Riot Factory, July 14 

The End of an Era

If you were ever fortunate enough to attend a show at the Riot Factory, I hope you experienced something special, heartwarming and completely transcendental. Maybe live performances from out-of-town acts like the hip-hop noise wizards Princess and the eclectic Zen-folk band Akron Family inspired you to embark on a spiritual quest, or maybe you searched deep within your soul in an attempt to find your place in this universe when local artists Kris Doty, Nooks and Crannies and Discoma poured their hearts onto the floor just inches from you. If this is the case then I applaud you, but at the same time feel obligated to share a bit of sad news.

The Riot Factory we've all grown to love and admire had to close its doors last Thursday. The Man (whom we've all grown to despise) bought them out of house and home, but instead of sulking away dejected and beaten, they celebrated triumphantly with an all-night music fest. Joshua began the party by playing his soulful Dylan-esque set in the hot, sweaty basement, where the crowd was forced to decide whether they wanted to rock and roll or die of heat stroke. Luckily, they all chose the former, but by the time the touring musicians Drew Danburry and Aubrey Debauchery took the stage, it was necessary to relocate. Danburry rocked the backyard in the cool of the night, Debauchery strummed in the intimacy of the living room, and a surprise appearance from Portland rocker The Wanteds took the entire crowd outside again. It became even more like a game of "musical house" as the crowd was led back into the basement to finish the night off with a hot sweaty Discoma dance party. It was a full evening of beautifully sincere, intelligent music, dedicated to the memory of a grand venue. The last hurrah, if you will.

Although The Riot Factory has passed away like the Phoenix and collapsed into a pillar of ashes, another ambitious group of hipsters has followed in its wake, sprinkled cinnamon and clove in its remains and brought forth a resurrected house venue. It's called ELK.

For more information on ELK, see Music News this week.
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