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PANAMILIT: The Last Days of Kukuk's Nest

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

Kukuk's Nest, formerly Turtle's Nest, was the last standing bastion of creativity on the Gorordo strip. With Koa Treehouse and Handuraw Pizza long gone, Kukuk's was the only haven left on Gorordo for local visual artists, bands, misfits, hiphop heads, graffiti artists, poets, outcasts and everything in between. Sadly, it all came to halt last August 31, 2023. Before that, Kukuk's Nest provided a home for gigs, graffiti events, sticker trades, poetry readings, and various art exhibits. So a series of farewell gigs/art exhibits was the only fitting way for a send-off to this beloved spot.

Photos by DeXter Duran

The first gig was the two-day Panamilit tribute gig organized by Oldfart Productions, Blaxkbox 6000, Ear Infection Records and Bald Kharma Productions. Bands like Queen City Crew, The Line Divides, Saving Ruth, Grip, Gardo, Kick in da Face, None of the Above, Benderr, Do By Heart, Rogue, Not Following Instructions, Vampire State, UnO, Bombo Pluto Ova, Ramonitos, Shepherd's Plaid, Insulin, The Gospel, Ashtrays to Gaza, Storya, The Stallions of the Burning Church, Chugagkag, Faint Morning, Pipebomb Landmines, Tremors, Smoking Caterpillar and The Wigiws all played during the two-day, all day event. All of the bands featured during Panamilit has played numerous times over the years in Kukuk's, all cutting their teeth and honing their sound within the dusty walls and bookshelves of the venue.

Photos by DeXter Duran

The second farewell gig was All Flew Over the Kukuk's Nest organized by PAWN Records and Backyard Project Studios. The bands who paid their tributes to the local scene's beloved spot were Deanery, Ala Akhbar, The Pervs, milkmus, Folding Bed, The Spirals, Sunday Sunday, Awkward Dancer, bedtime television and Hollywood Folk Hogan, and with a DJ set from Libya Montes.

Venues for the local scene often come and go, Kukuk's Nest was the longest surviving one. Many of its' contemporaries have already fallen years ago, but Kukuk's stayed true and steady and has helped usher bands and artists, new and old, in whatever genre they fit, to a newer crowd of young guns looking for a taste of the local scene. It never discriminated, and it was that magic that bound people to it. We can only hope another place like Kukuk's pops up in this city of ours, but until then, go to other gigs and support your local favorite bands. They need you, and you need them.

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