Wednesday, March 14, 2007

516 Soundstage is back: Malignant Spawn, CancerWhore, Aversion to Life on Fri, Mar 16, 8 pm

cancerwhore2 / myspace photo
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Bobby Black, major domo at 516 Soundstage, calls the former Woolworths "the biggest and best venue in all our land. This is not a bar, not a club; this is a musical event center where you, the bands and fans, make the shows, whatever it is you do. And we rock it, all ages, until midnight. Eighteen and up, until 2 am. And 21 and up after that."

Those who drive up Texas St and peer at the crowds of motley teens standing outside Soundstage may think, "Uh oh."

Not to worry. As a person who's flip-flopped through the parking lots around Soundstage, shot photos in the diner and felt the crush of guitar and double kick drums against his Eustacian Tube in the cavernous main hall, I contend that the kids are allright. It's original music. It's an alternative life willing to take the scrutiny of Texas St display. And it's under the wily wings of building owner Mark Goff and musician Black.

Last weekend Soundstage re-opened after a hiatus lenthened, Black, says, by the city's inept and antagonistic bureaucracy.

He says of last week, "Yes, it Was a good house. About 150 kids, all respectful, polite and moshing their butts off. And having such a good time. Now if only i could find a novelty company that would let them have some amusements. They are hesitant, and understandably so, but every new day needs a few days to settle in."

The long evening is not a picnic basket for adult rockers like Black: "Today's metal is so aggresive and brutal, I use some ear plugs and smile, oblivious and politely, all night to unheard conversations."

But when it comes to delays in licensing and permits, he pulls the plugs: "I mean, to Hell with these public officials who wanna
treat kids like they have no right or reason to be anywhere but home sitting quietly.I say give 'em a place to kick their heels up a bit, and hear some great music and be a part of a cool thing in a safe environment and sent home safe, sane, sober and alive!"


The basics: "We have the largest and by far best equipped and set up stage anywhere around," says 516 SS's myspace site, "house sound and soundman, security, doorman, and an all show-long diner with a smoking parlour and cocktail bar for the 21 and up crowd. You book the shows, agree to the house contract of $225 sound/soundman/doorman charges plus 20% of the gate to cover venue rental, and we swing it wide open, and rock the house."

Black, Goff and 516 adjutant Jammie say, "What can you do for your 516? We need some old, free, yet adequately functioning televisions so we can set up video feeds all over the venue to maximize your enjoyment. Tech kids: we need video. Old webcams, whatever, and some hero is going to get a free pass for a year for hooking us up with these things. Artists! We need murals. Get with us and get to work! We will feed you and love you forever, and more free passes can be made up to compensate you."

Shows start at 8 pm Fri night. Pardon me if I say "Rock on," to the local dudes in Malignant Spawn and CancerWhore. Great, geat names, guys.


Kathryn Usher said...

Rock on, dudes. And I hope someone rebels by *GASP* skateboarding downtown.

Kevan Smith said...

What you should know:

The bands have to pay to use the sound system at Sound Stage. It's not cheap, either. Nominally, they are paying the sound mixer guy, but rarely are the bands happy with the resulting sound mix they get. And bands aren't allowed to use their own sound gear and mix it themselves.

Yet the bands pay because it gives them a chance to perform in public. Several bands get together to lessen the cost for each, then they charge a small cover. What most often happens is the sound guy gets his money and the bands end up with nothing or in the hole. Meanwhile, Sound Stage does a lot business, profiting from the shows the bands put on.

I think there has to be a better way, something more fair to the bands. At the very least they should be allowed to use their own equipment so they don't have to pay Mr. Sound Guy.

Alec said...

That much money for venue rental, awful sound, and paying a DOORMAN is pretty ridiculous to me. This can explain the absolute lack of interesting shows this venue has received sine I don't want to say. It just kind of angers me. Emo's in Austin is probably the citys most renown venue, they have awesome sound, and it doesn't cost nearly that much.

Christy said...

CancerWhore is my all-time favorite metal band name.

trudeau said...

Thanks, Kevan and Alec. And Kathryn.

Christy, we can almost hear the nihilists' cogs and gears turning, can't we?

Kevan Smith said...

Christy, that's a good one alright!

I also like the names (and the bands) Cannibal Corpse and, less grotesque, Hammers of Misfortune.

Can I get a \,,/ for some Opeth, too?

Alec said...

BARF, Kevin.

Cannibal Corpse?! Opeth? You're getting soft, dude.

Kevan Smith said...

Soft? Yeah, I'm OLD! Even Alex de Large started liking Rachmaninoff when he grew older.