It has been 15 months since Santa Ana city officials forced Koo's Art Café, the much-loved, much-missed all-ages space for indie art and music, out of its home, a ramshackle former Chinese restaurant on Main Street, where it had been since its 1994 start-up. But Koo's finally looks ready to make its resurrection, though it won't be in OC. Instead, Koo's will make its new home in a 4,000-square-foot room in the East Village Arts District of downtown Long Beach, at 540 Broadway. Before making its grand reopening, though, Koo's founder Dennis Lluy said he and his all-volunteer army will first need to raise some cash—about $25,000. There are lighting and sound systems to buy, and insurance costs are always massive (especially after February's deadly Rhode Island nightclub fire). Still, a series of benefit shows—set to happen at several Long Beach clubs such as Que Sera, Alex's Bar and DiPiazza—should help, and Lluy estimates that the first shows in the new Koo's should be happening by mid-June. "We have an amazing space," Lluy says. "This is going to be like the old Koo's times 10. We'll still be all ages, of course, and we'll maintain the same humble environment we always had." Among the pluses for the new locale: more room to move, neatly avoiding that sardine-can feeling patrons of the old Koo's often had to endure; air conditioning; rent payments similar to what Lluy was paying in Santa Ana; and more film and art offerings—Lluy plans to use the front of the room as gallery space for art shows. For updates, check the Koo's website (www.koos.org) often.
Photo by Eric Mayfield GOOD RIDDANCE, SHACK! Divey Anaheim club the Shack, which in recent years has been the staging ground for a number of shows by Nazi-loving skinhead/white supremacist bands, has been sold to a group who plan to turn the building into a Mexican diner—how's that for irony? The new as-yet-unnamed venue will not feature bands of any kind, says former Shack DJ Poundin' Pat. According to Pat, who also logged on-air time at the old metal radio station KNAC, "As the DJ for four years there, I saw lots of '80s over-the-hill hair bands, white-power bullshit rallies, police raids and fights to make a 10-part miniseries. The sound system sucked, the DJ booth was from the '70s, and I had to hold buttons down just to keep a CD player working." As for us, we'll always fondly recall the plate of nachos we ordered on our last visit, passed to us beneath a heat lamp caked with what looked like a 12-year growth of grease, dirt and assorted fuzzy stuff. And how's this for divine vengeance? Just a week after the sale, one of the former co-owners largely responsible for opening the club to the Nazis croaked of a heart attack. Here's our eulogy: don't rest in peace. BRANDED The Glen Helen Pavilion? That huge-ass amphitheater near San Berdoo, next to where they have the Renaissance Faire every year? Well, the Extremely Massive Corporate Parent That Operates It Whose Name Rhymes With "Beer Flannel" and Owns 1,200 Radio Stations and Soon Your Unborn Children would like you to know they have just changed the concert venue's name. It will no longer be known as the Glen Helen Pavilion That's Named After an Obscenely Gargantuan Chain of Video Rental Stores So Depressingly Ugly and Uniform You Feel You've Joined the Third Reich Every Time You Walk Through the Front Door Whose Name Rhymes With "Cockduster." Instead, it will henceforth be known as the Let's Force You to Stare at Advertising Banners for the Korean Motor Co. We're Re-Naming the Joint After Because They Gave Us a Shitpile of Money So Please Buy a Car From Them After You Get Home From Ozzfest Pavilion at Glen Helen. It'll still take you three hours to get out of the parking lot after a show, though, which is why we prefer our concerts in Irvine at the Disgustingly Mega Wireless Telephone Co. Amphitheater That Once Had "Meadows" In Its Name.