Black Barbie, the former taqueria on Canal Street that over the past two years has become a haven for a wide swath of anti-pop musicians, many of them local, will cease operations after tomorrow night. According to a message on the club's Facebook page earlier this afternoon, unspecified “recent events” are behind the club's closure.
I will be coordinating with outside promoters to get the remaining shows moved elsewhere. We're still going to book shows whenever possible but not there. It's been a good run, we love Houston and being part of the "golden age" of live music here has been an honor. Check out the photos at black barbie album, it's interesting to see 2 years of hipsters and punks being drunk and goofy and free.
We're going to focus on bands and raising kids now, have fun Houston, if you need help setting up a show, you know who to call!!
Black Barbie had been run by Lou Miller, of the local space-rock band Auto-Fellatio Dreams, and his partner, Beth Howl. Bookings really started to pick up after Mango's, which welcomed a similar cross-section of underground-oriented music, closed last March. Earlier this month, Black Barbie hosted its two-night "Retro Death" festival, with performers including Pfaffenberg, Cop Warmth, Glasgow Smile, Pleasure 2, Fantasy Ritual, Existencia, Forced Fem and Talk Sick Brats.
“In a little more than a year, Black Barbie has quickly become a crucial Houston venue, home to the kind of shows and events that struggle to find a place in more uptight and commercially oriented clubs,” the Houston Press's Tex Kerschen wrote in our November 2015 cover story, “The Eastside Sound System.” Kerschen is also a member of Pleasure 2.
It's a sad day for both the players and fans of the kind of local musicians who have always found a way to, if not exactly thrive, but survive at a reasonable level of comfort thanks to venues like Black Barbie. If there's any consolation to be found this evening, it's that they don't have to look very far to find a similarly open-minded stage a few miles away over at Satellite Bar.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.