August 26, 2009

B-Sides: Music & Other Ephemera

Holes in the Soul

No one wins when a rock club closes. It takes years to get over the absence.

Although it had fallen off the radar as club du jour for independent rock shows, let’s not forget altogether The Pour Haus. For a good long while, it was the place to go if you wanted to see your friends hash out their latest works on stage. I’m proud to say The Fervor held its record release show there, and two weeks ago, while the couple put on a clinic at Waterfront Park, more than a few were reminded of a night, in recent memory, when Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings hypnotized an audience at the corner of Shelby and Burnett.

Big kudos and hugs go out to Robin Moody and the rest of the staff for filling a void. Note: The Sept. 5 Evergreen reunion/record release show is still on, and has been moved to Uncle Pleasant’s (2126 S. Preston St., 634-4147, unclepleasants.com). The band’s compendium CD, Wholeness of The Soul, will be for sale.

As of Aug. 23, The Dame in Lexington, Ky., is closed. Its demise feels less like the result of a flagging economy than it does some temporal force conspired against it. The Dame was forced to relocate as its original Main Street environs were torn down to make way for a massive redevelopment called Centerpointe. Construction on Centerpointe has since stalled, while the developers, Webb Companies, work to irrigate a dirt lot left in the city’s core.

So much for bold, new initiatives.

Its detractors say The Dame catered only to hip cognoscenti. But while there is an argument to be made about art and music scene know-it-alls intimidating and ruining everyone’s fun, I saw it differently. The Dame built a fantastic reputation, and its audiences rivaled — some say surpassed — Louisville’s in terms of enthusiasm for live original music. A move to “spacious” confines meant leaving the charm behind. Maybe charm is worth more than luxury.

Music ’Cast

Seymour, Ind., group The Elms play a free show Aug. 28 as part of Hard Rock Café Louisville’s summer concert series, and they’ll be with us by phone from New York, where they’re on tour supporting a new album, The Great American Midrange. Listen at Bluegrass Catastrophe, bluecat.leoweekly.com.