On June 1, poetically coincident with the beginning of school vacations, when tens of thousands of Oregonians under the age of 21 will be looking for worthwhile ways to spend their time and extra summer-job cash, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission will put into effect the recently ratified, long-needed changes to its minor postings rules. These changes will make all-ages music more viable in our state by allowing certain music venues to admit minors to shows where alcohol is served, provided that they have a commission-approved control plan in place to prevent the two from mixing. Help make sure that Portland teens get in some decent show-going this summer by encouraging the owners and bookers of your favorite clubs to apply for the new all-ages-friendly OLCC Minor VI posting. The ball's in their court now!
Among the several venues that have expressed an interest in obtaining a Minor VI posting is North Portland chamber-folk bastion Mississippi Studios. However, youngsters and adults alike will have to pass the impending heat of summer nights elsewhere, as Mississippi Studies will begin a major rebuilding project on June 16 that will shut the club down until it reopens in October. Owner Jim Brunberg explained that the intimate space will be tastefully expanding, doubling in capacity to 200, "to avoid the clusterfuck of several bands loading in and soundchecking without anywhere to put their stuff; to become more handicap accessible; to increase seating/standing flexibility and capacity; and to be able to move our entrance back on to our own property so people don't have to go through the neighbor's restaurant." When the space reopens, it will bear a new rooster-centric logo designed by none other than local key-tickling, Southern noir balladeer, and Mississippi Studios mainstay, Nick Jaina.
As promising as the Minor VI posting is for Portland's underage music fans, it is not a cure-all, as it will not be applicable in all spaces, and our town could certainly benefit from a variety of approaches to integrating young people into the music community. To that end, a collective of local music fans and musicians—many of them rooted in the punk house show circuit of North and Northeast Portland—has come together in recent months to form StumpClub, an organization dedicated to establishing an inclusive, centrally located, non-profit, all-ages music venue and independent culture community center.
In an act of musical youth outreach that proudly defies the invisible hipster border of the West Hills, StumpClub is putting on an awareness-and-fund-raising concert at Beaverton School District's Westview High School (4200 NW 185th) at 7 pm on Tuesday, June 3, featuring the star-studded and quality-bedecked lineup of YACHT, Reporter, and—most notably—All Girl Summer Fun Band, who will be playing their first live set since 2005, when the band took some time off to restructure and to allow their drummer, Kathy, to spend some time on the road with her little side project, the Thermals. The show costs $5 and is, of course, all ages. More information on StumpClub can be found at stumpclub.org.