Found pianos of Capitol Hill

I was walking through Capitol Hill, Seattle one weekend, and encountered an abandoned piano at the side of the road. I decided it needed a final piece of loving, so I recorded it in my phone. The next week I found the piano had been joined by a second, and both pianos had had their keyboards smashed. So I played the strings directly. Both pieces reflect the decay and misuse of the pianos, and the environment they spent a short time in before going to their final resting place.

We don’t know anything more about it than what we found here where you can download both tracks — One piano with working keys and One piano with destroyed keys — of this very Capitol Hill music project.

Rocker John Roderick enters at-large council race with Capitol Hill roots


(Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Calling John Roderick the “arts candidate” for City Council would be somewhat limiting unless the definition includes a candidate who sees affordability and transit as part and parcel to supporting the arts. As the front man for Seattle indie rock band The Long Winters, Roderick says he knows first hand that it takes a village to raise an artist.

Roderick officially announced his candidacy Monday for Council Position 8, one of two at-large seats up for grabs this November. Also seeking the seat are current council president Tim Burgess, former Tenants Union director Jon Grant, activist David Trotter, longshoreman John Persak, and City Council agitator Alex Tsimerman.

Roderick, 46, lives in Rainier Beach, is a founding member of the Seattle Music Commission, co-host of a weekly podcast, and a former Seattle Weekly music columnist.

Having spent 17 years living on Capitol Hill as a working musician before moving out of the neighborhood eight years ago, Roderick sees himself as belonging to a belated awakening of 90s rockers who squandered an opportunity to get political when the iron was hot.

Imbued with the sense of “we’re in charge now,” Roderick said this year’s switch to district elections opened a window for non-traditional candidates to run for office.

“To keep arts out of public life and reserve City Council for a professional class of lawyers and activists is to miss an opportunity to build a civilization here rather than just a municipality,” he said. “We’ve lost sight of what makes American democracy fantastic, which is that citizens can participate in the political process.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Second annual Jackson Street Jazz Walk

Alex Dugdale at Casa Latina (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Alex Dugdale at Casa Latina (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

For such an out-of-the-way place, Seattle has had a remarkable jazz history. The action began as early as 1918, when Lillian Smith’s jazz band played at Washington Hall. It kept going strong all through Prohibition, as an authentic black jazz scene developed around the hub of Jackson Street and Twelfth Avenue. Even Jelly Roll Morton stopped off to play in the district, in 1920; he later wrote a rag, “Seattle Hunch,” to commemorate his visit. – Jackson Street After Hours: The Roots of Jazz in Seattle by Paul de Barros

Outside Pratt Fine Arts Center

Outside Pratt Fine Arts Center

Saturday, the second annual Jackson Street Jazz Walk honored the street’s legacy and filled spaces up and down this edge of the Central District with music and performance.

Organized by the Jackson Commons community group, the free event is still fighting for attention at the citywide (CHS told you about it here) level but neighbors got excellent seats for acts like Industrial Revelation, Tubaluba, Congress, Syrinx Effect, Cornish Jazz, and Gail Pettis performing in a mix of community venues including Casa Latina, Wonder Cafe, Cheeky Cafe, and the Pratt Fine Arts Center.

You can learn more about this year’s performers and how to get involved in the event at

Capitol Hill Block Party lineup released under new brand celebrating Pike/Pine’s blocks

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 4.52.32 PMWith a renewed focus on their festival’s namesake neighborhood, Capitol Hill Block Party organizers announced on Tuesday the first batch of performers playing this year’s three-day music festival. Headliners for the July 24th-26th event will be TV on the Radio, RATATAT, and The Kills. Three-day passes ($118.67) go on sale starting at 9 AM 10th/Pike Standard Time.

“We made a concerted effort to book bands we felt best exemplified the spirit and history of the festival, putting an emphasis on indie rock and punk bands alongside genres like hip-hop and EDM,” said festival organizer Jason LaJeunesse in a statement. A list of all the performers announced Tuesday is below.

Discounted three-day passes also went on sale for $99 and will be available through Thursday. Later, three-day passes go for $125.

In years past, LaJeunesse made the lineup announcement on KEXP. We’re getting an early morning jump on the performers this year as the announcement was tied to an East Coast collaboration with Billboard. Continue reading

Joe Buckets busted for Pike/Pine street noise

"35 years old and originally from Rhode Island, Joe has been living in Seattle for about 13 years but has been homeless for the last several..." (Image: Tim Durkan)

“35 years old and originally from Rhode Island, Joe has been living in Seattle for about 13 years but has been homeless for the last several…” (Image: Tim Durkan)

While local businesses are making calls for increased police patrols and the city is putting up money to study a pedestrian-only block of the neighborhood, maybe it’s also time to consider a busking permit program in Pike/Pine. Especially if Joe the street drummer ever gets his buckets — and his glockenspiel — back.

Slog reported on the apparent arrest of Joe Buckets last week. CHS was also working on finding out more about the situation after learning Joe had been taken into custody during a Saturday night performance in Pike/Pine. CHS has learned that Joe was interviewed and released but police placed his gear — “4 plastic buckets, 4 high-hat cymbals, a glockenspiel, a plastic bell, and other assorted percussive instruments” — into evidence pending the outcome of his case which is in the hands of the City Attorney. Continue reading

Reborn Chop Suey opens with new ownership, new look

Co-owners Brianna Rettig and Erin Carnes (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Co-owners Brianna Rettig (left) and Erin Carnes (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Chop Suey is back. After shutting down two months ago, the new owners of the 14th and Madison live music venue held a soft open last week and a sneak peek event Thursday night in anticipation of the club’s sold out grand opening on Friday. Co-owners Brianna Rettig and Erin Carnes told CHS they couldn’t be happier with the neighborhood’s response to the revamped atmosphere.

“Seattle has a really tight knit, supportive community. Not a lot of cities have that,” said Carnes, who also co-owns The Escondite, a live music venue in Los Angeles.

The duo also revealed that the return of live music to the corner of 14th and Madison wasn’t necessarily guaranteed as they fended off heavy interest from an acquisitive developer.

IMG_3331 Continue reading

The Daphnes at The Sorrento Hotel

Harpist Monica Schley’s new project The Daphnes will debut an evening of new music, 7:30pm on March 7 at The Sorrento Hotel (900 Madison St).

The Daphnes are an an all-female unconventional chamber quartet featuring:
Monica Schley (harp and voice);
Julie Baldridge (violin),
Lori Goldston (cello)
Anne Mathews (voice).

Drawing sounds from neo-folkster M. Ward, 90’s alternative bands Mazzy Star, and Cowboy Junkies as well as jazz musicians Pharaoh Sanders and Alice Coltrane, Schley writes modern compositions for the harp. This ensemble evokes a gypsy folk aesthetic inside a classical chamber ensemble.

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(no admission)

Campfire BBQ Art and Music Series at Vermillion

Campfire BBQ will be starting a little early on Sunday to support three local Capitol Hill artists selling their paintings and jewelry in the front gallery. BBQ by Campfire will be served as well as delicious cocktails in the back bar. Our regular live music series begins at 6 pm so stick around for the live music featuring Ethan Anderson of Massy Ferguson, featuring Andrea Peterman and Justin Davis!

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