If you’re familiar with the local music scene, you more than likely know the cherished DIY spot K23 – home to weird rock that introduced the midtown area to a myriad of amazing artists that otherwise may not have stopped in San Antonio.
Since 2014 (after having to relocate due to a misunderstanding with their landlord), Glenn and Gem Hotvet have been curating live music and, in their early days, art shows with the help of the late Jason Gonzales (DJ Shabbytiger) who passed away only six months after opening the venue.
But the music hasn’t been totally confined to the tiny concrete venue (named after a cologne in novelist Tom Robbins’ Jitterbug Perfume), sitting at Fredericksburg and Ashby. The Hotvets have been able to throw their mix of electronica, psych, indie, punk, and experimental rock ‘n’ roll showcases at places like San Antonio College’s Scobee Education Center/Planetarium for Astral Projection – a concert series which paired the stunning visuals from The Mustachio Light Show, with live music from the featured band or artists.
Also, this past September we saw the inaugural Psych Del Rio music festical– arguably San Antonio's first psych rock fest, which featured headliners Bubble Puppy, a local psychedelic rock band from the ’60s (that actually opened for The Who here in San Antonio back in the day), along with Sacred Bones Records' Psychic Ills, The Warlocks plus a slew of inducing regional acts from throughout Texas.
But it seems like the married couple has outgrown their own venue, and after this Saturday’s show, which features the synth pop musings of Xander Harris, jangly atmospheric six-piece Future Museums, and Curved Light – a psychedelic and abstract electronic project from Peter Tran, K23 won’t host any more shows within its walls.
The Current caught up with one half of the dynamic duo, Gem Hotvet, to talk about K23, and what the future looks like for them. From what they told us, they've got some pretty gnarly shows up their sleeves.
Current: How do you feel about shutting down the venue as a space?
Gem Hotvet: I feel good. I feel relieved. I feel like we need a bigger boat and that’s a good position to be in you know? I never expected for this all to work out so well. I certainly never expected to be at this position now where like, this awesome hobby I’ve fucked around and made into something more like a career – so, I feel great about that. The music scene is in a totally different place than it was when we started doing this and that’s good. People seem to be supporting music and that’s all I want.
C: I think there’s lot of people rooting for y’all. Y’alls relationship with the neighborhood, the community. All of us have just been midtown hoodlums that have continued to just like, work and play shows, I think people just kinda want to see our friends succeed, you know?
GH: I can’t believe we’re able to do stuff we can do, honestly. Like when I was all, “Hey planetarium, can I come rock faces off inside your educational facility?” and they were like “Sure, let’s talk about it.” I was like “no fucking way!” you know? It’s just like, why not try? why not ask? .... I want to keep doing stuff at cool places like that, keep bringing bands through that I feel are at that point that are realizing their vision completely, and really communicating what they’re trying to accurately.
C: Can you go on the record to talk about any of the future shows y’all are planning?
GH: Um, not really. (laughs)
C: Would it be similar to Psych Del Rio?
GH: Like more cool bands in beautiful locations that are unexpected. And we are doing Psych Del Rio next year.
C: Is there a lineup yet?
GH: Not yet, but September 22 is the day.
C: At the Arneson River Theater again?
C: Cool, yea, I got such good feedback from that event.
GH: Yeah, I did too. Even the fucking cops were like, “wow this is a really chill, beautiful, peaceful event – everyone was really nice and respectful.”