Summer Membership Drive: It’s On!


It’s the 2009 Summer Membership Drive, which means it’s a Hood to Hood Challenge, which means that my head immediately goes to Hood to Hood Days Past, kinda’ like Ebenezer Scrooge’s visits from the three spirits. I started working for KEXP the week of the first Hood to Hood, and then Ballard won, and I live in Ballard, and I was pretty psyched.

That year, 2006, there was a papal visit from Michael Franti. He came in on his bus, babies were kissed, children danced, women swooned, people ran down the streets waving handkerchiefs. Beautiful. I think that Visqueen, Math and Physics Club, CSS and Sera Cahoone played that day, too. People walked down the street with secret smiles, knowing that they were surrounded by like-minded hedonists who’d taken the day off to hang in Snoose Junction (I guess that’s what they used to call Ballard back in the early 20th century). Oh, and it was a teachers’ in-service day, so cadres of Ballard High School kids showed up for CSS and a dance party ensued.

photos by Gregory A. Perez:

photo by Andrew McDonald:

Ballard won the second year, as well. Truthfully, I really wanted to share the great feeling of the year before with everyone in another neighborhood. But, it sure made it easy see John in the Morning by 8am, since I only had a 2 minute drive to Verite Coffee. I remember how much I loved Cloud Cult and Man Plus and free mini-cupcakes, and the three boys who’d taken the day off from school to hang out with KEXP all day (with parental approval) to celebrate one of their birthdays — 16th! They even joined us at an all-ages venue that evening!

photos by Krissi Pearson:

Just last month, we went to Capitol Hill and Caffe Vita to celebrate their win, last year. Getting to Capitol Hill from my house proved to be less convenient than going down the hill to Market Street. So, I was a dork and missed BEADS and the Moondoggies, which, other than Scoop Jackson, Patrick Duffy and my nephews, are the most noteworthy thing that has come out of Everett in a long, long time. But I did see Black Kids and their toy piano and ukulele, hung out with some 2nd graders, met several new people and bought a great painting from the wall of Caffe Vita. So great in so many ways!

photo by Katy McCourt Basham:

photo by David Frank:

photo by Christopher Nelson:

And you know best part of all these days for me? Each year, we’ve hosted an extra super secret party just for donors from the winning neighborhood… secret locations, fancy “private party” sign on the outside of the clubs, snacks, DJs all over the place hanging out, bands — The Mugs, Math and Physics Club and The Pica Beats — and we met each other, rocked out and talked about music and other things of interest.

Right now in the 2009 Summer Membership Drive Hood to Hood Challenge, West Seattle is squeaking out a lead over the two past title holders, and I’d sure like to go to a new locale… but, really, that’s an awful long way for this sorry sack to drive to see a band at 7:30am. In my heart of hearts, I don’t really care who wins. What I hope to see this week is a lively competition. I like high drama, and what could be more dramatic than a down-to-the-wire, fight-to-the-finish, knock-down, shoot ‘em up, Hood to Hood Challenge? Well, except a successful Summer Drive that lets the DJs keep bringing us the music and the web team keep creating a million and a half web services and podcasts and music reviews, every day, 24/7, 365… that’s more important to me than a party, any day of the week — I’m thankful that KEXP lets us have both.

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