Don’t let the Wax Museum melt

Jesus Ambrioso, Staff Writer

If you want to see a “local,” do-it-yourself show, you usually have to hop in your car and travel to venues like Bridgetown DIY in La Puente, VLHS in Pomona or The Smell in downtown Los Angeles.

A new venue has emerged in Long Beach called the Wax Museum, and it seems to be the answer for the lacking DIY scene in Long Beach.

Nate Hubbell and Dylan Baker, owners of the venue, said the Wax Museum was created on a whim, but with good intentions.

“I worked here when it was a vape shop. They had passed a law in Long Beach that [stated] we can’t vape indoors,” Hubbell said. “My boss, who was the owner at the time, didn’t want to deal with that … When I told him I wanted to have shows here, he asked me if [I thought I] could turn this place into a venue.”

Hubbell’s phone rang one day, and his boss told him he had three weeks to make the venue happen.

Hubbell contacted his friend Baker who was running Ear Wax Records, where Baker was making tapes and throwing shows for bands.

“My only mission is to stay open. I don’t think we should try to open and run a big venue or have giant shows or anything like that,” Baker said. “But I think that the light staying on is our only goal … to have people that want to play [shows] and have a place to play.”

Baker has put everything on hold for Ear Wax Records to focus on the Wax Museum.

Hubbell, Baker and Starr Kutchins, who was helping run Ear Wax Records, combined their experience and managed to create an environment where music reigns.

Kristie Bailey attended her first show a couple of weeks ago, she saw bands like Roman Candles, Hillary Chillton, Pedestrian, Struckout and Tough Stuff perform, and immediately wanted to become involved with the venue.

“It’s cool because it’s run by kids,” Bailey said. “Everyone here is super nice, and it’s kind of inspiring to see people my age doing cool s–t, playing in cool bands, making cool [art] and being part of a larger community is kind of rad.”

At a weekly volunteer meeting, the collective discussed how the venue could be improved, planned for future shows and joked about music tastes, which varied throughout the group present.

Zachary Mejia, who has also attended shows and is a member of local band Animalia, said the owners are doing a good job at managing the venue and getting people to follow rules, most importantly having people be respectful.

“There was a good vibe in here. I didn’t feel like I wasn’t welcomed,” Mejia said. “All the people and bands were really cool. Afterward bands stuck around, and I was able to meet some of the band members.”

It’s strange to think that a few weeks ago place like the Wax Museum didn’t exist — it should be praised for its ambition.

The project is run on a volunteer basis and promises to deliver $2 shows on weekdays and $5 shows on the weekends. There will be shows at the venue every day of the week except Mondays, which are reserved for weekly volunteer meetings.

Just in case that wasn’t perfectly clear, Long Beach now has a place where there is music almost every day of the week for just a couple bucks.

“I think it’s important for [Long Beach’s] local music culture because we don’t want to sell you beer, we’re not here to sell art,” Baker said. “We’re not here to do anything but host musicians. We don’t have any ulterior motives, we just want to promote the scene.”

The venue is currently in need of old television sets, American flags and couches.

When asked about why they needed these things, they said it would become apparent to visitors of the venue once the “secret project” was completed.

If you would like to donate, volunteer, attend shows or learn more about this promising new venue visit: www.facebook.com/WaxMuseumLB.

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