The inherent limitations of a smallish back patio were tested last Thursday, when cold temperatures, a large crowd and heavy music crossed paths at Velveteen Rabbit. Through it all, the Arts District bar best known for its cocktail program and craft beers proved up to the challenge, continuing its emergence as a hospitable Downtown music spot. “We just want to create an atmosphere,” says James Adams, the Same Sex Mary frontman who heads up Velveteen’s music program. “There aren’t a lot of places Downtown for bands to play right now.”
Velveteen Rabbit began hosting its free, 10 p.m. Thursday (and occasional Sunday) shows in August, bringing folkish Vegas acts like Hungry Cloud and Mother McKenzie into the lounge area near the back of the interior. More recently, Adams has been experimenting with outdoor sets, booking touring bands from San Francisco and Austin, Texas, along with Thursday’s bill—locals Caravels and Twin Brother—for the patio. Caravels’ music, which has one foot in hardcore, made it through the makeshift PA system surprisingly unscathed. “We’re about as D.I.Y. as you can get, but I think it sounds about as good as it can,” Adams assesses. The next big test will come October 13, when Portland garage-punk outfit Guantanamo Baywatch drops in.
Velveteen Rabbit 1218 S. Main St., 685-9645. Tuesday-Sunday, 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Next show: Josh Ellis, October 3, 10 p.m., free.