Readers! Approaching some former strangers in places and spaces of Capitol Hill, in this edition the CHS Crow meets a happy hardcore DJ who’s rocked a Russian sub, a retired veterans’ counselor and early 70s SCC(C) grad who was inspired by Bruce Lee to start practicing martial arts and a local watering hole manager and fashionista-of-all-trades whose jewelry is currently making a splash on national stages.
|Annika (aka Jimni Cricket)|
Age: 33 Work: Full-time DJ in the happy hardcore genre Lives in: Renton Relocating soon to: North Seattle
What brings you to the Hill this evening?
I am waiting for my boyfriend to get a massage. And I wanted to get out of the house, because I spend a lot of time in the house. … I spend a lot of time in the studio when I am not on tour.
What the most interesting or outlandish thing that’s ever happened during a performance?
I played a show that got shut down by the SWAT team, and that was pretty interesting in a negative way. In Texas. And I played on a submarine one time — that’s way more interesting and uplifting. There was a Russian sub in Seattle in the port. … It was like eight years ago. My friend had a personal birthday party on the sub. It was in the water but didn’t go underwater. But we still had set up DJ turntables in it and people came in and out of the sub and partied on the sub.
… what happened with the SWAT team?
The event was on two counties and the club had permitted for only one of the counties, but they were really trying to bust the club for illicit activities. So they ripped apart the club and then didn’t find anything, and they gave the promoter a ticket for vending cotton candy without a license. And that was the only thing they did wrong
How would you describe your genre, “happy hardcore?”
It is a fast genre of EDM that is very uplifting and cute.
What would you tell someone who is interested in happy hardcore but doesn’t really know what it is?
It’s awesome, and probably maybe too annoying for you, but listen to it anyways, and have no shame. A lot of people look down on it ’cause it’s silly. And a lot of people that like it, really like it. It’s kind of this “you love it or hate it” sort of thing — and so everyone should just love it ’cause it’s awesome.
Where do you like to visit when you’re up here?
I like Cupcake Royale. I like the Unicorn — that’s my favorite bar, it’s awesome. There’s so much taxidermy and circus.
What does your boyfriend think of you touring all the time and being away?
He’s fine with, he’s like the most independent person on the planet.
What’s your happy thought?
I guess my happy thought is people expressing themselves and being comfortable with themselves, and that everyone can have that capability.
What you would say to a young person trying to get started in music?
To a new person in the industry I would say don’t set out to do it professionally, set out to do it really really well. And a career will follow the skill. But don’t focus on the career, focus on the skill.
|Arthur (aka “Mongoose”)|
Years old: 68 Retired from: US Army 1966-1971; followed by a career in counseling and support for veterans with City of Seattle and the VA; and then later work in ship repair, storage facility management, distribution management for the Everett Daily Herald and work for Frito-Lay Curricular: Garfield High grad, Seattle Central Community College class of 1974; Bachelors in psychology at Evergreen and masters at UW – Seattle; Extracurriculars include: Hiking, golf, skiing, guitar, coming back to the Hill to hang out and martial arts.
What are some of the biggest changes you’ve noticed on Capitol Hill since living here in the early 70′s?
The geography — everything has changed. I go by places and remember what used to be there, and go by there now and everything’s changed. Like on the corner there by Broadway [and E John], there used to be a Pay-and-Save, and everyone used to go in there and buy their prescriptions, and it was just a place where you would go. … The street that I used to lived on, E Harvard, they put in all those round-abouts in the streets. The building I lived in is still there.
Is there something about Capitol Hill that hasn’t changed — what keeps you coming back?
It’s the spirit. I think anybody who’s lived up here for a little time, and mingled with the people here — these are probably the nicest people that I know. Even though I live in the suburbs of Snohomish County, these people here are real down to Earth and honest with you. Up there, there’s still that little, you have to play the game, smile, and agree with this, agree with that, when maybe you don’t … When you get up here, people dress the way they wanna dress, they do what they wanna do, and they just accepted that. So that’s one reason why I always come back up here. I can just sit in here and relax … I don’t have to wear a suit, I don’t have to be clean shaven.
Tell me about your experience with martial arts.
Bruce Lee used to come up to Garfield and give demonstrations — he was going to the UW at that time. … And boy, he was not that big of a guy, 5’8″, but very wiry. He gave a demonstration where he climbed a rope up to the ceiling with his feet up at a 90 degree angle, he went all the way up and down and up and down and back up and down again. And then he did a lot of other stuff. And then he introduced this lady that came with him from Hong Kong, and she was a martial artist, and she did a lot of demonstrations with what they call Wushu. She did demonstrations with what they call a “chain knife.” And man, I tell you, at the time being that young it was very interesting and encouraging, and I think what he did was promote the martial arts in this area.
As a matter a fact he did, because I later on took Chinese Kung Fu down in Chinatown [from] another famous martial artist named John Leong. A lot of people don’t know who he is, but he’s done a lot of work with Chinese movies, choreographing.
It was not only a way to keep yourself in shape, but it was also a way of learning who you are. And that’s why he [Leong] was so particular about who he took as a student. I think I was the only student that he took that was mixed with African American, because I was the only one in the class. And I was being used as a dummy for all of the other students. Until he saw that I was serious about it and then he started teaching me a lot of other things. I have to admit that I got beat up a lot. I started in ’65, I got drafted in ’66, in the military, but when I came back, I went back and took some more lessons from him, and I got as far — there was six different forms in the style that I took — and I got as far as the fourth form. But they’re very complicated and include about 50 different movements, and so from that point on I just practiced it on my own. It’s probably why I’m in good physical shape now, is I keep up with my martial arts. I practice the medidation. I practice the physical aspects of it. And before I retired I was older than all of my bosses, and they couldn’t believe that I was 67, almost 68. And I said yeah, ‘It’s a lifestyle.’ It’s not only a lifestyle. It’s also the way I eat. The way I feel about myself.
Years old: 24 Day job(s): Manager at World of Beers, graphic designer, and owner of and designer behind Luxla jewelry Has lived in Capitol Hill: A year-and-half Transplanted from: LA Extracurriculars include: Hanging out with here Jack Russel-mix pup Panda and playing music
What are your thoughts on the neighborhood so far?
It honestly took me a year-and-half to feel like Seattle is my city. I was ready to move back to LA. And as soon as I made the decision to move back to LA, everything started changing, and it was like, ‘You should probably stay here.’ Literally the week that I decided to move I made a new friend group that was amazing. I got three job offers in a week. The weather became beautiful. And it honestly seemed like a dumb choice to move.
What do you like to do around here?
I have a dog. I love to things with her — I take her to Cal Anderson. I got to Magnuson Park with her. I take her on hikes. When I’m doing that I play music. I manage a bar a couple blocks down.
… what’s your dog’s name?
Panda. … She’s a Jack Russel mix.
What’s the best thing that’s happened to you on Capitol Hill?
I’ve been very fortunate, I’ve been able to go the the Capitol Hill Block Party for free, I’ve been able to meet a lot of people. Honestly I can’t pinpoint ‘the best’ thing. The community in Seattle, while there is a “Seattle freeze,” if people warm up to you, then the tight-knit community here is more amazing than any other thing I’ve ever experienced.
… any particular facet of the community? Or just in general?
I originally come from the fashion industry. There isn’t a very strong fashion industry in Seattle, and so the few people that are here, they support each other. And the fashion and the music industry are actually very closely knit.
Macklemore’s “Whitewall” song, the girl who collaborated on that song, Hollis, I was lucky enough to make ties with her and she wears my jewelry line. So she’s touring the country right now and she’s rocking my shit. If I didn’t live in Seattle, there’s no way that would have happened, because the Seattle scene is very home-based. They’re like, “You’re here, I wanna support you.”
Previously on CHS Crow