Musical Chairs

A few months ago, we started hearing rumors. As we do. Happens all the time and, usually, nothing much comes of it. At least not the version of the story that comes across our desk: By the time we hear something, it's gone through at least three or four people, changing slightly every time. The story we get might have had some basis in fact at one point, but only a hint of truth remains when we show up on the scene. That's the way it goes.

Case in point: The scuttlebutt a while back concerned the imminent sale of the Curtain Club. A couple of people who know a thing or two about a thing or two e-mailed us independently about the story, wondering what we'd heard. We asked the rep who handles the Curtain Club's advertising account here at the paper what was going on. Nothing that she'd heard. We asked a guy who has worked for the Curtain Club since the beginning. He didn't know anything either. So we ditched it. Didn't think about it again.

And then last week, we were out and about, checking out a few bands (Sorta and El Gato at Curtain, The Deathray Davies and The Happiness Factor at Club Clearview) and having several adult beverages. Again, as we do. It was getting kinda late, and we'd just put the cherry on top of a nice buzz. (The cherry, in this instance, being a shot of undetermined provenance and ingredients.) The guy we'd asked about the Curtain Club being on the block sidled up and said something we were in no condition to suss out on our own: "Well, you were half right." This could have meant any of a number of things, given the amount of pontificating we are apt to do in times of flowing liquor and loud rock music.

We looked at him quizzically--which, truth be told, is our normal expression--so he filled in the blanks: The day before, Curtain Club bought Clearview. And the rest of the clubs that are part of Clearview's four-in-one concept--Red, Blind Lemon and Art Bar.

Now, we've had our ups and downs and ins and outs with Curtain Club (which also owns the Liquid Lounge) in the past. There's no need bringing any of that up again, though one person we mentioned the sale to responded: "So, the guys at Clearview hate you now, too?" It's funny, yeah, but that's long behind us. As far as we know.

That said, Curtain taking over Clearview is good news, because 1) we had heard from very reliable sources that Clearview was on its way out and 2) that would be a bad thing for Deep Ellum and 3) an even worse thing for local bands. Not enough places to play means not enough money for rent means another good local group has to move out of town or break up. Too much of that happens already.

For now, that's all we know. No idea if this will affect the kinds of bands you see at Clearview (doubt it) or if there'll be some sort of group cover charge that gets you into the four clubs under Clearview's roof as well as the two across the street (we've heard "maybe" on this). As far as we can tell, business continues as before. Which is good enough.

Patrick Keel's Music Marketing and Merchandising classes at Collin County Community College will again be booking (and pretty much doing everything else) at the Richardson Wildflower Festival's Xtreme Stage. The shindig happens May 9-11, and the class is already busily preparing. Which means: If you want to play the festival, now's the time to submit your demos. Might not be a bad idea, since in the past, this has meant sharing a stage with, say, Cheap Trick. If you're down, send a CD with at least four original songs, a black-and-white press photo and your contact information to: Patrick Keel, 2327 Kingsridge, Dallas, TX 75287, attn: Wildflower. Submissions should be in by March 28. And if you have any other questions, send 'em to Don't send them to us, because we can assure you, we will tell you the exact opposite thing to do. That's just the way we are...

Hand stamps: Centro-matic opens for Ben Kweller on February 27 at Trees, and the Riverboat Gamblers and My Spacecoaster are there on March 1; Vibrolux and The Chemistry Set play Liquid Lounge on February 27; Lo Fi Chorus, Bridges & Blinking Lights and John Wesley Coleman perform February 27 at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, followed by Mission Giant, Stars as Eyes and The Aleph on March 1. And we're spent.


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