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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What Some Local Rockstars Are Saying About the Crocodile…

posted by on September 10 at 13:26 PM

crocwindow.jpgCrocodile’s back window by Todd Sackmann, from the Stranger Flickr Pool

Yesterday I wrote about how I think the music scene has been fine without the Crocodile (which doesn’t mean I’m not happy to see it re-open, mind you). But that’s easy for me to say, as I’m not a musician, and I never had to try to get a show in a city that lost a very local-music-friendly venue. So I asked some local musicians about it—after all, they were probably some of the first people in the community to really feel the loss.

Here are what some of them had to say about the result of the Crocodile’s absence, and the venue’s return:

“Music survived without the Crocodile. There are nostalgic reasons for me to be excited for its return, our first show in Seattle was there, I got back together with my girlfriend there, our krautrock version of the Mickey Mouse Club Theme song at Disney cover night, etc., but only time will tell if the new Crocodile will be an improvement to the scene. Maybe they should call it Neucroc’s.” -John Totten, The Quiet Ones

“I’ve very much missed the Crocodile, it was by far my favorite place to see shows in town and I don’t think anything has really come to filling that void. There’s just nothing comparable in my opinion, a place that books good national touring bands and little-known but rad local bands in equal measure. I have not been at as many shows (or in Seattle) as much since the Crocodile closed as I was before, so I can’t speak to how the other clubs have picked up the slack in making sure that local music has a regular soapbox, but it was a friendly space and I think it nurtured bands in a unique way. I’m totally excited for it to re-open. I doubt it will be exactly the same, though, if they maintain what made the old place so great it doesn’t really matter what else changes.” –Robin Pecknold, the Fleet Foxes

“Along with the historical significance of the venue (heh, all 20 years) the Crocodile was a great mid-sized venue that will be great to have back. I think other venues have picked up the slack and done a great job in the Croc’s absence, but having one more venue in the city with a mid to large capacity is always a good thing! Especially with it’s great sound system.” –Andrew Toms, Sleepy Eyes of Death

“There’s been an obvious hole in the music culture in this town since it closed down, and I find myself going to shows less, which bums me out. The Croc is associated in my mind with many of the reasons I decided to move to Seattle. I was thankful that we got to headline it once before it was closed. I rarely get excited about that sort of thing, but it felt like a rite of passage in some way, given the history of the room and caliber of bands who have played there over the years. So yes, I’m excited. I’m excited to hear Jim’s mixing skills again [that room really was (is?) the best sounding room to see a show in Seattle, except for maybe the Triple Door, but that’s a whole different kind of experience].” –Eric Elbogen, Say Hi

“There are so many places for bands in Seattle to play, I don’t think people suffered, but things just became more displaced. Most of the bands playing the Croc were not yet ready to graduate to Neumos or the Showbox, so instead of just going to one club you had to scramble around town to the Sunset or High Dive or Nectar or Chop Suey or the Comet. (And for a city without a subway system or decent buses that is kind of a pain.) While I think it was unfair to assume that another club would pick up all the Croc slack it was nice to see people have a chance to check out all the other venues in town. The Crocodile is one of my favorite places to play (other being the Sunset) and I can’t wait until they open back up again.” –Jay Cox, the Sea Navy

RSS icon Comments

1

It is lovely to see such interest in the Crocodile, and I don’t think anyone will argue with the fact that it is a much-loved piece of Seattle’s cultural history.

It is awesome to read people’s memories, and re-live some of what made the Croc so brilliant. There is a time and a place for nostalgia, and, as I’ve said in other media outlets, the new owners are definitely cognizant of the room’s significant past.

That said, it is important to remember that life, culture, and music all move forward, and you can expect the new venue to reflect that fact.

Folks hoping for a shrine to days gone by should be prepared for this reality: there is very little in that space worth salvaging. I have seen it with my own eyes, and it ain’t pretty.

The Crocodile fell on some hard times toward the end of its illustrious run, and very little had been done to improve the space. It has been vacant for almost a year. People love to pee on the windows.

I’ve seen the plans, and they are good. Jim Anderson, a wizard behind the board, will continue to make that room sound fantastic. Sightlines will be improved, and there are some good surprises in store. You will be able to eat delicious pizza next door. I think folks will be pleased.

And, most importantly, Seattle will have another venue for bands to play in. Running a live music venue is a tough business, and so is getting onstage and pouring out your guts. I admire anyone that even gives it a shot.

There will be plenty of folks that will be mad that the club doesn’t look exactly the way it was the last time they were there, but there are also plenty of folks that are still mad that you can’t smoke inside, and that Candlebox isn’t headlining.

Stuff changes. It’s not always bad.

Whether the new owners find a home for the disgusting and decrepit snakes that hung from the ceiling remains to be seen. What really matters is that our music scene continues to thrive, and that folks continue to take chances on their art, their passions, and their livelihoods.

And, yeah, I’m doing PR for the joint. But these words come from my perspective, not necessarily the club’s (although they certainly echo these sentiments).

I’ve had a fucking blast in that space, many many many times, and I look forward to what the future holds.

Thanks to everyone for the support and interest. See you at the opening.

Posted by kerri harrop | September 10, 2008 3:55 PM

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