Okay, follow me here: a familiar name, in a different, long-established space, run by two separate, independent local concert marketing organizations, but a whole new concept. Formerly North Door, the venue at 501 Brushy is now Parish – operated by Heard and Resound Presents.
The new community logo on an outside sign. (Photo courtesy of Giant Noise)
The new venture will open on March 10th with a concert featuring TWRP and Rich Aucoin. Official South by Southwest shows are held here the following week. Then there will be grand opening celebrations.
The historically great-sounding space – with a super-high ceiling because it was originally built as a soundstage – now has the stage against the west wall of the interior space, whereas previously it was positioned in a corner. Meanwhile, the smaller side room will exist as a separate but connected bar called My Oh My.
“It will have its own identity, name, interior design and atmosphere,” says co-owner Ian Orth of Resound, who characterizes the concept as Parish’s “cousin”. “It will be primarily a listening lounge. We will have DJs with us, but it will be about listening deeply to an entire album or genre of music. It will be a mood.”
Resound’s other partner is Graham Williams, one of Austin’s most admired books of this century – he’s played bands at old Emo’s, Mohawk and Fun Fun Fun Fest and has worked with Transmission Events and Margin Walker. The latter company, which shut down during the pandemic and then effectively re-emerged as Resound, had previously shown select shows at the North Door, including memorable performances from Alex Cameron and the Chats, as well as plenty of comedians and DJs.
501 Brushy’s former tenants, the North Door, closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic, then the owners later announced the permanent closure of the eclectic venue in September of that year. The mid-sized space opened in 2009, first as an Independent, then as ND, and most recently and most expansively as North Door. In the time since this venue closed, this area of the Eastside has changed dramatically into a more walkable shopping and dining district. According to press material: Another version of the North Door currently occupies the small space attached to Brew & Brew at San Marcos and E. Fifth Street.
The other side of the new Parish partnership is Heard Presents, which operates Empire Control Room & Garage and which Parish had also owned at its former Sixth Street location. Heard, which has been active locally since 2012, is led by Stephen Sternschein – also a founding member of the National Independent Venue Association – and drummer/DJ Dave Machinist.
In a press release announcing the new community — note that the “the” before the name has been omitted — Machinist says, “Over the past decade, we’ve established ourselves as passionate music entrepreneurs who, at our core, want around community.” around us to sustain and enrich. The rebirth of Parish on Brushy Street is our rising phoenix. We have the opportunity to create a space out of all the wisdom we have acquired through promoting and producing thousands of events in Austin. Doing this with experienced partners like Graham and Ian makes it easy to go from vision of an ideal to a reality and we couldn’t be more excited.”
Last October, the Sixth Street community was abruptly shut down after owner Matt Reppert replaced locks and boarded windows without warning, according to a lawsuit filed by the venue’s owners.
The lawsuit alleged that the landlord “conspired to take over the business by breaking promises, fabricating a default on The Parish’s lease and then falsely informing The Parish’s business contacts that The Parish was selling the venue.” no longer operates”. The venue’s owners were seeking financial compensation of more than $1 million for damages to the company, whose shows were booked through 2022 than the parish.
According to the partners, the project with the new location took shape within days of the closure of the Sixth Street Parish location and they were able to secure a 10-year lease on the property.
With bookings from both Resound and Heard Presents, the upcoming calendar includes Parish Soft Kill (March 22), Lala Lala (March 30), Naked Giants (April 7), Moonchild (April 14), MONO (April 16). 19) Greyson Chance (April 21), Psychedelic Porn Crumpets (April 27) and Fucked Up (August 27). Previously performed shows in Parish prior to March 10 will continue to be moved to other venues.
Orth describes Resound as being responsible for all of Parish’s calendar management and open to working with outside promoters. Regarding the booking vision: “The plan is to put our stamp on a space that is truly the perfect size for emerging artists of all genres from Resound books – the kind of artists that are on this Pitchfork or Brooklyn vegan list right now may have peaked and are now to advance to the next level. Essentially, it’s the things that we would have put down with Barracuda, but maybe with a little more electronic music and comedy involvement.”