That’s right. The place where you have been to the ratchtest of all ratchet Oakland warehouse parties is about to die. According to the Downtown hipster gossip echo chamber, the rent money was gambled away by one of the proprietors. In an ironically Breaking 2: Electric Boogaloo-esque kinda way, the Rec Center is in peril of permanently kicking the bucket lest $1200 (or thereabouts) magically appear by November 10th. Efforts to save the Rec Center seem sparse, and we Internet fiends somehow do not have a KickStarter or KickStarter-like way with which to offer them money. Rather, whisper of a benefit party next Friday has been circulating around, but seeing as that’s already a week away, I’m unsure how successful or actual that effort will be.
Many people have already signed the death certificate for the Rec Center. Will they be able to pull it off, though? Despite the dead beat, gamble your rent money away, spend rent money on cocaine, hustle bands on Craigslist, be hella shady and not pay bands that play, swindle tenants, allow drug dealers to deal out of your back door culture that pervades the underground Oakland warehouse scene, is there hope for 2012’s scion of the wildest, ratchetest, 4 am cocaine and whiskey parties?
We all had good times at the Rec Center. Even as, in its latter months, it became a magnet for bad behavior, violence, hella shady lurkers, and irritating teenagers and college students, it will still live on in our memories as a beacon of Oakland gutteratti-ness and true hipsterism. I’m sure we all recall our first show there – mine, in September 2010, rolling up on MLK before Uptown became anything anybody gave a fuck about, when the shows were still shitty and no one ever showed up because the neighborhood was a relative ghost town. Eventually, as parties such as the not quite but maybe someday legendary Sick Sad World swooped in, Rec Center was transformed into Oakland’s premier downtown underground venue. The Rec Center is the first place you discovered acts such as Antwon, Chippy Nonstop, Safe, Easy Living, Rare Leather, Laughters, Twin Steps, and more. Bigger name acts such as Japanther, Le1f, Kool A.D., and Main Attrakionz graced the Rec Center with their presence, hence giving it a stamp of legitimacy.
Alas, as with most Oakland venues, Rec Center is now joining the pantheon of by gone venues, accompanying such party meccas as Fuzzplex, Ghost Town, Loco’s Only, French Fry Factory, Grandma’s House, Apgar House, Carlos’s House and many more. Very few venues survive to live another day, and it is with much love in our hearts and tears in our eyes that we throw flowers on the grave of the Rec Center.
Now, all we can do is sit and wait for the next seminal Oakland party venue to pop up and incubate yet another micro music scene within our Oakland community. Another place to wide eyed wonder into at midnight with a forty and a pint and half a pack of cigarettes, wild music careening through the air, pretty new faces to fuck darting around the darkness. Another place to party til our livers fall out and our noses drop off, another place to make new friends and make more memories, but for now, we party people will be wandering aimlessly from bar to party, looking for another home in which to display our sordid tactics.
R I P
[Photo cred: probably someone associated with Trill Team 6, idk, I pulled it off FB, hit me up if it’s yours.]