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In February, the all-age music venue Channel Twelve 25 opened its doors in down town El Cajon. Adam Paul helps book hip-hop, acoustic rock, blues, and folk acts.

“The only thing we’re not booking is metal,” says Paul. “We just had a bad experience with a metal band. One person jumped onstage with the singer. The singer and the mosher were rubbing faces like they were making love. It wasn’t violent, but it was pretty bizarre. The singer threw up in our bathroom and missed the toilet completely. They were smoking dope in our green room and basically made it into a hot box.”

Channel Twelve 25, in a space that used to house a music store, offers head liners a pay-for-play arrangement: either the band rents the room for a flat $500 fee, or bands agree to cover the price for 60 $8 tickets.

“The most we’ve had is 160 to see an alternative-rock band called Bending Planets,” says Paul. “We also had 150 for a goth night. On that night the promoter just rented the place out.”

Paul says all the bands that play get a DVD of their live set provided by an in-house production crew. (“We use two or three cameras.”)

How is Channel Twelve 25 doing in generally conservative El Cajon?

“The last couple of shows brought people into the area who were freaks – being freakish isn’t bad. People came down here and spent money.”

He says adjacent businesses don’t have a problem with the venue.

“The only reason I could see [any problems] is if we did something wrong…. Hot Monkey Love [an all-age music venue near SDSU] went away because its neighbors complained. But there aren’t any residential places around us who are going to call and complain.… Downtown El Cajon is going through a beautification process; the City of El Cajon wants this to be the next Gaslamp.”

Tragic Tantrum Cabaret and Mursic appear tomorrow. Lumina and XCD appear Saturday. (channeltwelve25.com)

– Ken Leighton

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