Friday, August 29, 2008

Mosgo's New Wall - won't be found in the E section

Last Friday night, Aug. 22, Mosgo’s was finally able to host a show in an expanded venue, thanks to its new sound wall.

The wall was installed Aug. 21. Fifteen volunteers and staff worked until midnight to get the wall ready for the next day, and throughout the day people were putting the finishing touches on the wall.

The wall is made up of panels that adhere to the floor when the wall is up to prevent sound from traveling through the wall.

Mosgo’s, a coffee shop in Westwood in Arcata, is owned by Peter and Gale Mosgofian and is a nonprofit organization. The Mosgofians also own Common Grounds Community Center next door; the wall divides these two entities.

Common Grounds is used for ballet, yoga or anything else the surrounding community requests. Mosgo’s offers free wireless Internet and free use of a computer to access the Internet; books, games and free-trade coffee; local pastries; and all-ages concerts.

The Mosgofians and Ray Robinson (the music manager at Mosgo’s) really mean all ages, too. They want the space to be appropriate for babies on up. Gale said, “Our goal is to build community, and we believe community includes children.”

Since Mosgo’s opened in May 2006, it’s been a dream of its owners to get a dividing wall up between the two spaces.

Gale said, “We’ve seen the need for space and we’ve seen the need for more noise to be made.”

Mosgo’s has hosted concerts featuring quiet acoustic sounds all the way to the loud head-banging sound of Dragged by Horses.

Having more space allows performers to make more noise and leaves space for dancing. Prior to the wall, the space felt very much like a coffee shop and dancing was difficult because of the tables and chairs.

When Robinson opened the wall for the first concert, the space opened up and patrons agreed it felt more like a music venue and less like a coffee show. More than a hundred people turned up for the Huckleberry Flint concert and to see the new space.

Adam Dick plays in Huckleberry Flint and said, “It feels more like a venue.”

While the band played, children danced in front of the stage and adults chatted around tables in the back. Others just listened and tapped their feet. After the band’s first set, they picked up the pace a little and children and grown-ups alike took to the dance floor.

Mark Hays plays with Boomsauii, which opened for Huckleberry Flint. He said, “It was like a transforming room. I was very surprised.”

Berel Alexander is playing at the grand opening of the wall, which will take place Friday, Aug. 29. He said, “It’s going to be the best place for all-ages music. It already is the best place for all-ages music, but it’s going to be better (with the wall).”

Alexander said, “I’m excited for the people at Mosgo’s. The people that work at Mosgo’s are top-notch people, and the coffee is great. They are genuinely good people who want to do something good for the community. I’ve had only wonderful encounters with the people there.”

Alexander is playing with Double Threat, a high-energy comedy rap duo, and Rebekah Downey. The show starts around 7 p.m. The cover charge is $5 and there will be Mosgo’s gear and other door prizes for the winning.

Melody Stone can be contacted at or 707-269-7437.

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