June 4th, 2003 12:00 am WWeek Music Staff | Music Stories

Owners from left to right: Charles Hodge, Jarkko Cain and Scott McLean.

Here's the plan: Find an old auto-parts biz; rip it apart with the help of, say, dozens of friends; rehab the shell into a multiroom, 5,000-square-foot bar/restaurant/nightclub; name the thing after the modern geologic epoch. Meet Holocene, a club launched this week by three friends on a mission, in one's words, "to do something outrageous."

Holocene plans ambitious music (weighted toward progressive electronica), better-than-bar-food bistro-style cuisine, performance art, theater and a casually swank bar scene. What is this, 1999? Warms the heart to see young people--the principals clock in between 27 and 32 years old--rolling dice this big in a Bushized economy.

"We were convinced now was a good time to do something like this here," says Jarkko Cain. "There are a lot of creative people in Portland starting to get serious, taking what they're doing up to another level."

Cain, Scott McLean and Charlie Hodge all rode San Francisco's late-'90s boom/bust merry-go-round, watching much of what they loved about the Bay go buh-bye. "There was so much diversity there, and so many colorful people," says Hodge. "Then everyone started getting evicted. I think there were 17 dance studios in the Mission when I moved there and three when I left."

The three now live in a Southeast house Cain grew up in, and they've been rebuilding the Holocene space since October. This weekend, the doors open with shows by L.A.'s RD, DJ Brokenwindow and Maxim Basa on Saturday night and Euro "glitch-hop" and remix stars Funkstörung on Sunday. A fashion show by local indie design house Seaplane and an intriguing-sounding "artistic mini-golf" night are on the future docket.

Holocene is at 1001 SE Morrison St. Saturday night's opening show starts at 7 pm, with a $5 cover. Sunday's show (which also features Solenoid, Nudge and Deceptikon) starts at 8 pm, with an $8 cover. Both shows are 21 and over only.


While parade-loving masses dragged lawn chairs through downtown streets last weekend, a few hundred audio recording engineers from as far away as Germany--from four-track-in-the-bedroom types to seasoned pros like Ian MacKaye, Jack Endino and Steve Albini--spent the weekend talking shop at the Tape Op magazine conference blocks away at Portland Art Museum. Choosing and using quality recording gear was the focus of some of the weekend's panels, but the most inspiring moments (outside of the incendiary Black-Eyed Snakes show Friday night at Berbati's) featured legendary engineers and producers sharing tales from the studio, encouraging attendees to make music they're passionate about, on their own terms. Instead of waiting for a big label to give you piles of cash, get some relatively inexpensive recording gear, pick up a few tips from Tape Op and your fellow music geeks, and make your own damn record! (For information on the mag or next year's conference, check out www.tapeop.com.)

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