Friday, November 1, 2013

The Artists' Quarter could be saved?? (was" RIP :(((((")

11/1/13 5:58PM

It sounds like it may not be closing afterall as indicated:

Good article by Dave King of The Bad Plus/Happy Apple.

also a key note:

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, "We're going to make sure the Artists' Quarter stays open." 


Star Tribune link

Closing at the end of 2013.
This is pretty significant to myself and boatloads of Jazz fans in Minnesota. Just as I wrote last year, ranking it as my 2nd favorite venue in Minnesota.

Station 4 closing sucks, but I suppose I have been able to accept it.
The 400 Bar and The Uptown Bar, as well.
The Rock Night Club to a point too, although

but this hits home more.

I have seen DEAN MAGRAW there many times, and those are some of the most enjoyable live shows I've ever seen. The 2 Media Addicts shows I saw there last year were amazing, and I'll never forget.

The OPEN MIC nights, every FUCKING MONDAY NIGHT, which I'm ashamed to admit, I wanted to go to for many years, and never ended up doing so.

I even indirectly met my girlfriend through The AQ (at the Dean Magraw/Marcus Wise show in November 2010, talking to Ellen Stanley whose label Red House Records was selling Dean and Marcus's new cd, and speaking to her about among other things, KFAI (where I did meet the gf).

But what I will add for now, is how it is EXTREMELY PATHETIC that a venue like this, that IS ABOUT THE MUSIC AND *ARTISTS* can't survive, because the bloody fucking hipsters/MUSIC MEDIA IN MINNESOTA spend countless hours and content on OTHER, FRANKLY MUCH WORSE VENUES THAT ARE FOCUSED MORE ON PUSHING DOWN THEIR FLAVOR-OF-THE-MONTH ARTISTS, BOTH LOCAL AND NOT-LOCAL.

And if they actually realized how this fucking space SHOULD BE CHERISHED, the fucking cost of RENT MAY NOT FACTOR IN SO MUCH.

Ever since The Dakota went South (although, I'll admit, after seeing 2 shows for the price of 1 with Josh Rouse and then Billy Cobham last week, I'm not as down about it as I was less than a year ago), this place totally became THEE place for live Jazz. I am sad to admit, I only got to see shows there the last 5 years or so.

What may happen to the local Jazz shows? they may end up at other venues I suppose. Places like Black Dog Cafe, Golden's, The Amsterdam Bar, The Turf Club, Minnesota Music Cafe and perhaps even something like Celtic Junction or Dreamland Arts, could end up with some of their shows. Although they would not likely be quite the same. For one, likely not going as late. As much as I like shows to end at an early hour, the AQ shows ending around Midnight or 1AM was kind of a tradition, and I would try and do only on Friday or Saturday nights. Those other venues, I wonder if will be as casual about the lateness factor (and calm/relaxed nature..the AQ didn't care typically if you hung around. I would chat with Davis, the night manager? often after shows. In fact, I'm sure others, including owner Kenny Horst are incredibly more down about this than myself, but having known Davis a little bit, I feel even worse for him. Which is why I, like some of my friends I imagine, will make it a point to try and attend as many shows this Fall there before they do finally close the doors.

But then again, maybe either the place can be saved. Or at least, something will pop up and fill the void for Jazz in St.Paul (and the whole state). I do wonder if something may, because the Jazz community have their fanbase, who I wouldn't be surprised, will do something financially, as a result of this. In other words, my impression has been, Jazz fans can and do have money. So, unless they end up putting even more of it towards The Dakota (than they already are), they may try using some money to a new venue, or an already existing one (who knows, maybe where Station 4 is even?).

The cost of rent is key, for most if not any venues (Station 4, or even a small business in town like "Sweet Chocolate" who had to move to what seems like a worse location, but at least another location that the rent was more in their budget). My gf was suggesting if Blackdog Cafe took on more of their shows, the cost may change at that place. Which sucks, but I guess I wouldn't blame them. I wonder if the cost of rent could be going up due to the Light Rail expansion down there, and the unforeseen costs of things like the new St.Paul Saints Baseball stadium being much higher than it was planned.

If that stuff indirectly caused the rent increase, well, it supports my feelings about those things even more. Our tax dollars are going up, that pay for that, and may have killed the AQ.

Davis, if he ever reads this, I feel for him especially. And look forward to at least coming down a few times before the place is finally closed.