I don’t know what surprises me more: how incredibly busy the Roosevelt area is on First Friday or how incredibly not busy this downtown center is on other nights. Roosevelt Row businesses have been working to transform this occasional surge of people into a steady stream of sustaining interest in the RoRo. Jobot, Carly’s, Revolver Records – these are some of the great businesses that have struggled against the fickleness of downtown support to become local and long-standing favorites. With the addition of Lawn Gnome Publishing (and bookstore) and the force of owner Aaron Johnson and his brood of poets and bookish revolutionaries, further strides have been taken toward making the Roosevelt Row Arts District the bustling, visitor-friendly spot to spend your weekend nights.
|The Bovine Fury rocking out at Lawn Gnome.
First and Third Friday already hop with activity. The new 4xF, or FMLY FRNDLY Fourth Friday, promises to make even more Fridays bustle. The event, sponsored by Jobot and organized by Aaron, provides all-ages access to live music for free starting at five and rolling into the night. I made it out to the recent Fourth Friday event. An eclectic crowd roamed Fifth Street, wandering between the four venues housing musical acts with occasional stops at Jobot for coffee as it was an unusually chilly evening for us desert dwellers.
I caught bands I’d always wanted to check out but hadn’t yet gotten around to seeing like the punk rock stylings of French Girls and the Bovine Fury. I was also introduced to some new acts I hadn’t yet heard of but I definitely want to hear more from like Guesthouse and Wolvves. Perhaps, the highlight of the evening was being able to listen to bands while perusing books at Lawn Gnome. So much for a “free” night out on the town but I did snag an armful of must-reads.
Next month should be warmer and, therefore, even more alive with peeps enjoying some music and community.The next 4xF is scheduled for March 22nd. I’ll be there and you should too.
|Cliff of horizon i, my favorite band of the bands I can’t cover.
Photo by Jofrin Pezzati