Music News

Local Musician and DJ Thom Gabaldon (a.k.a darksouldealer) Passes Away

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One of his longtime friends, Layal Rabat, told us earlier today that, unlike most people, Gabaldon wasn't just a fan of a handful of genres and had a passion for all music.

"So much of it, [I] can't describe a genre," Rabat says. "Someone commented on someone else's post that they had seen him at every show since the '90s."

Aleksandr Aeternum, another friend of Gabaldon, described his wide-ranging musical tastes (which included his fervent fandom for The Legendary Pink Dots) over a Facebook chat this morning.

"Thom had an incredible love for music that was eccentric, bizarre, and preferably obscure," Aeternum says. "He got his start in music going to punk rock shows at the FUCK (First United Christ's Kingdom) Church in Des Moines, Iowa. He moved to Arizona and worked at Zia Records for years. He loved to recant the time he confronted Peter Steele, of Type O Negative, about racist lyrics in Steele's other band, Carnivore."

Aeternum added that he'll always remember Gabaldon for putting on Black Coffee, an all-ages night in the mid-aughts at both the old Counterculture Café in Phoenix and later the Sub Culture Café in Tempe where he performed as darksouldealer and spun goth, darkwave, synthpop, and old-school industrial.

Gabaldon also pulled occasional gigs as darksouldealer at various Sadisco* events over the years and was a regular presence at the formerly monthly themed dance parties.

In fact, the first time we ever encountered Gabaldon was at one of the Fight Club Sadisco* events that took place at bygone punk bar Jugheads many moons ago. As other attendees at the annual event were wont to do, he was in the middle of a fight, albeit with himself.

As the clamor of industrial and EBM blared over the speakers, Gabaldon was mimicking Edward Norton in the cult flick and doing the man dance in solo fashion, whipping his trademark long black curly locks around as he threw his body against a security barrier and dusted himself with haymakers.

It was just a bit befitting the theme of the event, however, as Gabaldon was a completely affable cat who never was the aggro sort. According to Aeternum though, he was a very opinionated and a proud liberal who was outspoken about many topics, usually thing pertaining to music.

"I don't think he kept anything to himself ever," he says.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.