Head-Roc’s Mouth: “We Gotta Do Better than This!”
[A conversation I had yesterday about the cancellation of yesterday's Cornel West Theory show at Bohemian Caverns. All me talking.]
“Really? The show is cancelled? Why?”
“They were shut down? Since Saturday?”
Well, why the fuck didn’t the venue tell The Cornel West Theory that before tonight??
…and there goes more fuel to the fire of my argument that the D.C. entertainment industry is dysfunctional and predatory, and that we must do something about it.
I won’t lie to you. Upfront, I admit I'm writing this piece because:
- I am pissed that I got all gussied up, out in full diplomatic hip-hop regalia, to go see The Cornel West Theory rock the house at the uber-historic e Bohemian Caverns only to find the place has been shut down—since Saturday!
- I am very pissed that I took the time out to do my best, spreading much love to my Cornel West Theory brothers and sister, writing yesterdays Head-Roc’s Mouth!
Wait a minute. No one told The Cornel West Theory that Bohemian Caverns was closed?
Including the promoter of the show, I must assume?
And on that note, others might have known as well. Hell, maybe I was supposed not to have known, but one thing’s for sure: Who should have been contacted were the Cornel West Theory point people. Maybe their record company, Socket Records, should have known?
And what about the other people who did know? Who knew? Did the Up and Up Open Mic people know? They got the hottest shit going in the building with that Tuesday night joint. I don’t know if they knew or not—and I’m not asking them to clear themselves either. I do know that they weren’t there last night, either. I do know it’s not their fault that Bohemian Caverns was shut down by the city for certain violations. It can’t be the fault of Up and Up’s, Cornel West Theory’s, or any other of the event planners and artists that produce shows there because all they do is make these music venues/hybrid restaurant/nightclub/coffee shop/bookstore/art gallery spaces shit-loads of MONEY while rarely and barely getting paid for the WORK they do to promote and popularize that people come and spend MONEY at these “entertainment” spaces.
So, the question is: Where does the money go? Well, since I don’t play devil’s advocate I won’t do the typical, by itemizing what it takes to run a venue, other than to say:
What it takes to sustainably operate an entertainment venue is “What It Takes!” And until proprietors take the time to cover all the bases of “What It Takes” to run a venue, then they should not attempt to do so. If all bases of “What It Takes” to operate as an entertainment venue are not covered, instantaneously the venture devolves into a business operation where TAKING advantage of the local arts scene is the only way to stay afloat. As pointed out in my previous articles, this predatory relationship is now status quo in Chocolate City.
Now, this piece isn’t to lump the stewards of Bohemian Caverns into the mix with other venues and persons running their venues that I’ve mentioned in past espousing on this issue. I am, however, saying that for Bohemian Caverns to not inform one of our region's most tenured, authentic, polished, prolific and loved groups that it couldn't host last night's show, which wasadvertised for weeks, is fucked up. It’s fucked up to The Cornel West Theory. It’s fucked up for those of us who are fans of their work, and it’s fucked up for Bohemian Caverns and its history. However, fucked up doesn’t mean it’s not fixable. And I would love to see that happen in this instance.
Hi, my name is Head-Roc, and I am fan of The Cornel West Theory.