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Hotel

The first week that I arrived in Portland, a handful of friends ushered me downtown for what promised to be my first proper social engagement as an Oregonian--a voyage of exploration that found me traversing three flights of stairs of a building that looked invariably vacant, into a crowded hallway where I passed virtually everyone I had ever known in the city. And of all the innumerable good times I've spent in this city since, nothing has ever quite compared to the sheer potential that lingered in the stagnant air that night at Hotel.

Three stories over Burnside, nestled inconspicuously atop the Cabaret, the narrow, door-lined hallway of Hotel is a collective art space primarily operated by brothers Billy and Charlie Holloway. Originally constructed in the 1920s as a lodging facility for railroad passengers, the upper two floors of the building were virtually abandoned when the city decommissioned steam (which served to heat the building) in the 1940s--eventually gaining a reputation as a shelter for squatters and transients. After decades of disuse, in 2003 the Holloways were offered free practice space in the building in exchange for the structure's complete renovation. Privately opening its doors some two years ago, Hotel has since operated as a community workspace for artists and musicians, as well as an occasional experimental music venue.

"We had our first show here on Halloween of 2003 with six bands that were affiliated with Hotel," explains Charlie Holloway via email. "Shows serve the purpose of bringing more people into a space that is built on the concept of productive and positive interaction between artists and musicians."

Though shows at Hotel are irregular at best, the space seems ripe with potential, especially considering the city's rocky venue climate at present. "In a lot of ways the shows we have here are related to the preoccupation with transience that we experienced initially with the building," Holloway continues, "There is a euphoric and satisfying understanding that everybody is together during shows here and when the show is over the experience passes. The idea that people can be affected by a brief experience is invigorating."

Ifihadahifi, Yuma Nora, Dead Bird and Mecon perform on Tuesday, May 10th at Hotel, 503 W Burnside, third floor

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