Dave said to the beautiful young female singer who was at Kulak's for the first time on Monday night, "This is like church for me. Wherever else I might be singing, I come to Kulak's every Monday night."It had been a couple of weeks, so I was excited to get back down to Kulak's Woodshed for the Open Mic Night. It's fun to hear the new songwriters just starting out and some great veterans mixing it up with the kids. And it all goes out over the net live!
But there's danger lurking. It seems that the Woodshed, which has been going for a good five years or more is in danger of being shut down because it has been set up in a place where the zoning laws permit only offices. The city would rather have a cold, dark block where no life exists than a glowing little community of artists bringing light and life onto the landscape.
Or so it seems.
We'll find out. There's a hearing later on this month which will supposedly decide its fate. There are neighbors which hate the Woodshed and want to see it destroyed.
The walk down to the Woodshed is less than a mile, so I enjoyed the cool breeze which somehow made its way over the Hollywood hills from the coast. Here, below, is a picture of the bus stop recently erected on a bus lane that crosses San Fernando Valley.
Inside Kulak's, the walls are covered in rock and folk posters from days gone by, as well as CDs, pictures, drawings, and god knows what else. It looks like someone's basement, though it's not underground. There are multiple cameras all around the room for shooting the nightly webcast.
In the back are two songbirds.
Paul Kulak sits in a room just behind the performance area where he does a live video mix every night. All the camera and sound operators are volunteers.
I sang "My Thanksgiving Prayer" and then went and chatted with Paul. He's put this place together with his own two hands. For instance, the camera tracking rails, which give him automated control from the editing room, were made with plumbing equipment.
So, we don't know what's going to happen. All we know is that we want the Woodshed to stay.