Hollow Earth’s Magmafest has mission beyond the music in 2015

Hollow Earth's Jamie Fife (Images: Josh Kelety for CHS)

Hollow Earth’s Jamie Fife (Images: Josh Kelety for CHS)

2014's Magmafest included the Eiderdown Records Sound Salon in Hollow Earth's "specially" equipped studio (Image: Hollow Earth)

2014’s Magmafest included the Eiderdown Records Sound Salon in Hollow Earth’s “specially” equipped studio. There will be a second Eiderdown Sound Salon on March 14, 2015. (Image: Hollow Earth)

It’s time again for Magmafest, a month in the Central District of independent live music and arts organized and put on by the volunteer-run Hollow Earth. The 2015 edition of the festival slated to start up on March 1st with a two-part “warm-up” featuring a collage-making party (with Magma Soup) and then show with music and poetry.

But there’s a new, bigger, more expensive mission of this year’s fest.

The event comes as Hollow Earth Radio is easing into its recently acquired low power FM license from the FCC, and the opportunities, growth, and challenges that it has created. Specifically, raising a “ridiculous” figure to pay for an expensive new transmitter and antenna to broadcast Hollow Earth’s waves.

Carly Dunn, a volunteer coordinator at Hollow Earth who has been with the station for around two years, said that the energy around Magmafest has changed since getting the LPFM license.

“I think we’re definitely thinking about things like money now,” Dunn tells CHS. “Before it was like ‘yea, wouldn’t it be weird if we did this!?’ But now with shows I’m thinking ‘man, what can I do to get people out here, and giving and stuff’.” Continue reading

Overhauled Chop Suey — and its new lounge The Den — set for March grand opening

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 10.24.17 AM 10922838_927328697277517_4823551759375342230_nWe’re not sure what they’re up to with the chainsaw in there but work continues to clean up Chop Suey for its next run at live music glory on E Madison. Or rather, clean down.

“By keeping the integrity of all that 1325 Madison St. has been through the years, the interior will reflect it’s stint as an auto parts shop, The Breakroom, Chop Suey, and the future home of The Den,” the announcement on a grand opening reads.

The Chop’s new owners Brianna Rettig, Brian Houck, and Erin Carnes have announced the club will reopen with a special show on March 6th followed by the big grand opening bash featuring Girl Trouble and Dead Moon on lucky Friday, March 13th.

In the meantime, they’re working to get the grit ratio right at their newly acquired club:

Creating success in downtown Los Angeles with both Houck’s first bar, Bar 107, and his partnership with Carnes at The Escondite, make them no strangers to bringing soul to the seediest of neighborhoods with artists and musicians at the forefront. This time with Rettig’s help, they’ll be doing just the opposite by trying to preserve some of the grittiness of a developing neighborhood and keeping a home for local bands and live music.

Continue reading

Campfire Sunday BBQ & Live Music Series at Vermillion

Join Campfire as we celebrate making Eater Seattle’s list of Best BBQ in Seattle!

This week’s music will be provided by duo Ryan Purcell from The Last Round on guitar/vocals and his brother on slide guitar doing a blues/country set.

We will begin serving our delicious, slow and low BBQ at 4 pm and go until we sell out.

Music usually starts around 6:30/7 pm and the venue will be open until 10 pm.
There is no cover for this event and it is All Ages.

EMP’s Black History Month Kick-Off Event

The Brandkings and EMP Museum present Through the Eyes of Art, the kickoff event for EMP’s Black History Month celebration.

This year, Seattle’s premier Black History Month celebration brings together work from regional artists and photographers in The Value of Black Life art showcase.

The second annual Through the Eyes of Art will feature a keynote address from the former National Director of Youth Engagement at World Vision Derrick Wheeler-Smith, remarks from City of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle City Council Member Bruce Harrell, and appearances by hip-hop heavyweights Talib Kweli and Draze.

Campfire Sunday BBQ and Live Music Series Vermillion

Campfire BBQ is teaming up with the owner of Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar, Diana Adams, to put on a live music and BBQ series every Sunday to support local artists and the act of putting tasty meats in your mouth, although a vegetarian option is always available.

This coming Sunday we will be featuring Jonny Woods – a Kiwi singer/songwriter who’s music is infused with soul, jazz, pop and everything else that’s catchy.

We will begin serving our delicious low and slow BBQ made with happy meats at 4 pm and go until we sell out – the music start and end time will be at the musician’s discretion, but usually starts around 6 pm and the venue will be open until 10 pm regardless.

There is no cover for this event and kids are welcome as long as they don’t go behind the railing that separates the bar.

What’s a better name for the Chop Suey?

8445101719_f5b8f866a2With a new life and overhauled venue in the works, it might be a good time to do something about the name. Artist Andy Panda thinks so. Panda has posted an open letter asking the new owners of the Chop Suey to do away with the venue’s name.

“As a Chinese person, seeing fake Chinese decor in a club that is not owned by Chinese people makes my heart sink,” Panda writes. “No one should have to see their own race caricatured in a venue that hosts so many great touring bands.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Slummit Block Party, LLC

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

IMG_6877Last week, CHS reported that the artist enclave Summit Inn had been sold to a developer with plans to transform the Inn “into conventional apartments” with a total overhaul and inevitably higher rents.

Saturday night, some of the Inn’s remaining residents and other Summit Ave neighbors got together for a winter edition of the block’s annual music festival. Here are a few scenes from this weekend’s Slummit Block Party, LLC.

Meanwhile, the Summit Inn’s new owner Brad Padden‘s plan — “Substantial Alterations to an existing 40-unit apartment building. Renovate all units and decrease unit count to 35 small efficiency dwelling units” — is wending its way through the Department of Planning and Development.

Goodbye to the Chop Suey as we know it

The Chop Suey as we know it is ready to shut down after one final weekend and a couple epilogeous nights. The situation makes for a difficult obituary — CHS has reported that the E Madison venue is being prepared to live on under new owners with backgrounds in music and the LA club scene.

Erin Carnes, the co-owner of The Escondite, a live music venue and burger joint in downtown LA, and her musician business partner Brianna Rettig are set to begin an overhaul to both the interior and the exterior of the 1937-built building at 14th and Madison. The 2002-born Chop Suey business was on the market for just under $100,000 this summer as the Japanese company that owned Chop Suey decided to bring its investment to an end. In 2009, the club was purchased by the same ownership as K’s Dream, a live music venue in Tokyo. The business partners have declined to comment on the record but said to expect details soon. One performer with knowledge of the new set-up said music and performance will remain part of the new club’s offerings but that the way events are booked and promoted is set to transition to a “for rent” format that leaves elements like marketing and ticketing to the acts to handle. UPDATE: CHS has been told this format is NOT part of the new plan. Continue reading

Chop Suey schedules last show but plans for what’s next for venue are taking shape

ISluxgmyleqkcq1000000000January 18th will be the final night for Capitol Hill’s Chop Suey but plans are underway to make sure the address will live on in a new era of E Madison nightlife glory.

UPDATE: The club will host a final show on Monday, January 19th but the big to-do happens the night before.

In a penultimate Sunday farewell, a bill of local all-stars will shut the Suey down:

The venue says goodbye with one final local music hurrah on Sunday, January 18 in the form of an impromptu mini-festival entitled Another One Bites the Dust!. The lineup includes a collection of Seattle’s finest rabblerousers: Tacocat, Kithkin, Chastity Belt, Wimps, Pony Time, Childbirth, Universe People, Deep Creep, Sashay, and more. If that wasn’t enticing enough, it’s a screaming deal at only $5 ($10 at door).

If you’re not the type to take chances, you can purchase tickets online from The Stranger for $13.11.

While nothing has been formally announced, CHS has learned the partnership of a Skid Row club owner and a LA musician making plans to purchase the club is set to begin an overhaul to both the interior and the exterior of the 1937-built building at 14th and Madison. A permit was issued for the construction just before Christmas. Continue reading

Prospective Chop Suey buyers are a Skid Row club owner and a LA musician

Night Cadet performing at Chop Suey in 2013 as part of the inaugural Mo Wave festival (Image: CHS)

Night Cadet performing at Chop Suey in 2013 as part of the inaugural Mo Wave festival (Image: CHS)

Rettig's alter ego plays The Escondite weekly

Rettig’s alter ego plays The Escondite weekly

Since Chop Suey went on the market in August, Seattle live music fans have fretted over losing yet another concert venue on Capitol Hill. Well, here’s some potentially good news: CHS has learned that Chop Suey’s prospective buyer already runs a live music and food venue in Los Angeles and is making plans to partner with a LA musician on the deal.

The agent working on the sale of the 12-year-old club told CHS an agreement was being negotiated but had not yet been signed and wouldn’t identify any potential buyers. The business is still being listed for sale.

Last month, Erin Carnes, the co-owner of a Los Angeles club, and her musician business partner Brianna Rettig formed a new business at Chop Suey’s E Madison address. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Stevie Wonder on Capitol Hill

Stevie Wonder came to Seattle this week to sing, make a compelling speech… and eat at 12th Ave’s Plum Bistro Thursday:

Before his visit with Makini Howell, Wonder worked up his appetite the night before in a show at Key Arena where he introduced one of his classics by sharing a little wisdom on the week’s unrest:

Volunteer Park bandstand: Group wins grant to come up with new design for amphitheater

The old Volunteer Park bandshell in 1932 -- it was demolished 16 years later (Image: Seattle Municipal Archives via Flickr)

The old Volunteer Park bandshell in 1932 — it was demolished 16 years later (Image: Seattle Municipal Archives via Flickr)

A Capitol Hill community group is excited about a big grant from the City of Seattle that will help it continue its mission of helping shape and restore one of the neighborhood’s favorite public assets.

The Volunteer Park Trust tells CHS that it is kicking off a project to replace Volunteer Park’s aging stage with a new bandshell. The money will go to the development of a conceptual design for a new bandshell to replace the masonry stage that has served the parks since the early ’70s.

The stage in more recent times (Images: CHS)

According to a trust representative, the group plans to hold an open call to select the firm to create the conceptual design. You can sign up at VolunteerParkTrust.org to be notified when the process begins.

CHS can give you a few pointers if you’re looking for guidance in your design. Continue reading

Joyful! Noise 5th Annual Holiday Concert, “Winter’s Promise”

Joyful! Noise community choir sings songs of joy, thoughtfulness, and anticipation, from a gospel-funk version of “The Hallelujah Chorus” to “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” from Elton John’s “Step Into Christmas,” to “Run, Rudolph, Run.” A five-piece band, audience sing-along, and holiday gift basket raffle round out the program. Come and be merry!