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213's Dave Freeman

By Monk Turner
Published: Tuesday, February 02, 2010, at 10:09PM
Dave Freeman brings the rock to Caseys Monk Turner [Flickr]

Dave Freeman at Casey's

Dave Freeman is not only a career music promoter, he is also a career Downtowner. A little less than a year ago he decided he wanted to work in the neighborhood he lives in -- a bit of a stretch in a city where most of the population commutes to work. Furthermore, he wanted to do it through music.

With a strong background in music licensing, he has married his vision of creating concepts through music to Cedd Moses' visionary Downtown bars.

MONK TURNER: How did you stumble upon your job with 213?

DAVE FREEMAN: When I came to 213, I had just recently been laid off from Bug Music as their Creative Director. The night that Tony's was opening, I didn't really have any money but wanted to support a 213 bar because they were all my favorite bars in downtown. I walked up to Tony's from my place in the Arts District and had a couple drinks. Well, it wasn't a couple it was actually quite a few. [laughter] Hours later I walked back home and within 30 or 40 minutes of getting home and going to bed, the building I lived in was on fire.

MT: So you were out of a job..

DF: I was out of a job..

MT: Didn't have a place to live...

DF: Didn't have a place to live and had to take care of two dogs. I didn't really know what to do but luckily Red Cross came and put us up in a hotel. While I was in the hotel I starting thinking about how I want to stay here in downtown but didn't want to drive to Hollywood or the west side anymore. I decided to reach out to 213...

MT: ..and they gave you the title of...

DF: Music Director and Market Development. Music Director is basically managing the Jameson stage at Casey's. I book the bands on Friday nights and the DJs on saturday nights. Market Development is a collaboration effort like at Golden Gopher during Art Walk.

MT: ..and apparently you're bringing the metal to downtown too?

DF: First and third Thursdays we're doing a rock and metal night. It is a night I put together over at Golden Gopher with DJ Sam Velde who is one of the founders of Cold Sweat Records. He is really well versed in heavy rock...

MT: Do you have to have long hair to get in the door?

DF: You don't have to have long hair. [laughter] Leather jackets maybe.

MT: Torn spandex?

DF: If you're dressed like Stryper, you are guaranteed to get a date.[laughter] But if you're into Judas Preist, Dio, or you want to listen to Black Sabbath...

MT: No Kenny G?

DF: No Kenny G. And as much as I love Radiohead, there will not be any Radiohead either. It is just really good rock'n'roll. Again one of the reasons I wanted to do this in downtown is that 213 gives me the creative freedom to do nights that I think will do well. After looking around, it is clear that there is no one that is doing a rock night in downtown. It isn't in a dingy, dirty, bar in a bad part of town. Golden Gopher is a nice place.

MT: And you won't get an STD from sitting in the wrong booth.

DF: Right.

Dave is also responsible for the audioscape at Seven Grand, Broadway Bar, Cole's, Varnish, and the soon to open Las Perlas. I'm pretty you'll either be hearing one of his iPod mixes or seeing one of his DJs very soon... if you haven't already. More info can be found at and shows are posted on their music blog. If you're a band or DJ who is interested in playing, drop him a line at


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