The time has come to start a discussion on when and where Cryptonight can rise from the ashes of the quirky and mostly wonderful Club Tropical. We had a nice run there, and it would be a shame to let any momentum that was built over the course of those three years disappear into the ether.
So, where might that venue be? We have yet to find that serendipitous combination of location, understanding, and vibe that we had at the most unlikely of places - a Salvadorian restaurant in Culver City.
First, the issue of location. We'd like to keep the series located on the west side of town for a few reasons. Cryptogramophone's HQ is located there, a lot of the musicians that are involved with the series live out this way, it's close to the airport for artists that are coming from out of town to play, and there's nothing like it going on in this part of town, at least to my knowlege. I realise that our audience base is small, but it seems like a city as large as Los Angeles should be able to support a few places to play new music. There are small theaters to consider, but the proposition of having to rent such a space would probably be cost-prohibitive. A lot of restaurants already have clientele that may or may not be receptive to what we're doing. Since running a restaurant is as tenuous as running a concert series, I can understand reluctance on an owner's part to turn over their place to someone else one night a week. Another suggestion has been to utilize different venues as they become available, but I'm afraid that the audience won't move with the show. Given all of that, maybe a non-traditional venue is the way to go. House concerts have risen in popularity in the last decade. Maybe we can find a patron of the arts that has a house large enough to facilitate something like this. It presents listeners an opportunity to hear music in an intimate and comfortable setting.
Then, there's the issue of understanding. Carlos (the proprietor of Club T) may not have liked every ensemble that passed through his doors, but he understood that we were serious about what we were doing, and gave us the opportunity to continue. By doing that, I think he was rewarded too, by our audience that came every Thursday to eat and drink, as well as listen.
Vibe is an important element in all of this, too. Club T was a nutty place - wild colors on the walls, a statue on the bandstand (I named her the Goddess of Liquid Refreshment), a crazy lighting rig, and a wooden dance floor that proved to be one of the key elements. It provided the foundation of the warm sound of the room. People spend thousands of dollars equipping their clubs for live music and don't come close to a sound like we had. This all proved attractive, both to musicians and patrons.
Plus, the wait staff were very friendly and respectful. That helps a lot.
We caught lightning in a jar at this place and kept it there for three years...who's to say we can't do it again. If anyone who reads this has any ideas or suggestions for a venue, PLEASE share them with us.