I’ll tell you what’s going on – Salem’s music scene is starting to act like one: new artists, new bookers, new events and new venues are cropping up and working together to make Salem more than it’s ever been. I for one am thrilled to be a small part of it. But enough chit chat. Let’s get to the news about town.
Make Music Day – Salem: This is an all day, all city music event taking place on June 21st – Summer Solstice. When I sat down with Mark Greene and Carlee Wright back in March, the event had about 10 bands and a handful of venues signed up. At press time, Greene reports 60 bands/performers and 23 venues have signed up and there’s still a month to go. I looked over the list and there are some local bands who haven’t signed up – yet. Get to it! This is shaping up to be Salem’s biggest music event ever. For more details please visit makemusicday.org/salem.
The Space Concert Club: Last time we chatted, The Space was slated to move into the Level B space in the Pringle Park Plaza. Personally, I couldn’t visualize The Space’s rebirth at Level B. Don’t get me wrong, Level B is a beautiful spot and the sound is impeccable. But if you remember Doug Hoffman’s original Space like I do, Level B just didn’t feel right to me. Well, I don’t have to grapple with that any longer because The Space has found a new home and it’s delightful. It will open in the old Morton’s Bistro space at 1128 Edgewater NW. Stan Keightley, one of the head honchos of the new Space, invited me for an advance look. I love it. It is so quirky and has so much personality. There’s a perfect loading ramp for the bands, a well-positioned green room, a kitchen, and an enchanted back porch where Keightley wants to build an outside stage. It’s so dang cute. Their target opening date is still July 21st, but I bet they’ll have a few soft openings before that. I’m super stoked for this.
Art Fair Music: I had the honor of being on the music jury for the 67th Annual Salem Art Fair & Festival. A lot of talented performers submitted music, but I have to say, not enough. I hope to see more artists submit next year. This year’s headliners are The Fabulous Thunderbirds on Friday, July 15th at 7pm on the main stage and The Sextones from Reno on Saturday, July 16th. I would like to highlight some local favorites that made the cut: Isaac Turner, Main Stage, Friday at 1:30pm; Rich McCloud, Main Stage, Saturday at 4:30pm and Dead Wood Standing, Main Stage, Saturday at 5:30pm. So there. Have some music with your art.
Victory Club: This swanky joint is right in the heart of downtown at 155 Liberty St NE. The super cool thing is the entrance is in the alley behind the Reed Opera House. It’s soooo speakeasy. Their grand opening is coming up on June 3rd at 5pm, but Alvin Klausen, one of the bar’s owners, invited me in for an advance preview. Two bar tops with 35 taps total, two of which they’ll dedicate to Salem breweries. The back bar is where the entertainment will happen. It’s a small stage and Klausen is thinking acoustic, jazz and stand-up comedy. Oh yeah, they’ve got a photo booth! They’ve modified it so that you can send the pics to your friends right from the booth. Nifty.