RIP: The Hairhole 2008-2013

This weekend marks the final live shows at local DIY performance and rehearsal space the Hairhole. Last month word arose that the owner of the building had sold the space and that the building was set for demolition. While I’ve heard some debate on when the building will face the wrecking ball (one source said the middle of this month), I do have something to say about it.

While there was a show previous to its widely considered opening date, the first show I remember was an afternoon show in August 2008 with Times New Viking and local band Dirtmotor (featuring a very young Jamie Davis on guitar – now of Hott Lunch). While there had been some ups and downs in terms of shows, I was introduced to a number of local bands there ranging from HC punk (Gran Mal) to 80s influenced thrash metal (Battlement) to more experimental thngs (the 48 Hur Bandathon in November 2010). Also, there were a number of touring bands I first saw there from the hardcore meets noise of Minneapolis band Serenghetto, to the poppy punk of Big Fiction. While admittedly the space wasn’t perfect, over time it did feel like home to some degree.

Which leads to this weekend shows, which can be seen as both a sad and celebratory occasion. It’s sad in that a local space to see bands that might not get a chance anywhere else in Columbia will soon be gone. However, for a DIY space to last roughly four and a half years is a pretty damn good run. Lots of similar spaces both in Columbia and elsewhere has come and gone in less time than that. The No Cast lasted about a year (2006-2007). The legendary What’s This lasted three years (1986-1989). Lots of others came and went in a flash. With this in mind, the run of the Hairhole is something to be proud of.

Eventually another space or two may open on the DIY level for bands to play and rehearse. While I have heard rumors already, I’ll err on the side of caution and believe it when I learn of a show.

So, in roughly 48 hours, the Hairhole will be history and exist only in people’s memories. A wide range of emotions will emerge in the people involved, but inevitably I think, for all the pros and cons that such a place can have, those who helped keep things going should be proud of what got accomplished in a space like that, a shoestring budget, and some desire to see something happens.

As for what’s up ahead, that’s anybody’s guess.

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