“There's no other store like this,” writes Jose Medeles, and judging from early reports on his Revival Drum Shop, it's hard to argue with him.
The Northeast Portland shop, brainchild of Medeles (who plays the drums for the Breeders) and fellow rhythm junkie Scott McPherson (who tours with She & Him and Beck, as well as having played extensively with the late Elliott Smith), is the site of some ambitious plans for a place that, ostensibly, exists to stock and sell percussion implements.
“I've always wanted to have a drum shop,” writes Medeles. “So once my touring for the year ended, I felt I had the time to dedicate to the dream.”
Medeles' dream has come to involve plans for a space that will function alternately as an art gallery, learning center and concert hall in addition to being a repository of vintage and international drums. From the beginning, Medeles and McPherson have regarded their venture as more of an exercise in community building than a retail exploit, and that spirit has made for a distinct business model that defies straightforward definition.
“The idea of Revival came from the local need for a retreat where drummers of all walks of life could go to, hit some great old drums, cymbals and hang out,” Medeles says.
Revival's journey towards becoming a community focal point is already underway as it preps its Saturday opening party to include DJ spots by Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi), Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse), Scott Demay (Mike Coykendall Band) and Karen Antunes (Mississippi Records), in addition to an exhibition of drum-based art from musicians just as notable (Johnny Marr? The Deals? The Flaming Lips!?).
Whether the teaching, performing or retail aspects of Revival Drum Shop wind up taking off, it will be hard to argue with Medeles' assertion that there's no one else in town approaching percussion, and the community around it, with this degree of intensity and dedication.
Revival Drum Shop opening party is Saturday, Jan. 31. 1465 NE Prescott, Free, All ages.
Photo: Jose Medeles on tour with Donovan Frankenreiter. Stolen from his MySpace page.