MacHenry’s Moves … Again
Have you ever known a friend who was dating a manipulative, loser chick, and then goes and falls in love with her, and then he says to you, “Isn’t she awesome, isn’t she great?” and you just want to slap him and say, “No, she’s a controlling, castrating psycho!” but instead you just smile and say, “Yeah, she’s pretty, uh, cool,” and they get married, and six months later they’re hiring divorce lawyers?
And six months after that you’re having beers with your friend and you admit, “I always thought that chick was bad news,” and your friend says, “Yeah, what was I thinking?” Which brings us to MacHenry’s, the little folk music venue that has relocated to the Hospital District. Several years ago, owner John Walker announced he was moving his club to Way Way West Camp Bowie Bullyvard (he was forced out of his popular and comfy location atop an Italian restaurant after the property sold). Suddenly, he seemed out in the sticks. Higher overhead made him increase drink prices, and the vibe wasn’t as funky as before.
A shame because Walker has been booking decent bands on weekends and cultivating laid-back acoustical charm on weekdays, but having difficulty drawing crowds to the “western frontier,” as he called it. Well, praise the lord and pass a bottle of Irish whiskey. We’re pumped about the club’s relocation to the near South Side, at 1408 W Magnolia Av, about a block east of Benito’s Restaurant, a ‘hood where urban redevelopment action is creating a pretty cool scene. And, in this case, “pretty cool” is being used in a genuine way, not in the way you describe psycho losers to starry-eyed friends. – Jeff Prince
So a jazz club is going to open in Sundance Square in The Burk Burnett Building, and the prospect is definitely exciting. There isn’t much mid-level American culture downtown. There’s high culture, courtesy of Europe (theater, classical music, ballet), and there’s low culture, courtesy of college (drinking, fighting, cheap greasy food), but other than rock ‘n’ roll on weekends, there isn’t anything distinctly American and populist like jazz. (A punk rock club? A hip-hop club? Keep dreaming.) I like the fact that some bumpkin might stumble into the Scat Lounge, enjoy the sounds, and become a jazz fan. I also like that all seven jazz purists in town will steam when they try to order a drink and get run over by socialites and himbos (male bimbos), who don’t know their Monk from their Mingus and who would follow any nightlife fad off a cliff. And straight-ahead jazz downtown will be a fad.
If the clubs here that set aside one night a week for the medium can’t even generate any interest, how in the heck is a club devoted solely to the style going to last longer than the time it takes socialites and himbos to realize that, wahhh, jazz hurts their ears?! Regardless, by the time the dust settles, a lot of good music will have been heard. The owners reportedly intend to host local and national bands. The space is 2,500 square feet and slated to open early next year.
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