Takoma Park is silent. A few kids hit up the 7-11 and make their way to the metro station. No one stops at the Electric Maid.
Takoma Park's popular "community living room," ‘The Maid' has made a name for itself as a local music showcase for area youth bands, but was recently shut down for repairs. The Maid was an area where poetry slams, punk and folk shows could all be held in the same week. Since The Maid shut down, area bands have struggled to find a place to play for the audience.
Because of a lack of a heater, proper wiring, a permit and any number of other building violations the Electric Maid was forced to close. However the open Takoma Park co-op that operates the Maid refuses to admit defeat. Numerous fundraisers are being held and an organization has been formed with the express purpose of bringing the Maid up to building code. Blazer parent Dan Robinson operates Friends of the Maid, a local group formed to raise money for The Maid. Robinson supports The Maid because he has played there himself. "[The Maid] was a music incubator, it has been for everybody who's played there. It was a success for us…I feel some debt to The Maid," he says. Robinson's Friends of the Maid has raised $2000 so far.
Blair students have begun their own campaign to assist The Maid. Junior Pete Musto and his friends donated $40 to Friends of the Maid. "The Maid provides a really good service. They're a community venue where young bands can play and it's really cheap. Me and my friends spent a lot of time there," Musto.
"Any money [kids] can raise or help they can offer I'm sure would be appreciated by The Maid collective," Robinson says.
Some students are not surprised The Maid is closed. "It's kind of expected. There was very poor management that didn't know what they were doing…they were really inept. They were trying to make themselves nicer to please older people and they were already getting fine support from the younger community. Shows were whack, the same bands kept coming back and they stopped getting more [professional] touring bands." The Narrative Life's Welch Canavan complains.
Other problems loom for The Maid, including angry neighbors who hate the music and the audience's proclivity for drinking on Maid premises.
Junior Merrick Lancaster Brown sums up The Maid's predicament. "I think the scene is awful. It's just a bunch of little kids…that's why it got [shut down]," Brown claims.
Yet most students support The Maid and resent its absence. "Punk kids have to chill somewhere other than the streets," protests junior Sean Danus.
Josh Gottlieb-Miller. More »