IT'S CURTAINS: For the Soundpost.
The Soundpost, the 108 High Street venue that has brought a wide array of homegrown and visiting folk and alternative acts to Portland most Sundays in 2007, hosts its final show on September 23 (see details in "Editor's picks"). Matt Rock and Kate Cox began opening their studio space (fondly remembered by many from its previous incarnation as the old Stillhouse Studio Theatre) to public performances at the end of last year. Their scantly advertised gigs quickly amassed a loyal and sizable following, thanks to the venue’s remarkably consistent acts and inimitably cozy atmosphere.
Like too many good things in Portland these days, The Soundpost’s end comes thanks to a "for sale" sign (luxury condos, presumably, coming soon!). Kate and Matt depart for at least a half-year in Germany in the coming weeks, and while their space’s closure leaves a formidable gap in gigging possibilities for many of our best musicians (it’s a ripe time to call on Local 188, One Longfellow Square, and a few other spots to pick up the slack), we’d rather use this space to remember the good times ... until Soundpost withdrawal starts next week, and every Sunday in “8 Days” to follow becomes a gaping hole.
I asked Kate, Matt, and some of The Soundpost’s BFFs to write me with their thoughts on the venue’s end. In pure writing-to-your-best-friend-in-their-high-school-yearbook style, they took up a lot of space. Here are some snippets of their thoughts, which will be posted in their entirety on the Phoenix’s “About Town” blog. Fare thee well, Soundpost: you were the best church I ever had.
Matt Rock Proprietor, door man, accordionist
Our recipe for booking shows has been really simple: to bring in musicians that we love. If there are only five people in the audience and the performers really connect with them, every musician I know would take that over free beer and half the door at a noisy bar. We try to curate a space where the evening is ultimately about the connecting with music. That makes the musicians play better, and the audience happier, and the energy in the room builds from there.
Chriss Sutherland, frequent performer (Solo, Fire On Fire), visitor
I don’t know; I have a veritable shitload of great memories associated with that space and I think it will be a tall order for anyone to fill the shoes first worn by [Stillhouse operators] Tim [Harbeson] and Buffy [Miller] and then Kate and Matt. Anyway ... blah, blah, blah.
Jon Courtney, Space founder, frequent visitor, got engaged at Soundpost
As the only person (as far as I’m aware) to publicly ask for someone’s hand in marriage onstage at The Soundpost, I feel like I have a slightly different connection to the Soundpost than most people. ... Thankfully, Kate and Matt stepped up to pick up the threads and, while keeping in the same spirit as The Stillhouse, to fashion them into something decidedly reflective of their own personalities and senses of wonder. ... The love, care, and toil they put into each event at The Soundpost was evident and not lost on their audiences.