Are you a local musician and want to share your talent, but are unsure where to play or how to get that first gig?
With respect to such quandaries, I want to give readers a feel for the musical landscape of Corvallis. While not a conclusive word on places to perform, I hope the following will be helpful to readers.
Mike Ewing and Mandi DeWolfe of Summer Soundtrack found the relaxed atmospheres of places such as Fireworks Restaurant to be most enjoyable for smaller acoustic acts, especially because being a two-piece, they had no need for extra space. Also, the audience is allowed to choose between actively listening to the band in a performance area or just enjoying great food in the other room, which allows for a more relaxed atmosphere.
Bombs Away is suggested to be a favorite of many local bands, with the staff treating musicians in a very professional manner. As Benjamin of ’89 Dynasty states, “The atmosphere at Bombs really promotes a level of kinship between the musicians and the crowd that few other venues can.” Darles Charwin also concurs, “Bombs was the best. They have monitors that make sense.”
Along these lines, Cloud and Kelly’s and the Whiteside Theatre offer a similar professionalism and environment suited to full bands. As Mike of Summer Soundtrack states, “Anytime Whiteside throws an event, you get people who just zone out, have a cup of nostalgia and thoroughly enjoy themselves. I love the historical feel to that venue and wish they were able to throw more events.”
Harrison Bar & Grill also gets love. As Harrison White, appropriately enough, also known as Dr. Darles Charwin, KBVR DJ and Music Director, states, “That bar is my sort of home away from home in general. I know everyone there and it is a real sort of Cheers like family.” HBG has offered Harrison and the bands he’s played in, the Arcadians, Exiles Among You, Dandelion Club, Hallucinogenic Toreador, and PBR Society, the best pay that he has ever gotten and he suggest a familial element is what attracts him to play there again and again. (Check out The Beat Surrender 9pm on Fridays and The Saturday Morning Hanover Cartoon 10-Noon on Saturdays on 88.7 FM KBVR Corvallis.)
Also, Ben suggests the comparatively diminutive Interzone is “a fantastic venue, largely for its low key tendencies that still totally support bands that wanna rock out. Interzone is pretty much DIY city, all in one little coffee shop.”
While enjoying everywhere he plays, former Sub Zero Riots coordinator, Chance Jackson, has a preference for house parties and music festivals. To artists interested in performing at such events, Chance suggests, “Find the festival you want to play and message the admin of the facebook page and ask who to contact for booking. Facebook is big and its pretty rare to find people who don’t have one.” Chance’s band Tuesday Nights will be headlining the annual Battle of the Bands on the 31st, so come check it at the MU on campus. Also, on June 15th, Tuesday Nights is performing with Down North, a funk group, at Cloud & Kelly’s for the 21 and up crowd.
By Joel Southall