Lincoln has a thriving house show scene, that is, places where bands and artists can perform for small crowds that aren't large public venues. Over the past couple of years, one of the most prolific houses in the circuit has been Clawfoot House (11th & F), and it continues to grow.
Last year, Clawfoot House changed handlers from folkstress Ember Schrag and Brian Day to artists Bryan Klopping and Amy Gordon. Klopping and Gordon have been running with it ever since, making Clawfoot a local musical force to be reckoned with. They plan to continue to do things their way going into 2011.
"We decided to cut down to just a couple of shows each month," said Klopping. "That way we can focus on just making sure that every lineup is really good."
With fewer shows will come bigger billings and perhaps touring artists that stop in Lincoln exclusively to play Clawfoot. Klopping and Gordon are also trying to branch out from Clawfoot's previous folk-centric atmosphere and into all genres of music.
"We're trying to get all kinds of people in here," Klopping said. "We've already had some rock and some jazz, but we're going to keep doing more."
The primary ongoing new development for Clawfoot isn't necessarily musical, though. Clawfoot has already hosted some readings and literary workshops, and plans to expand their repertoire.
We are trying to branch out and have more of these workshop things," Klopping said. "A lot of people really like to get that kind of feedback with art and literature. We've even got something called Soundpainting coming (soundpainting.com for more information), which will be a workshop followed by a performance."
Clawfoot understands the importance of keeping things of this nature as local as possible, as the workshops will be catering to local interests. One workshop in the pipes is an Ableton (music production software) workshop taught by local musician Darren Keen (The Show is the Rainbow, Bad Speler). According to Keen, the workshop will be a "teacher-free" affair where people can come together to learn Ableton and develop their talents as a group in an organic, intimate way.
That's what Clawfoot House is all about. Whether it be a performance or a showcase or a workshop, Clawfoot strives to make things communal, organic, intimate and worth-while.
Clawfoot shows that a venue doesn't have to be a huge room full of lights and monitors full of hundreds of screaming fans. It can be a living room with a few dedicated and local-minded people in it, giving their full attention to a band, as that band gives it's full attention back to the audience.
"The way we're doing Clawfoot now is different than back when Ember and Brian were doing it," said Klopping. "It's a new way to do things. We're changing it up."