August 20th, 2003 12:00 am WW MUSIC STAFF | Music Stories


Another friendly reminder that the economy is in the shitbag: The Blackbird will be closing its doors later this month for financial reasons. The Northeast venue lost its lease after failing to pay rent. Why don't they have any money to pay the rent? Because no one's going to shows.

"The first year was pretty successful," says Chantelle Hylton, who books the 2-year-old club. "Then it just fell off. Maybe Portland got tired of going to the same place."

Plans were in the works to transfer ownership from current owner Patrick Kenneally to Hylton and three other employees. But before they could take over the business and give it a transfusion of new blood, the landlord pulled the trigger.

In the meantime, Hylton is busy finding new venues for the four months of shows she currently has booked at the Blackbird. The final day of business could be as early as Aug. 20, but Kenneally hopes to keep the doors open until the end of the month.


That guy living in the glass cube at the Modern Zoo is going to get mighty frustrated when he sees all the other humans running amok this weekend at the industrial-strength gallery. Why runneth the humans so, you ask? Well, the Zoo is set to host the weekend's top multi-act music happening, the Tropix Festival.

It's the second year for the annual local-heavy fest, and, my, has it grown. What was a mere daylong celebration at Disjecta last August has evolved into what will surely be a heaving and throbbing three-day musical lovefest.

Two out-of-towners, Anna Oxygen (Seattle) and Snowsuit (San Francisco), will be featured during Friday's kickoff Heatwave Party at Million. Then things get wild as the party moves over to the Zoo, which, Squeaky says, will be outfitted with a beer garden for drinkers and a lounge for relaxing. Festivities commence at 6 pm Saturday with a lineup including Headphone, The Planet The, Alarmist and Friends Forever (Denver). On Sunday at noon, Josh Plague, vegan cooking authority and Behead the Prophet lead man, will be cooking up a Brazilian vegan feast to give everyone enough energy to keep it goin' for a Sunday-night lineup that includes Desert-Animal Yellow Swans and Glass Candy. And just to keep the theme goin', tropics-appropriate decorations will be provided.

"There will probably be some monkeys, camouflage-colored balloons, huge Warhol-esque Xeroxed copies of tigers," says fest co-curator James Squeaky. "It's going to be wild."

Admission is $5 each day, and keep your radar up for word of after-parties. Need more info? Let Tom Selleck be your guide at

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