one thing that silver spring is missing is a good live music venue. half moon bbq was small (really small) but had an eclectic mix of music, but it closed down even before we moved out here. austin grill, mcginty's and a few other places host some live music, but there's really no concert venue, so when it was announced that the county was working with the owners of the birchmere on a "birchmere 2" for the vacant JC Penny building i was pretty excited.
unfortunately negotiations on that front broke down and for a couple of months the local civic association listserve was awash in rumors, accusations, and innuendo. the county was just in it for money and the "wrong kind of music" would attract "the wrong kind of people" and result in crime, stabbings, and killings.
please, won't somebody think of the children.
it seemed like a lot of people only wanted at venue if it played their kind of music. what's next a local committee to approve artists for the venue once it was running? the birchmere is one kind of music experience, but not the only kind.
lee development group, the current owners of the JC Penny property who will be donating it to the county as a part of the project, have set up a website how - http://www.livemusicss.com/ [via the silver spring penguin] - which will hopefully dispel some of the fear, uncertainty, doubt, and snobbery that's been rampant recently. live nation, who run the house of blues and filmore venue chains seem to be in the running to operate the venue.
it'd be nice to have a locally run independent club, but not at the cost of not having one at all. a ram's head live like venue would also work well for silver spring. having been to the rams head a couple of months ago it has a nice mix of standing and seated space, good food and good beer (that's a county issue though). the state theatre in falls church is another cool venue that has a nice mix, though it's somewhat shaped by it's roots as a movie theater.
personally i'll ONLY support a music venue if it also includes a microbrewery. and a special vip box for me at every show.