Line Out Music & Nightlife


News & Arts

« I Cut The Ink Now, I'm Through... | A Humble Request »

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Crocodile Show Archive Will Exist in UW Library

posted by on October 14 at 14:44 PM

Live recordings from the Crocodile are going to be archived in the University of Washington Library. In 2001, Croc engineer Jim Anderson began recording bands as they played. Now, in conjunction with the UW Ethnomusicology Department and the head of the UW media department John Vallier, some 3000 hours of shows from the Crocodile are set to be preserved forever. There will be something like a dedicated Mac Mini sealed with a mouse and a pair of headphones. People will be able to go Odegaard Undergrad Library, search up a band or a date, and listen to the show. People wonít be able to download or burn the shows for themselves though. They are working on how to protect and index it all now.

The archive is resting in six cardboard boxes, two hard drives, and 300 data DVDís. Just short two terabytes of data, itís roughly 3000 hours worth of recordings. If you listened for eight hours a day, it would take about a year to get all the way through.


In the beginning, Anderson was only recording the headliners, then he began recording entire shows. It was a feed directly into the board. Evolving the recordings, he set up a pair of Octava MK219 room mics. After the smoking ban, he switched to a pair of Audio Technica AT3030ís, which are medium to large diaphragm condenser mics.

Anderson said:

Basically itís most of the shows for the last five or six years of the clubís run. The whole show, not just the headliner. Iím excited about it. The archive is a snapshot of the time, a window into pop music and what was going then. All the talking in between songs is recorded. Someone a hundred years from now will be able to get a clearer sociological perspective of our time.

What makes this collection unique is that in archival recordings from other clubs, thereís not a whole lot of the between song banter. I did blanket recordings, and was able to capture everything. Even now, four or five years later, itís interesting to look back and see what the concerns of the day were. Bands and people talk about politics, sports, events, the environment, equipment issues, technology, and so on. Thereís a lot of stuff that gives you the flavor of what people were thinking and talking about at that point in time.

Recording the shows also became a great stage management tool for me. I could look at how the recording was going and see what time the band went on and how long theyíd played. It really helped the shows stay on track.

Chances are, if you played at the Croc from 2002 on, youíre in there.

A reception to kick off the archive will happen once everything is set. Stay tuned for details.

RSS icon Comments


just to clarify things -- access to the archive will be through the UW libraries so you will have to be a registered user to have access. provisions will be made for non-students who would like to listen to the collection.
Mac Mini? i'm not sure- the tech details still need to be worked out. we'll make a formal announcement when access to the collection becomes available. IT'S EXCITING and i want to thank John Vallier and Laurel Sercombe for making it possible.

Posted by Jim Anderson | October 14, 2008 3:40 PM

Thanks, Jim.

Will Odegaard be providing beds? Cause I'm going to be there for a year. And could they have a breakfast bar?

Posted by trent moorman | October 14, 2008 3:51 PM

Ahhh, this is great news! What a time for me to have stopped working at the UW, though. Ah well, I'll find a way. Thanks Jim and John and Laurel!

Posted by Levislade | October 14, 2008 3:53 PM

One word: SWEET!

Posted by Brittney | October 14, 2008 4:07 PM

Very cool. Jim Anderson and his archive are both local treasures! In 30 or 40 years, this archive may very well be the Rosetta Stone for PNW rock historians!

Posted by Matthew | October 14, 2008 9:36 PM

this is really, seriously, so awesome.

Posted by alithea | October 15, 2008 12:07 AM

Jim Anderson you are a treasure for the poor to find. Thank you for archiving a vital part of Seattle's rich musical history.

Now if we could only get Jeanie to dump her Gazillion DAT tapes into the collection.

Posted by Jeff | October 15, 2008 12:21 PM

I swear to god, it is time for a Jim Anderson Appreciation Day. He truly is a shiny gem in Seattle's crown, and this archive is an amazing piece of history.

Posted by kerri harrop | October 15, 2008 1:55 PM

There needs to be a Jim Day.

Posted by trent moorman | October 15, 2008 3:18 PM

Jim Day, yes.

Posted by Dave | October 15, 2008 5:35 PM

is there an ETA on this? i'll definitely be re-living some shows there. i've always wondered if i'd ever get to hear any of these recordings.

Posted by something | October 15, 2008 6:56 PM

Add Your Comments

Please click Post only once.