Artistery Stair sittin' and butt ticklin'.

IF YOU HAVEN'T been to the Artistery, I strongly advise you to hightail it to 4315 SE Division, stride in through the front door, and proclaim, "I'm here for FUN!" Artistery shows have the feeling of house shows, but without the cops being called at 10:30 pm or worrying about fucking somebody's mom's kitchen up. It's an intimate room with good sound, couches, chairs, a nice low stage—but best of all, the place is all about good booking choices. Tonight the Artistery turns five. This show is a perfect intro. Go figure it all out. The Artistery's Aaron Shepherd gives you a starting point...

MERCURY: For someone who's never been to an Artistery show, explain what you're doing these days.

AARON SHEPHERD: We have two buildings in the "compound." A residential house and a commercial space. This allows us to have live and work space available to people being intentionally creative, and folks supporting those people. The internal part of the Artistery is that we're a community of people, who love to create—[we're] trying to live our lives together. This requires support people who help keep the focus on the relationships—which, I believe, is the most important thing we have going. Where we meet the rest of the community is in hosting live music/visual art shows, film screenings, fundraising events, and workshops.

What's the Artistery's philosophy on booking shows?

We try to look at the process as hosting events. In doing so, we try to book things that we'd want to see or at least believe in on some level. It's been mostly music (because that's what I know the best), but we're really open to just about anything.

What can people expect from the birthday show?

Starting at 6 pm we're going to have a potluck-style feast with vegetarian and bloody meat-eater options. It's not required, but if you're into bringing something to share, please do. I like cookies, apple pie, and Cheez-Its. I'd like to barbeque too, but we'll see what the weather's like. We're having two separate shows that day. One will be starting at 6 pm with Bradley Hathaway headlining. This show will cost $5. I hope we can do this show in our newly reconstructed geo-dome outside. The other will start at 8 pm in the basement venue with Ants Under Elephants Feet. Peter Jenkins from Ants Under Elephants is the founder of the Artistery. We will also have two bands that are very important to us, Thanksgiving and the Watery Graves. This show will be free.

See more of this interview at portlandmercury.com/blogtown