Posts Tagged ‘Wesley Ladd’

City council softens noise law, and The Horned Hand is closing (its physical location, at least)

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013


Newsy night on the local music scene last night. Since I have to get tomorrow’s GO! Magazine out the door, here’s a quick recap:

The Bend City Council took the first step toward approving changes to its noise ordinance. Those changes are designed to clean up and clarify language that a judge deemed too vague late last year as he dismissed a noise-code violation citation against the Colorado Avenue music venue The Horned Hand, which was issued last August.

Before approving those changes, though, the council made two additional changes to the law, both of which seem to favor event promoters and venue owners: Police are now required to use decibel meters before issuing a citation to a business that has received a noise complaint, and the fine for a first offense is now $250, down from a maximum of $750.

— Before the votes, The Horned Hand’s owner, Wesley Ladd, announced that he is closing the venue “within two months.” Initially, he mentioned the “strife” caused by the noise code and other issues as a reason, but after the meeting, he clarified to The Source Weekly, saying something I’ve been hearing him talk about for a while now:

At one point on Wednesday night, Ladd told the council he was closing The Horned Hand in part because of “strife” related to issues like the noise ordinance, but clarified later that the city, particularly the police department, has been very easy to work with and that the closure was more related to the difficulty of operating a music venue with a young family.

This morning on Frequency’s Facebook page, Ladd reiterated the family-related reasons behind the Hand’s closure, and said he and his partner, Callie Young, would continue to be involved in Bend’s music scene:


Over the past several months, Ladd (among others) has been working to open Nectar of the Gods Meadery. Coincidentally, the council also approved a liquor license for the company’s facility on Second Street in Bend Wednesday night, shortly before discussing the noise ordinance.

The Horned Hand’s noise citation dismissed by judge

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Here’s the article from today’s Bulletin by my colleague Hillary Borrud, with the judge’s reasoning and comments from Horned Hand owner Wesley Ladd as well as a couple neighbors who’ve called police to complain about the Colorado Avenue music venue in recent months.

Tonight: John Wesley Coleman III, Rayon Beach at The Horned Hand

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

The thing I love about The Horned Hand — the new art/retail/music space on Colorado Avenue in Bend (catch up here and here) — is that it’s … well, it’s weird.

It’s weird in a cool way, with hanging taxidermy watching your every move, funky furniture strewn about, unsettling films projected on the wall. It feels like a cozy dive in Twin Peaks, Wash., or as operator Wesley Ladd once told me, a Satanic T.G.I. Friday’s. (Is there any other kind?)

In its first few weeks, The Horned Hand has hosted a number of solid bands, but tonight brings the first show that, in my opinion, really matches the place’s off-center vibe. Tonight, Austin, Texas “trash poet,” garage rocker John Wesley Coleman III stops in, along with opening act Rayon Beach.

Coleman’s music is a warped and woozy take on psychedelic garage-stomp, where sneakily catchy pop songs are fuzzed up and scuzzed up and veiled in an unscrubbable haze of lo-fi grit. It’s like the Nuggets box set doused itself in skunky old sweet tea and then rolled around in a gutter for days.

And I think it’s good stuff. Certainly, if it’s good enough for Goner Records, it’s good enough for you. Here are a few videos, followed by a bit about Rayon Beach.


[Photos] Opening night at The Horned Hand

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, there are 12,000 words below about Bend’s newest art-hangin’ / clothes-sellin’ / music-playin’ / beer-drinkin’ space, The Horned Hand, which I introduced you to right here.

Still, I am going to add a few of my own.

Cobbled together inside the old Repeat Performance building at 507 N.W. Colorado Ave., the venue’s official opening is tonight, when California folk-rocker The White Buffalo performs (9 p.m., $7 advance, $10 at the door). But there was a sort of soft opening last night, featuring music by Harley Bourbon and Boxcar Stringband, beer by Boneyard Brewing (and cans of Old German), and food by The Codfather, a new cart in town that sells fish ‘n’ chips out of a huge red double-decker bus parked just outside The Horned Hand’s roll-up bay door.

The decor is exactly what head Hand Wesley Ladd described when we met last week in what was then a barren, rectangular box. It’s eclectic, full of found objects and thrift-store bargains. Hubcaps, animal horns, interesting art pieces and vintage signs cover the walls, and they’re all for sale, Ladd says. A couple racks of clothing sit along one wall below a stereo system and projector, which last night ran the 1973 cult film “The Holy Mountain” silently on the opposite wall. (It was really, really weird.)

The bar appears to be a couple of kitchen counter slabs draped across several large barrels. The “bar stools” are kegs with pillows on top. Seating is available across the room in both old molded plastic school chairs (one had “Room 126″ scrawled on the back) and bench seats from automobiles. There’s a picnic table up front. It’s just to the left of the stage, which looked to be about a foot tall.

Both bands were great. I had never heard Harley Bourbon before, but they’ve got Lucero’s sandpaper-throated alt-country down pat. I look forward to seeing them again. Boxcar Stringband swings, baby, swings. (Their CD-release show is tonight, by the way.) The place was rockin’ as I approached around 9:45 p.m., and Ladd closed the bay door at 10 p.m. out of respect for the neighbors. The Horned Hand got a lot hotter after that, and pretty soon its crew was cranking up fans in the corners to keep the air moving.

Overall, I’d say it was a successful first night. I’d guess 100 or so folks came through, maybe a bit more, and many seemed to know each other, fueling the feeling that this wasn’t a brand new spot in town, but a longstanding neighborhood hangout. I was talking with local graphic designer and rock ‘n’ roller Dana MacKenzie, and he said “It feels like this place has been lived in for a year.” Or maybe he said eight years. I don’t know. It was loud. Either way, I couldn’t agree more.

Around 11:15 p.m., I headed out the door to find Ladd shushing a group of folks on the front lawn whose chatter was growing louder. That kind of thing is nice to see, and it’s a smart way to go. The Horned Hand has tremendous potential to be a vital cog in Bend’s nightlife and music scene, if it can navigate the hurdles that any business like it faces: red-tape headaches, annoyed neighbors, apathy on the part of locals. I hope it clears all of those and whatever else comes its way and sticks around for a good, long while. You should, too, and you can show your support starting tonight.

To the photos! (Sorry for the quality. I am not a great photographer and conditions were challenging.)

Note The Codfather's double-decker bus just outside the bay door.


New venue in Bend: The Horned Hand

Friday, July 8th, 2011

An email showed up a couple of weeks ago from local promoter Cassie Moore announcing upcoming shows by The White Buffalo (July 16) and Tornado Rider (July 22), both at something called The Horned Hand.

I found the name alone to be extremely intriguing, so I immediately wrote Cassie back and asked her for more details.

A week later, I was standing in a gray, rectangular building on the corner of Colorado Avenue and Lava Road that, up until last fall, housed the Repeat Performance Sports consignment shop. In case you can’t picture it, it’s located here and it looks something like this:

Giving me a tour was Wesley Ladd, a tall fellow wearing cowboy boots and an impressive beard. Ladd is from Ohio and spent some time in San Diego, but he moved to Bend last year after falling for Central Oregon during a firefighting assignment with the Prineville Hotshots.

He’s also a musician and huge music fan; we nerded out a little bit over our mutual love for the Portland-based metal band Red Fang.

Ladd is leading a small team of folks who are working diligently to get The Horned Hand up and running by the time The White Buffalo arrives. The group has cleared out the space, painted, installed a roll-up bay door, and begun decorating with cool recycled finds like retro lamps, old metal signs, vintage truck parts and mounted animal horns.

Ladd moved to town with hopes of someday operating a music venue along similar lines to The Casbah in San Diego and The Union in Athens, Ohio (a small town that’s home to “one of the best rock ‘n’ roll scenes in America,” he said). Right now, though, he’s starting slow and staying focused on the art/retail aspect of The Horned Hand rather than booking shows. He plans to feature local artists’ work on the venue’s walls, and will offer artwork, clothing and other interesting stuff for sale as part of a retail operation. He says the space will be “in evolution,” constantly adding new art and furniture (both for sale) to keep The Horned Hand’s look and feel fresh. And he envisions a day when the place hosts not only concerts, but comedians, theater, burlesque shows and more.

Ladd also has applied for a license to sell beer and wine, and he’s waiting to hear from fire department officials on the venue’s capacity. (Based on the size of other venues in town, it looks like it will be able to hold somewhere between 100 and 200 people, but that’s just my estimate.)

As for the music, Ladd has Moore booking shows at The Horned Hand and he’s open to other independent promoters using the space. He also hopes to start booking once the venue is up and running. He was mostly mum about what kind of music he’d like to bring in, but the CDs stacked on the stereo in the corner might provide a clue; they range from folk (Townes Van Zandt) to blues-rock (The Black Keys) to heavy stoner rock (Torche, Saviours).

At first, as Ladd and the team work to get the venue off the ground, The Horned Hand might be open on show nights and closed other days while more work is done. You have to crawl before you can walk, after all.

“I’m really pushing for quality not quantity on the shows,” Ladd said. “We really wanna take care of the bands and house ’em and feed ’em. If they spend the night, bring ’em some biscuits and gravy or something. Then they go tell their friends, ‘Dude if you’re going even close to Bend, swing in there because those guys are sick.'”

(All photos taken from The Horned Hand’s Facebook page with permission.)