Stand Still, Laddie

A multi-deejay event called Klub Therapy debuts Friday night at the 8Teen Arts and Cultural Center in North Park. It is one of the first all-ages music events at the venue, which opened last December at 3925 Ohio Street, the space that used to house the Avalon cultural center. The 8Teen center hosts art shows, plays, and bands.

Klub Therapy is billed as an “all-ages Gothic/dark-wave event” that will return to the 8Teen center the third Friday of every month.

What is unclear is if dancing will be allowed.

Sergeant Dan Plein of SDPD vice says the center will be monitored by the City as it starts to host concerts and deejay shows. He says dancing will not be permitted.

Alma Felan, who opened 8Teen, says it is her understanding that Klub Therapy promoter Bryan Pollard has a license that does permit dancing at the events he stages.

Felan says that if she has to, she will explain to her patrons that they have to stand still while the DJ spins tracks.

This will be the third attempt by Felan to offer a space for music and art to an all-ages clientele. Her first, the Hot Monkey Love Café on El Cajon Boulevard, closed in 2006 after a four-year-long dispute with a neighbor over parking. The second Hot Monkey venue, which was ten blocks away from the first, lasted two years, until noise complaints forced it to close.

Felan claims the 8Teen center can succeed where Avalon could not. Avalon was launched to be a home for artists and musicians by owner Marc Shannon, who said the City kept stonewalling him by keeping the venue’s capacity at 50 and forbidding live shows.

“The first week I opened, I was raided by the police,” he said last year. “This is one of the worst cities for an independent artist to start a career.”

Felan disagrees. She says all the problems with doing events at the Avalon/8Teen center building had to do with getting the place up to health and safety codes and installing the proper fire exits. She says she has spent $20,000 on improvements to the 90-year-old building.

Felan says the name 8Teen indicates the 18 percent of her profits that will go to the Photocharity organization, a nonprofit that helps homeless teens.

Tragic Tantrum Cabaret (“It’s like a play with a circus in it”) appears this Saturday at the center.

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