Archive for December, 2006

Bye, Capitol Music

Susan Paynter wrote a lovely bye-for-now column today to Capitol Music, arguably Seattle’s finest sheet music and instrument store.

It seems Capitol Music is being kicked out of their space by developers who bought up the building. They’re hoping to reopen in Belltown, but it sounds like a long shot.

Paynter said that they were closing tomorrow. So I hurried over for a last few purchases, only to find a small handwritten sign on the locked door and a few sad-looking employees packing away everything in their store down to the hooks on the wall.

Sniff. Come back soon, Capitol Music. My piano playing might get even worse without you.

In which the reason for the downfall of a local newspaper is summarized in a single conversation

Me: The King County Journal is going to stop publishing on January 21.

Wife: The what?

An interview with the Sound

Seattle’s Sound Magazine is a monthly magazine that covers all aspects of the local music scene – from bar bands to national tours, without limiting their focus to a single genre or style. Executive Editor Jason Kirk was gracious enough to answer a few questions for me about the magazine and his views on our vibrant local music scene.

Please describe the background of Seattle Sound. Whose idea was it originally and who was involved in taking the idea from concept to reality? What was the span of time between “Hey, let’s make a magazine” and printing the first issue?

Sound was around before I came aboard, but my understanding is that the idea originated from the Mayor’s Office of Film and Music. They wanted something to help elevate and showcase Seattle’s music scene inside and outside the city. James Keblas, Director of the Mayor’s Office and Film and Music, found a kindred vision in James Baker, the publisher here at Media Index Publishing, who recruited a strong staff and launched Sound magazine. I believe the span from concept to page was about six months.

(more after the jump)

Good morning, fog


You know, usually from here you can see a lot of Lake Union, lower Queen Anne, and Downtown. This morning it’s nothing but fog–can only barely see the big ship sitting down on the lake. It’d be a good time to run off with the Space Needle, if anyone was thinking about it.

Friday Flying

The ongoing Seattle Center Winterfest presents a fun Friday evening on the 29th with aerial performance troupe, The Aerialistas. (Is it just me or do we have what seems like a surprisingly large number of aerial performance troupes for a city our size? I’m not complaining, just curious.) The free show starts at 7:30 with half-hour set of music by the Circus Contraption Band. AERIALLSTAS.jpg

image via Seattle Center

vote squirrel! early and often

127048347 826A6A0E1B MSlog Flickr

photos, via Kai Schreiber [flickr] & Jeff Hitchcock [flickr]

As Capitol Hill Seattle‘s big 2006 tournament of certain things Capitol Hill comes to its conclusion, at last Slog faces a competitor willing to put up a fight.

Spending the week in the not at all snowy midwest, I was surprised to be reminded of the ongoing voting taking place back in Seattle. The reminder came in the form of an e-mail message from a delegation of squirrels, offering to spare our humble media outlet from the impending SQUIRREL ARMAGEDDON in exchange for poll placement. Even though there’s little more frightening than an army of disgruntled urban squirrels, I’m more than happy to do my part to support the underdog.

Savage and company hold a slight advantage, but with a couple days left it looks like the city’s most adorable (and formidable) rodents still have a chance at neighborhood domination. Vote early and often, use all of the computers in your office, and clear your browser’s cache regularly:

Create polls and vote for free.
After years of losing student elections at the University of Washington, this could be the year for the squirrels of Seattle to eke out a victory. Plus, they signed their note with “May you always find your walnuts!”, which is pretty much the best closing of all time.

Name that Storm

I’m sure you’ve been calling our big windstorm all sorts of names, especially if it knocked anything over onto your house. Now the National Weather Service requests that you put your grumblings to good use and name the storm. Name it something catchy, to fall in line with such gems as, “The Turkey Day Storm of 1983” and “The Hood Canal Windstorm of 1979.”

I know you can come up with something better than that. “We are not permitted to offer a big prize, but we will announce the winner shortly after the Jan 4th entry deadline via our web site at The winner will be able to say, ‘I named that storm! [NOAA]'” Email your ideas to: And then let us know what you picked.

In Other Blogs: Caffeine MIA

donde_latte.jpgStuck in a more southerly part of the West Coast , my sister and I found ourselves going for a walk on December 25 through a nearby East Bay neighborhood. Our ostensible destination was the Starbucks on Solano Ave which replaced the local ice cream parlor we remember from our youth. This particular store had been our refuge on holidays past, such as Thanksgiving, when nearly everything else in town was shut tight. This time, however, no Peppermint Mochas were flowing: Closed Christmas Day. Our shock at finding it closed was mirrored up in Puget Sound by a group of LJ’ers more resolute than us at finding a cafe open this Monday. The results of their quest are published for all to see here. My distance from Seattle makes it impossible for me to confirm or deny their claims, but I’ll hold onto their findings for next year.

Puget Sound tastes like Christmas


image, via wikipedia

Judging from all the cinnamon and vanilla showing up in the Sound these days, it looks like I’m not the only one eating too many cookies. Researchers are UW have been testing the treated sewage at the Magnolia plant and found that cinnamon, natural vanilla, and artificial vanilla levels went up between November 14 and December 9.

The spike in natural vanilla suggests that people are staying away from the fake stuff in pretty large volume. “Using benchmarks from a published scientific study, they were able to estimate that people in Seattle and a few outlying areas served by the sewage plant scarfed down the daily equivalent of about 160,000 butter- or chocolate-chip-type cookies and about 80,000 cookies containing cinnamon during the Thanksgiving weekend [P-I].”

This makes for all sorts of interesting problems. Fish, for example, rely heavily on their sense of smell to eat and navigate. What if salmon don’t like cinnamon? And while vanilla is pretty friendly, antidepressants and antibiotics and pretty much everything else enter the water system the same way. What are those chemicals doing to Puget Sound?

What King County will do with the study is anyone’s guess, since it’s not like the general idea of the findings is anything new. I intend to make some zucchini-apple bread this week, though, so I hope the fish aren’t tired of cinnamon quite yet.

Christmas downtown

Every year on Christmas day, I go to mass at St. James followed by brunch somewhere nearby with my family. We used to go to brunch at the Sheraton’s Pike Street Cafe but broke that tradition this year because although it is a lovely, lovely brunch, it is an extremely costly brunch and none of us wants to spend that much for it.

So this year we had our brunch at IHOP. It’s not nearly so fancy-schmancy, but their food is fine and it’s interesting to see the variety of folks having a Christmas meal out at one of the few open restaurants. (This is the IHOP at Madison & Broadway so there’s always an interesting variety of people eating there, anyway.) After we ate I said goodbye to my family and, according to my personal tradition, headed downtown to get a latte at Monorail Espresso and walk around downtown for a while.

There are always a few people out on the streets but I was surprised yesterday by just how many there were–on some blocks it seemed as if there were the same number of people out and about as there are on days when over 90 percent of the businesses aren’t closed. It didn’t surprise me that there were plenty of people at the Regal Cinema where I went to see Rocky Balboa because a lot of people have a tradition of going to see movies on Christmas, but I was surprised by the number of people just out and about since there were so many more of them than usual.

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