Giving others the chance to enjoy up-and-coming artists in small venues was the reason Brennan Bryarly started The Hundred. Bryarly, a resident DJ at Lipgloss under the name option4, got to see world-renowned turntablist A-Trak in a room of about forty people at South By Southwest a few years ago, and catching that act in such an intimate venue blew his mind.
"Then I started thinking about it," Bryarly remembers. "Some of the best shows I've seen in my life were in small venues before artists got really big. Like I think the first time I saw Tokyo Police Club in 2005, when they just had an EP -- it was me and like eighty kids in a small room in New Orleans. That was the funnest experience I ever had."
Thus the formation of The Hundred, which will be made up of a group of a hundred people with a sincere passion for music. Those people will get to weigh in on who will play at The Hundred's new monthly series at Beauty Bar (608 East 13th Avenue). For the first party on Saturday, November 19, Bryarly is bringing in Houston-based DJ Damon Allen; he hopes to continue booking national acts that haven't yet hit the mainstream, but are big on the blogs.
The Hundred has a private website that's similar to Twitter, where members get to discuss what acts should be considered for upcoming parties. The group is entirely non-profit, Bryarly says; any money a show makes goes into the bank to cover future shows, and screen shots of the bank account will be posted on the website to keep things transparent. The site will also include videos of the parties and interviews with the artists, as well as audio downloads. "For the public, they can be part of the site too, but they have to be very aggressive," he says. "If the public really wants to get in, they can hit me up and I'll let them on."
While for now the core group of the Hundred is limited to a hundred members (who'll get into shows for free), their parties will be open to the public for a cover charge. "The people who aren't technically part of the Hundred are more than welcome to come," he points out, "and that's what we need because for a really cheap price they're going to see these huge acts. I don't ever want a cover of more than $6 to $7. Ever. The goal is not to grow this thing and make any money. I feel very strongly about making this anti-commercial. I think that's the only way to make this succeed. People are broke. It's a recession. I don't want it to be business-type thing."
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