Music News

Yellow Canary Dance Hall Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Way back in April, we spoke with cartoonist/musician Stephen Steinbrink about his plans for Yellow Canary Dance Hall, which he described then as "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."

The space started putting on shows in July (no word on the 3 a.m. Risk parties, though), and has hosted acts like Pitchfork-approved Danish punk band Iceage and garage rockers The Cosmonauts, in addition to local noisemakers.

Steinbrink and his Dance Hall partner James Fella recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $1,500 to set up that print shop, as well as purchase a video projector for those movie nights, and other supplies, like sound system equipment, paint, and lighting.

"All ages shows are essential to any healthy music scene. Live music can be such a powerful experience that it actually changes people. To be involved at an early age with a thriving music community opens up an amazing opportunity to connect with other like minded people and become a part of a broader community," writes Kimber Lanning of Stinkweeds, Local First Arizona, and Modified Arts on the Kickstarter page.

Lanning isn't just pledging support via words, either. Pledges of $50 dollars or more put you in the running for a $50 gift card to Stinkweeds. Other "gets" include free admission to Yellow Canary shows, Gilgongo releases, exclusive show poster prints, specially designed shows, and a change to catch tUnE-YarDs at the soon-to-open Crescent Ballroom.

It may seem a little strange to win a ticket to see a show someplace other than the venue you're donating to, but the move makes sense. tUnE-YarDs are precisely the kind of act that got started in venues like Yellow Canary before moving to mid-sized venues like Crescent.

"It's also a way to draw a line between our love for music and the assumption that you have to be drunk or high to enjoy it or to endure the social environment. Let's give bands a chance to play not just to "the bar crowd" but for people who are genuinely coming out just to see them. Let's try to connect on a different level and see what other exciting projects we can start together to change the face of our city," writes YOBS founder Allison Karow on the Kickstarter page.

Don't me wrong-- I love having a beer and watching a band -- but the all ages-arts scene is birthing some of the most creative music coming out of Phoenix right now, groups like Vegetable, Good Amount, not to mention Steinbrink's own French Quarter, and the whole gaggle of records Fella issues under the Gilgongo banner.

There are plenty of great places to drink and enjoy music around town, but something like Yellow Canary Dance Hall -- positioned somewhere between a house show, art space, and full-time venue, is a unique thing to have.

I know you don't pledge money on Kickstarter solely the rewards offered -- kind of goes against the whole spirit of the thing -- but I do wish that a pledge of $50 or more came with a promise that someone would talk to tUnE-YarDs about knocking off that goofy "TyPe iT tHIs waY" crap with their name. And collaborating more with The Roots crew.

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