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Saturday, June 30, 2007

A Few Notes About Atlas

posted by on June 30 at 11:42 AM

Maybe I was naive, but I really didn’t think Atlas was going to get shut down over this story. It seemed like they were in the process of getting things up to code and working to have an inspectionóunless they were just stalling or bullshitting about all that. I’m sorry it did get shut down, or that it won’t be able to get the proper permitting or whatever. That’s a shame. But I don’t write fire codes. I write music stories.

What I thought might happen was that Atlas would get the fire inspection they’d been telling me for weeks, months maybe, that they were working towards, and then they’d get to work on the needed improvements. Or not.

The store’s owner, when last I spoke to him, said he had no reservations about the story going forward. Seems to me like the problem at Atlas isn’t people knowing about it, but whether or not the owner is actually going to support the endeavor, and whether or not the owner and the volunteers actually see eye to eye about the project. And you know what, I don’t think the owner was ever going to make the necessary investments to the possible venue, because all-ages shows don’t make money, and he’s a business man.

The cops/fire dept had already visited the place, according to the volunteers, before I even started working on this story. They knew about it.

The comparison made in some comment likening Atlas to the Egg Room doesn’t quite work. Atlas was working, they said, to go above board, and what they were doing was essentially legal. Running an after hours bar is essentially illegal, and the Egg Room wasn’t trying to go legit ever. We’re not going to write a story naming all our pot dealers, but we might run one about someone starting, or trying to start, or saying they’re trying to start, a legitimate small business.

RSS icon Comments


I think it's simple PR. Stuff that's not really a problem gets a blind eye all the time so long as it's low-key, but since it was published, it meant that the Fire Department had to do something about it or risk looking too lenient or ineffectual. There's always a levy to pass.

Posted by JaemeCallahan | June 30, 2007 12:34 PM

Shit, over at The Weekly I wrote a piece that got a High School Girls Tennis teacher fired and banned from teaching for life. You ain't squat, my man!

Posted by Hsu | June 30, 2007 12:37 PM

Wow. Your response is more disgusting than your article. "But I donít write fire codes. I write music stories." No Eric, you write stupid gossip columns that do nothing to inform the reader about music. "The cops/fire dept had already visited the place, according to the volunteers, before I even started working on this story." Are you trying to make excuses for your direct relation to Atlas being closed down? "The comparison made in some comment likening Atlas to the Egg Room doesnít quite work." WRONG. Your unapologetic, desensitized, prideful response is incredible. Your article shocked the hell out of me. When I met you when you came to THE ONE AND ONLY ATLAS MEETING you ever showed up at, I would have never expected such a hateful write up. Talking about Matt's hairline? You're not a writer, your an insecure loser that is so bored with life you have to make others hell for kicks. So FUCK YOU, FUCK YOUR ARTICLE AND FUCK THE STRANGER. (For printing it.) Your a bastard and I know your name will always be associated with Atlas being closed. You selfish mid 20's hipster that does not care about all ages music. Apparently the all ages crowd does not go for your bullshit dj'ing. IT'S YOUR FAULT. I have nothing more to say to you. GROSS.

Posted by KRISTEN KERR | June 30, 2007 12:44 PM

Boycott the Quiet Ones.

No one go to their shows or support them in anyway.

Posted by Crispy Gloves | June 30, 2007 12:44 PM

Kristen, honey. You're mad at the wrong person. Get your head out of your ass.

Have you read Eric's stuff over the past couple years? He's a huge proponent of the underage scene.

Do you want his job too?

Why don't you get mad at the cops or the people that come up with these codes? You're going to be pissed at someone who has been giving your scene tons of good press? No, fuck you. Fuck Atlas.

Posted by Crispy Gloves | June 30, 2007 12:51 PM

Eric still wrote an article that shut down an awesome DIY All Ages show space that dozens of people have volunteered months and months of their time to create.
There is no denying that that is totally fucked up.
No "reality check" bullshit. There was a really rad, though struggling venue on Capitol Hill that was shut down because of this article and everyone knows this is fucked.
I don't consider anyone defending Eric a friend.

Posted by Scott Yoder | June 30, 2007 1:06 PM

It's true that we should be focusing on how to help Atlas get back on track instead of blaming and pointing fingers. I am at fault but one's initial response to all of this non-sense must be one of anger... well now what can we do?

Posted by BECOMETHESIGNAL | June 30, 2007 1:07 PM

Crispy Gloves honey,

Your TAKING SIDES with the wrong person. Go put your head in your ass so we don't have to read your shit for brains repsonses.

And when did we start talking about me wanting his job. This is not about me.


FUCK THE STRANGER. They closed down an all ages venue. End of Story.

Posted by Kristen, Honey | June 30, 2007 1:10 PM

The reason your little venue was shut down is because the fire department takes no pleasure in identifying you by your dental records.

Restaurant / Nightclub / Disco Fires

Year Hotel Country Lives Lost Injured Damage Sprinklered

2006 Thailand disco fire Thailand 8 54 $ 800,000
2006 Fire at Pukalani Country Club USA $1 million
2004 Argentina: Disco Fire Kills 175 Argentina 175 714 Not
2003 Rhode Island, West Warwick: The Station nightclub USA 100 Not
2002 Peru Night Club Fire Kills 25 Peru 25 100 Not
2002 Caracas: La Goajira nightclub Venezuela 47 Not
2002 Saigon International Trade Center Restaurant Vietnam 33 Not
2001 Tokyo, Mah-Jongg Club Japan 44 3
2001 Volendam: Fire in a Dance Hall Netherland 10 130
2000 City of Luoyang: the fire in a Dance Hall China 309 50
2000 Lobohombo nightclub Mexico 20 27
2000 Cinema Fire China 74
1998 Gothenburg: Dance Hall Fire Sweden 63
1996 Quezon City, Night Club Philippines 150
1995 Karaoke and Video Centre Fire China 51
1990 Happy Land Social Club,New York USA 87
1983 Alcala 20 disco Fire,Madrid Spain 81
1981 Stardust Cabaret fire,Dublin Ireland 44
1977 Beverly Hills Supper Club fire,Beverly Hills USA 167 130
1976 Club Puerto Rico ,New York USA 25
1974 Gulliver's Discotheque, New York USA 24
1973 Cocktail Lounge Fire ,Louisiana USA 32
1972 Nightclub fire ;Osaka Japan 118
1970 Saint-Laurent-Du-Pont: Dance hall France 146
1965 Gateway Restaurant: fire, Ohio USA 22
1942 Luongo Restaurant Fire ,Boston USA 6 43
1942 Cocoanut Grove nightclub,Boston USA 491
1940 Rhythm Night Club Dance Hall,Mississippi USA 207

Like Comte said in an earlier post "welcome to adultland."

Posted by Brian | June 30, 2007 1:32 PM

Oh for Christ sake. Listen to some fucking records until you turn 21 then start going out like the rest of us did. Stop being so fucking whiny.

All the shit that's going on in the world, and you're all wasting space on stupid high school crap like this.

There really SHOULD be a draft. That would give "the kids" something real to protest, instead of this ridiculous drama about some stupid concert being cancelled.

Posted by Grow up | June 30, 2007 1:35 PM

you want at eric? y'all gonna haveta get through me first, bitches. i'm a brawler. i'll take your asses DOWN.

Posted by adrian! | June 30, 2007 1:39 PM

show us your tattoos Eric. that will shut people up

Posted by call me a snot | June 30, 2007 1:54 PM

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 (and the resultant snide reaction to criticism of it) to really blow up. 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 often takes a perverse level of pride in making people who are passionately engaged in something feel or seem stupid, irrelevant and worthy of ridicule. I think the Stranger is very good at forgetting that it takes months and years to put together something like 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. 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. The Stranger was founded in part in reaction to the glib self-importance of the Weekly and they'd do well to remember that. Not every alternative to the Stranger will always be as dumb as the Sinner or the Underground.

Posted by Dr. Mr. Pirate, Attorney At Law | June 30, 2007 1:56 PM

People are acting like Eric wrote a letter directly to the fucking fire marshal or something. No offense to Grandy, but I don't think the fire department is sitting around waiting for some Stranger article to give them the go-ahead on code inspections; the music section isn't that powerful.
I went to a show at atlas long before this article business and the cops drove by several times taking long hard looks at what we were doing. Do you really think the venue was all that covert? It's a nice fantasy, but sandwich boards, posters, previous write-ups in the very paper you now seem to despise...come on guys, the city already knew about atlas.
Putting on shows in Spokane where I grew up we would get shut down all the fucking time, and we didn't need an article from the Inlander to inspire the cops to action. It's just part of the all ages universe; you might want to learn to deal with it.
I've known Grandy for a good while, and he has always been an advocate for the kids. It strikes me as fucked that people are ready to shit on him for giving the publicity that all ages venues generally need.

Posted by idouglash | June 30, 2007 2:01 PM

Dude - this happened the day after the Stranger was released to a readership of 90,000 people. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what happened.
Even if the authorities already knew - there was no way that they could've let Atlas continue to run. This directly related to the article's lines about Atlas not being up to fire code.

Posted by really? | June 30, 2007 2:15 PM

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 with regards to how seattle's music community views and interacts with the stranger... 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 doesn't make THEM sketchy, it makes YOU sketchy.

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

@13 The vast majority? Thanks for taking the lead and speaking for all of us.

Eric, hang in there. You did your job. They didn't. People who want to own a bar or club have to jump through some hoops. They aren't insurmountable. People do it all the time. If blaming must be done, blame the Atlas folks for believing themselves above the rules, seemingly because of the moral superiority of their mission. The rules ARE too tough for underage spaces in this city. Maybe they could direct some energy that way, toward changing those rules, instead of heaping blame on you.

And isn't opening a for profit "diy" a little disingenuous to begin with?

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | June 30, 2007 2:36 PM

The article was fine, except for the sentence that announced to all the world that Atlas was breaking the law. That's the sentence that brought the heat on them. That was unnecessary. All you have to do is apologize and stop making excuses.

Posted by wf | June 30, 2007 2:37 PM

@13 again. I'm sorry, I'm feeling a little pissy today. That was a cheap shot. I apologize.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | June 30, 2007 2:40 PM

@15 But dude, from the sound of it atlas was sitting on its hands while the Stranger was sitting on the article. Blame atlas, not Grandy. If atlas had no intention of getting everything together then it would have eventually been shut down anyway. Your argument assumes that the city knew all about atlas but was letting everything slide because the Stranger hadn't reported on it; that's paranoid delusion. Like I said before, the city doesn't take its cues from the Stranger music section.

Posted by idouglash | June 30, 2007 2:42 PM

It sucks that Atlas got shut down, but what's worse is the bile and bitterness those who claim to have been involved are showing (Sarina R, being the reasoned exception). The closing just seems to expose how fucking petty and near-sighted some people are about the scene here in Seattle.

We are fucking blessed in this town as far as all-ages venues are concerned. Any band that his been on tour can tell you that venues like the Vera, the Old Firehouse, and yes, Atlas are few and far between.

Okay, so now you can't drink beers in your apartment or practice space and walk to the show, you might have to figure out a way to get across town or over to the eastside and yeah that sucks. But there are other options, and kids in most towns don't even have that.

Yes, there should be more all-ages spaces and I want to see one in every major neighborhood but being closed "indefinitely" or not, this is only a setback-- Eric Grandy did not kill all-ages music with an article. Much in the same way a lousy myspace bulletin from the Scotties and Kristens aren't going to close the Stranger with their misplaced hysterics and vitriol.

Posted by christopher hong | June 30, 2007 3:12 PM

oh shucks christopher!

dropping our names in the slog! i am so reputation is ruined!


I KRISTEN KERR stand against your stupid magazine. Quote me on that.


We all know your magazine will not apologize for the article and we have a right to be angry. What you did was wrong and it shows because you keep responding.

Posted by Kristen | June 30, 2007 3:40 PM

Did all of you whiners miss the part where Atlas saw no problem with this story being written and opened their doors to the press? Not to mention the part where they advertised their shows in a variety of ways? Both while knowingly running a venue that wasn't technically legal yet. Those of you who feel compelled to blame somebody should spread it around a little.

Posted by A-Train | June 30, 2007 3:42 PM

Oh, and Jordan (#13): That is the most assinine load of bullshit I've ever heard. I realize you are a worthless troll and that it should be beneath me to actually respond, but that just had to be said.

Posted by A-Train | June 30, 2007 3:46 PM

Obviously Grundy and the Stranger did not want to shut down a potentially viable all-ages venue. No one can deny that both he and the paper have supported the all-ages scene and local bands/dj's in general at every turn. There are always people that will look at something like this and try to crucify someone out of dull reactionary fervor.

That being said, I really think your reply was a tad misguided Eric. Maybe it was not your fault that the venue was shut down, but your article did have something to do with it, even though you did not mean for it to and even though the venue knew it was being published.

Your excuses make you come off as a totally thoughtless douche. I have never met you, maybe you are. If you are not, maybe you should stop being a pissy little bitch and show some genuine regret that this happened.
It will make you look way better to all of us in the long run.

Posted by Larry Brady | June 30, 2007 3:51 PM

y'all should listen to adrian (11)... I once saw him kill 12 guys with his penis. I won't say who they were, but they were either affiliated with the Seattle Men's Chorus or Antioch Bible Church....

Posted by christopher | June 30, 2007 4:00 PM

I was totally blown away after reading the article, even before the venue got shut down. To personally attack someone like that. Didn't Eric know Matt was on tour for three weeks and might not get cellphone reception or be able to check e-mails out in the middle of nowhere? I've been to a lot of the shows there and know that there's tons of rad angles that could have been taken. To rag on someones appearance because they didn't return a few phone calls. How petty and childish. You don't write the type of things he wrote without contemplating the consequences. It seems pretty obvious that the venue getting shut down is directly linked to the article. And I'm pretty sure someone from Atlas mentioned that they had already been in contact with the Fire marshall to come do an inspection. They were attempting to be a legitimate venue. A LOT of people are angry about this. Its all I've been hearing about for the last 14 hours. And theres posters up around capitol hill that I saw this morning. DJ FUCKING UP THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Seems appropriate. I saw those "hipster rats" that were out last night protesting your ass and they were pretty fucking hot. My friends and I are going to have a rad fucking summer smoking crack in the alleys instead of enjoying the countless rad shows that are now cancelled. Thanks eric.

Posted by Joel P. | June 30, 2007 4:15 PM

I thought this was about Atlas Foods and was very upset. Now that I see it is about an all ages venue that was dangerous I feel nothing.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 30, 2007 4:16 PM

A-train @23, I have no special knowledge of the situation, but reading Grandy's article it's fairly clear that the atlas owner is not a huge proponent of the music venue in his place, so he would not have been too worried about signing off on the Stranger article.

Posted by Ben | June 30, 2007 4:22 PM

Eric you weren't so down on Atlas and the supposed secret parties when you were DJing them were you? Or when you were trying to get Atlas to let you throw one.

Posted by Joel P. | June 30, 2007 4:25 PM

kristen, like we had to do before you were fucking born, HOST SHOWS @ YOUR HOUSE or in a BASEMENT, the "scene" AKA the "we" you speak of is yours to make...DIY correct? you kids have it way too easy...20 years ago the cops would have shown up during the show and busted HEADS. grow up, stop showing us how coddled you are.

Posted by back in the '80s | June 30, 2007 4:26 PM

It's time like these that I remember how overly emotional and ridiculous teenagers are.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 30, 2007 4:27 PM

Let me first say that not only am I a friend of Matt Fuller's, but I also volunteered at the event, so I'm a bit biased. If he feels what happen is wrong, I'm going to back him up, period.

However, I do want to point out something that no one has considered yet, and it's whether the stranger published the story in order to make money over the public outcry.

It could be reasonable to believe that since The Stranger considers itself a news gathering organization that it relies on and needs the public trust in what it does, especially if there is a correlation between that trust and readership. Such reliance may had been true for a publication like this around ten years ago, but the paradigm is different now.

Today we have website and blogs, postings like this one and it's responses.

I not going to be so bold as know how places like the stranger works, or what motivates a print publication, I don't work for paper magazines.

However, I do work for websites and I know how they operation and how the get money.

Below you will find a graph (or at least a link to the graph : ) that show blogging activity related to Eric's Atlas article, the current lead news story, and the entire month activity of Dan Savage's article "Savage Love", a supposedly syndication article with a national presense. The Data is real (Source: Nielsen BuzzMetrics) and anyone can render this image on their own.

The Blue line Represents the Atlas article. Notices that activity on that article went up 300% over the last 48 hours, dwarfing both the "Sign of Times" news article and the entire month span of The Savage love article.

Such spikes in user activity makes significantly more money for the stranger than pieces that don't turn out much public reactions. No matter who I am a friend of and my own personal involvement in the venue; if I was working at the stranger, and looking at this data, I would professionally conclude that it's in the business interest of The Stranger to have people upset. And what is The Stranger but a professional organization, correct?

Posted by Jerome | June 30, 2007 4:31 PM

hahaha, those %s are too small to matter and arent even in comparison to something like chris crocker and other hype.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 30, 2007 4:37 PM

In the meantime, invading and rebuilding Iraq will not only free the Iraqi people, it will also make the Saudis aware of the consequences they face if they continue to oppress their own people while exporting terrorism and terrorists. The War on Iraq will make it clear to our friends and enemies in the Middle East (and elsewhere) that we mean business: Free your people, reform your societies, liberalize, and democratize... or we're going to come over there, remove you from power, free your people, and reform your societies for ourselves.

Dan Savage Oct. 2002

Posted by Jonah | June 30, 2007 4:40 PM

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 4:40 PM

Has anyone considered that MAYBE Atlas didn't get up to code because they want to SET KIDS ON FIRE?!?!?!

Posted by jeremiah? | June 30, 2007 4:52 PM

I think these myopic, "all-ages" fundamentalists should put down their Sidekicks that their parents purchased for them and channel their hormonal and embarrassing teen angst into Creating A New All-Ages Space, and then keep it a goddamned secret.

Posted by Jean-Genet Ramsey | June 30, 2007 5:04 PM

Listen, it is a shame that such outcry and petty attacks on one another stem from such an article. The truth is that the city of Seattle has never been a fan of All Ages shows. Yet the community has rallied and won. Instead of attacking one of the few public voices that exist, that in a month all of you will be reading again. The truth is that this city has an all ages scene, which is better than 90% of the rest of the countries cities. Rally the troops Fight against the City, Support Atlas to be up to code, and start your own goddamn venue.

Posted by Dillan Conway | June 30, 2007 5:29 PM

I think Eric is sorry, which is stated in the post we're all responding to. He seems to feel defensive, which is understandable, since he's being attacked (however you feel about it, the posts here are attacks). Teenagers and vitriol go together like fossil fuels and CO2. And we were all there once, so quit acting superior.

That said, it was a shitty turn The Stranger did those kids. Sure, it's Eric's right as a reporter to report, and there was something here (apparently) to report on. And if they'd really wanted a secret venue, well, they should have kept it secret. But at some point, at some level of management, there should be a moral weigh-in. What good will we do to report this, and what harm? On the good side: website hits. On the bad: one less all-ages venue. I can get behind the idea that for the editors, the story outweighed the consequences. But to say the consequences were unpredictable, well, that's just playing stupid. The whole article seemed to be centered around the venue operating outside the law.

I would like to return to the point made by 13, and say that it's not only the Seattle music scene that's affected by The Stranger's "perverse level of pride in making people who are passionately engaged in something feel or seem stupid, irrelevant and worthy of ridicule." I've seen it happen to many artists, restaurants, clubs, retail stores, non-profits... I'm sure the list is much longer than that. Truth is, few are above reproach, and it's easy to see the flaws in something and get people to follow your lead.

Honestly, until the Slog became a daily addiction for me, I was pretty much done with The Stranger for the above reason. Sometimes I took positive reviews to heart, since they're so hard to earn, but a negative one meant zippo to me. I've had about enough of the superiority, the disdain, the cooler-than-thou tone of virtually every article, the standards nearly impossible for mere mortals to reach. If I ever put on a show of any kind, I will engrave an invitation for this paper not to attend. As if they would deign to.

Posted by bitch on heels | June 30, 2007 5:55 PM

It seems like a lot of people posting actually know very little about what went on at Atlas and the people throwing the shows. First of all, they are not teenagers. Matt Fu is turning 30 next month, and is a very sexy slighty balding man (thanks for pointing this out Eric, how mature of you). Many of the other people who pour their time into the venue are well into their twenties and by no means "whiney teenagers". Eric Grandy is a peer to them in the music community. Stop judging people you don't know. And actually no one who works at the venue is posting, except a few people who volunteer at the shows and other dissappointed members of the community. Don't assume just because its an all-ages venue that we're all spoiled teenagers with parents that give us money. The people that do work for the venue are professionals that all work or have worked at other venues in the Seattle area.

As far as hearing from the people ACTUALLY involved in the venue, they are issuing a formal letter to the editor and press statement about what has happened and what will happen. What will happen is they will finish fixing the few modifications that they have ALREADY started, get the permits they need, and the venue will be up and running again hopefully in a few months.

This is not the end of the world. There were a few really awesome events planned for july and august. One was a REAL capitol hill block party that was FREE with actual SEATTLE BANDS, not like the corporate festival the Stranger is involved in. But people are blowing this out of proportion. I feel that the people that are upset over this are totally entitled to their anger and this seems to be a popular place to rant. However, the people that are actually involved with the venue are already turning their disappointment into action to get this place up and running again.

Posted by sara | June 30, 2007 5:57 PM

#35 - pro Iraq War

Maybe Dan was trying to get Halliburton to run ads ... nice try.

Posted by hilda | June 30, 2007 7:26 PM

C-Hong, you know I love you, and I kind of shit myself over your bulletin. But most of the people getting into the hysterics around here have nothing to do with Atlas. I am certainly not representative of the Maps & Legends collective or Atlas Clothing. I am merely a young person in Seattle, trying to fight the good fight. One day, if I'm lucky, people will wake the fuck up and realize that "adults" are a hell of a lot better at acting like brats than any of us in the underage bracket.

The bile & vitriol exhibited by some people, well, maybe we can chat about it over lemonade... Just remember that speech you made at the auction; how angry and impassioned you were about certain comments made in this here slog. It's a different context, but I think it's the same fire that feeds us.

At the Vera field day last week, for reasons I am forgetting, Liz turned to Nick and said, "It's all your fault! You empowered us, and now we just don't know when to stop!" I think I'll get the Energizer bunny beating on a V.E.R.A drum on my neck. No-one'll fuck with that.

Posted by Sarina R | June 30, 2007 7:51 PM

Sara @ 41.

The Capitol Hill Block Party is an event planned by, hosted by and sponsored by Seattle locals. Just because the bands playing there are professionals with national attention doesn't by any means make them corporate or less local.

Way to turn your otherwise sensible rant into a glaring declaration of elitist bullshit.

Sense when did the special ed kids start acting all cheeky about being stupid? Does this have something to do with the hyphy movement?

Posted by Well, Go DumbThen, Player. | June 30, 2007 7:59 PM

Funny, I don't remember the egg room ever getting this same treatment, but maybe that's cause Eric (who is generally a nice guy) was a regular DJ there.

If I was ever fearful of my life it was at that cocaine fueled, clogged bathroom, dimly lit, one exit, tragedy waiting to happen.

I don't think Atlas deserved the attention. Sure they should have been a little more up to code since they are a retail establishment doubling as a music venue, but I'd be more worried at a place like the egg room or a bit less at the SS MA.

So why was there never an expose on those places?

Anyone who's been to an underground house show knows there are risks, so let's focus this vitriol on places that deserve it, not the people and places trying to do cool, fun, exciting things for people of all ages.

Posted by I'm a Nuclear Bomb | June 30, 2007 8:18 PM

I think, more than anything, this underscores the need for a group to put the same blood, sweat, tears, blood, and energy the Atlas kids do into hosting and promoting shows in a network of venues, above and underground, ala Todd P in Brooklyn. Dude puts on shows in lofts, galleries, mexican restaurants, pool halls, bars, houses, bakerys, libraries, etc..., almost all are all-ages, and it is a one man operation with the help of many, many volunteers. It would be difficult to do in Seattle, but by spreading out these shows all over several venues you wouldn't attract too much attention to one space, and you wouldn't be beholden to a single property owner or the fire department.

Posted by Sam | June 30, 2007 8:33 PM

Atlas Clothing shows were something that made me enjoy my weekends, feel safe, and see great music. I've worked many hours at and preparing for shows and I feel like I got shit on by some snobby fuck who thinks he can make all the good bands play places where he can drink his ass into stuppor. So many fucking hours went into that, and what you said about Matt Fu is fucked up. He doesn't have to go to all ages shows, but hes trying to make a difference in the community by opening up his talent and his connections for people to have a good time. What Mr. Grandy said about the condition of his hair was downright immature. And to you fucks who tell us to listen to records until were of age, you obviously dont remember being underage as its fucking disappointing.

Grandy ruined a big awesome thing.

Posted by Ben Funkhouser | June 30, 2007 8:43 PM

44 above

The C. Hill Block Party is a beer fest with music - driven for profit by good promoters.

Hardly all ages, and hardly free.

Still called anti-pride party by some queer folks ... joke, you know.

Posted by Essex | June 30, 2007 8:54 PM


From Wikipedia:

"A block party is a large public celebration in which many members of a single neighborhood congregate, either to observe an event of some importance or simply for mutual enjoyment. The name comes from the form of the party, which often involves closing an entire city block to vehicle traffic. Many times, there will be celebration in the form of playing music and dance."

Some of us fondly remember when the Capitol Hill Block Party was a real neighborhood block party, open to the public, without a $20/day price. It was nice to have a real fun, informal, sometimes even unprofessional (gasp!) neighborhood celebration. Now there are asshole security guards, ridiculous prices, and the bridge and tunnel crowd. It just isn't fun. It isn't a block party and it doesn't really have anything to do with Capitol Hill.

Posted by wah | June 30, 2007 9:19 PM

since the other post appears to have been taken down?

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 9:20 PM


the article itself mentioned that it helps drive profits to the store it is attached to. even if the "unofficial" block party had been free, you sure bet your ass the store had been planning on making lots of $$$$ the kiddies had leftover for clothes instead of tickets at that "corporate" event.

Posted by very sad | June 30, 2007 9:32 PM

Another clueless hipster gossip columnist fucks up things for the rest of us on the hill. I'm sure Kathleen Wilson is awfully proud of you.

Please stay firmly entrenched at places like the Baltic Room or that shitty club in Pioneer Square and play your mash up/disco remixes for the midless masses who haven't bought a record in years. We don't want you and we certainly don't need you.

Posted by Dan Wood | June 30, 2007 9:39 PM

I think the saddest part of all of this is the yong ones (that we all once were) have lost one more place to see a cheap awesome show. Perhaps it wasn't legit 100% of the time, but they were trying.
As to the profit aspect of this whole thing: why get down on the atlas folks for working the system from the inside? a business man tells some punk kids, "sure you can have a venue, but it is your responsibility. you run it, you make it up to code, you make it make money and if you don't you can't do it anymore." what should the response be? no thanks? fuck that. these people don't get paid more if they make that asshole money. they ALL get paid less than most of us do. And they all did it to make the all ages community better.
I figure that there are at least 500 parents in the stranger's readership, and I bet at least 5 of them were pissed to hear thier kid could be going to an under code illegal venue. And that is all it would take. 5 angrey, concerned citizens WITH children to get the fire marshall in there.
I believe it was unfair of eric to poke fun at Matt. He is a fairly nice guy. I also think that it was journalisticaly unprofessional for the stranger to print the portions of this article that we are all upset about.
But I think the most important thing is to realize that Atlas is moving on. Those that put thier hard work and time into that venue are moving forward with thier plans to legitimize the venue. I think we should all take a note from those kids and stop pointing fingers and help recreate an awesome venue here on the hill for the kids to get down at.

One more note about the venue's profits.
The more money they can make the better they pay the bands. Every touring band in the diy community would love to get gas money from a venue, this is one thing that these kids were attempting to ensure.
and no more name calling. it is unprofessional and immature on everybody's part. We were all young once and we are doing nothing but getting older so we should ALL come together on a common ground and create a community for all of us.

(i apologize for my spelling. i am slightly dislexic and this thing doesn't have spell check.)

Posted by what more is to be said? | June 30, 2007 10:45 PM

Just like The Bird or the Sub Marine Room back in the day. Nothing changes. The clubs are better when they're temporary anyway. Let's go Pony.

Posted by spokevin | June 30, 2007 11:57 PM

this is the way it goes. all-ages venues open and then close within half a year. the good ones (by definition) aren't legal and the lame ones (by defintion) aren't fun. weren't we all 16, once? don't you remember the "humdinger house" or "lobster manor" or "F street" or something similar? it was great BECAUSE it was going to be shut down soon. this plight of the all-ages venue will not end soon, or ever. it is one of the last, truly, DIY institutions left.
Eric is not to blame for the halting of the Atlas shows. They were not up to fire code, and they were shut down. It is irresponsible to maintain a venue that is unsafe, and i appreciate having codes in place that enforce responsible management of venues.
More all-ages venues will open. And close. And open. And close. It is a delicate balance between keeping venues accountable and having guerilla shows in overcrowded basements that have no fire escape.
We cannot endorse these venues as a community, yet i love their existence.
Bellingham and Tacoma, never Seattle

Posted by Spencer Willhoft | July 1, 2007 12:02 AM

Um, no-one involved was getting paid for the work involved in the venue. Not even Matt, who manages the warehouse; he put in countless hours of unpaid overtime to shift boxes and prep for shows on top of his normal work schedule. That's why it's called volunteering.

Although, we did have some really yummy popsicles at a meeting, once. That was pretty rad.

Posted by Sarina R | July 1, 2007 12:14 AM

Can't these little bastards go to the Vera Project? I mean, wasn't that supposed to be a major victory for the underage scene?

And anyways, these kids seem awfully naive about the motivations of Atlas' owner. From the comments, they seem to be under the impression that he was trying to help them, to improve their lives out of a deep concern for their well being. Like all commercial venues, he was out to make money. The fact that he wasn't willing to shell out the cash to bring the place up to code says that he was just plain exploitive of these kids, particularly the volunteers who are so eager to defend him. They make nothing, he spends nothing, and he gets a bump in retail sales. If anyone's motives are suspect, they're his.

Posted by Gitai | July 1, 2007 1:20 AM

@ 48, 49 et al,

Do you know what's anti-all ages and anti-DIY?

Acting like your identity driven agenda (gays hate the block party?) and your prejudices against art-as-career attitudes(quotations around the word professional?) are somehow OK, fuck it, even defensible postures in trying to co-opt the DIT, All Ages movement.

Can I just get the letters STFU on the moon's face quick enough for this?

Dude, hate it all day. the Cap Hill Block Party is a local neighborhood celebration. Nobody shit's on the Puyallup Fair ( oh, that's right...they're rubes. Like you and your parents aren't). Block Party's wiki def? Are you serious? Try Cambridge first, not Wiki, but then that's like I'm not choking back puke taking you serious to begin with. It 's called The Block Party. It's a nod to actual communities that really have them. You don't have block parties in cities where nobody knows or cares who their neighbors are, you can only have a "Block Party" in a place like that. And it will go away when people stop caring or until they fail inspection.

Stop reading the free magazine and stop downloading the bands that play block party. Your boycotts lack any gravity.

Jesus. Stupid!

Posted by Suck It, Seattle!!! | July 1, 2007 2:54 AM

what's wrong with you people? Grandy isn't to blame - Atlas is, for being irresponsible. the place was not up to code. end of story. and it's a good thing that the safety issues were raised. Atlas can make the necessary upgrades and adjustments and then hopefully will start having shows again. okay, people put a lot of work into getting the place up and running. gold star. but maybe some of that effort should have been better allocated and focused on making sure the venue would pass a very predictable eventual fire inspection. all this name calling is incredibly immature and stupid. grow up and get over it, already.

Posted by little bird | July 1, 2007 3:03 AM

(pssst, Gitai, I think "all these complainers" are actually just a couple of folks using several pseudonyms, just a guess.)

anyway, Wow. Well, here's your problem:

Atlas didn't communicate very well to Eric what to do about publicizing Atlas.

If Atlas wanted to be on the down-low, they should have told Eric straight up "Hey, is it cool if you don't write about us? We're still trying to work out some stuff here, and I dont want sudden publicity." At that point, I think anyone at the Stranger would have respected this and stepped back.. at least Eric would have. I'm met him, and he remembers all ages places in Seattle dating back almost a decade. The last thing he would do is willingly shut down a place. If you've lived in Seattle for at least six months, you know the worst thing to do in order to get out there and do you thing is flagrantly burn a bridge. If Eric did this, he didn't mean that to happen, which is why I feel sad for both Eric and Atlas.

Anyway, it sounds like Atlas didn't communicate very well with Eric. Maybe vice versa was true too, I don't know, but Eric is not a tattletale personality.

And the part about Eric's article on Atlas itself didn't interest me as much as it being a story of an interesting business model that seemed to have been working for a promising all-ages Capitol Hill venue. There was a general narrative in the article that no one bothered reading past the hair comment. Can some of you read more than 10 words? It helps.

Speaking of supposed lack of Capitol Hill all ages anarchy, was anyone there for the Lightning Bolt show at that laundromat on Summit Ave. The cops came -- and then just let the show finish. No busting heads. No nothing. Rockers were hugging the cops afterward.

Whoever said Atlas should start thinking about Atlas 2.0 is totally correct -- if they really want to put in the effort. There are plenty of people in the city these can ask to aid them: Vera, Firehouse, SS, Dave Meinert, etc.

Also, you cannot prove that the Fire Dept came to shut down the venue just because of that article. Maybe one of you complainers should call the Fire Dept. and ask what made them decide to shut down the place. You have no proof otherwise.

That said, Frizzelle's defense was really kinda weird. So, The Stranger really wanted to write an article about Atlas just because it was in Capitol Hill? Chris, are you saying if the all ages venue was in Wallingford or Ballard, The Stranger wouldn't have cared? "Seattle's only newspaper", eh? Your defense didn't really help The Stranger's side of things at all, I'm afraid to say. Let Eric defend himself. You'll do him far more favors that way.


Posted by matthew fisher wilder | July 1, 2007 3:07 AM

I say draft all these little over-privlidged shits and send 'em to Iraq.

That may just give them something real to complain about.

Posted by ecce homo | July 1, 2007 3:30 AM

All the Eric haters need to simply shut the fuck up and remember that he was doing his job of reporting the facts (the facts being that the Atlas did not only have all-ages shows but also offered booze as well - am I wrong in my observation?! I was at one of your shows, so I know first hand what was going down).

Kristen - if you just were more careful about keeping your lil' scenester performance space on the down low, none of this would've happened (at least this quickly). Now put on your oversized sunglasses, light up a Camel Light, and contemplate all of this bullshit reverence.


I KRISTEN KERR stand against your stupid magazine. Quote me on that.


We all know your magazine will not apologize for the article and we have a right to be angry. What you did was wrong and it shows because you keep responding.

Posted by Ken Perrinville | July 1, 2007 4:13 AM

corrabotative evidence that eric grandy is a petty self-important douche bag can be found in this article

Grow the Fuck up Eric, just because people don't want to suck your cock doesn't mean they are taking away your membership to the cool kids club.

Posted by doink | July 1, 2007 5:19 AM

Eric, Megan, Christopher and the Stranger. You fucked up, bottom line, end of story. People in the music community expect you to be part of it. Sometimes you are. This time you acted like a self-important outsider. You got a little giddy about your insider knowledge at a time when your paper is seeming a little out of touch because of your new music editor. You let Savage, worried about this and like always wanting to stir up shit because that's what drives Stranger readership, who has little knowledge of or care for the music scene, push you to write something you know you shouldn't have. Admit it, learn from it, and move on. It's not as big of a deal as some make it, but it's also not nothing. Really, you blew it. Please don't write about how other underground spaces we know you know about are not up to code or are breaking laws. Please don't write about how you and others in the underground get around laws. Keep it quiet and let it thrive.

Posted by tbf | July 1, 2007 5:40 AM

I think it is funny that The Stranger STILL has never grasped the reality of what it is like in the grown up world. I have never taken it seriously (but some apparently do). It is like the Stranger is the alternative version of Fox Noise Channel. Think about all the bone headed ideas that the staff there has written about in the past.....

Posted by HA HA HA I Told you so | July 1, 2007 6:47 AM

@62 Not to pick nits, but the true scenester is in Ray-Ban style glasses this summer. The oversize is OVER.

And good point about the alcohol. It seems that part of the deal is being glossed over here pretty conveniently. For good or ill, the powers that be in Seattle take underage drinking very seriously. I'm not saying anyone under 21 was served. But if the people invovled think the fire department takes their business seriously, they should try tangling with the liquor board.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | July 1, 2007 8:37 AM

Punk rock gets shut down by authorities. Always has. Were this my space, or my show, when I was doing venues such as this space, I guarantee you the show would have re-started an hour later at a different space. And we didn't have cellphones, we didn't have the internet.

Posted by Chad | July 1, 2007 8:55 AM

eric grandy should be fired because he's a poor writer with little music taste, routinely celebrating classic hipster acts while running in fright from anyone bearing an acoustic instrument. however, from what i've read here, if anyone at the stranger is to blame it's their editorial staff. even more, atlas are obviously at fault for not getting their shit together legally.

Posted by try hiring real writers instead of propagating hipster gossip | July 1, 2007 9:06 AM

Matthew @ 60:

"Atlas didn't communicate very well to Eric what to do about publicizing Atlas.

If Atlas wanted to be on the down-low, they should have told Eric straight up "Hey, is it cool if you don't write about us? We're still trying to work out some stuff here, and I dont want sudden publicity." At that point, I think anyone at the Stranger would have respected this and stepped back.. at least Eric would have."

This is incorrect. If you read the article, Grandy says that Fuller declined to be interviewed initially, and that Grandy kept calling him and calling him.

Fuller has said before that he only acquiesced after Savage and Zwickel told him in no uncertain terms: "We're getting the story, with (Atlas') cooperation, or not." Then they interviewed the owner, who has little to no involvement with the shows.


"Also, you cannot prove that the Fire Dept came to shut down the venue just because of that article. Maybe one of you complainers should call the Fire Dept. and ask what made them decide to shut down the place. You have no proof otherwise."

Dude, I WAS THERE. A volunteer asked the FD how they heard about the place. The FD said (and I paraphrase): "We got a tip from the police department. They had read some sort of newspaper article about this place." Considering how much negative press the Stranger has been giving the SPD, it makes sense that they're reading.

All that said, maybe the all the blame shouldn't be placed on solely on Grandy. From all accounts, it seemed like he had been dragging his feet on the article since day one. Since Savage and Zwickel were the ones pushing Eric for the story, maybe they should get an equal share of the blame.

Or maybe instead of vitriol, we could help Atlas get back on their feet by donating money, elbow grease, or kind words.

Posted by James | July 1, 2007 10:19 AM

Who else thinks there should be a James Burns plaque in the warehouse? "My band was the last on this stage." Y/N?

Posted by douchebag2.0 | July 1, 2007 10:29 AM


The mention of this by me on the other post in Line Out was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. Toungue-in-cheek is the new thang.

I didn't mention my band in this comment, I just wanted to point out that UNLIKE 99% of the "douchebags" and muckrackers posting this, that I WAS ACTUALLY MOTHERFUCKING THERE, and could perhaps contribute a perspective that was missing from these discussions, as most people on both sides barely know what they're talking about.

Posted by James | July 1, 2007 10:44 AM

when scenesters and hipsters lose, society wins!

also, if this had been about government shenanigans everyone would have been clapping like eric made eagle on a par 4.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | July 1, 2007 10:46 AM

I don't understand why Atlas supporters think that The Stranger's job is to help their little club. The Stranger is not the Punk Rock Business Association News, and they're not there to promote your club or not promote it. It's a news story. And the Stranger doesn't work for Atlas.

How long do you think you could have continued to put on these shows, in a retail shop, with ads and signboards all over the place, without getting busted for it, even if the article had not gone out? Another week? And then what? You get shut down for blowing off the fire department -- and that's what it is, if you carry on without permits; "oh, we were working on those" is incredibly lame" -- and you're not going to get to open back up.

This isn't anything to do with The Stranger. It's about your own lameness. The fact that the people putting this together AREN'T kids, who would at least have the excuse of youth and not knowing any better, is a damn poor one. Grownups should have been able to tell immediately that this thing wasn't going to fly -- after-hours booze? How naive are you?

You can't have it both ways. If you want to be punk rock, you have shows in your basement and deal with getting busted all the time. If you want to have a legitimate nightclub, you follow the rules.

Posted by Fnarf | July 1, 2007 10:52 AM

Well, that's one word from James, the only guy that doesn't sound like the one or two other kids copying and pasting their anti-eric replies all over the place. Thanks, James, for the corrections.

If The Stranger indeed said "We're covering your place, permission or not", then forget about DIY all ages place in Capitol Hill, kids. But at least you can move over one neighborhood, like the U-district, or anything north of the lake, which might as well be Canada, and then The Stranger won't bother you -- as Frizzelle hinted.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | July 1, 2007 11:46 AM


Cool out! We had a night to be angry. Sometimes being angry is fun. It is a release and it is cathartic and it moves negative energy out of the way for a filling up of goodness and grace. SO LET"S GET ON WITH IT.
If you are going to write the Stranger, Eric Grandy, or post on Slog, PLEASE DO SO WITH GRACE. Be articulate. Be smart. Try to get at their hearts, not their juggulars. We've expressed anger, now let's express a desire for and for progress

Here are some facts if people you know want to know:

-Atlas WAS working on getting up to code. The crew was going to set up a meeting with the Fire Dept. when Atlas' owner got back from a short vacation

-The venue volunteer crew has worked incredibly hard and will continue to do so

-This situation is complex and requires more in-depth dialog than the internet can allow

-We need your help!


Posted by Kristen | July 1, 2007 12:20 PM

I think chastizing the Stranger for the various antics of the writers has become pretty much par for the course over the years, I'm suprised anybody does it with much passion anymore.
I remember Kathleen Wilson painting 107.7 The End as the Aryan Nation's Free Radio West, or Charles Mudede warning readers not to visit the Twilight Exit without a complement of Marines and heavy air support, you gotta admit, perhaps the cards have been, well, a bit overplayed by Seattle's Only Newspaper, haha.
The music writers for the Stranger have done me a few favors over the past few years, so I don't feel like I'm punching blindly when I write that I have to admit that articles like these add weight to that harsh comparo to FOX News.

Posted by ross | July 1, 2007 12:55 PM

"On any given night in Seattle, an estimated 800 young people ages 12-24 are without a safe place to sleep. For all of King County, the number of homeless youth nightly may be as high as 2,000. Hundreds of our children, adolescents and young adults are on the streets, at high risk of becoming seriously injured or chronically ill, involved in criminal activity and/or incarcerated, and dependent on welfare systems."


If the worst thing that happens to Seattle's underage kids is that they have to listen to music with their friends at their parents' house rather than at some fucking clothing store's backroom, then they should be considering themselves Goddamned lucky.


Get a fucking grip, Atlas-and-Atlas-Supporters. It's a concert. A fucking concert.

If you want to back a WORTHWHILE CAUSE, why don't you all check out some of these organizations that are actually doing WORTHWHILE WORK:

Posted by Let's get a little perspective here... | July 1, 2007 1:01 PM

"On any given night in Seattle, an estimated 800 young people ages 12-24 are without a safe place to sleep. For all of King County, the number of homeless youth nightly may be as high as 2,000. Hundreds of our children, adolescents and young adults are on the streets, at high risk of becoming seriously injured or chronically ill, involved in criminal activity and/or incarcerated, and dependent on welfare systems."


If the worst thing that happens to Seattle's underage kids is that they have to listen to music with their friends at their parents' house rather than at some fucking clothing store's backroom, then they should be considering themselves Goddamned lucky.


Get a fucking grip, Atlas-and-Atlas-Supporters. It's a concert. A fucking concert.

If you want to back a WORTHWHILE CAUSE, why don't you all check out some of these organizations that are actually doing WORTHWHILE WORK:

Posted by Let's get a little perspective here... | July 1, 2007 1:01 PM

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.


Posted by Bill Bullock | July 1, 2007 1:01 PM


"Maybe I was naive, but I really didnít think Atlas was going to get shut down over this story."

Now that's hysterical!

Posted by josh | July 1, 2007 1:31 PM

-- I can't agree more with this guy Dade's post:

"Oh, whatever. Attacking a journalist for granting you some press may make you feel better, but if the fire department says you're dangerous, then ultimately you've got no one to blame but yourselves. Cut your losses and get started on Atlas v2."

Posted by Aaro)))n Edge | July 1, 2007 2:30 PM

Obviously, journalists should not consult with subjects about whether they are "OK" with a story's content or whether and when it will run. No one seems to be saying the content of the story is inaccurate, and in my view the main journalistic issue here is that writers and editors shouldn't write blog entries second-guessing their original writing and editorial choices. Report it, write it, publish it and then stand by it. The time for soul searching is before publication.

The lesson for the aggrieved volunteers is about what they have a right to expect if they pour effort into enterprises owned by others and/or whose operations violate the law. At best, it's a risk, and if the worst possible outcome occurs, it's not like that wasn't a possibility going in. It's silly to complain when known or predictable risks come to fruition. If you can't handle the risk, don't play the game, don't make the investment, etc.

Posted by PH | July 1, 2007 2:31 PM

@75 thats funny to hear from you because in every other post from you you sound like a shrill crazy psycho loudmouth

Posted by Sam | July 1, 2007 3:17 PM

again, Sam is not sam [me]. sorry, carry on, i'm neurotic.

Posted by sam | July 1, 2007 3:30 PM

I don't know who is right or wrong here, or should I say whose motives were what, but I knew when I saw the article that Atlas was done hosting all-ages shows. Maybe the owner wanted a blame-less way out of it?? In any event, they have to have codes to uphold or, as stated before, people end up dead sooner or later. Just think about something tragic happening with 20,000 or so pounds of old clothing sitting in shitty boxes nearby. It sucks that we have to be safety conscious because that's boring but it HAS to happen. If it was working then someone will find a way and a place.

Posted by GB | July 1, 2007 3:40 PM

"You can't have it both ways. If you want to be punk rock, you have shows in your basement and deal with getting busted all the time. If you want to have a legitimate nightclub, you follow the rules."

Well said, Fnarf.

People who say this "big awesome thing" was ruined annoy the fuck out of me. "Big awesome things" get noticed and would be shut down sooner or later anyway. These wanna be punk-puppies today have it wayyyyy too easy. They seem to think that some sort of brand new happening is a right they have that requires only that they cruise up to the counter and cash in. No, you have to MAKE IT. You have to be subversive and coy in front of the heavies whe you're breaking the law. Not post and placcard everything in sight to get the word out and expect that the law ain't comin callin. The cops and fire marshalls know you're having shows and sooner or later they'd want things done legit.

Posted by GB | July 1, 2007 3:53 PM

@79 Well said.

Posted by -- | July 1, 2007 4:34 PM

Its a Eric "Fucking the Fire Marshall in the Street" Garndy marathon on my blog!!!

Guitar Doug's VIP Lounge Unmasked!

Come over and see how a real music writer presents what happened to Atlas by a real asshole.

Guitar Doug
Music Writer
Seattle Sinner Magazine

Posted by Guitar Doug | July 1, 2007 4:37 PM

Its a Eric "Fucking the Fire Marshall in the Street" Garndy marathon on my blog!!!

Guitar Doug's VIP Lounge Unmasked!

Come over and see how a real music writer presents what happened to Atlas by a real asshole.

Guitar Doug
Music Writer
Seattle Sinner Magazine

Posted by Guitar Doug | July 1, 2007 4:38 PM

Narc'ing on kids having fun - is there anything less cool?

I wouldn't recommend discussing anything quasi-legal or under-the-table with Gandy in the future, Seattle.

Posted by Easy E | July 1, 2007 4:59 PM

This is all so simple- a wanabe low-key place willingly participated in a column with one of the biggest free scene papers in the country and expected discretion. What did they think he would write about? What did they think would be the result? OK, even if Eric did exercise discretion would there be any other result from ANY kind of column in such an influential publication? SHOCKER HERE- people know about The Stranger. That includes THE FRICKIN FIRE DEPARTMENT!!! If you want it kept quiet then tell The Stranger no thanks, please just let us be. The ones compaining and calling Eric a traitor are babies and assholes. Oh, I almost forgot, and fucking stupid. Shut up.

Posted by GB | July 1, 2007 6:46 PM

jesus, the idiocy in this thread astounds.

the first time I read about a show at atlas, was on KEXP's blog.

the atlas was not covert. shows were advertised for fucks sake. blame yourselves for no being up to code.

Posted by seattle98104 | July 1, 2007 9:18 PM

man, what a hullabaloo.

it's very unfortunate on both sides but, jesus. i don't understand how anyone could be surprised by ANY of the outcomes. anyone ever hear about the mayor's club task force? or the power of the press?

hang in there, eric. could be worse.

Posted by kerri harrop | July 1, 2007 10:04 PM

Eric obviously supports all ages music, is a good guy generally and adds a lot to the Stranger and to the music community at large. Atlas was clearly not up to code. However, neither is the issue. The issue is that Eric wrote and the Stranger printed an article about the only all ages venue on Cap Hill, exposing specifics about their fire code violations, KNOWING that this could lead to the venue being closed. And it did. The Stranger made a mistake, period. It's time for The Stranger staff to live up to it, stop being so pathetically defensive, and move on.

From reading all the posts, it sounds like Eric was trying to hold off on this article, but caved to pressure from his editors, all of whom are either new to the scene (Zwickel) or not really part of it (Frizzel and Savage). The editors wanted this feature because it would be controversial - so poo on them. Seems to me that the Stranger acted carelessly here and the results were negative. There's no questioning that the Stranger does an enormous amount of good for the local music scene and is a big part of why Seattle has a thriving scene. But they screwed the pooch on this one, and it's a direct result of writing to stir up shit rather than to report or advocate. Sometimes the Stranger gets wrapped up in their own little world and crosses the fine line of being controversial while not shitting where they sleep. This article crossed that line.

Every legal club in Seattle has some code violations and could be closed because of them. Underground venues even more. But if The Stranger started writing about all of these, the scene would be irate. It would be expected from the Times, but not the Stranger, and there is a difference. Publicizing your shows does not equal wanting the Stranger to write about your code violations, so everyone should stop trying to make the argument that this is all Atlas's fault.

I hope Grandy and the Stranger, especially the editors, especially Zwickel the new music editor, learn their lessons here. Your readers love your insider take on the music, art and political scenes. But you need to realize you walk a fine line, and you either need to walk it responsibly or expect to be shut out from being an insider. This time you chose controversy over the best interest of the scene. You're going to pay a price for that with some loss of cred and some mistrust of your intentions. You deserve that. But this will pass, as it should, and hopefully will not become a trend for you. The scene relies on you, and you rely on the scene. Let's hope that continues.

Posted by lessonlearned? | July 2, 2007 8:23 AM

and now the Stranger is taking down posts. Notice there are 94 posts here, but 95 on the counter (or as I'm posting 93/94). I just posted, it was up and now it's gone Nice one Stranger editors, first you turn an all ages venue into the SPD/ SFD, now you're censoring posts??

Posted by lessonlearned? | July 2, 2007 8:54 AM

Behold the power of journalism!

Posted by Chowtown | July 2, 2007 9:08 AM

Do you really think the Stranger had someone on duty at 9 AM on a Monday morning CENSORING SLOG POSTS?

Holy crap.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | July 2, 2007 9:47 AM

B-O-O H-O-O!

they closed down Atlas! HOW DARE they!

big fucking deal!!!! find somewhere else to go, its not like you're living in fucking idaho.


Posted by dawn | July 2, 2007 9:53 AM

B-O-O H-O-O!

they closed down Atlas! HOW DARE they!

big fucking deal!!!! find somewhere else to go, its not like you're living in fucking idaho.


Posted by dawn | July 2, 2007 9:54 AM

@ 95 The stranger takes down multiple posts when people keep hitting "submit" over and over. Impatient kids tend to do that. So unless you can find that some post you read is actually not here anymore than be responsible and don't post rumors.

Posted by Matt from Denver | July 2, 2007 9:54 AM

let's see, at 8:23 I posted. It was up immediately. I checked back shortly after to see if there were any responses. There weren't. I checked back again 30 minutes later. It was gone. I posted 31 minutes later, and as that post went up, my firs post was back. I immediately posted a 3rd post saying it was back and the Stranger could remove my 3rd post if they wanted. My third post is gone. Obviously there are no 'stanger censors'. All I know is my post was up, then it was gone. Now it's back. Glitch in the system maybe.

Posted by lessonlearned? | July 2, 2007 9:56 AM

hmmm, now I understand those signs around the hood. So, w/o any stake in anything... Eric, nice idea, bad execution. Honestly, its sweet that you are that naive. And Atlas, tough break, but you took a risk and thought there would be no consequences, but are you not a victim of your own buzz? If you knew an article was going to come out, you either get shit done before article or come up with some bs recheduling. That's how its played. Articles don't need your particpation or agreement, regardless of volunteer or not (much kudos for all the volunteer work, but it doesn't give you a pass, I'm sorry to say). Atlas, you guys seem kinda naive as well, good idea, bad execution. At any rate, at least Eric didn't have to write "Youths severely injured in non-permitted club when...". I expect everyone to recover from Atlasgate (although there's no cheesy theme music or headers), keep their jobs and continue to rock.

Posted by stone | July 2, 2007 10:15 AM

I can delete comments. And I wasn't -- I didn't bring my 'puter home this weekend.

Posted by Dan Savage | July 2, 2007 10:18 AM

i don't usually get involved in message board wars/seattle gossip circle jerks, but some things need to be said:

1.i first heard about "Atlas Parties" & said "wow! that shit is going to get shut down faster than you can say 'blacked out hipster'." after i saw the article i said, "well, too bad i never went there, because now its gone". Atlas had an advertised underage party space. & they were serving alcohol. afterhours. in plain sight. with no fire exits. how many reasons do you need to be shut down?

2. the egg room was a secret. you didn't need to call a phone number to get a phone number to locate the space, but it wasn't the open-faced sandwich Atlas is. Atlas is visable. it's on fucking broadway.

3. it should be recognized Atlas was trying to create a wonderful place for underage artists/hipsters/musicians who might otherwise be out making mischief. this is not to be despised. however, Atlas should NOT have been advertising until they had a permit, or shouldn't have been serving alcohol. it's one or the other, Atlas. you can't have both. there are plenty of places that are not "up to code", but they dont cater to underage kids. i think this is the real issue here. Code had nothing to do with it. Code is code for 'excuse'.

4. as for the Stranger: what did you feel the outcome of the publication would bring? there is NO WAY eric wouldve written an article for publication he thought would shut down a space like this. i can't believe that was his intention. ive known eric since before HE was 21, & it's just not possible. however, i do believe the Stranger was naive to have printed it, even to ask Eric to write such a piece. however, the fact remains the space was shut down right after publication. eric is not the one to blame, The Stranger knows better. they should not have brought the article to publication. so yes, shame on you, The Stranger.

now, if Atlas had never advertised, and if they had denied interviews, and asked The Stranger not to publish a huge article about them, then i would blame The Stranger in entirety. but Atlas did advertise. as if having a storefront on Broadway wasnt enough. as if word-of-mouth wasn't enough, even though it would've been. let's say Atlas was naive as well. shame on you Atlas.

why someone didnt step in and tell Atlas to cool it with the advertising, i'll never know. but the Stranger knows better. i was shocked they were willing to print the flyers for Atlas, much less the damning article that delivered the killing blow. dramatic, no?
yes, the article hurried the closing of Atlas along. but yes also, Atlas was going to be shut down sooner rather than later. so who's to blame for this?
Promotion is an ugly thing at its core. it is greedy by nature, & doesnt care for individuals. i think this is a case of promotion poisoning. the stranger wanting to have "the story". Atlas wanting to fill a room. thats the simple version. if you want to keep complicating it, fine. but that's the reduction answer. im sure there is more to this than most of us civilians know, but...we'll probably never know.

we can agree to disagree. XOXO

Posted by Holly Chernobyl | July 2, 2007 10:36 AM

@ 101, maybe you need to clear your cache. Things like that happen when it hasn't been cleared lately.

Posted by Matt from Denver | July 2, 2007 11:07 AM

i recant my statement about Atlas serving alcohol. apparently, i was mistaken. i apologize.

Posted by Holly Chernobyl | July 2, 2007 1:19 PM

" for the Stranger: what did you feel the outcome of the publication would bring? there is NO WAY eric wouldve written an article for publication he thought would shut down a space like this. i can't believe that was his intention."

I'm sure this is correct, he didn't think about the results of his article at all. Why would he? He's a gossip columnist and a bad writer, no one would expect him to think about it that much. But where it the editorial oversight? An editor is supposed to see the big picture and should have questioned her/his writer about the intent of the article, its fairly malicious tone, and the effect waving the red flag for the Fire Department would have. To claim no culpability later, especially when other Stranger writers like Ari Spool point out the Fire Department visit was a direct result of the article in this same blog, is ridiculous.

Posted by Maybe the Stranger could hire music writers instead of gossip writers | July 4, 2007 12:16 PM

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