After an amicable boot to the curb by his former roommate -- newly engaged Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios owner Josh Baish -- Gutterth Records' Michael Briggs found himself needing a new place to live in less than a month. A quick Facebook post is all it took before a friend suggested 2311 Houston Place, a former house venue appropriately named Houseton, which, according to Briggs, only sparingly hosted shows.
"I've always been hesitant about having house shows, but when this great house became available, we couldn't just not use it," he says. "In addition to that, the music community needs more house venues, and hopefully this can be a stable place for some good bands to play, both local and touring."
The venue has been christened Macaroni Island and will host its first show on Monday, September 17, with local acts New Science Projects and Fishboy, and touring bands Iji and James Rabbit, for whom donations will be accepted.
Regardless of the whimsical title, which was voted on by roommate Jesseca Bagherpour, Macaroni Island is an important part of the house-show circuit revival.
"It's on the upswing," Briggs says, "but apparently some of the new houses have had police problems, which is unfortunate. Hopefully that gets better and the house-show scene can get big again, which in turn will also help the clubs and entire community."
For those who have witnessed their share of crowded, musty house shows, they aren't always pleasant. Natalie Davila, former owner of the Majestic Dwelling of Doom, contests that the house-show business is tricky.
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"You are undeniably taking on a huge personal risk by inviting strangers into your living quarters," Davila says. "The unfortunate reality is that one extremely drunk person can wreck an entire show all by themselves."
Macaroni Island tenant Marshall Rogers, formerly of the infrequent house venue Danny Tanner Manor, feels pretty comfortable about issues like police, neighbors and jerks. "The house has a history of loud shows, and there have never been any issues with cops as far as I know," he explains. "We want to make music the focal point of the shows instead of it turning into a wild party."
The group says their new space is cozy enough to allow for intimate shows, but spacious enough for mingling in the backyard. Also, bathroom access will be limited, so people should come prepared.
"We kind of jokingly put 'no jerks' in the description on Facebook," roommate Melisa Oporto adds. "But seriously, no jerks."