Pehrspace, in case you don’t know, is one of Los Angeles’ most beloved underground art and performance collectives. It’s where we hosted literal hundreds of underground concerts from 2007-2016.
In 2016 the venue was kicked out of the strip mall space on Glendale Boulevard as gentrification raged.
Pehrspace, like just about every other concert venue, had struggled during the pandemic. Finding a perfect new location that stays true to the venue’s do-it-yourself roots while also providing a much-needed facilities upgrade for artists and attendees alike was a challenging balance to strike.
I’m overjoyed to announce that, at long last, the Pehr collective—led by Pauline Lay, among many hard-working folks too numerous to name—has found a new home. A location that is such an incredible step up in every way, it will blow your mind!
This past weekend I got a tour of the new Pehrspace (thanks, Pauline). I wanted to share my photos with you and tell you just how excited I am for the new location—I’m super duper extra excited!
Pehrspace now inhabits 2220 Arts + Archives—along with a half dozen other non-profit performing arts orgs—very close to Pehr’s original Historic Filipinotown location: 2220 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, California 90057.
If that address sounds familiar that’s because it’s the former location of the Bootleg Theater. But if you think you know the space, think again.
2220 Arts + Archive’s new proprietors own the building. So, no more unsympathetic landlords to deal with. Hurrah! About-fucking-time.
The 2220 principals have also made huge improvements to the space since Bootleg moved out.
There’s an archives space, a small screening den, offices for the resident programmers, a giant hangar / multi-purpose space, a bar / lounge with a traditional band stage set up that will make Pehr people feel at home, a theater, a fairly voluminous patio area—plus artist-only areas like a basement green room and more. See the photos below.
If you are like me and you haven’t experienced a show at 2220, this weekend is a great time to check things out. 2220 and Pehrspace are following Covid protocols: vax card or negative rapid test required, reduced capacity, masks of course—more Covid details here.
The weekend kicks off with Cupid & Psyche this Friday, February 4.
In Cupid & Psyche, the duo re-team up to do what they do best, now refined to a higher degree after many years of collaboration. Michael sings and both he and Juan write the songs.
From the smartphone vids I’ve seen, the tunes are simply majestic—exquisite modern pop with a lick of darkness, a kiss of drum machine electronica and perhaps even a little bit of melancholic nostalgia (for an era that never existed?)… I’m excited to get a fuller earful of Cupid & Psyche’s sonics on Friday.
(I asked Juan if they named themselves after Cupid & Psyche 85—the first cassette I ever purchased, also exquisite pop—by my lifelong faves Scritti Politti? Juan demurred, saying, “I don’t know that album but Michael does. We wanted something that sounded ‘classical.'” I dig it.)
Also appearing are Sam Mickens New Showband and Itasca. The show starts 8pm. Entry is $12, and the bands play in the bar area. (Note that there won’t be actual booze for sale, but there may be beverages. Pehrspace is no longer BYOB.)
More Monday Night / DIY scene superstars from Old Pehr are also playing on Saturday, Feb 5th.
Jessica Pavone and Amy Cimini experimental violists with lyrical flair. They are joined by improvisers (and Monday Night alumni) Corey Fogel (who’s having a busy weekend after playing with Sam Mickens the night before) and Ezra Buchla (“you can never have enough viola in one night!!!” says the listing)—plus Mattie Barbier on trombone and Judith Berkson on keyboards—for a night of composition and improvisation in the theater space. That show start 9pm and is $12. Presented by The Unwrinkled Ear & Black Editions.
Finally—and it kills me that I’ll be in the desert and unable to attend—my idol, the late Ann Arbor, Michigan-based composer Robert Ashley’s “TV opera” Perfect Lives will be screening on Friday, February 11 at 8pm. It’s three hours long (it’s an opera, what do you expect—get ya’self some culture!) and is bound to enrapture and mystify your ears in equal proportion. Presented by Cathode Cinema.
I’ve performed Ashley’s earlier, punk-er piece The Wolfman at The Smell and at The Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland, Ohio. The man was way ahead of his time, predicting both noise music as an artform and hip hop (Ashley said way back in the 1960s that the ultimate modern music would be a steady beat with talking over it, which is something he explores in Private Lives).
Special thanks to Pauline Lay—along with the other diehard Pehrspace collective members—for the tour and the incredible effort making Pehr a reality again in L.A.!
Extra special thanks to 2220 Arts + Archives for providing the wonderfully relaxed and beautifully appointed space to do our thing. The programming looks spectacularly good—learn more here.
Here are my photos—enjoy!
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