We ticket shows for the Portland, Oregon venue The Woods and I gotta say, I'm a little envious of Portlanders for having such a cool and unique venue in their town.
The Woods is located in a former funeral parlor in the historic Sellwood neighborhood in Southeast Portland. It's a mission-style building built in 1929 and booker Jeremy Hadley is doing a great job of getting acts that fit the beautiful, serene elegance that this venue exudes. Their website describes the atmosphere as "part club-house, part secret society" and that "patrons will feel they have stumbled upon another world: candle-lit, eccentric yet stately." Performances take place in a beautiful chapel area but there are also several smaller lounges and outdoor seating, including a covered smoking "salon." They have a full bar and a simple, affordable cafe menu and it looks like they also have Karaoke, stand-up comedy, and movie screenings scheduled on non-musical performance nights.
I've always loved the great job Portland does at breathing new life into older, historic spaces and The Woods is a perfect example of the Rose City's blend of cutting-edge and classic. This venue is the kind of space every town should have. A place where the environment is as much a part of the show as the performance itself, a place where the aesthetic is so well thought out that the entertainment becomes an essential piece of the space, like the furniture or the color of the walls. The historical element of a space makes one feel as if they are adding to the history that's soaked into the walls over the years. Plus, making an old funeral home into a music venue is just plain cool.
If you're living in Portland or are heading there soon, be sure to check out The Woods. Upcoming shows include Los Angeles singer-songwriter Eliza Rickman and The Ghost of A Saber Tooth Tiger, which boasts Sean Lennon as a band member.