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The 2005 venue volley

click to enlarge Ding dong, the Hogans dead. - SEAN CAYTON

Springs music lovers long have wailed about the unsupportive scene and dearth of decent music venues. So when music outposts are opening and closing faster than a Ramones song, what's a scenester to do?

Figuring out what's going on can be a full-time investigatory position. With so many venue changes, most news arrives via word of mouth, Leechpit (leechpit.com) message boards or through a number of esoteric blogs. Trying to catch a local show is like hitching a ride on the Underground Railroad of Cool.

As of Thursday, June 16, the Navajo Hogan (2817 N. Nevada Ave.) was closed. Already enmeshed in a hullabaloo of brawls and injured bands, it was seized by the IRS for owing more than $12,500 in back taxes.

The abrupt closing left Soda Jerk Presents promoter and co-owner Marc Peralta in a bind. Murky nightclub Darkside (2106 E. Platte Ave.) adopted the Soda Jerk shows, but experienced its own drama when owner Dean Dunston had to battle an eviction notice almost the same day the Hogan folded.

Take a deep breath: Darkside is not closing.

Within days, the Hogan's operational status began to change. By Monday, word was that the venue -- like Lazarus rising -- would be up again in time to host visiting rockers Kane Hodder for that evening's show.

Alas, there would be no rocking at the house of Hogan.

According to Peralta, Hogan co-owner Robert Patterson told him Monday morning that all was a go. That evening, however, the doors still were locked, and the show moved to a house party, which later was broken up.

Wednesday suddenly was deemed the Hogan's day of reopening, but that, too, came and went. Meanwhile, Peralta was busy tracking down co-owner and manager Ken Patterson to see if the Hogan would open in time to hold shows later that week.

"I was told, 'I'm leaning on the side of 'No,'" says Peralta.

Scurrying now, he moved a Friday show featuring Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers and leer43 to Darkside. A Saturday show of local acts was cancelled.

On Monday, June 27, the Hogan officially went down. Peralta, initially prepared to mourn the loss of the thousands of dollars in sound equipment he had stored within the IRS-seized Hogan, was relieved to discover he could repo thanks to the property owners.

A little bit of panic, says Peralta, is par for the course.

"It sucks, but it's the business that I'm in," he sighs.

Birds of a feather: The Space Formerly Known as 32 Bleu/ Tejon St. Bistro/Red River Saloon (32 S. Tejon St.) officially is reopening as the Thirsty Parrot.

Under new ownership and garbed in plenty of Caribbean feel-good decor (including an array of murals with tipsy macaws wearing hats), the Parrot will open informally July 18, with a big ol' fancy bash July 23. Co-owner Justin Myers says the main-level restaurant will offer Caribbean cuisine like mahi-mahi and jerk chicken, as well as themed American grub.

Upstairs will be a sports bar, with the stage open for live music on weekends. But don't look to the Parrot to fill the long-standing void left by 32 Bleu and deepened by a downed Hogan -- they'll host mostly local-bar regulars like The Martini Shot and Phat Daddies.

Still, with Rum Bay and Tequila's filling the South-of-the-Border-themed niche to the bass-thumpin', bootylicious brim, we hope more than a slight thematic variation will distinguish the new downtown joint.

-- Kara Luger

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