“As a kid, all I did was hang out at surf shops,” says Chris Cote, cofounder/drummer/singer with Kut-U-Up. “It doesn’t seem like there are a lot of places left where people just hang out.”
A reignited Kut-U-Up (they just released Worse Than Wolves, their first studio album in a decade) played an acoustic show last week at the Garage, a new art-and-event space in Encinitas that is starting to present all-ages live shows. Think: Andy Warhol’s Factory for surfers and skaters.
The Garage is a space on Coast Highway launched by Tim Swart, a veteran of the action-sports industry. Seven years ago, Swart opened UNIV, a men’s clothing store that specializes in its own line of made-in-America denim pants. That store hosted many live-music shows over the years. When the building next door to UNIV became available last year, he seized the opportunity and opened the Garage.
The 1500-square-foot space has a surfboard-shaping room that hosts local pro Rob Machado’s surfboard shaping collaboration called Garage Project. Other surfers/shapers such as Ryan Burch, Alex Knost, and Ellis Ericson have hosted events at the Garage that usually involve music and a display of their new boards.
Hawaiian ukulele player Makua Rothman and local artists Tropical Popsicle, Boaz, Mattson 2, and Night Riots have played at the Garage. All of those shows were free.
“We charge whoever is putting on the event,” says Garage/UNIV employee James Addonivio. [Breast-cancer charity] Keep-A-Breast had the Garage for the entire month of May. The music usually goes with the art or surfboard exhibits. Donations are usually taken.”
All live shows are not loud and are over by 10 p.m.
“We want to have a cool, creative compound,” says Swart.
The Garage is at 1053 Coast Highway 101, across the street from the Surfdog Records headquarters.
Cote says of Kut-U-Up, “We don’t want to be remembered as ‘the band that was all fucked up in that one movie with blink and Green Day.’ We feel the new songs will speak for themselves.”
Kut-U-Up opened 56 dates of the 2003 blink-182/Green Day tour that was documented in a 45-minute MTV feature called Riding in Vans with Boys.
“We never broke up,” says Cote. “We’ve been playing here and there for the past ten years.”