San Lorenzo Express News

Ashland Hall Showcases East Bay Bands

APRIL 19, 2010

The venerable Ashland Holy Ghost Hall has taken on new life as a showcase for East Bay bands. The next event at the hall, located at 16490 Kent Ave., is Friday April 23.

Shows at Ashland Hall feature young local bands whose audiences are largely young (under 21) themselves. For that reason shows can start as early as 5 p.m.

The shows are produced by PinUp Productions, which is dedicated to "bringing back to life a fading local music scene."

PinUp specializes in putting on "all ages" shows that are "substance free" and mostly "profanity free" according to Andrew Kutsenda of PinUp. Young bands, some with members still in high school, find it difficult to get booked at nightclubs that rely on alcohol sales for profits and thus exclude patrons under 21 year old.

The San Lorenzo group "The Dialed" is among the bands that draw the largest crowds, Kutsenda said.

In addition to Ashland Hall, PinUp Productions puts on all-ages shows at 10 venues in San Jose, including three public libraries and a Borders bookstore, and two in Santa Cruz. Last year PinUp Productions along with two other agencies hosted a half dozen shows at Ashland Hall.

Ashland Hall has a capacity of 250. It was built before 1900 by the Holy Ghost Association for Ashland and San Lorenzo, which incorporated in 1897. For more than a century the hall has been a focal point of Portugese community life in the Ashland-San Lorenzo area.