Irony of the year: The Korova to improve sound at Limelight
Published: April 10, 2013
Two days later, at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27, Castorena’s phone rang —Limelight was up for grabs again. Other venues like the aurally excellent 502 Bar had passed on it, and Castorena — who had always wanted to have a presence on the St. Mary’s strip — saw this as a golden opportunity.
“We were very aggressive trying to make a deal as soon as possible,” Castorena told the Current. “The strip is undergoing a sort of revival and we want to be part of it.”
First order of business for Limelight is to reinstate the name (“I love that name, it has a lot of history,” says Castorena) and to — get this — improve its sound system. Last weekend a new P.A. was expected, and in about four to six weeks Limelight will have “a sound system very similar, if not identical, to what 502 Bar has,” said Castorena.
That statement raises eyebrows around the Current, at least, as the Korova’s own supposedly-new sound system leaves a lot to be desired. (We recently cringed during a set by Chelsea Light Moving, fronted by rock royal Thurston Moore, in which a hot mic repeatedly shocked him and he spent a good 10 minutes explaining his band’s basic sound needs, only to give up in frustration, saying, sarcastically, something to the effect of ‘sure, that sounds awesome.’) One wonders why they don’t put the effort and money toward improving what they already have downtown.
“This opportunity was too good to pass,” said Castorena, who plans to keep booking both properties for the long term. “Some shows are not suitable for the Korova and we needed an alternative, and now we have one.”
Suitable or not, for whatever reason the Korova seems to have a momentum. Case in point, early March’s Chelsea Light Moving show, Black Flag’s impending May date, and the quality acts regularly visiting the place, turning the Korova into a giant, ugly-sounding roach that survives everything and refuses to die.
Castorena admits that the Korova’s sound system needs improvement, but claims the problem is the place itself.
“We had people from Alamo Music and others come and take a look, and one thing I keep hearing is not so much about the sound system, but about the curtains and windows, they have to be thicker,” Castorena said. “What we have there is more for décor, not so much for sound.” No shit.
“We’re all for constructive criticism,” he continued, “we’re willing to give people what they need, but a lot of times it’s just better for people and bands and critics to communicate, to tell us what they need.”
It’s very simple: All we want is to be able to hear the music and the words.
“Fair enough,” he said, then switched the topic to changes he looks forward to incorporating at Limelight, such as promoting local shows on the marquee instead of just the big national acts.
Let’s all cross our fingers for a quick improvement in the Korova’s sound. If it doesn’t happen, don’t despair — we’ll always have Limelight.