Let’s talk about the Fauxbalt, the New Cobalt, 917 Main or as some people still call it, the Cobalt. The plethora of names that have sprung up for the place since it’s reopened speaks to the controversy that surrounds it. In an article posted on the reopening of the space by Patryk Drozd and Ezra Kish on the Georgia Straight’s website, a flame war erupted. Adrian Mack (who had written the article) was called a liar, Wendy13 waded in decrying the fact that it all boiled down to money and commenters rushed in on both sides of the issue.
Let’s get this straight, the Cobalt will be sorely missed. It was a wonderful venue that provided a home to everything loud, angry and noisy in Vancouver’s music scene. All that doesn’t really change the fact that Wendy13’s landlords either wanted to make more money or just didn’t like the way the bar was run and chose to evict her. This is shitty, but technically legal. Just because that happened though does not mean that the metal scene in Vancouver is dead or that there won’t be any more noise music (Fake Jazz has already found a new home at Lick). The d.i.y. punk scene will continue in Vancouver as it always has, but is it fair to take this out on the new proprietors who seem to just want to run a bar and have bands play? That question was rhetorical, it’s not fair to them, they should be given as much chance to run a venue in Vancouver as anyone else. Anyways we can’t really afford to turn our backs on a venue that seems to really want to help support the Vancouver music scene.
The debate may move past everyone in it as some Vancouver artists and promoters are just going to be booking shows there anyways. Local dub-punks Sorcerers will be playing there on April 8 and Tristan Orchard from No More Strangers has gotten a show together for Humans’ music video release party on April 3rd. What it’s probably going to come down to is that bands need the space and it’s still there and available. We don’t have to forget about the Cobalt and what it stood for, but let’s not let a grudge get in the way of supporting our music scene.
In other venews, check out Zoo Zhop:
Billed as a record store, a vintage clothing store, a second-hand store and a d.i.y. supporting space, the Zoo Zhop has recently opened it doors to the local community. Formerly a medical clinic, the location at 223 Main now does triple duty as a home for several Vancouver artniks, a retail store chock full of esoteric records and paraphernalia and a host for local and experimental music events. Past performers include the Apollo Ghosts, Haunted Beard and the Nihilist Party, and the store stays open during shows, so you can browse through old Devo albums while grooving to the sounds of Shipyards or Role Mach. For more info, check out the fan page on Facebook, or drop by the storefront during business hours.