Favorite new venue becomes favorite old venue

Sound off
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  September 19, 2007
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.

Related: Who's going to win?, A Peapod grows in Portland, Love among the ruins, More more >
  Topics: This Just In , Entertainment, Music, Chris Gray,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   TEN YEARS, A WAVE  |  September 26, 2014
    As the festival has evolved, examples of Fowlie’s preferred breed of film—once a small niche of the documentary universe—have become a lot more common, a lot more variegated, and a lot more accomplished.
  •   GIRLS (AND BOYS) ON FILM  |  July 11, 2014
    The Maine International Film Festival, now in its 17th year in Waterville, remains one of the region’s more ambitious cultural institutions, less bound by a singular ambition than a desire to convey the breadth and depth of cinema’s past and present. (This, and a healthy dose of music and human-interest documentaries.) On that account, MIFF ’14 is an impressive achievement, offering area filmgoers its best program in years. With so much to survey, let’s make haste with the recommendations. (Particularly emphatic suggestions are marked in bold print.)  
  •   AMERICAN VALUES  |  June 11, 2014
    The Immigrant  seamlessly folds elements of New York history and the American promise into a story about the varieties of captivity and loyalty.
  •   CHARACTER IS POLITICAL  |  April 10, 2014
    Kelly Reichardt, one of the most admired and resourceful voices in American independent cinema, appears at the Portland Museum of Art Friday night to participate in a weekend-long retrospective of her three most recent films.
  •   LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX  |  April 09, 2014
    Throughout its two volumes and four hours of explicit sexuality, masochism, philosophical debate, and self-analysis, Nymphomaniac remains the steadfast vision of a director talking to himself, and assuming you’ll be interested enough in him to listen and pay close attention.

 See all articles by: CHRISTOPHER GRAY