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Yellow Canary Dance Hall To Take Over Warehouse Venue Sound Kontrol

Steinbrink is opening a venue, not pizza store.
Steinbrink is opening a venue, not pizza store.
With the folks over at Cityslaang and YOBS closing doors, musician Stephen Steinbrink (French Quarter) and James Fella, of Gilgongo Records, have stepped up to the plate with Yellow Canary Dance Hall, scheduled to take over warehouse venue Sound Kontrol in South Phoenix, one of City Slaang's prime spots.

"We're still currently figuring out exactly what we have planned for the Dance Hall," says Steinbrink.

"I don't think its ever been a dream of James' or mine to start a venue, but when YOBS will be closing this summer and Jes Barnett (former instigator of Cityslaang, Sound Kontrol, Pigeon Religion) throwing in the towel as far as booking shows, we saw a need in our small community and decided to fill it."

"I still feel like we have a really unique and experienced attitude for running the space," says Steinbrink."With James as an owner of a semi-successful underground label and myself as a touring musician, I feel like we have a vastly different perspectives and set of ideals than other show bookers in town, who I believe to be greedy, self-obsessed, soulless pigs, with the exception of a few."

Asked what he meant specifically by "soulless pigs," Steinbrink responded, "I think the soulless pigs comment was a reation to an argument I got in with a local booker last night. I don't think they are bad people, just unethical and misguided."

Steinbrink plans for the the new space to be centered around providing bands the best support possible.

"I think everyone who books shows on any level has to concede to the fact that money is a huge priority when there are people touring to your town to perform. Bands have to get paid," Steinbrink says.

"It's what we can do to subvert this horrible pattern in our society of 'the man' or 'whoever' not rewarding artists for what they do best, which is make art. But still, I feel like it is so easy to start booking shows, begin to make money off of it, and lose sight of the original reason people tour and perform in general, and that is to share ideas and spread regional culture. What about having fun? What about the catharsis of a performance and sharing ideas? Should that not take precedence over how much a promoter sticks in his pocket after the concert? I still think that paying a touring band a fair and deserved sum of money is hugely and equally important, but there is a way to achieve that end ethically."

"I really want to emphasize that the way my friends and I book shows is not 'the best way' or 'the only way,'" Steinbrink says. "House shows and punk shows are just a small drop in a big pool. There is no 'right' way. There are assholes who book in big theaters and there are assholes who book house shows. There are assholes everywhere. Seeing bands in basements and houses and warehouses across the country is the way I prefer to see and hear music, when it's fresh and inexperienced. It feels more pure that way. I don't like seeing a band play behind a Bud Light banner, but that's just me."

Steinbrink plans on taking the house show model exhibited at YOBS and applying it to the warehouse venue.

"While booking at YOBS, we've always paid bands on the higher echelon of what 'punk shows' are capable of, and we can do that in a successful and sustainable way, while having a heart and having fun. 100% of the money went to bands after costs like PA repairs, flyers, etc. Why do this? Because it keeps a clear perspective. Money is a great legitimizer, but can also give you dangerous dose of ego boost, and that is always dangerous. Humility is so important when facilitating punk shows.

"What we have planned so far is to have a home for the experimental punk and noise bands that have been a staple at YOBS for the last four years, and to also provide an environment for people to be exposed to interdisciplinary art, dance, video, performance, etc. in the context of a punk show. Yellow Canary Dance Hall will be a community center, movie theater, punk basement, print shop, art gallery, lecture hall, and a place to play board games at three in the morning."

Here's one of Steinbrink's tunes, "Deny Your Creator," from his Yellow Canary Jumpsuit cassette, released last year.

Stephen Steinbrink - Deny Your Creator by lehorrorrecords

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