|Film + Music Newsletter
Seattle's music industry may be stronger and more vibrant than ever, but there is no denying we all feel a bit defeated when we lose an icon like the Crocodile Café. We were a music community long before we ever defined ourselves as an industry town, and the Crocodile was a community center for so many of us to come together. I have seen many great performances there from the Treepeople in the early 90's to Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground just last month. I feel Seattle was very lucky to have a place that stayed constant while our music changed. It gave me security and hope all at the same time.
The Crocodile was also a great place to meet people. When I was at the Vera Project we held our weekly staff meetings there for breakfast every Wednesday. I was always surprised by the diversity of people you would see there during the day with the "suits" hanging out right next to the punks. At night, you could always find a friend in the back bar. It was a venue I took filmmakers to show off Seattle and they loved it. It was a destination.
In 2005, my office published a city music map. The Crocodile is listed right there in Belltown as, "The Seattle rock scene's home away from home." Thankfully Seattle's music scene today is blessed with many great places to call home, and I guess change is inevitable, but I really do feel like Seattle just lost part of its old soul. In the words of Jack White, if that old house could talk, what a story it would tell. Btw, I saw the White Stripes play an amazing show at the Crocodile in 2003 with about 100 people in the room. Oh the memories.
The Office of Film + Music would like to wish you a happy holiday season and a happy ending to 2007. Please be careful out there and don't celebrate too hard, because 2008 is going to be a great year for Seattle's film and music industries. Cheers!
INDUSTRY NEWS AND UPDATES
CHILDREN'S FILM FESTIVAL SEATTLE IS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2008 FESTIVAL JURY
Ten cinema-savvy kids aged 8-12 will pick their favorite live-action and animated films and award fabulous prizes to international filmmakers. The Children's Jury will attend screenings throughout the Festival, and announce prizewinners at the Festival's closing ceremony on February 3.
NATIVE EXPERIENCE IN FILM FESTIVAL
This day is presented by the Skagit County Historical Museum and features a screening of the award winning film Expiration Date and Native lens short films. The festival will also have panel discussions with actors, producers and directors. This one day event is happening on January 19th from 10-5 at the Swinomish Youth Center. Click the link above for more information.
INDIE ROMANTIC-COMEDY HIT OUTSOURCED AVAILABLE ON DVD
After winning multiple awards (including SIFF's Golden Space Needle) and great acclaim on the festival circuit, enjoying a successful national release, and receiving rave reviews from Roger Ebert, the New York Times, and many others, the romantic comedy OUTSOURCED (produced by Seattle based ShadowCatcher Entertainment) is available on DVD in time for the holidays. Outsourced would make a great gift, and a great way to support excellent, local independent filmmaking.
'TRAVEL QUEERIES' A FEATURE DOCUMENTARY FILM ABOUT RADICAL QUEER SCENE IN EUROPE
Local documentary, 'Travel Queeries', is currently going through post-production. Travel Queeries will be having focus group screenings in the spring and is seeking community members for feedback. The project also is doing a call for an editor and other volunteers. If you are interested in attending screenings or getting more info about the film consult the link above.
COUNCIL UPDATES NOISE ORDINANCE: WILL BETTER ADDRESS LOUD AMPLIFIED MUSIC FROM NIGHTCLUBS
The Council voted to update the City's Noise Ordinance to better address overly loud amplified music coming from nightclubs. The new code establishes a graduated set of financial penalties for clubs that violate a to-be-determined noise threshold. Councilmember Sally J. Clark led the Council's work on noise related to bars and clubs. "The goal of the fines is to get clubs to keep the volume at a reasonable level," Councilmember Clark said. "We're not trying to close anyone down. The best result of this legislation would be that no clubs violate the noise threshold and the City never has to fine anyone." Clubs will receive a warning followed by a $1,000 citation for the first violation, and a $2,000 citation for each subsequent violation within 365 days of the first violation. The funds for the first violation could be used by the establishment to reorient speakers, replace windows or other noise-dampening actions. The City will provide technical assistance on lessening noise. In related legislation, last week the Council created a Nightlife Advisory Board to advise the Council on nightlife issues. The board will be made up of representatives from the nightlife industry, citizen neighbors, a noise expert, enforcement expert and liquor-control expert. One of the first assignments for the board will be to make recommendations to the Council and the Department of Planning and Development regarding the noise threshold and enforcement rules.
THE 2007 INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY CHALLENGE SEATTLE SHOWCASE AT NWFF
There are five Washington filmmakers in the line-up for this years International Documentary Challenge, including the grand prize winner of the doc challenge. The nominees include, "Thin Places" by Mary Dombowski, "TC3: Urban Camping at its Finest" by Dan Pinkard, "Jet City Rollergirls" by Jef Faulkner & Amy Enser, "Portraits of Hope" by Jon Ward (Grand Prize Winner of the Doc Challenge) and "Mona" by Kathy Kiefer. The showcase will be January 14th and 7PM at NWFF.
NORTHWEST ARTISTS GET GRAMMY NOMINATIONS!
The Mayor's Office of Film + Music would like to congratulate The Shins, Eric Tingstad, John Vanderslice, Menomena, Greg Thompson, Don Clark and Tucker Martine for their 2008 Grammy nominations. Barsuk records owner, Josh Rosenfeld writes that Greg Thompson's nomination for his work on Menomena's album 'Friend and Foe' is "exciting for all of us. From a label standpoint, it is incredibly gratifying to be recognized for putting in the extra time on the artwork, which is brilliant. I'm really proud to have released this record." Executive director of the Recording Academy's Pacific Northwest Chapter, Ben London says, "It is always great when artists from the Northwest receive nominations acknowledging their excellence. This sort of recognition continues to display the vibrancy of our music scene and its impact on the world."
FRENCH MOVIE NIGHT: DECEMBER 20
The Seattle-Nantes Sister City Association proudly presents a festive holiday film night. Come enjoy Yves Robert's highly acclaimed film "Le Château de ma mère" and French pastries from some of Seattle's best bakeries! The event starts at 7:00 pm on Thursday, December 20 at West Seattle High School (3000 California Avenue SW, Free parking). The evening is free, thanks to a generous grant from Humanities Washington. However, freewill donations will certainly be appreciated. Come and bring your friends to this holiday treat!
TOP 10 NW MUSIC FOR THE WEEK OF 12/10-12/16
Compiled from figures at Sonic Boom (Ballard, Fremont, and Capitol Hill) and Easy Street (West Seattle and Queen Anne).
- Eddie Vedder - Into the Wild
- Various Artists - Live at KEXP Vol. 3
- Blue Scholars - Bayani
- Brandi Carlile - Live at Easy Street
- Cops - Free Electricity
- Cancer Rising - Cancer Rising
- Blakes - Blakes
- Siberian - With Me
- Shins - Wincing the Night Away
- Pearl Jam - Live at Easy Street
FEES PROPOSED FOR FILMING ON FEDERAL LAND
The Bush administration is trying to hide its mismanagement of federal lands by using new permit requirements and fees to limit filming and photography in national parks, forests and wildlife refuges, the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee said Wednesday. "This administration's record on resources management is dismal," said Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va. "Any hint that this new permit and fee structure could limit the free flow of public information regarding the very real consequences of these failures is simply unacceptable." Rahall's committee heard testimony on the proposed regulations covering the national parks, U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service refuges.
THE PROGRAM WHAT WE LEARN WHEN NORTHWEST HIPHOP COMES TOGETHER IN ONE ROOM
We met at the Eritrean restaurant on 20th Avenue South and South Jackson Street called Hidmo in the middle of the day. At the table sat eight rappers, two journalists, one producer, and a manager. A plate of black cookies moved around the table; the sunny sounds of Bole2Harlem played on the stereo; outside snow fell softly. What brought these people to the roundtable was The Program, a five-day hiphop bonanza, a first of its kind, a celebration of the region's hiphop culture. Blue Scholars organized the event and headline all five nights.
SENATE TO EXAMINE FCC MEDIA RULES
FCC chairman Kevin Martin Goes into the firing line again Thursday as the Senate Commerce Committee takes a hard look at his plans to reshape the media landscape. Martin is likely to find himself under attack from both the left and the right over proposals he is pushing the commission to approve on Dec. 18 that would significantly unfetter media companies that wish to own both newspapers and TV stations in the same market, while at the same time he is pushing a rule that would prevent any cable company from serving more than 30% of pay-TV subscribers nationally.
VEDDER, SHAKIRA SNAG GLOBE MUSIC NOMS
Eddie Vedder, Shakira and Clint Eastwood and are among the nominees in music categories for the 65th annual Golden Globe awards. Vedder is nominated with Michael Brook and Kaki King for best original score for "Into the Wild," and his song "Guaranteed," from the same film, will vie for best original song.
INDIE ARTISTS FORM CASH MUSIC ONLINE VENTURE
A pair of indie rock veterans and their managers have teamed to create CASH Music, a site that will allow artists to release new music, and create deeper relationships with fans, who can create remixes and spend up to $5,000 to get an executive producer credit on an artist's album. CASH (Coalition for Artists and Stake Holders) was launched by artists Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses) and Donita Sparks (L7), along with Hersh's manager and husband, Billy O'Connell; Sparks' manager Bob Fagen; and others, Billboard reports. The site is currently offering Hersh's latest single as a pay-what-you-want MP3 download, with the default payment amount set at $3.
INTIMAN MANAGER PENN IS N.Y. BOUND
Intiman Theatre is losing its longtime manager, Laura Penn, to the Big Apple. The Seattle company's respected managing director since 1994, Penn has accepted the post of executive director of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, a theatrical labor union based in New York. "I love Intiman and what we've been able to accomplish," said Penn. "This is the only theater in the country I'd want to run. But I've always seen my role as advocating for artists, and the chance to impact the field nationally is an opportunity I had to pursue."
BLAKE LEWIS HITS THE CHARTS WITH ALBUM
"American Idol" finalist and Bothell native Blake Lewis debuted at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 charts with his album "Audio Day Dream." Earlier, his breakout single, "Break Anotha," peaked at No. 85 on the Billboard Pop 100 Chart. It was recorded in Seattle's London Bridge Studio, which came to prominence in the late 1980s/early '90s through its association with such seminal Northwest bands as Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. Lewis will introduce the single's video to MTV's TRL audience on Wednesday.
BLUE SCHOLARS BRING CITY'S SUBCULTURE TO LIGHT WITH A FIVE-DAY SHOWCASE
The duo of Blue Scholars is the voice of Seattle hip-hop. Though they have yet to hit the national scene, they remain a pervasive presence in the community, and for most people, the most recognizable name in local hip-hop. Luckily, they're not looking to monopolize the scene, but to use their position to expose the city's diverse, multifaceted subculture. In that spirit, Geologic and Sabzi, the two Scholars, are curating a five-night, 21-artist showcase they are calling The Program, which will include the best DJs and MCs in the Northwest.
ROCK HALL INDUCTS VENTURES
The Ventures' Don Wilson was quick to react to news that the legendary Northwest rock band will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. "I wanna say, 'Thank you, it's about time,' " the guitarist said with a chuckle. Along with Madonna, John Mellencamp, Leonard Cohen and the Dave Clark Five, The Ventures will be inducted at a ceremony March 10 at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The artists were selected by a panel of 600 music-industry professionals.
SEATTLENOISE: THE MALDIVES
Though he draws songwriting inspiration from disparate sources -- tidal waves, sharks, John Ford Westerns, and letters from the Civil War, just to name a few, Maldives' vocalist, Jason Dodson's songs end up parked at the desolate intersection between Gram Parsons' dusty folk and Will Oldham's ragged Appalachian blues. Every instrument, from the keening steel guitar to his cracked vocals, seems to compound the bleak atmosphere. But the undercurrent is an almost impish glee and wry self-awareness about the mood that keeps the songs from dragging.
NO ACTION: DIRECTORS DELAY LABOR TALKS
Hollywood directors said Thursday they will hold off on contract negotiations with studios for now, but want to begin talks after New Year's Day. The decision could put added pressure on striking Hollywood writers to reach a new contract with studios and end their six-week walkout, which directors say is having a dire effect in Hollywood. In a statement, the Directors Guild of America said it was deeply disappointed by last week's collapse of talks between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
SUBLIME FREQUENCIES CARRIES THE WORLD'S MUSIC ACROSS THE CRITICAL DIVIDE
Since Sublime Frequencies' first release, 2003's Folk and Pop Sounds of Sumatra, Vol. 1, the Seattle-based label and loose-knit collective of sound explorers has become pop music's most adventurous and diverse source of world music-far more so than the "guaranteed to make you feel good!" sounds of the slick global juggernaut that is the Putumayo brand.
THE WORST BAND NAMES OF '07
The Onion has compiled a list of the worst band names of 2007. Highlights include Happy Mothers Day I can't Read, Gay Baby, Harmonica Lewinsky, 420 Funk Mob, Wishdoctor, and Robin Williams on Fire.
AMES BROS., PEARL JAM'S VISUAL CHRONICLERS
Ament and Schultz - the Ames Bros. - are never at the shows to see the way their work is received by some and coveted by most. They're too busy creating posters for the next run of Pearl Jam shows, putting an image to the cities, the sets and the times we're living in. The posters are a rock 'n' roll tradition, and a Pearl Jam signature that the Ames Bros. have been keeping alive for 13 years. This week, the artistic team - along with Pearl Jam in-house designer Brad Klausen - will release a hefty tome called "Pearl Jam vs. Ames Bros: 13 Years of Tour Posters."
CHORAL ARTS CONCERT A PERFECT HOUR
From medieval chant to a contemporary John David Earnest setting of one of Bode's own lyrics, the program wove together widely varied musical threads whose high points included John Gardner's snappy arrangement of "Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day," and Morten Lauridsen's radiant "O Nata Lux." When the brief audience singalong ended and Choral Arts' final song faded into silence, the audience drew itself up for a standing ovation.
COURTROOM IS SEATTLE SYMPHONY'S NEXT VENUE
"30 Years of Kino" has its final week at SIFF Cinema, with a classic double feature: Anyone who has spent much time around orchestras will tell you that frequently, tensions abound among high-strung thoroughbreds as a music director seeks to impose a single vision. The Seattle Symphony Orchestra appears to have carried disharmony to new heights, lurching from crisis to crisis. There have been allegations of vandalism aimed at players, including a dented French horn and a razor blade planted in a mailbox; a players survey that condemned the conductor only to be deep-sixed by management; and lawsuits filed by players accusing the conductor of mental if not physical abuse.
SEATTLE OPERA WANTS SOUNDGARDEN'S OLD STOMPING GROUNDS
Attached to the east end of McCaw Hall, the cavernous, vacant, nearly 80-year-old Mercer Areana has best been known in recent years for the occasional hockey game and hosting the opera while McCaw was under construction. The opera has long coveted the structure as a place to consolidate its various operations--offices, rehearsal space, and storage.
SEATTLE PIANO MAN
He's the man playing the piano while you shop, He's also there at that nice restaurant where you're having Sunday brunch. As part of KPLU's series "The Meaning of Work," Erin Hennessey introduces us to the background piano-man. The feature can be found in mp3 form at the link above.
FADEDFLANNEL.COM KEEPS THE FLAME FOR GRUNGE
After Rick Lambert left Seattle for Washington, D.C., he coped with homesickness by working on a Web site that hailed back to his golden days. For the past 10 years, he's been piecing together a one-stop shop for grunge music. As the former program director for The End (KNDD-FM), Lambert was a part of the scene that put Seattle on the map, following bands that rose from small clubs to notoriety. The site for Lambert is a labor of love, more for passion than profit.
NOISY NIGHTCLUBS WILL PAY A HIGHER PENALTY
In an attempt to help rein in loud clubs and bars, Seattle will impose heavier penalties for violating regulations against excessive noise. Also, a Seattle proposal to annex White Center survived a City Council challenge Monday, with a majority of council members voting against a measure to abandon the effort. The noise measure approved by the City Council is the latest attempt to police nightlife, something Mayor Greg Nickels has made a priority as he tries to encourage more people to move downtown and into other urban neighborhoods. However, club owners say they've been unfairly targeted and such moves inevitably hurt business.
WINTER WARMTH HAS ITS HOT SPOTS
This year's "Winter Warmth" concert, which is KMTT "The Mountain's" annual holiday benefit, ran hot and cold. Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall sizzled in her live-wire set Saturday night at the Paramount, while co-headliner Collective Soul, the Georgia band that burned with "Shine" in the mid-'90s, showed that its fire has dimmed. Moderating between the two with what he conceded was "a very compressed set," "super-secret" special guest David Gray proved he's still cool.
THE BEST SITES FOR MUSIC DOWNLOADS
Seattle Times' staff reporter, Marian Liu went on a mission trying to find the best place to download music for the holidays. She found that, "Comparatively, iTunes is still the easiest to use. Amazon comes in second. Its downloads (at 89 cents) are cheaper than iTunes (at 99 cents) and the site is so easy I accidentally clicked on a random Christmas single and bought it. Sub Pop's new digital store would rank third for usability, but right now the store only offers full albums."
AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILY FILMS FINDING BIG AUDIENCES
The most satisfying movie in theaters right now features no elaborate computer-generated special effects and no talking polar bears. Instead, Preston A. Whitmore's surprise hit "This Christmas" - which opened last month and has grossed more than $40 million - tells the story of a large and bickering African-American family reunited for the first time in four years for the Christmas holiday. What makes the movie so refreshing is its unabashed old-fashioned sensibility. In this age of newer, bigger, better and louder, Whitmore has offered up a plainspoken, warmhearted comedy-drama about recognizable people overcoming everyday problems.
SEATTLE WEEKLY GOES TO HOLLYWOOD
Ripped from the headlines: It's an old Hollywood tradition. Think of All the President's Men, Saturday Night Fever, or, more recently, American Gangster, all of which were derived from some unsung reporter's original drudge work. But it's not just from The Washington Post or Outside magazine. A sampling of blockbusters being adapted from the Seattle Weekly's recent pages can be found at the link above.
THE PROGRAM - LIVE STREAMING TONIGHT
A live video feed of The Program is streaming online at the link above. Don't miss it.
WGA TO PICKET GOLDEN GLOBES
The WGA plans to picket the Golden Globes ceremonies on Jan. 13, assuming it's still on strike at that point. The move means that actors are unlikely to cross the picket line, although SAG said only that it was seeking reaction from members who have been nominated before announcing its plans. A WGA spokesman confirmed the decision to picket, a day after the WGA turned down a request for a waiver from Dick Clark Prods., producer of the Globes. The WGA's also denied a waiver request from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciencs for use of clips and has said it won't OK an interim agreement for writing services so long as it's on strike.