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Sound Advice 

by Leah Sottile

Fighting the Rumor Mill -- It's rare that a band has to tell the crowd to take two steps back in order for the drummer to be able to hit his cymbals, but that was what happened last Saturday night at the Death Kills Time, Belt of Vapor, Interrogation and WhiteHorses show -- a show originally set for the Spike Underground. The brains over at the Spike didn't plan for the show to be in the main coffeehouse, but after having the Underground space taken away on Friday morning -- they really didn't have much of a choice. Why? Well, here's the scoop.

After Art by Yourself said goodbye to the adjacent space at 122 S. Monroe St., the Spike's owners decided that area would perfect for much-needed expansions -- but also the perfect place to add an all-ages concert venue. The Spike asked, they ended up with a verbal agreement, and thus the space, called the Spike Underground, was set up for shows. With the recent closure of the Detour, the Spike picked up the all-ages slack -- hosting shows multiple times per week.

But the door was literally slammed on the Spike's shows last Friday morning after Thursday night's Japanther show. Maintenence men "just following orders" were sent to the Spike to board up the doors to the Underground. Why, after months of having permission to host shows -- and after continued negotiations to obtain the lease to the Underground space - would it all be shut down?

Well, friends, that is the question. Steve Elliott, property manager of the building, says things just started getting out of hand. But that hardly means the Underground is gone forever.

"It's a difficult situation," Elliott says. "I think [the Spike has] a good opportunity there. They just have to act responsibly with their patrons and their neighbors."

Negotiations are in process to see the Underground open and bumping again -- but until they go through, you might want to get to shows at the Spike early.

Publication date: 2/03/04
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