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Clip: Juddy on the state of Pittsburgh music venues

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  • Carl Zimring
    Are there many shows at the Warsaw Tavern or Howler s these days? 2/5/2004 You Don t Have To Go
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 5, 2004
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      Are there many shows at the Warsaw Tavern or Howler's these days?

      <http://www.pittsburghcitypaper.ws/music/story.cfm?type=Riffs>

      2/5/2004
      You Don't Have To Go Home, But You Can't Stay Here

      Writer: JUSTIN HOPPER

      If you want to see the effect of Rosebud closing its doors, just look at
      the Rex Theatre's schedule. A week ago, the South Side venue showcased a
      hodge-podge of acoustic open jams and untested local acts, all trying to
      woodshed in a room that can feel empty with 100 souls inside. Now it's
      suddenly ground zero for jam bands, blues iconoclasts and the once-a-year
      prominence of Cajun and zydeco music, as Elko Productions has moved its
      Rosebud-heavy bookings list from Rosebud to the Rex.

      When Karl Mullen was booking acts at Club Café, that venue began to rise in
      stature amongst the national acts looking for a small and intimate setting.
      Now Joker Productions has filled Mullen's vacancy, and continues to pack
      the club with rising stars and solid national acts. As the rumored spring
      closing of Club Laga, where Joker has long held court, looms closer, the
      Café's schedule seems to be tightening up: Over a third of March is already
      booked with national acts, everything from March's usual Irish suspects to
      the Mekons. Joker, of course, can't book most of the shows they would like
      to bring into Club Café's barely-100-seat capacity -- without a Laga-ish
      venue, the big-time punk and indie tours Joker specializes in won't be
      hitting town.

      What you might not notice at first is the new efficiency that the music
      scene's contraction is instilling in Pittsburgh's venues: Time is becoming
      a commodity that it hasn't been before. So at Club Café, for example, shows
      are being divvied up by hours, not nights -- most evenings feature two
      shows and sometimes as many as four bands. The Rex is much the same --
      rather than cancel planned events, the Rex has simply sliced up its nights
      into chunks of time.

      Because of its limited actual impact, this contraction -- Rosebud,
      Metropol, maybe Club Laga, all gone in a season -- seems more like a
      correction than a disaster. It's a sad economic fact that Pittsburgh was
      living in a luxury, not of venue space, but of venue time: Bands and
      promoters working at Gooski's and the 31st Street Pub, and until lately
      Club Café and the Rex, could plan events around their wishes -- like the
      recent Glam Rock Cabaret and Mod nights at the Rex, with numerous bands and
      films and whatever. Check out a gig in culture-haven New York City and
      you'll know in advance how long your favorite band's going to play for --
      and it ain't "'til they're done."

      It's not that Pittsburgh's venue situation is good: Especially with the
      recent music-policy changes at Zythos and Lava Lounge on the South Side,
      live original-music bands in Pittsburgh are finding their options extremely
      limited, and their lead-time becoming outrageous. (Some local venues are
      already booking for August.) It's just that, by this point -- after the
      myriad closings of the past five years -- Pittsburgh seems to know what
      it's doing. It took Elko Productions all of 20 hours to move an entire
      calendar out of Rosebud. Mr. Small's Theatre waited about 15 minutes before
      picking up slack from Metropol.

      Maybe things aren't good. But, unfortunately, maybe they're not wrong
      either.
    • Mock the DJ
      ... I hear of Warsaw shows more than Howlers. But let s now forget Arsenal Lanes!!! And it seems the Quiet Storm has picked up a touring band here and there,
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 5, 2004
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        >Are there many shows at the Warsaw Tavern or Howler's these days?

        I hear of Warsaw shows more than Howlers. But let's now forget Arsenal
        Lanes!!! And it seems the Quiet Storm has picked up a touring band here and
        there, and Manny has a new space too.

        >You Don't Have To Go Home, But You Can't Stay Here
        >
        >Writer: JUSTIN HOPPER
        >
        >If you want to see the effect of Rosebud closing its doors, just look at
        >the Rex Theatre's schedule. ... it's
        >suddenly ground zero for jam bands, blues iconoclasts and the once-a-year
        >prominence of Cajun and zydeco music, as Elko Productions has moved its
        >Rosebud-heavy bookings list from Rosebud to the Rex.

        I had a nice chat with the owners of the Rex last night, and it seems that
        with this influx of national acts (and working with Elko), you'll see some
        expansion (in capacity and the sound system) there very soon (which, in the
        end, hopefully will be nice for the local bands that will fill their
        calendar between the Elko shows).

        >Bands and
        >promoters working at Gooski's and the 31st Street Pub, and until lately
        >Club Caf� and the Rex, could plan events around their wishes -- like the
        >recent Glam Rock Cabaret and Mod nights at the Rex, with numerous bands and
        >films and whatever. Check out a gig in culture-haven New York City and
        >you'll know in advance how long your favorite band's going to play for --
        >and it ain't "'til they're done."

        A rumored casualty in the Elko/Rex situation was the 5th Installment of the
        "Rock 'N Roll Drive-In" slated for 2/28/04 at the Rex. Fortunately, the
        error fell on the PG's misprint of the 2/27 Hot Tuna show as a 2/28 show.
        So, let me make an early plug for the Drive-In:

        ::begin shameless plug::

        The Rock 'n Roll Drive-In presents:
        PLAN 9 FROM THE SOUTH SIDE
        featuring:
        The Surfin' Squares
        The Forbidden Five
        The Breakup Society
        The New Alcindors
        and from Detroit, The Come Ons

        Music * Movies * Mayhem

        2/28/04 @ The Rex Theater on the Historic South Side in Pittsburgh.

        ::end shameless plug::

        Paul

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      • Carl Zimring
        --On Thursday, February 5, 2004 9:28 AM -0500 Mock the DJ ... Well, who can forget the extremely successful Monday night shows at Arsenal Lanes? Are you (or
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 5, 2004
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          --On Thursday, February 5, 2004 9:28 AM -0500 Mock the DJ
          <mockthedj@...> wrote:

          >> Are there many shows at the Warsaw Tavern or Howler's these days?
          >
          > I hear of Warsaw shows more than Howlers. But let's now forget Arsenal
          > Lanes!!! And it seems the Quiet Storm has picked up a touring band here
          > and there, and Manny has a new space too.

          Well, who can forget the extremely successful Monday night shows at Arsenal
          Lanes? Are you (or anyone) booking shows there on the weekends or does the
          venue want to keep those last two lanes open for bowling?

          > I had a nice chat with the owners of the Rex last night, and it seems
          > that with this influx of national acts (and working with Elko), you'll
          > see some expansion (in capacity and the sound system) there very soon
          > (which, in the end, hopefully will be nice for the local bands that will
          > fill their calendar between the Elko shows).

          I take it they have their liquor license by now? The days of free booze
          were nice. That's a prime location for music -- seems like Carson has
          taken up the slack of a lot of the kinds of music that were playing in the
          Strip (really that stated when Mullen left Rosebud for Club Cafe).

          > A rumored casualty in the Elko/Rex situation was the 5th Installment of
          > the "Rock 'N Roll Drive-In" slated for 2/28/04 at the Rex. Fortunately,
          > the error fell on the PG's misprint of the 2/27 Hot Tuna show as a 2/28
          > show. So, let me make an early plug for the Drive-In:
          >
          > ::begin shameless plug::
          >
          > The Rock 'n Roll Drive-In presents:
          > PLAN 9 FROM THE SOUTH SIDE
          > featuring:
          > The Surfin' Squares
          > The Forbidden Five
          > The Breakup Society
          > The New Alcindors
          > and from Detroit, The Come Ons
          >
          > Music * Movies * Mayhem
          >
          > 2/28/04 @ The Rex Theater on the Historic South Side in Pittsburgh.
          >
          > ::end shameless plug::

          No Gothees? NO ZOWIE? Wha'happen?

          Carl Z.
        • Mock the DJ
          ... Right now, the alley is sticking to Monday nights for the live bands. ... Yeah, they ve had a liquor license for some time now. Of course it was hard to
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 5, 2004
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            I wrote:

            > > But let's now forget Arsenal
            >
            >Well, who can forget the extremely successful Monday night shows at Arsenal
            >Lanes? Are you (or anyone) booking shows there on the weekends or does the
            >venue want to keep those last two lanes open for bowling?

            Right now, the alley is sticking to Monday nights for the live bands.

            >
            > > I had a nice chat with the owners of the Rex last night, ... there very
            >soon
            > > (which, in the end, hopefully will be nice for the local bands that
            >will
            > > fill their calendar between the Elko shows).
            >
            >I take it they have their liquor license by now? The days of free booze
            >were nice.

            Yeah, they've had a liquor license for some time now. Of course it was hard
            to pay for drinks for awhile after getting them for "free" for so long!

            >That's a prime location for music -- seems like Carson has
            >taken up the slack of a lot of the kinds of music that were playing in the
            >Strip (really that stated when Mullen left Rosebud for Club Cafe).

            I don't think owning property in the Strip is the best thing right now. (and
            rumor has it that even though the Rosebud closed...it hasn't been sold)

            > > ::begin shameless plug::
            > >
            > > The Rock 'n Roll Drive-In presents:
            > > PLAN 9 FROM THE SOUTH SIDE
            > > featuring:
            > > The Surfin' Squares
            > > The Forbidden Five
            > > The Breakup Society
            > > The New Alcindors
            > > and from Detroit, The Come Ons
            > >
            > > Music * Movies * Mayhem
            > >
            > > 2/28/04 @ The Rex Theater on the Historic South Side in Pittsburgh.
            > >
            > > ::end shameless plug::
            >
            >No Gothees? NO ZOWIE? Wha'happen?

            The Drive-In is an "event" in itself, and I'd hate to see it tied to any
            particular band (or bands)....or even a person. When I wear my "promoter"
            hat, I do my best to assemble a strong bill that I would hope a lot of
            people would like to attend.

            Paul

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          • Carl Zimring
            --On Thursday, February 5, 2004 10:38 AM -0500 Mock the DJ ... True, it just seems so...natural to have ZOWIE surfin their spy music on that theme. Carl Z.
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 5, 2004
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              --On Thursday, February 5, 2004 10:38 AM -0500 Mock the DJ
              <mockthedj@...> wrote:

              >> No Gothees? NO ZOWIE? Wha'happen?
              >
              > The Drive-In is an "event" in itself, and I'd hate to see it tied to any
              > particular band (or bands)....or even a person. When I wear my
              > "promoter" hat, I do my best to assemble a strong bill that I would hope
              > a lot of people would like to attend.

              True, it just seems so...natural to have ZOWIE surfin' their spy music on
              that theme.

              Carl Z.
              now fixated on memories of free booze at the Rex
            • Mock the DJ
              ... Ahhh...that s why we have the Surfin Squares on the bill! Paul _________________________________________________________________ There are now three new
              Message 6 of 7 , Feb 5, 2004
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                >
                > >> No Gothees? NO ZOWIE? Wha'happen?
                > >
                > > The Drive-In is an "event" in itself, and I'd hate to see it tied to any
                > > particular band (or bands)....or even a person. When I wear my
                > > "promoter" hat, I do my best to assemble a strong bill that I would
                >hope
                > > a lot of people would like to attend.
                >
                >True, it just seems so...natural to have ZOWIE surfin' their spy music on
                >that theme.

                Ahhh...that's why we have the "Surfin' Squares" on the bill!

                Paul

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              • Carl Zimring
                --On Thursday, February 5, 2004 11:32 AM -0500 Mock the DJ ... Are they a spinoff bands or brothers (and/or sisters) in reverb? Carl Z.
                Message 7 of 7 , Feb 5, 2004
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                  --On Thursday, February 5, 2004 11:32 AM -0500 Mock the DJ
                  <mockthedj@...> wrote:

                  >>
                  >> >> No Gothees? NO ZOWIE? Wha'happen?
                  >> >
                  >> > The Drive-In is an "event" in itself, and I'd hate to see it tied to
                  >> > any particular band (or bands)....or even a person. When I wear my
                  >> > "promoter" hat, I do my best to assemble a strong bill that I would
                  >> hope
                  >> > a lot of people would like to attend.
                  >>
                  >> True, it just seems so...natural to have ZOWIE surfin' their spy music on
                  >> that theme.
                  >
                  > Ahhh...that's why we have the "Surfin' Squares" on the bill!

                  Are they a spinoff bands or brothers (and/or sisters) in reverb?

                  Carl Z.
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