photo by Ben Haley
by Gary Miller
After a relatively short run, this will be the last in the Rock n’ Roll Pest Control series. Due to some family issues, my wife and I are relocating to North Carolina, and it’s difficult to be a Northwest reporter when you’re more than 3000 miles away. So, before I dive into this week’s edition, I want to thank Sharlese from Audioasis for asking me to join the KEXP blogging family and Jim, who always kept my posts looking correct and staying within the lines. You both rock.
I plan to continue blogging for KEXP. But, since this will be the last one that is truly focused on the Northwest, I think I want to do a Top 3 list of things about which Seattle people should be proud and (more importantly) should take advantage of.
Number 1: It may already be apparent to most anyone reading this blog, but Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest is still a serious hotbed for musical talent. The rest of the world might only think “grunge” when they think Seattle. But, there are so many flavors. Think about it — I was able to start a blog focused only on Seattle powerpop, which itself is a relatively small genre, and I had a veritable ton of great bands to cover. If you glean nothing else from my posts, please note that anytime you see any of the following band names on a bill, you should go: The Small Change, The Tripwires, Slender Means, Young Sportsmen, Ghosts and Liars, Llama, PRIS, The Boss Martians… and about a dozen other great powerpop bands.
Number 2: It’s a cliche to say, “support your venues.” But with the sudden closing of The Crocodile Cafe this past year, I think we all know better than to take venues for granted. My personal favorite is the Sunset Tavern. I think you should go there right now, spend $25 on drinks, tip well, and enjoy the music.
Number 3: Having spent time in Nashville, Atlanta and Chapel Hill prior to moving to here, I think Seattle should be proud that the vibe here has more in common with Chapel Hill than the other two. Although Seattle is significantly larger and more musically diverse than Chapel Hill, it shares an artistic spirit that is propagated throughout the city (not just the music community). Too often when I met bands in Nashville and Atlanta they seemed to be more interested in commerce than art. I’ve got no problem at all with bands making money. But it mostly feels like “music first/commerce second” here.
Is any of this new or useful to you? Probably not. But, my final thought for this post is to really encourage you to make the most out of what’s available in Seattle. It’s incredibly easy to take this stuff for granted, and if you do that you’re going to miss a host of quality music.
My dog and I wish you and the Seattle music community all the best.
Gary Miller started the Seattle Powerpop Blog, which focuses on all things powerpop in the Pacific Northwest. SPB features album reviews, recommended shows, videos, mp3s and more. That blog will live on with new writers as Gary moves to North Carolina and no doubt gets into other music-related adventures.