Folk-punk has a little secret in northwest Oklahoma City. Yet despite tongue-in-cheek innuendo from the house concert-style venue organizers, The Unkempt Beaver is mostly a wholesome, do-it-yourself (DIY) music cove.
Stepping into The Beaver, located on NW 89th Street between N. Classen Boulevard and N. Western Avenue, it’s easy to see how it earned its moniker. About as large as the average living room, the venue is a converted garage or shed within a larger housing unit. Tenant Kelsey Birnbaum rents the space and lives in an adjoining bedroom.
The floor is dusted with a thin layer of dirt, not unlike many average American basements. A sheet spray-painted with the words The Unkempt Beaver flutters in the breeze of several box fans that cool the room.
Aside from several milk crates, furnishings are a second- or third-hand couch against the wall and a plywood stage donated by local artist and performer Leslie Hensley, also known as Balthazar.
“When Kelsey moved here, there were a bunch of holes in the wall, which is punk rock, but it’s also dangerous,” said Elecktra Stanislava, who manages audio and equipment for The Beaver.
Those hoping to make themselves houseguests will soon have their chance. Gritty New York-based alt-country songsmith Radiator King performs with Brain in the Sky, Cabot Unknown and more 8 p.m. May 27 at the venue, 800 NW 89th St.
The space is no Radio City Music Hall, but The Beaver isn’t trying to be anything extravagant. The small house crew has made some…
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