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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Let Me Give You Motherfuckers Some Help

posted by on June 30 at 3:47 AM

A couple hours ago, three girls—“hipster rats,” as they were described by someone who saw the scene unfold—stumbled into the Northwest Film Forum, where there were some people standing around waiting for a party for a filmmaker to start. The three girls had words scrawled all over themselves in Magic Markers, mighta been drunk, and were evidently looking for any group of people to shout their message to. Their message, as shouted by one of them: “Don’t read The Stranger because The Stranger wrote about Atlas and now Atlas is shut down!”

Commenters to this Slog post about Atlas being shut down—at least comments by the people who’ve been volunteering their time to put on these all-ages shows at Atlas—are saying much the same thing. Here’s “Bummer”:

Tonight, Atlas was shut down by the fire marshall/police, DIRECTLY DUE TO THE ARTICLE WRITTEN IN THE STRANGER BY ERIC GRANDY. Atlas was given an unnecesarilly destructive review by this writer… The article…has ruined what we have been working on. THANKS TO THE STRANGER, capitol hill NO LONGER HAS AN ALL AGES VENUE… Boycott the Stranger. FUCK ERIC GRANDY… It takes a lot of work, dedication and time to put something on that you believe in. We are of the age to go to shows at bars yet our main concern was to have a place for kids to go conviently located in the middle of the city where they could listen to music. That is ruined. I am both angry and unimpressed with the lack of concern, compassion or understanding involved in this article going to print. We asked them not to. Please repost and help us in boycotting Eric Grandy as a writer and The Stranger as an irresponsible, gossiping, desperate music news source.

Here’s “oh mighty pen”:

Way to go, “Scoop” Grandy. Think you’ll pick up a Pulitzer for this? What was your motivation for that article, anyway?

“R” calls Grandy “Seattle’s music douchebag extraordinaire” and goes on:

You are such a no-nothing clown, that you couldn’t resist blowing your wad the moment you could report something that wasn’t just re-typing a Pitchfork press release. No Josh Feit prank is going to allow you to weasel yourself out of this one, shithead. You fucked up royal, and now you’re going to have to fess up to people that you can’t just mock on the internet and walk away from. Welcome to actually being part of the music scene and not just some pseudo-omniscient observer. Hopefully you’ll learn something from it.

That’s just the beginning. There are lots more.

OK, R, I’ll bite: let’s see what we have “learned” from this. You have a venue that’s doing interesting stuff—putting on all-ages shows in a neighborhood that, dense as it is, doesn’t have an all-ages music venue. In addition to local bands, they’re bringing in out of town acts. Good ones. (I know because a band that came from Portland to Seattle just to play an all-ages show at Atlas spent the night on my couches.) Sure, all the people who go to shows at Atlas know about it, and so do all their friends, but it’s still basically a secret. And people from other cities know about Atlas too, because they drive all the way to Seattle to play shows and sell t-shirts and CDs at Atlas, but still it’s, more or less, you know, a secret. Or “covert,” or something.

So, what do you do? Well, frankly, the cat’s already out of the bag, but if it’s important to keep the venue a secret, there are things you can do to keep your profile low. You probably shouldn’t advertise the shows on MySpace, because lots of people have MySpace pages. (Including douchebag journalists, douchebag fire dept employees, etc.) You probably shouldn’t let your shows be written about in newspapers, and if for whatever reason you’re happy to have your shows written about in newspapers, you probably shouldn’t let newspapers print the name and address of your venue because, like, all kinds of people read newspapers. (Even douchebags like journalists and fire dept employees.) And, OK, say you’re advertising shows on MySpace and happily letting newspapers print information about your shows—you still probably shouldn’t make posters and put them on light poles because, like, all kinds of people pass light poles every day (including douchebag journalists and douchebag fire dept employees). And if you’re advertising your shows on MySpace, letting your venue info be printed in newspapers, and postering all over the place for your shows, but you still want the whole operation to be secret, you probably shouldn’t set up an A-frame sandwich board on the busiest street near the venue (for example, Broadway) that says “SHOW TONIGHT” with, below that, a poster for whatever show is happening on a given night.

Because guess what? Once an A-frame sandwich board is involved, your venue is no longer a secret.

I understand why you’re blaming The Stranger—because you’re upset, because this thing you’ve been volunteering all this time to make happen has been abruptly shut down by municipal scolds, because you actually like music and believe young people should have a place they can see shows in a neighborhood that has no dedicated space for them—but, uh, guys? You realize how disingenuous and bankrupt your argument is, right?

Lemme give you a sense of this from Grandy’s perspective: I was frustrated that Grandy hadn’t written about Atlas sooner. The three full-time staffers in the music department at The Stranger—Zwickel, Grandy, and Seling—report to me, the arts editor, and I report to Dan Savage, the editor in chief. Dan Savage was frustrated that we hadn’t written about Atlas sooner. He said so in a staff meeting a couple days ago.

Newspapers exist to tell people what’s going on. What’s happening in the city where they live. What shows should they go spend money on, yeah, but also lots of other things too that have nothing to do with telling people what to spend money on—like what local bands are getting back together, what local clubs are consolidating booking responsibilities, what bands are making really interesting music but haven’t been signed yet, what the guy who does sound at the Crocodile is like as a person, and so on.

A venue that puts on all-ages shows in a neighborhood that doesn’t have an all-ages venue? That’s a story. Oh, and they’re figuring out a way to convince good bands to be involved? Wow, cool. And they have these meetings that are sort of like the meetings in communal punk houses, except that they’re getting stuff done? How exactly are they pulling that off? And the owner of the space is willing to take a risk on a far-fetched proposition (the economics of all-ages venues are brutal), in a neighborhood where most business owners are too worried about the bottom line (rent is expensive on Capitol Hill) to let cool shit happen, because he thinks it might actually be good for his business to be associated with all the awesome stuff that’s going on in the back room? Man, that’s fascinating.

Grandy has been sitting on this story for months. At least since February. Early on, his contact at Atlas—Matt Fuller, who has joined the disingenuous chorus in the comments of that other slog post—asked Grandy to wait before publishing the story until Atlas had had its inspection. Grandy agreed to wait until there was an inspection so long as Fuller kept in touch about how things were progressing. Then Fuller dropped out of contact. Phone call after phone call went unreturned. Around the office, I was pressuring Grandy and Zwickel to get the story into the paper, because lots of people were talking about the clothing-store-turned-music-venue, even people far outside of the music community.

For a while we were going to do the story and not tell anyone what the venue was called or what neighborhood it was in. Because, like, we respected what they were doing and had no interest in shutting them down. But, more and more that seemed unnecessary, especially because we were printing all the venue info in the music section week after week. And, you know, A-frame sandwich board. And because when Grandy called the owner of Atlas—the guy without whom any of this would have existed—he seemed happy to talk about what he hoped the shows were going to do for his clothing business and not worried about being written about. Meanwhile, Fuller—who’d told Grandy he’d keep in touch—had dropped out of touch, so it wasn’t as like he seemed to care a whole lot one way or another.

So we decided to print what we knew. Grandy was just doing his job—and he waited until there was a gun pointed to his head on this one. But sure, blame him, boycott him, “fuck him”—whatever you gotta do, Bummer. Cuz you’re right, Atlas getting shut down is all Grandy’s fault.

John from a band called the Quiet Ones just emailed a letter to the editor that starts:

Eric Grandy can suck my dick. Do you know what the best part about covert all ages shows is? The fact that they are fucking covert all ages shows. Thanks asshole for sacrificing other people’s entertainment to get something printed beyond your usual boring weekly column. I sat there last week reading that article, thinking about the show that I had booked there in two weeks with two touring bands thinking to myself “This shit head is going to ruin our show” and it fucking happened…

Then, 17 minutes later, not-so-quiet John from the Quiet Ones wrote another letter to the editor, this time to say:

Dan, if you need someone who isn’t a fuck wit (though I am when I’m drunk) to write instead of Eric Grandy, I have plenty of experience as an altweekly music editor and plenty more journalism experience. I can give you samples if you care.

Sure, John, we’d be glad to have you on board. But, uh, how would you feel about having your desk be right next to Grandy’s? Cuz he’s not going anywhere.

RSS icon Comments

1

What self-respecting city official would be caught dead reading "The Stranger"? Blame someone else.

Posted by lawrence clark | June 30, 2007 5:03 AM
2

While I am thinking about this, why would you clubgoers want to put your friends in possible danger? Demand the clubs make everything on the up and up. You and everyone else deserves that consideration. I would ask for no less. Fuck the operators of Atlas, you got what you deserved.

Posted by lawrence clark | June 30, 2007 5:28 AM
3

Atlas was a great venue! How was the Calvin Johnson show last week? Last time he was at Easy Street, the strange cowboy schtick was awesome! Maybe both places can be turned into Diskoteks? Code, baby, Codes; fill out all the stupid forms and let's treat every goddamn business out there like it's a CDC lab infected with AIDS, Malaria, the Bird Flu and Smallpox. The sanitizing of Seattle marches on...

Posted by Garrett | June 30, 2007 6:17 AM
4

Oh, God - the Stranger is not really counter culture? What news.

Just a money making ad rag? Run by very mainstream people who create hipster images? Savage thought the war in Iraq was OK, and if you listen carefully to his stuff, is not counter culture at all - hates hippies and political reds, is scathing about queers not like him - of course his staff is going to go for the sensational scoop ...... and fuck the aftermath.

Rumor on the street is if you don't buy ads in the Stranger, they write a hit piece. Many clubs are very scared of them.

Atlas, folk, welcome to the real world.

Narcs and snitches.... all for the hot poop scoop.

Posted by Essex | June 30, 2007 6:52 AM
5

You wear tinfoil on your head don't you Essex?

Posted by JessB | June 30, 2007 7:41 AM
6

Christopher, are you saying that there's no difference between publicizing an event in the The Stranger and on a MySpace page? That's ridiculous.

The Stranger:
1) Knew it was a covert show - hence the article was titled "Atlas Clothing's Covert Concerts".
2) Knew the article would bring an end to the show.
3) Made the decision to broadcast the event to its broad readership anyway.

And now you're acting shocked that people are upset? The article was dick move. You know it. Your BS defense of it only makes you look like more of a dick.

P.S. If Eric isn't responsible for this article, then put please list the correct author.

P.P.S. Did Dan put you up to writing this Slog post too?

Posted by Sean | June 30, 2007 8:22 AM
7

My friends who work at all-ages venues go on at length about the apparently ridiculous fees the city requires of venues, and the innumerable hoops that venues have to jump through in order to be up to code - making it all but impossible for an all-ages venue to make a profit while sticking rigorously to the regulations. It's not surprising that venues like Atlas feel the need to flaunt the regulations so completely.

But I'm not commenting to yell at The Stranger. My question to those who are is this: WHY ARE YOU PISSED AT A SEATTLE NEWS FRANCHISE FOR REPORTING SEATTLE NEWS? It seems to me you could be putting your energy to better use. You could use the shutting down of Atlas as a rallying point for deregulation of some of the more frivolous music-venue fees and safety requirements - seeing as that was (apparently!) the very problem that created the need for these covert shows in the first place! (If no such need was present, then flaunting the regulations was a greedy, cynical, lazy, and/or callous move).

Seriously, people. You shouldn't be wasting your energy on the "culprit" that is simply the easist or most convenient to hate. Fight the problem, please.

Posted by John | June 30, 2007 8:40 AM
8

@Garrett: The "sanitizing of Seattle"? Is that supposed to be a joke?

The sanitizing of Seattle is Victrola turning off wireless on the weekends because they want people to "talk more" with strangers, instead of staring into their laptops. That is the nanny culture. Shutting down an illegal, unsafe venue that wasn't up to code? My god.

Why don't you go put some rusty nails in a playground or something?

Posted by exseattlite | June 30, 2007 9:16 AM
9

@7 Right on.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | June 30, 2007 9:17 AM
10

If Garrett starts putting rusty nails in the playground, then the cops will find MY rusty nails that I've been putting there and then there won't be rusty nails for ANYONE!

Look, guys, I think covert shows are cool, but Atlas wasn't covert. The A-board thing, you know. City officials are freaking OBSESSED with A-boards, and spend a freakish amount of time and energy policing them. Really, they do.

Posted by Fnarf | June 30, 2007 9:35 AM
11

I'm sure they weren't complaining at the promise of revenue from free publicity.

Atlas, Eat a bag of Dicks.

Posted by The Burgerstand With the Murderplan Right Down The Street | June 30, 2007 9:48 AM
12

Atlas covert?

My fucking ass.

Posted by seattle98104@gmail.com | June 30, 2007 9:48 AM
13

This condescending, defensive post is so misleading and self-serving. If you don't know or can't admit the difference between publicizing a show on myspace and publicly announcing in a major alt weekly that someone is breaking the fucking law, oh and by the way here's their address, then you shouldn't be an editor at any publication.

Posted by wf | June 30, 2007 9:57 AM
14

Getting shut down would have happened sooner or later. You can blame The Stranger if you want but the real root cause was having illegal shows in the first place.

Yes, this sucks for the kids but the organizers really brought this on themselves. I don't see why The Stranger was supposed to honor some unspoken Code of Secrecy especially given all the advertising, publicity and word of mouth. The fire inspector was not just alerted to this by the article. It may have forced him to act sooner, but he undoubtedly knew already. I used to help organize all ages shows and we got shut down plenty of times without ever having been covered by our local alt weekly. How did the FD find out? They happened to see our flyers on lampposts and at record stores. It's not like covert shows in illegal spaces are new. We soldiered on and used legit spaces when we could but shit happens, you move on. Blaming others for your ills is distracting and a waste of energy.

Posted by Matt from Denver | June 30, 2007 10:03 AM
15

Eric Grandy DJ'd at an underground speakeasy for several years. The Stranger knew about this, and other venues like it. THEY WROTE NOTHING ABOUT IT UNTIL IT CLOSED ON ITS OWN. There is a code in the music scene. DONT BE A DOUCHE. Eric Grandy is a shitty reporter with a personal grudge. Fuck him and fuck this paper.

Posted by el bandito | June 30, 2007 10:44 AM
16

Promotion of illegal events, underage drinking, including the Stranger's own employees who have written of attending events that were clearly 21 and over are grounds for a class action lawsuit ( aarie?).

I would highly recommend to every reader to take legal action against the Stranger for dumbing down Seattle and exonerating whats actually happening here.

Everyone is angry- no doubt- but could we please cease the name calling and make Atlas legit.

Posted by Harrison LLC | June 30, 2007 11:22 AM
17

I don't think that Eric had a grudge against Atlas. I just think that he is an idiot who was trying to do something nice for the venue by giving it some publicity and did it in the stupidest way possible.

Sure, Atlas wasn't up to code and that was their own fault. Tattling isn't excused. That article was a giant red flag, so if the Stranger is now siding with the Mayor's office- that all fun should be stopped then Eric Grandy should be promoted.

Posted by The Quiet Ones | June 30, 2007 11:25 AM
18

Make sure you don't give out your pot dealer's number to Eric, he might write an article about it. 'Cause you know, it illegal to sell pot and stuff.

Posted by ding dong | June 30, 2007 11:41 AM
19

I posted something about this in the other thread, but now that I've thought it over (and am no longer really really drunk) I don't think any of this should be surprising.

Atlas had an arc similar to that of most underground spaces. Granted - to the best of my knowledge - the SS Marie Antoinette wasn't outed in a similar fashion (it wasn't located on Capitol Hill either), it was nonetheless shut down due to show goers dumbass behavior. I have never understood why punk kids are the first to shit where they live.

Even without the article this would have happened to Atlas sooner or later.

Just sucks for the people that had a lot invested in the venue. And, of course, for the musical community as a whole.

The upside is that the downtime can be used to secure permits and have inspections instead of devoting efforts to promoting shows - if that's actually the idea.

Many posts against the Stranger read like UW fraternities' moronic argument refuting culpability for the U-Dist's residential area vandalism and private property destruction issues. Knee-jerk responses that don't actually higlight anything rational besides the poster's fondness of words like fuck and douche. Good job, you serve your purpose well.

Posted by Horsewash | June 30, 2007 11:45 AM
20

Look, people. All-ages venues constantly complain that people don't take them seriously, and all-ages advocates counter that fun and safety can coexist in such a venue. No serious publication has done anywhere near as much work as The Stranger has in making that case. So when an all-ages venue comes along that's potentially harming that reputation that so many people in Seattle have labored for years to uphold, it is naturally a source of concern. Was the article douche-y anyway? Maybe, but it's not The Stranger's responsibility to make sure all-ages venues are safe and up to code. That responsibility is ENTIRELY up to the venues.

And as for Harrison LLC @16 - GREAT solution! How about we all work together to truly usher in what will one day be known as the "Nanny Age?" Yeah, that has a shit-ton of relevance to what we're talking about here! And you're right - the way to make Atlas "legit" is to dump on a newspaper that you don't happen to like! It's not like legitimacy is EARNED, you know, through hard work and holding yourself to high standards.

And finally, to the kids who just want to rock and dance: Be angry and pissed - also be smart. Be motivated. Be responsible. Figure out what the problem is and figure out what needs to be done, and then fix it. Sticking it to "the man" by yelling at The Stranger won't do anything, so...do something that will work.

Posted by John | June 30, 2007 11:58 AM
21

How bout we boycott The Quiet Ones? That John guy sounds like THE BIGGEST DOUCHEBAG OF ALLTIME.

John says - "Yeah, Eric Grandy sucks, fuck him. Boycott the Stranger."

Then John Says - "Dear Stranger, can I write for you?"

John, I'm sure your journalistic abilities are of drop dead greatness. But based on what I've seen here, YOU ARE A SPINELESS BASTARD.

If I ever see your name attached to anything, or your band playing anywhere, I'm boycotting you.

Eric is a proponent of the all ages scene, you dipshit. Have you read any of his stuff over the last couple years? Oh wait, you want his job.

Your band members should be pissed at you, you've just made sure you will never ever get press in the Stranger. (at least I hope the Stranger never gives your band any ink, they shouldn't.)

But all those people who read the Weekly, the paper that doesn't suck, right? - will go to your shows and love your bands?

Have fun with it you fucking shithead.

Atlas advertised their shows. I'm confused. Advertising your shows, then saying you want to be covert makes no sense. Atlas was getting shut down because of their lack of being up to code, not because of Eric Grandy.

Eric has always been on the underage show's side. So has the Stranger. If you're pissed at Eric, your pissed at the wrong person.

Why not direct some of your anger and resentment toward the government who makes the codes and the rules that make underage venues so hard to run?

Oh wait, you want Eric's job.

Posted by Crispy Gloves | June 30, 2007 12:16 PM
22

Frizelle: Ironic that you refer to people's anger at Grandy as disingenuous. Grandy is the one who constantly rattles on in his show reviews about how he loves shows at illegitimate venues (basements, illegal street gatherings, etc), even going so far as to complain in a recent show review that, while the band was fine and the crowd was too big for a house, he wished he could have seen them in a packed basement again. Presumably that packed basement also embodied a host of code violations, but somehow he forgot to itemize them. He has postured himself as The Stranger's leading proponent of all things off-the-radar, diy and legally shady when it comes to music venues. And he has built a reputation on dj gigs at totally illegitimate parties. Thus don't you think his awkwardly-blunt focus on Atlas' legal vulnerabilities is a bit, oh, what's the word... disinegnuous?

This was clearly not meant as an article exposing a firetrap. It was an article intended to break a scoop about a new Capitol Hill all-ages space. Savage et al were not pushing for the story because they wanted to protect innocent children from a fiery death. It's no secret the Stranger strives to be the number one paper for the Seattle music scene, and this article was part of that effort. That may be a valiant goal, but those defending the article for its exposure of safety hazards are projecting non-existant intentions onto the paper. This is simply a case of the paper wanting news that will serve their editorial intent, and reporting it in a way that bit them in the ass.

Perhaps it's admirable that Eric worked within the paper to delay the article. That still does not excuse the content of the article that he wrote. The Stranger has by and large supported all-ages music in this city. For someone at that paper, especially someone with Eric's roots in the battle-weary all-ages music scene (he spent his under-age years going to the Redmond Teen Center for shows, for cryin' out loud), the article was a step backwards. Atlas shows were not exactly a total secret, but to suggest a sandwich board on a street is equal to an article highlighting possible code violations is, again, disingenuous.

In the end, yes, it is the Stranger's right as a paper to report what is happening in the city, no, the Stranger is not first accountable to those it writes about. And yes, safety code violations can and should be addressed, though I challenge anyone to find a lively underground music scene, past or present, that did not in some way rely on questionable spaces. Perhaps this will eventually result in dialogue about whether those regulations need adjustment, but Grandy's article did zilch to forward that dialogue.

However it is equally evident that Grandy, despite all past crowing about music-scene cred and rebellious underground allegiance, acted like a putz who is more caught up in the Stranger's short-sighted quest for music scoops than anything else.

The reason so much vitriol is directed at him (and the paper) is that many of us expected better. Oh well.

We look forward to Eric Grandy's expose of the potential hazards and code violations inherent in the act of "fucking in the streets."

Posted by no comment | June 30, 2007 12:33 PM
23

I didn't say boycott the Stranger. I like the Stranger.

Posted by John from the Quiet Ones | June 30, 2007 12:33 PM
24

I didn't say boycott the Stranger. I like the Stranger.

Posted by John from the Quiet Ones | June 30, 2007 12:34 PM
25

Dear John-

Us kids? We are smart. And motivated. And responsible. We're the ones putting on the shows. We're the ones volunteering at multiple all-ages venues and events across the city. We're the ones who have been testifying at city council, county council, and mayoral hearings for years. We work in and against the system that tells us we are unitelligent and need grown-ups to babysit us because we are young.

But I'd like everyone to take note of the fact that the people throwing shitfits here in the comments ARE NOT YOUNG PEOPLE. And they are not representative of the young people who go to the shows, run the venues, and put their sweat and blood into keeping all-ages alive. So please - stop the patronizing bullshit, because immaturity has never been a direct result of age. Those girls that showed up drunk to whatever party? Who knows, but chances are, they were over 21 and had nothing to do with Atlas.

Hey, venues get shut down. I've watched it happen a lot here in Seattle, and I'm only 19. And then they get re-born, due to the perserverance of all-ages activists. We're just some tough motherfuckers to slow down.

Posted by Sarina R | June 30, 2007 12:38 PM
26

John, you wrote the Stranger and said, Eric can suck your dick.

John, Eric IS the Stranger.

But you like the Stranger? Sure you do. Do you tell everyone you like to suck your dick? (HInt, not the best way to get a job, to write that job, and tell them to suck your dick.)

Go away. My boycott of your bullshit begins now, fucker.

Posted by Crispy Gloves | June 30, 2007 1:08 PM
27

Maybe people got the idea that Eric's article was responsible for Atlas being shut down from Ari's post on the Slog last night?

The visit was in direct relation to the article Eric Grandy wrote this week about their semi-legal goings on. [slog]

Posted by josh | June 30, 2007 1:11 PM
28

Did anyone stop to think for a moment that maybe it was a parent who tipped off the fire department?

If my kid was going to see a show in the back of a used clothing store that was housed in an old building, I'd be concerned. Especially after what happened back east a few years back.

Personally, I find these teenage dramas to be boring and predictable, with the usual hysterical reaction from the usual suspects.

They'll eventually grow up, as we all do, and see how dumb they look, but by then we'll have a new crop of teens with their self-important "issues". It never ends.

Posted by Smells like Teen Drama | June 30, 2007 1:20 PM
29

Christopher,

a.) The Stranger was asked to not print the article.

b.) They printed it.

c.) Atlas is closed.

That's it.

Posted by Kristen Kerr | June 30, 2007 1:24 PM
30

Your magazine sucks!

The reason why you published the article is to get much needed publicity as supposed supporters of all ages music.

I

I never read The Stranger before, at least you got me to read one article.

Props to the three girls's for being drunk loud and passionate on a Friday night. I wish I could have witnessed that to shake their hand!

Fuck The Stranger!

Posted by Kristen Kerr | June 30, 2007 1:30 PM
31

Kristen,

a.) Atlas was not up to code

b.) They knew they had to get up to code but didn't do it

c.) The owner of Atlas won't put up the money needed to get up to code

d.) Atlas is closed

That's it.

Posted by Cripsy Gloves | June 30, 2007 1:33 PM
32

Kristen, honey, you are looking dumber by the post.

You're barking up the wrong tree.

Posted by Rebel Cause? | June 30, 2007 1:37 PM
33

Dear Smells Like Teen Drama-

Thanks for calling everyone teenagers. Really. It's very helpful to remember that teenagers are dumb, hysterical, self-important, boring, AND predictable!

I'm so glad that despite the fact that most of the people being assholes around here I know to be over 21, those of us "underage kids" get all the blame.

Go team.

Posted by Sarina R | June 30, 2007 1:39 PM
34

I volunteered for Atlas.

I am no longer responding to any of this. We will release a public announcement.

Posted by Kristen | June 30, 2007 1:43 PM
35

I think a lot of this is related to a general feeling of antipathy towards the stranger among the vast majority of Seattle's music community, I think people were just waiting for a blunder as blatantly stupid as this one to blow up over it. This has been around for awhile, it abated a bit during Jennifer Maerz's tenure for a number of different reasons, but I've seen it really come back in full force in the last few months. My feeling on the Stranger are complex and I don't all out love or hate them, sometimes they are great, sometimes they are awful, some writers seem legit and thoughtful, other seem like self important publicity whores.

I have to wonder though if the Stranger has ever seriously considered as an organization why so many people (music community people especially) absolutely despise them. And I'm saying consider as something beyond "Nyah! They're band is shitty and they're just jealous! Nyah!" or some kind of glib "If people don't hate us we aren't doing our job right" circular reasoning.

Ultimately, I think this is really a symptom of a musical community that feels dependent on an institution that often blatantly and gleefully mocks them and relishes in its position of local power, as small as that is in the larger scheme. I think the Stranger is very good at forgetting that it takes months and years to put something a band or a venue or any other musical enterprise that may be flawed but is loved deeply and honestly by the people involved in it, while it only take a few hours to write something glib and snappy that can cut the legs right out from under that. That's a huge responsibility, and I don't honestly think the Stranger is taking that very seriously right now and they should. A 5 years ago people really had had enough of the Stranger and it was pretty much Jennifer Maerz's understanding of the above facts that single-handedly saved l'Etrange from total irrelevance. Zwickel seems like a smart guy, he seems thoughtful and he's still learning the ropes on this town, so he gets a pass for a while, but I sincerely hope he takes this kind of thing seriously.

Posted by Mr. Dr. Pirate, Attorney-At-Law | June 30, 2007 1:44 PM
36

wheres the all ages venue on the hill ?
come on people we can find a way to make it legal.
please
Im pissed that it is allways over too soon.

Posted by jan fox | June 30, 2007 1:45 PM
37

You people need to get a grip.

Look around the rest of the world. Go spend a year in the middle east, then come back and tell me you are that pissed because atlas got shut down because they weren't up to code.

all this energy and anger you have, if atlas is so oppressed, make it legit, get it up to code, raise the money, have your shows, quit your bitching.

grip

Posted by GRIP | June 30, 2007 1:46 PM
38

i think it's a proprietary thing...the stranger *just* COULDN'T STAND for an underground, all-ages venue to operate out of their home turf, on the hill, and next to one of the longest running gay nightclubs in seattle no less. they just COULND'T STAND it and they HAD to write about it, even if it meant getting the venue shut down, even if it meant taking a giant shit on seattle's already-shitted-upon all ages music scene. now, why grandy decided to make it a hack piece is another question...and hey eric, didn't you ever wonder why only the super square old dude who actually owns and bankrolls atlas clothing would really talk to you for this article? maybe because the actual people who put blood and sweat into the venue knew what you were up to and smelled bullshit? that article reads like, "oh, the KIDS must be SO irresponsible to not call ME back, ERIC GRANDY, OF THE STRANGER, DUH" - when in fact they were trying their very hardest to ignore you and discourage your paper from going to print with a story. i think that you caught a wiff of this indifference, that you were offended by atlas clothing's unwillingness to get down on their knees and suck off your BIG IMPORTANT newspaper (which you must be SO used to by now...)- and so THAT'S why you wrote a hack piece, that's why you made fun of matt's hairline, and that's why the article itself read like something from the UW Daily. funny, how one of the most slight, inconsequential, puffy and mean articles the stranger has run in a long time may turn out to be very, very important in the grand scheme of things... but yeah, i mean, if the kids who actually run a venue refuse to call you back or talk to you or do anything beyond look at you sideways when you crash their board meeting, it should be pretty obvious that they don't fucking want you writing an article about them...it doesn't make THEM sketchy, it makes YOU sketchy.

Posted by jordan | June 30, 2007 2:25 PM
39

This is all pretty moot to begin with. The city would have eventually shut down atlas one way or another because they weren't up to code. Fire officials generally don't like uninspected buildings because they generally don't like, in the event of an actual fire, having to run into flaming death traps about which they have no information. It's not because they like to read the Stranger and take their cues from the music staff, it's more because they don't want to die a fiery death. So, you know, they probably would have been around some time, to let atlas know about all that stuff.

Posted by idouglash | June 30, 2007 2:29 PM
40

Regardless of whether or not you think Eric should or shouldnt report on the subject, it all goes back to one thing, The venue was shut down because it was not properly permitted.

How is this dissimilar from 'Raves' back in the day? If someone wanted to break into a wherehouse (or even on their own private property) and throw an unpermitted, unsanctioned, and essentially illegal event, that was a risk they deemed worth taking.

If they REALLY didnt want to get caught, and wanted to keep the event going that night, or be able to throw future events, they wouldn't go to the promotional lengths of doing sandwhich boards, posters, flyers, myspace blasts, etc that could be easily obtained by authorities, narcs, parents, whoever.

We started seeing flyers and public promotions of raves when promoters started obtaining permits and throwing events in legit spaces. If money was on the line or if you wanted to do events on a regular, continual basis, it made obtaining proper permitting that more important.

Basically Atlas, you can't have your cake and eat it too. If you wanted to throw a regular series of events that you COULD advertise publicly and obtain the status of a legitimate all ages venue in Capitol Hill, you would have done your homework a while ago. You can't be upset with Eric that the FD shut you down for a permit YOU didn't obtain, especially as they've probably had you on their radar for months before this article. IF you wanted to be truly covert, you would have stuck to word-of mouth promo only and really should be operating under the assumption that running these shows comes with the risk of getting shut down at any moment.

I have no connection to Atlas so I was not aware that events were supposed to be underground. Like many casual concertgoers, I'm sure I was not alone in having an awareness that shows were going on there....so I assumed it was public knowledge...I've seen shows at Atlas actually listed on Pitchfork articles on touring artist's itineraries.

If you wanted to stay underground you would have stuck to local artists only. I'm truly sorry this happened as I'm sure you spent a lot of time on running the shows and you had a a great thing going, there's no denying that. But to focus all your anger on a writer who was merely reporting on a story that we all wanted to hear (his job as a journalist I believe) is shortsided, you're not taking responsibility for yourselves and you're doing it in an immature way. Months ago you should have decided which direction you wanted to go and stuck to it. Eric rules....and hopefully you guys will turn all this energy towards something more positive. Lesson learned all around.

Posted by Confused a Bit | June 30, 2007 2:42 PM
41

Remember when like a hundred people burned to death over on the east coast because a venue didn't meet fire codes? A hundred people, cooked like meat, flesh melting off human bones? Dying the most awful death imaginable at a fucking Great White concert, because the place didn't meet fire codes? Don't have much else to say because I don't know the particulars, but Just thought the kids could use a reminder.

Posted by christopher | June 30, 2007 3:02 PM
42

Christopher,

As far as I know, no bands that have played Atlas have used pyrotechnics. It was pyro that burned that place down, not the lack of meeting fire codes. Get your shit correct.

Posted by James | June 30, 2007 3:43 PM
43

Christopher,

As far as I know, no bands that have played Atlas have used pyrotechnics. It was pyro that burned that place down, not the lack of meeting fire codes. Get your shit correct.

Posted by James | June 30, 2007 3:43 PM
44

this is no big deal. not that great a venue... another one will pop up. who sits around and wonders whether you should bring your space up to code??? cardboard boxes burn hot. it was very nice of them to try to do some shows, but it sounds like they are very profit driven, all about getting their retail numbers up. the bottom line is that grandy wrote the piece, it had pertinent data, call it journalism if you will and it actually accomplished something... it removed an irresponsible venue from the scene and who knows, maybe they got a warning and citation and they'll get a loan and fix the place up and start again... good job i'd say...

and yes it is contradictory to be secret and advertise. advertise and you get attention. sometimes attention is not good if you're not ready for it. this is not the strangers fault. it is the fault 100% of atlas.

if only they'd bothered to do it right and never get fucked with...the story would have been better, at least its outcome...
perhaps the same slanderous poster campaign and its efforts could have been applied to the safety of the club... but what do i know. i guess if city officials crack down on ill prepared venues, it's all conspiratorial gentrification, rather then a clubs responsibility to its patrons of all variations.

and by the way - couldn't you have come up with a better anagram to play on for your posters??? - you didn't even try. lets' start a contest... who ever wins... has to bring atlas up to code with their bare hands...

Posted by c bangs | June 30, 2007 3:47 PM
45

hey james, I searched for "great white" + "fire codes" and this was the first thing that came up:

http://www.spin.com/features/news/2005/12/051206_great_white/

Posted by sam | June 30, 2007 3:55 PM
46

everything changes. please shut the fuck up. go read the weekly. people at the stranger actually care about what's happening in seattle, and it is THEIR JOB to write about it. silly fuckers.

Posted by matt | June 30, 2007 4:15 PM
47

As far as I know, no bands that have played Atlas have used pyrotechnics. It was pyro that burned that place down, not the lack of meeting fire codes. Get your shit correct.

Pyrotechnics may have burned The Strand to the ground, but it was the failure of the owners to meet fire codes that led to the deaths of 100 people. It wouldn't have mattered if it had been an electrical problem or spontaneous combustion; all of those people would have died.

This is just a bunch of bullshit. Whine about the article all you want, about how The Stranger spoiled your super sekrit clubhouse, but this whole discussion sounds more like two snobby Seattle music prats trying to prove who is cooler. And what does it matter anyway? They can just work to meet the fire codes and reopen.

Posted by bma | June 30, 2007 5:38 PM
48

Oops... it was The Station, not The Strand.

Posted by bma | June 30, 2007 5:42 PM
49

I'm really trying to imagine this conversation happen over a literary event, to see if it makes sense in the context of art in general, and it just doesn't. Chill out people. If there's one thing constant in the city, it's change.

Posted by Gitai | June 30, 2007 5:54 PM
50

Example after example of how eople sitting at keyboards all day just cannot resist typing on them. (The Stranger staff, not the discussion.) Is it me, or is this "extension" of the printed newspaper just a venue for boring rants, self-indulgent grandstanding, and inside jokes amongst the Stranger staff? See, when things are subject to the editorial process, i.e., the printed paper, things are at least interesting. Instead, the Line Out blog is full of stuff like, what songs Mudede can whistle out his ass while making photocopies, who Seling thinks is cute (aren't you about 10,000 years old by now, anyway?), whose iPod was discovered under their desk containing a fucking Gentle Giant track, and articles like this one with the (jock voice, hipster haircut) "Let me tell you something, dickhead, rrrrrrr" that would prob NOT make editorial muster or interest threshold for the printed paper. I keep expecting to find news or some "nutritional value" here. I'm left wanting over and over and over and over. Also, people I like in print are becoming less and less likable the more I read their impulsive blah blah fucking yadda yadda hoo-hah here. (Yes, my blah blah is impulsive, but I'm not a journalist.)

Posted by No editorial step for blogging! | June 30, 2007 6:20 PM
51

Example after example of how people sitting at keyboards all day just cannot resist typing on them. (The Stranger staff, not the discussion.) Is it me, or is this "extension" of the printed newspaper just a venue for boring rants, self-indulgent grandstanding, and inside jokes amongst the Stranger staff? See, when things are subject to the editorial process, i.e., the printed paper, things are at least interesting. Instead, the Line Out blog is full of stuff like, what songs Mudede can whistle out his ass while making photocopies, who Seling thinks is cute (aren't you about 10,000 years old by now, anyway?), whose iPod was discovered under their desk containing a fucking Gentle Giant track, and articles like this one with the (jock voice, hipster haircut) "Let me tell you something, dickhead, rrrrrrr" that would prob NOT make editorial muster or interest threshold for the printed paper. I keep expecting to find news or some "nutritional value" here. I'm left wanting over and over and over and over. Also, people I like in print are becoming less and less likable the more I read their impulsive blah blah fucking yadda yadda hoo-hah here. (Yes, my blah blah is impulsive, but I'm not a journalist.)

Posted by No editorial step for blogging! | June 30, 2007 6:21 PM
52

This is why we don't have all-ages venues on Capitol Hill. Kids involved with all-ages venues are douchebags. Go back to the eastside, please.

The Stranger, please stop covering all-ages venues and focus your paper towards your target demographic (not trust fund kids from bellevue). You might as well be covering high school talent shows.

Posted by boycott stupid kids | June 30, 2007 7:06 PM
53

I'm really really upset with all of this.

but my question still stands:
All of the sudden, people seem to be oh so passionate and caring about all ages venues, why hasn't there been more support of already existing venues (mainly vera project but also paradox, rip)? I understand that Atlas was convenient, totally rad and fucking awesome, but why not take some of that energy and share the love? i just don't see why one seizes to be "so much better" and get better ratings. maybe one can learn from the other?

Posted by Wondering | June 30, 2007 7:53 PM
54

Dear Wondering-

Everyone involved in the collective that is behind the shows at Atlas is or has been part of those venues. Our efforts have never been to surpass what any other all-ages venue in the city does. Instead, we wanted to offer a mid-size space that could accomodate shows too big for a living room or basement, but fit better in a 150-person room than, say, Vera's 360-person showroom.

I only speak for myself when I say that I learned (and continue to) everything from the Vera Project, and being involved in other venues. The most beautiful thing that Vera does, however, is to push each of us out the door with the skills and the passion to start something new, to fill a void that exists in our communities. Unlike teen centers, the Vera culture is not about creating a distance between the staff/"adults" and young people. The Holland Project in Reno, Nevada, inspired by Vera, is an amazing example. They are currently struggling against their own closure, but they won't go down without a fight.

All-ages will never die, my friend. We're making sure of it.

Posted by Sarina R | June 30, 2007 8:13 PM
55

there are so many diy venues in this city (just check out the diy guide) that the temporary closing of this one is no big deal and will barely cause a whimper. the last few atlas shows i've attended have had less than 10 people! that's including the volunteers! i just don't understand where all these angry people are coming from. hardly any of the diy shows i've gone to in seattle have had more than even 25 people in the audience, tops.

what about the venue admitting that it was letting itself be used as a method in which to garner business for atlas clothing itself? how is this in line with the other causes for the local diy scene, such as food not bombs and wayward cafe? the whole money making, profit generating angle of the article does not put the venue in the spirit of the other diy venues in the city.

back to the original article which started all of this. did anyone else take offense to this thought surmised by the atlas volunteers:

There was speculation that some older, odder attendees at recent shows could've been undercover cops, but someone else weighed in that "they'd send the fire department before they'd send an undercover cop."

Posted by very sad | June 30, 2007 8:58 PM
56

I refuse to buy your stupid magazine! ... er, free newspaper.

Posted by West Seattle Trifin' Ho | June 30, 2007 9:43 PM
57

Let's clear some things up:

Atlas is not a DIY venue, folks. Firstly, the term "DIY" is problematic in that no-one was doing it by themSELF. We work as a collective, with knowledge and skill we've been given by a lot of other awesome people who were doing it before us. I'll just invoke Shannon Stewart here and say that a much better term is DIT: Doing It Together.

Yes, the shows were essentially an arm of the warehouse business, and helped to attract business to the store. Of course! If the store stayed open during a show and made $250, that was a little less money we had to take from the door in order to pay "rent". That was more money we could give the bands.

How is this in line with what other "DIY" (yuck) projects like FNB do? You know, one of my friends is part of FNB, and we had an interesting conversation about Deleuze and Guatarri's "The War Machine". If you think about it, FNB can only operate because of capitalism and excess. If there wasn't a bunch of perfectly good food with maybe a few bruises being thrown into dumpsters because consumers want their produce perfect, where would FNB get the food? In essence, FNB exploits the exploiters and does something awesome with it by feeding hungry people. We took advantage of an opportunity to use a space that was available, large, and quirky to throw awesome shows for "hungry" people. Hopefully none of em had rabies.

The comments about "older, odder attendees" at some shows -- well, I can't help you out there, because I wasn't at the (solitary) meeting that Mr. Grandy attended; most of the collective members weren't able to make it. It's unfortunate, because most of us never got the opportunity to meet him or speak to him, and perhaps the story would have gone differently had we. Such is the press.

Posted by Sarina R | July 1, 2007 12:11 AM
58

can we get back to slog posts from Zwickel about jam bands now? Please.

Posted by Frank | July 1, 2007 5:06 AM
59

@52-So I'm a douchebag. Let's get a cup of coffee and talk this over, because I want to know what brings you to that conclusion. Dead serious. You in?

Posted by Garth | July 1, 2007 5:33 AM
60

I was one of the people who reposted that "Boycott The Stranger!" thing on myspace Saturday morning and I just pulled it down because I realized that I didn't entirely agree with what I was reposting. I was pissed already about other stuff when I woke up and saw what had happened and snapped and band-wagoned it instead of formulating my own response which is always a bad idea. Boycotting the Stranger isn't the answer to the problem, it's not even feasible, seeing as it's free. However, calling bullshit on aspects of what the paper did here is valid, necessary and should be taken seriously.

There are a lot of good people who work at the Stranger, I count a good number of them as friends, I have written for them in the past and, Allah willing, I will write for them in the future. I am also sure that I will continue to read certain parts of the Stranger in print and read and post on Slog and Line Out. The problem is not that the article was written, it was that it was written poorly. Atlas was not up to code and that put them in a dangerous position, it also possibly put the people in attendance in a dangerous position as far as the letter of the law was concerned. They were working on resolving that issue according to the people I know who volunteered there. The fire department and the cops undoubtedly already knew something was happening there as it was an open secret. BUT ... for someone to come into the middle of that and write something that was not only catty, smug and condescending (an entirely separate issue), but whose main thrust was "Illegal shows are happening here! They aren't up to code!" shoved that fact in the fire department's face, it rubbed their nose in it and FORCED them to shut the place down, as it was inevitable that "Safety First!" parents whose kids weren't even attending shows there were going to start calling the cops and freaking out about "Why aren't you shutting this place down!?!? All our children will BURN TO DEATH! YARG!" The cops, I am sure, knew about the shows at the Egg Room. They probably were aware of the shows at Cafe Unamerican. It is there job to keep track of shit like that. But nobody ever wrote a big front page article about those shows that focused on their illegality, named their location and shoved it in the authorities faces and forced them to react.

What bothers me most, however, is the tone with which Grandy and some of the other Stranger staffers are responding to the criticism that is being leveled at the article: Smug, dismissive, and entirely unwilling to admit any culpability in the fact that Atlas was shut down on Friday. There have been some pretty reactionary, unfocused, pissed off diatribes against Grandy posted already, and that's unfortunate, but some of them were probably posted by young people who were passionate about he place or volunteered there and put work into it and it makes sense that they are really angry and that anger is making them somewhat inarticulate, but to dismiss them out of hand as dumb kids who got what was coming to them is frankly shocking. The Atlas volunteers worked without pay for months on that place. Grandy wrote his piece in a week tops, even got paid for it, and it played a central role in getting it shut down. It's understandable why they are REALLY upset and for he and other Stranger staffers to just thumb their nose at that is highly irresponsible.

In any case, Atlas is formulating an official letter to the editor about the article and their subsequent shut down, plus where they are gosing from here with the project, it will be interesting to see how the Stranger edits it and responds to it. I take pride in the work I've done at the Stranger in the past and I think that there are a lot of good things about the publication and I hope that their sometimes tendencies towards a very dismissive kind of hubris does not overshadow those good things. Okay. Rant Over.

If you don't agree with me on this stuff, I don't hate you or anything, okay? We can still share a sno-cone this summer and go to the movies together.

xo
BiLLy

Posted by Bill Bullock | July 1, 2007 1:08 PM
61

Plenty of all ages show at Studio Seven and El Corazon, kids. Maybe there'd be more if the meatheads hasn't ruined hardcore.

Posted by Slappy McGhee | July 1, 2007 1:33 PM
62

I suspect Seattle is like Chicago: not quite legal spaces are part of keeping culture thriving in a costly city because making the permit process easier and cheaper is unfeasable. Or so the city claims at least.

So there's selective / lax enforcement, especially for spaces with potential to become legal. The ad hoc system is fragile relying on plausible deniability for the city which can be blown by any unwanted scrutiny from outside - an incident cops can't ignore, someone determined to report violations, or media attention on the lack of a license.

While such tacit deals let the city avoid fixing - I'm sure legal spaces are getting unfair leeway on rules as well - a dubious method is better than nothing.

Good journalists, especially those who allegedly benefit and support the scene, honor this situation. Or if they chose not to, they have the courage to be open about it. They don't blow the whistle as whims suit them.

So it is disingenuous for The Stranger to feign innocence. They helped force the city's hand intentionally or unintentionally - either way they need to own up to it.

Posted by Softdog | July 1, 2007 1:54 PM
63

this town has been shutting down all ages shows since the 80's with that dumb teen dance hall ordinance. the pity here is that the only places that can afford to do all ages shows are el corazon and studio 7 with the bar open to rake in the cash and the vera project and the redmond teen center who struggle with their puny funding and volunteer staff. the bottom line is WE NEED MORE ALL AGES VENUES! what we don't need is stuff getting shut down before it has a chance to thrive. atlas needed to get up to code, yes, true. but it didn't need to get shut down in the process due to a crappy article.

Posted by punkrockprincess | July 1, 2007 6:58 PM
64

This was a horribly unprofessional and unsensitive response to the uproar Eric's article caused. He did NOT cause everything - obviously. But he sure as hell brought unnessescary attention. They were trying to get enough funds to get the proper codes so they could run it as an all ages venue, while keeping it semi on the down low.

Of course there are going to be tons of kids screaming "fuck Eric Grandy" - REMEMBER who you are dealing with! This was an all ages venues, kids are passionate about the scene because we have limits on what we can participate in here. And the shutting down of Atlas was yet another recent cut off of a good source to see music.
And NO, not nessescarily, this would have happened "sooner or later." Atlas, like I mentioned, was trying to be in the process of making their space up to codes. The snarky and tattletale attitude that just stung when I read a few select sentences in Eric Grandy's article definatley tinted the veiw Atlas in a bad way.

People, have mercy on Atlas. They were trying.

I am VERY dissapointed in obviously the first article that brought the attention to Atlas and also this ignorant and angry defense.


@ Sarina: right on.

Posted by dr | July 1, 2007 8:13 PM
65

Hey Frizzelle, could you whine like a baby a little more? You are just as pathetic an excuse for a fucking writer as Eric Grandy. Suprise, people don't like it when you fuck up a good thing. When you ruin the party by acting like an asshole, you should own up to it like a man. While it's too bad it took this current incident for people to finally start calling the Stranger on it's bullshit en masse, it's great to see the music community finally a little pissed off about your shitty lowdown on the local music scene.

Posted by Dan | July 1, 2007 8:26 PM
66

All this supposed relevance and importanceóso completely overblown.

The club was shut down from Fire Code.

The Stranger publicized it's non-compliance.

Two Separate issues.

Both parties are responsible for their actions. The paper had a right to run the article but instead of taking the high road from the fallout has engaged in the pissing match and shown indifferenceómaybe even spite. They are showing their colors here more than the article.

The venues responsibilities are well-documented here. They would have been shut down with or without the Stranger. It was only a matter of time.

All the rest of this amounts to so much posture.

Posted by nothingNew | July 2, 2007 12:38 AM
67

I have two questions:

What's Atlas?

and

Who cares?

Posted by Mickey Spillane | July 2, 2007 1:17 AM
68

Christopher Frizzelle, why are you calling your readers motherfuckers and denying the direct link between Grandy's article and the Atlas shows getting shut down when your own writer Ari Spool made that link on The Stranger Slog? Specifically Spool said, "the visit was in direct relation to the article Eric Grandy wrote this week about their semi-legal goings on." Everyone knows it was a direct relation to the article, even your own writers. Admit it, apologize and move on. Acting like assholes to your advertisers and readers about a totally legitimate criticism is only going to piss us off more.

Posted by John Juanda | July 2, 2007 9:49 AM
69

hey eric, didn't you ever wonder why only the super square old dude who actually owns and bankrolls atlas clothing would really talk to you for this article? maybe because the actual people who put blood and sweat into the venue knew what you were up to and smelled bullshit? that article reads like, "oh, the KIDS must be SO irresponsible to not call ME back, ERIC GRANDY, OF THE STRANGER, DUH" - when in fact they were trying their very hardest to ignore you and discourage your paper from going to print with a story...i mean, if the kids who actually run a venue refuse to call you back or talk to you or do anything beyond look at you sideways when you crash their board meeting, it should be pretty obvious that they don't fucking want you writing an article about them...it doesn't make THEM sketchy, it makes YOU sketchy.

Posted by jordan | June 30, 2007 2:25 PM

Hi Jordan,

I know you and your friends are upset about Atlas closing. However, I think you all should consider this a lesson learned. When a journalist calls or shows up and wants to talk about something that you're involved with- talk to them. Ignoring a journalist will rarely, if ever, work out in your favor.

Something I've learned from politics is that the biggest part of an issue is framing the debate.

By stupidly choosing to turn your backs on the person looking to run an article about your venue, you forced the Stranger to run something lacking your input. As fun as it is to wear the tinfoil cap, I'm not buying that Eric was "out to get" anyone. He was out to get a story and you don't like the article because it was apparently too one sided for your tastes.

Imagine if there'd been dialog between you and Eric, wouldn't it make sense that your input might have been paid attention to and as Frizzelle mentions, maybe they would have been a different story.

Sorry, but if I have to put the blame on someone's shoulders the bullseye is on Matt Fuller or whomever was telling him to not talk with Eric. Maybe the article was condescending because by refusing to talk with Eric y'all were acting like children who ignorantly think that ignoring a reporter means killing a story.

So, look at this as a lesson. Obviously you all were on the right path, you were throwing successful shows and getting media attention. Keep it up, just take from this experience a couple lessons:

Regulations suck, but if you don't follow them you're screwed.

and,

Promoting isn't just about getting people in the door, it's about cultivating relationships with your community and the media is part of (or a conduit to) that community.

As Sabrina said, this isn't a scene that's going to die easily. So, keep working on being productive instead of burning bridges by attacking the staff of one of your biggest potential promoters. You don't have to like the game but you still have to play it to get anywhere...

Posted by lessons to learn | July 2, 2007 12:25 PM
70

Yeah, The Stranger is the capitalist paper just looking to sensationalize the news and fuck over Atlas and the all-ages shows they put on. NEVERMIND THE FACT that the owner of Atlas admits that putting on the shows helps him sell used t-shirts... I think at the end of the day, it's The Stranger's obligation to cover both sides, like telling readers when shows are and telling readers that they are happening at a place that should be shut down due to fire codes. What happens when something actually happens at the venue and people get hurt or die? Then who's the asshole? Is it The Stranger's fault that everyone at Atlas wants all the support of The Stranger, but doesn't feel like taking responsibility for the fact that THE VENUE IS NOT UP TO SAFETY CODES!!! Yeah, fuck The Stranger for talking about a venue that is too half-assed to secure the safety of the people that attend its shows!

If you want to get press for your shows, but not for your incompetence, it isn't The Stranger's fault. Just because you have DIY tattooed on your arm and wear skinny black jeans in the summer doesn't mean you are too cool to be above criticism from a newspaper that praises your favorite bands. Don't be a fucking half-wit.

Posted by Colin | July 2, 2007 12:48 PM
71

I don't like children..... why does everyone have such a hardon for getting kids a place to go be cool? nobody did that for me! Little shits.

Posted by oldlady | July 2, 2007 7:35 PM
72

"you forced the Stranger to run something lacking your input. As fun as it is to wear the tinfoil cap..."

That's some funny shit right there. You think the Stranger was forced to write the article and are telling other people they are wearing a tinfoil cap. The article had seemingly no editorial oversight and pretty much begged for the fire marshal to shut the venue down. The idea that not talking to a snide, poorly written, advertising freebie paper forced them into anything is ridiculous... and completely illogical.

The editor at the paper should have said this isn't newsworthy and had the foresight to know it would hurt Atlas and the all-ages music community, fuck up a bunch of band's shows, and it would pretty much force the fire marshal to take action. At least they could of rejected it because it was so poorly written and considered running something positive about the local music community instead.

Posted by Lessons Obviously Weren't Learned | July 3, 2007 8:43 AM
73

Since when is The Stranger a news franchise?

Posted by Audrey | July 3, 2007 12:25 PM
74

Since when is The Stranger a news franchise?

Posted by Audrey | July 3, 2007 12:25 PM
75

Since when is The Stranger a news franchise?

Posted by Audrey | July 3, 2007 12:25 PM
76

Since when is The Stranger a news franchise?

Posted by Audrey | July 3, 2007 12:25 PM
77

Since when is The Stranger a news franchise?

Posted by Audrey | July 3, 2007 12:25 PM
78

Since when is The Stranger a news franchise?

Posted by Audrey | July 3, 2007 12:26 PM
79

"Since when is The Stranger a news franchise?"

Since it became part of Index Publishing in 2002?

Posted by Franchise this! | July 3, 2007 4:33 PM
80

wow..cmon. Matt Fu was on TOUR when he fell out of "touch" with your writer. he has been so ridiculous busy that even his good friends miss him, and dont receive callbacks.. we understand.

a diy tour. if you have any idea what do it yourself is, its really doing it all yourself..(besides the gracious voluteering of a few good friends here and there). it is ALOT of work! and it can take away from the creative energy put into the music and art.

ATLAS lived for a long time and its spirit will continue. good job and much love always.

dearborn

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81

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Posted by umavo rznpd | July 10, 2007 4:22 PM

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