

Didn't say I wasn't open minded. Just that unless you are personally acquainted with either the author or someone mentioned in the article, you probably don't give a shit about this because the goth scene was played out 10 years ago. The only goth club in town is a run down shithole that should be condemned. Your jump to racism would probably make Quanell X blush.

Thegatecreeper
Thegatecreeper

I fail to see the "success" of a "goth" night that has gone from once a week to once a month and has to rely on the success of the other nights to stay afloat.  These club nights are virtually empty, the local "scene" certainly does not support its local bands and the "Gothic Beauty Pageant"??  I've not heard anything about those things in about 10 years.

It seems to me that people around here are more interested in stroking each others ego's for undeserved "successes" gained from riding the coat tails of the people that came before them and actually started it all in Houston rather than actually making things happen and actually supporting the immense REAL talent that is right in their own back yard.

P.S.  There is a difference between creating an environment that prompts a touring band to go out of their way to contact you PERSONALLY to book a show based on your reputation and a band that is coming to town anyway and will play at whatever club happens to have that particular night free. 

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