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Stikmon continues his fight to keep arts alive in the South Bay.

Eyes on the Earache

Stikmon goes for broke with new performing-arts center

By Sarah Quelland

JUST OFF NINTH STREET, near the railroad tracks, across from the billowing Gordon Biersch Brewery, in an industrial area just a stone's throw from downtown San Jose, sits what could be a very important building. Stikmon's plans to establish a performing-arts center at the old Burbank Theater may have gone up in smoke, but now, with the help of his business partners, Craig Yamato (yep, the one and only!) and Alyssa Smith, he intends to do it here at 300 E. Taylor St. Stik's new vision is the Earache My Eye Performance Art Center.

Much like the Burbank, the Earache is designed to serve as a multipurpose arts venue open to art, music, poetry, spoken-word, dance and theater. With a full kitchen, the Earache will stand as a restaurant as well, serving both lunch and dinner. The space will also be made available for community organizations, corporate functions, receptions and other special events. Last week, during a walk-through of the building, Stik's enthusiasm was contagious, and as he talked, his very specific vision started to come alive. It was easy to see the space the way he sees it and envision it as a thriving arts center.

Once a home to companies like Poorhouse Recording, the building has a history with the arts, and the room designated as the artists' dressing room has already been tagged with graffiti by the likes of George Clinton and Fishbone's Angelo Moore. With about 8,000 usable square feet, the layout is good, and it appears that Stik has thought of just about everything. The entrance opens into a big lobby area where artists can display and sell their merchandise. The next doorway opens into a hallway. The left path leads to the 18-and-over main hall, and the right leads to the 21-and-over bar area, where beer and wine will be served.

The main room is gigantic, with high ceilings and exposed brick walls. Part of the space will be designated for dining, with about 20 tables set up. Stik emphasizes that the Earache's menu will be healthy with vegetarian options. He promises there won't be so much as a cheese stick or a buffalo wing in sight. "No fried foods allowed!" he declares emphatically.

Going to the bar area, Stik says it's going to be "badass." He describes it as 40 feet of glass and metal with plasma-cut flames and says it's going to light up and change color from the inside. One of the coolest things about this bar area is that Stik plans to install a huge one-way mirror between the bar and the main room so that people in the bar area can see out to the stage but people watching from the main room won't be able to see into the bar.

Other plans include building ramps to make loading in and out a breeze and adding an outdoor patio for leisurely lunches or dining under the stars. Judging by the huge lot, parking should not be a problem.

Stik says he's just waiting to get his use permits, and once they're approved, he'll start construction. He anticipates that if all goes well, the Earache will open in April and celebrate its grand opening on April 20. He's already putting the word out that he's taking bookings and making hires (positions include cooks, waitstaff, security and bartenders) for April. Those interested can email [email protected].

HOT TOPIC: The new Edge in Palo Alto kicks off a nice little run of shows with the White Trash Valentine's Bash featuring AC/DC tribute band Long Gone Bon, Flexx Bronco and Ones and Zeros this Friday (Feb. 14). Upcoming shows at the Edge include Chevelle, 30 Seconds to Mars and Pulse Ultra on Feb. 16; AM Radio, Life With Jonas, and Riddled With Guilt on Feb. 21; a Rock en español show with Basilas and Firmé on Mar. 2; Insolence, Reaction 31, Lica Sto and Kung Fu Vampire on Mar. 7; and George Lynch's Lynch Mob on Mar. 20. ... Dub Congress has two shows coming up. The reggae band plays the Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco on Feb. 14 and the Catalyst in Santa Cruz on Feb. 15.

PLAN AHEAD: The Gourds, Feb. 13 at the Stanford Coffee House; Amanda Perez, Feb. 14 at spy; the Stereo, Limbeck, Ticket Tape Parade and Desa, Feb. 16 at the Los Gatos Outhouse; the Scorpions, Whitesnake and Dokken, Feb. 18 at the HP Pavilion.

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From the February 13-19, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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