Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cave Closing...and other things less depressing.

While waiting for a stimulus program for writers and musicians…we're not shovel-ready and we're not tied to sustainablity programs but as far as writers go, times have never been worse…never ever ever. And the next time I hear somebody with a staff job whine about their situation, I'm gonna slug um.

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Keep this in mind:

Times of music and no money will get you through better than times of money and no music!

….and that's the truth.

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Like we needed more news of this kind.

That little precious jewel of a pure jazz club has to close and it's not because of bad business…it's the goddamned fire marshal.

Alan Jones says:

By order of the fire marshal, The Cave and the Green Onion must close their doors. Ironically, one of the very things that made The Cave so warm, inviting, atmospheric, and acoustically fantastic is also the thing that caused the fire marshal to cringe... the low, exposed beam ceiling.

We are working now to find a space to re-locate and will keep you updated on when and where, as well as musical events that we are involved with in the meantime.

It's all of you who have participated in the music, the food, the wine and the atmosphere that have made The Cave such an inspiring and valuable experience for everyone.

In the 10 months The Cave has been open, it's been our mission to invite the most innovative, original and simply great musicians there are, to create art in front of us. In this I believe we have been staggeringly successful.

Are you feeling the same, and increasingly (nearly daily) anger and disappointment and frustration as I am? It used to be that we all could go back to day jobs when times got lean and nobody was buying our words or hiring us for gigs. Now there aren't even any day jobs. I wish I had some answers.

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Rolling Stone reports:

Last week’s news that Virgin Megastores in New York’s Union Square and San Francisco were closing was evidently the tip of a very sharp iceberg. Billboard.biz reports today that the multi-media chain’s only three remaining stores in Denver, Orlando and Los Angeles will also be shuttered by this summer.

In a move that almost predicated the closures of the Virgin chain, Virgin Entertainment Group North America was acquired by a pair of real estate companies in 2007, Vornado and Related Cos., mostly because those companies were interested in Virgin’s prime locations. The music stores were paying well below-market value per-square-foot for their locations, according to Billboard.biz. For instance, the Times Square location was paying a mere $54 per square foot when the actual location could command $500 if leased by another retailer.

In a similar situation, the U.K.’s Zavvi music chain, which was created after buying out Virgin Megastore locations in 2007, also announced earlier this year that they too would be going out of business. The Virgin Megastores in all locations are expected to announce liquidation details shortly.

Go hug Music Millennium today!

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I'm going to March Fourth's 6th Birthday party at the Bossanova Wednesday night…I'll post pics and stuff on Thursday

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I'll have much more on this later, but by next Monday the Quadraphones new album will have been mastered and ready for airplay. The title will killa ya, "Music to Watch Girls By." Is that funny, or what?

They're doing their own compositions plus some Thelonious Monk, Azymuth, Duke Ellington, Paquito D’Rivera, Average White Band, Astor Piazzolla and Philip Glass.

Their CD release is at Jimmy Mak's on Friday, March 27th. Playing with them will be Leah Hinchcliff (Soul Vaccination, Morgan Grace, Sandy Dennison Quartet and Trio, Portland Jazz Singers Showcase, Swamp Mama Johnson, Nicole Campbell, Mark Bosnian and Voodoo Barbeque) and Brandy Keehn (Zeitgeist and Morgan Grace)
Special Guests: Janice Scroggins (Grammy winning pianist), Lily Wilde (of LW Orchestra Fame, vocals), Susie Jones (head of the Mt. Hood Jazz Dept, alto saxophone).

That is going to be one special night. Get reservations early, like today.

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In case you're wandering the streets on St. Patrick's day (and night) and you feel the need to hear some blues, a club not known for blues has got Eddie Turner and a bunch of Portland bands on Tuesday, March 17 at Dante's.

Promoter Rose Allen sez:

Turner has amassed a wide variety of experiences as guitarist, singer and songwriter, having performed with numerous artists, from The James Gang and Deep Purple to Otis Taylor. Guitar Player Magazine describes Turner as: “Otherworldly atmospherics lend a decidedly cosmic ambience to Taylor’s sound.” Taylor tours the U.S. and Europe extensively. This will be his only Portland appearance.

Also appearing: Rollie Tussing, Sassparilla Jug Band (awaiting confirmation) and Kolvane.

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One piece of good news is that it's nice to see Tony Starlight's booking King Louie and Baby James on a regular basis. They'll start on Wednesday, March 25.

Sweet Baby James Benton has made quite a comeback over the past 7 or 8 years. When I did this story which focused on SBJ and Cleve Williams, he was just at the beginning of it. The Original Cats didn't even have a name yet.


Speaking of Tony's, I premiered a new album by Lavonna Zeller-Williams on my radio show last week. Her CD release is at Tony's Thursday night. She's got Pete Peterson on sax, Ed Pierce on drums, among others.

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If the wan rocker is your cup of tea, run down to the Fez on Saturday night because Pilar French has put together the same kind of tribue that worked so well last year when she did one for Lucinda Williams.

Joining her are Reina Collins and Kate Mann plus Justin Jude, Scotland Barr, Lewi Longmire, Michael Jodell and Matt Brown, James Low, and Rob Stroup.

This is a great time to see Pilar. Try to catch her here or at other gigs where she's doing her own stuff. She's been in the recording studio in the past couple of weeks laying down new songs and she's all excited about it.

They're also doing a teaser at Music Millennium at 4 on the same day.
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I don't mean if you're a working musician. I mean so other people can hear you. Or maybe just sing in public (without Mickey Mouse ears). A while back I did a story on two such people in Baltimore. Let me know if you do this or something like it (not busking). I'd like to write about it.


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Leave a comment!!!

Listen to my KMHD show on Saturday nights 10pm-2am. Jazz till 12 and then The Bar opens at Midnight!

Email me at tvdpdx@gmail.com


  1. I saw my stimulus program go by today, in high heels.

  2. Silverton is hosting their 3rd annual wine and jazz festival Saturday May 9th. Steve Christofferson and Nancy King, Tim Wilcox quartet, Dan Schulte, Chris Woitach and John Moak, Dave Evans And Lee Wethenow two tenor band with Dave Frishberg on piano, Mel Brown B3 band, others too numerous to mention. Its a great day to hang out with the local jazz community.


Talk to me.