So, my friend and sometimes-poster to this blog, John Sachelli hipped me to the fact that Milestones was changing hands a few weeks ago, but I didn’t really get a chance to blog about it. It’s probably as well that I didn’t, and there’s a great article in the latest City discussing the new owner and the outgoing owner.
It seems that, contrary to rumors, there will continue to be live music at Milestones, albeit under a new name. And what a name. “High Fidelity.” Before I get into the positives, let me just point out this one negative. The name sucks on so many levels. “Pretentious” is an adjective that comes to mind, yet despite the high-flown intentions or perhaps because of them, “lame” also comes to mind. With a name like that, you can only appeal to vinyl snobs and baby boomers, neither of which is where the money’s at in the first place.
But, OK. I’ve bitched about it. Nothing I can do to change it, anyway. Now for the good news: the new owner, Joe Gizzie, is a musician himself, and the former owner is opening a non-live music bar further down East Avenue. As I see it, this is good in a number of ways.
For one, I think most anyone I know who’s played the Milestones stage in the last few years would agree with Mr. O’Leary that the club has been in need of some new blood and new exitement. It’s been in kind of a holding pattern recently, still putting in good bands, but not really giving them any real reason to return. There is something to be said for the need for live music club owners to be almost as creative as the musicians that take the stage, and that has been missing recently.
At the same time, while O’Leary may have been losing his taste for Milestones and booking live bands (to be honest, as a musician, I think I can actually appreciate this sentiment.? We’re nothing but trouble.), he has been very active with the East End Fest planning, and having him move farther down the street might hopefully drag the Fest further down the street and open up at least one more stage.
I’m sure that I’ve lamented the East End Fest’s recent paucity of original, local bands more than once on this blog in the past, so I shan’t dwell too much on it here.? But the Milestones stage tended to be one stage that could be relied upon for at least original music, and he usually followed that up with something good inside after the Fest was over.? Granted, his contract upon leaving Milestones reportedly stipulates that he cannot have live music at the new location, but I don’f know that this will necessarily extend to an outdoor stage during the East End Fest.
So, hopefully, Milestones gets a shot in the arm that it needs – albeit with a questionable name – and so does the East End Fest, a celebration which I never used to miss until it got hopelessly lame.