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This Little Underground: Backbooth’s comeback

The Falcon ready for shows, The Welzeins, Kelly Craven, Slim Walker & His Orchestra, Stephen Rock, Wheeler Newman & the Cosmic Roots Collective

Photo: Photo BY JAMES DECHERT, License: N/A



Expect to see the Falcon pop up in show announcements more frequently soon. Their musician-led, donation-based Soundraiser series just wrapped and will result in a permanent PA that’ll make live shows there a more regular occurrence. That’s good news because this bar knows music and never charges a cover. Audiotourism’s Stephen Howard, the man behind the initiative, tells me the sound system should be purchased and installed by the end of April, so look out.

The Booth is Back?

Live music never stopped at Backbooth, though you wouldn’t be the only one who thought so. It’s just that, for the past couple of years, the stage offerings there became less and less worth talking about – some bullshit scene drama perhaps, but little to chew on in the way of quality music.

Backbooth attained cachet under the work of Chris Anderson, the venue’s bright in-house booker and Parafora Presents mastermind. But when he relocated out of state, the club was unable to sustain his direction and caliber, so it mostly dropped off the orbit of the city’s prime movers of music culture. However, there’s legitimate reason to believe that the downtown institution could be back on track to contend.

In my musing on local booking group Norse Korea Presents after its big third anniversary mini-festival in January, I likened NK boss Kyle Raker to Parafora’s Anderson in terms of consistency and prestige. Well, Backbooth is trying to right the ship by bringing Raker on in Anderson’s former post. And this move is the most credentialed reason since Backbooth’s heyday to put it back on your live-music radar like I have.

The Beat

Speaking of Norse Korea, I just got hip to hot-fuzzing local garage two-piece the Welzeins early this year at NK’s aforementioned mini-fest. So don’t it just figure that my next revelation regarding them is that they’re playing their “final show” (March 27, Will’s Pub)? But that very conclusive billing should’ve been asterisked because it’s really only the swan song for the original lineup. Still, one member departing a duo is pretty significant. But according to a statement on the band’s Facebook profile, the project will continue because they feel there’s still untapped potential. I agree. So the band plans to return after a productive hiatus that promises the completion of their debut album – a record I’m anxious to hear.

Zhark Attack! Photos from the Welzeins at Will’s Pub

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