A mixed-use Neumos? Venues post mock land use signs, ‘missing’ posters in bid to save live music in Seattle

That Notice of Proposed Land Use Action sign that has gone up outside Neumos is, fortunately for Capitol Hill music lovers, only a warning.

They’re going up across the city outside the Tractor Tavern, El Corazon, Central Saloon, Wild Buffalo, Jazz Bones and more of Seattle’s remaining live music venues.

But fortunately, nobody has decided to sell out and redevelop the corner of 10th and E Pike — yet.

“These signs are a call to action for the public, designed to raise awareness about the stark reality that permanent closure of these venues could occur if we do not, as a community, come together to keep music live,” write backers of a campaign to support Neumos and the rest of the live music scene in Seattle and across the state. Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Neumos, Vermillion, and Century Ballroom get boost from King County arts COVID-19 relief fund

(Image: Century Ballroom)

A handful of Capitol Hill venues are among dozens of King County clubs, theaters, and museums to receive nearly $2 million in grants for independent arts businesses and nonprofits hard hit by the COVID-19 economic crisis.

Neumos, Barboza, Vermillion, and The Century Ballroom were awarded a nearly $100,000 combined from the King County grants backed by the federal CARES Act.

“I couldn’t be more grateful for the support from King County, nor could it have come at a better time. All music and nightlife venues need right now is financial support, pure and simple,” Hallie Kuperman of The Century Ballroom said. “If we want our arts community and economy to rebound, we need money to get us through this period. We will wait until it is safe for patrons and staff to operate again, which means our doors will be shut for longer than most. Thank you, Executive Constantine and King County for recognizing the importance of arts in our community.” Continue reading

11th and Pine had a communal piano for a week — Now it’s gone

As the City of Seattle looks to permanently incorporate some of the art and energy of CHOP in Cal Anderson, one element that appeared in the area after the protest camp faded has gone missing: a communal piano.

The piano, situated in front of the southeast entrance of Bobby Morris Playfield, was reportedly purchased for $22 from 11th and Pike’s Out of the Closet thrift store and then placed on the street corner for public use, according to local resident Teri McClain who first came across it on July 30.

“I bought a piano for the city and someone FIXED IT! A full 88 keys functioning on 11th and Pine,” the reported “owner” of the large musical instrument known as Sundae tweeted.

McClain told CHS she thinks the piano was a positive asset to the community, allowing her to connect with strangers and support them with pizza and chocolate as they played.  Continue reading

Rapper Malcolm Rebel remembered as ‘True King of the Hill’

(Image: Malcolm Rebel)

A Seattle recording artist “born and raised in the CD,”  Malcolm Rebel has died.

Friends and loved ones are posting messages about the hip hop performer’s life and passing. A fundraiser has been set up to raise money for Rebel’s family and young child.

Rebel was part of a family of Seattle musical talent stretching from Motown to the early days of Pacific Northwest hip hop.

“Seattle lost a legend in Malcolm Rebel. He was a loving father, a caring friend, and an incredible talent,” it reads.

You can give here.

Tug Harris, manager for the Day One Entertainment recording artist said Rebel “taught me how to keep my head up in the hardest times.” Continue reading

Clubs Neumos and Chop Suey warn COVID-19 crisis could wipe out live music on Capitol Hill

Venue owners say Capitol Hill’s live music scene will be a casualty of the COVID-19 crisis if more isn’t done to buttress the clubs that keep it going.

They’re seeking help from somewhere — from the King County Council or beyond — to help prop up what they say is a one of a kind type of business that needs special financial assistance to survive.

“If people want there to be a music scene in Seattle, we need help from our government. If we don’t get help, there are no more small venues,” Steven Severin, part of the ownership of Neumos and a veteran of the Pike/Pine nightlife scene tells CHS.

Severin is part of an effort for the few clubs like Neumos across the region to come together to call for financial assistance specific to the live music industry. The Washington Nightlife & Music Association is hoped to be a voice for the rare remaining venues. This week, the hope is pinned to the King County Council: Continue reading

COVID-19 cancellation: No Capitol Hill Block Party in 2020

(Image: Capitol Hill Block Party)

2020’s Capitol Hill Block Party musical festival, one of the largest annual events in the neighborhood every July, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis, organizers announced Thursday.

“Due to the current situation with COVID-19, Capitol Hill Block Party 2020 is unable to move forward as planned,” CHBP organizers write. “Our top priority is the health and safety of our community, artists and attendees. We hope everyone is being smart, responsible, and thinking of others during these unprecedented times.”

The annual three-day music festival is looking ahead to 2021, producers said Thursday. Ticket holders can save their passes for next year or request a refund, according to the statement. Continue reading

Construction of $3M Volunteer Park amphitheater project planned for late summer start

Construction is planned to start in August on the project to replace Volunteer Park’s amphitheater.

The Volunteer Park Trust tells CHS the planned August start will allow community groups to use the stage through most of summer. Work was originally being planned to begin this month. “By starting in August, we will be able to maximize use of both the old stage this summer and the new Amphitheater for next season,” a VPT representative said. Continue reading

Selector Records adds new stop on Hill-proximate vinyl tour

(Image: Audrey Frigon for CHS)

(Image: Audrey Frigon for CHS)

By Audrey Frigon, CHS Fall Intern

In the digital age of music streaming, vinyl records just won’t die. With record sales reaching their highest revenue level since 1988, Capitol Hill and the nearby have sustained a few shops that have survived long enough to cash in on the resurgence. And sometimes, something new comes along.

Selector Records and Apparel opened earlier this month off the beaten track on E Madison.

After eleven years DJing in Hawaii, Seattle native Sherman Crawford moved back home with the goal of opening a record store business. “I always had a dream of having a record store and that opportunity fell into my lap with this building,” he said. This building, located on 23rd and Madison, previously housed Looters Records. Crawford stumbled upon the store and moved in upstairs. When the record store closed, Crawford took over.

A music lover his whole life, Crawford first began collecting records and cassettes when he was eight years old. But the real beginning of his music addiction came in 1992 when he attended a rave and discovered the world of underground techno and dance music. “I was enthralled by the energy of the music and became obsessed,” Crawford said. As his fascination and love of the music grew, so did his record collection.

That music became the inspiration for his store. “When I came back from Hawaii I saw a void. There were no other stores focusing on underground techno music, especially new releases, and I wanted to fill that void,” said Crawford. Continue reading

Historic Seattle and Seattle Theatre Group step up with bid for The Showbox

Nonprofits Historic Seattle and Seattle Theatre Group, the operator of The Paramount, Moore, and Neptune Theatres, have made their bid to purchase downtown Seattle music venue The Showbox.

The groups announced their bid Tuesday night but did not disclose the dollar amount of the offer.

“We are thrilled to have such a strong partner as STG in our effort to purchase The Showbox,” Eugenia Woo, director of preservation services at Historic Seattle, said in an announcement of the effort. “As we continue our due diligence and look forward to the opportunity to negotiate with the property’s owner, Historic Seattle will not back down in our fight to protect The Showbox.” Continue reading

Here’s how you can help these Central District schools have bands that look more like their student populations

(Image: Jazz Up Jackson Street)

By Audrey Frigon, CHS Fall Intern

The Earshot Jazz Festival is again underway in Seattle and, included among the great performers like Cécile McLorin Salvant and Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés Jazz Batá, will again be students from across the Central District and Capitol Hill performing with their Seattle Public Schools music programs. But this year’s appearance by the award winning Garfield High and Washington Middle School bands is about more than great jazz.

Along with jazz greats, the festival will be featuring Seattle students in a fundraising effort. Washington Middle School and Garfield High School students are tuning up to perform a benefit concert called Jazz Up Jackson Street. The goal of Thursday night’s performance? To raise awareness and funds for Seattle’s Central District schools’ music programs as they embark on a daunting new initiative — giving every single student an opportunity to learn a musical instrument.

Arlene Fairfield, an organizer of the event, said the music program does not reflect the diversity of Washington and Garfield’s demographics.

“School music programs in the Central District have a long history of excellence that has been recognized both regionally and nationally,” she tells CHS. “However, the student musicians in these programs have historically underrepresented the diversity in our schools.” Continue reading