Razing the Bar, a documentary about defunct, much-loved Seattle music venue the Funhouse directed by Ryan Worsley, will be screening
tonight June 15 at 8:00 at Columbia City Theater. After that, the Hands, the Fabuluos Downey Brothers, and Hounds of the Wild Hunt will play live. Razing the Bar debuts tonight at SIFF Uptown at 9 pm and also screens May 27, same time, same place. In addition, Grand Illusion will screen Razing the Bar July 11-17, promising special guests, bands, and surprises each night.
The Funhouse—which closed in the fall of 2012 in order to make way for a mixed-use condo building—didn't have the best sounding room in the city (it always seemed too trebly in there), but it did have the stiffest drinks and the only patio with a basketball hoop. Open-minded owner Brian Foss, one of the best people you'll ever meet, booked some incredible shows that accommodated many different tastes, with an emphasis on punk, metal, and noisy rock. Some of my favorites include Psychic Ills, A Frames/AFCGT (multiple occasions), Thee Oh Sees, Trumans Water, Eternal Tapestry, Sightings, Green Milk from the Planet Orange, Stenskogen, Indian Jewelry, the Intelligence, Master Musicians of Bukkake, Tyvek, Barn Owl, and Midday Veil. I'm sure there are others, but my memory's going a bit hazy now. (Seeing former Hüsker Dü drummer Grant Hart perform there solo to a paltry crowd in 2011, however, was one of the saddest things I've witnessed in 35 years of show going.) One thing is certain: If you ever spent any time in the Funhouse, Razing the Bar is going to trigger a lot of deep feelings and nostalgia in you.
Check out the trailer below and read the press release for tonight's event after the jump.
A Documentary About Beloved Punk Live Music Venue The Funhouse Is Set To Play the Seattle International Film Festival 5/20 & 5/27, @ SIFF Uptown. Both Showings at 9 PM; Live Bands at Columbia City Theater Premiere Include The Hands, Hounds of the Wild Hunt, and The Fabulous Downey Brothers.
RAZING THE BAR will be playing a full week at The Grand Illusion in Seattle, WA Friday, July 11 through July 17, 2014 with bands, special guests, and surprises each night!
RAZING THE BAR documents the development and eventual demolition of a well-loved fringe punk rock Seattle venue through interviews of employees, friends, and a multitude of local musicians.
In the foreground is Brian Foss, an optimistic and humble Seattle music fixture whose love for punk, creative expression and professional risk-taking enabled him to transition from renegade pirate radio host, to sought-after music booker, to Funhouse club owner and radio show host on the nationally respected radio station KEXP.
By going out on a limb and being uncompromising in his golden rule values, Brian cultivates a punk club that transforms an occasionally aggressive and inhospitable music scene into a supportive and collaborative community where many marginalized and outcast performers can finally call home. The power of his influence is demonstrated in the entertaining juxtaposition of the outrageous and often obscene acts inherent to punk performance against the sincerity of love and respect shared amongst the key participants.
When faced with the news that a developer is going to turn this punk outpost into a mixed-use condo development, the community struggles with the basis of urban gentrification, loss of employment and whether they’ll ever find the same sense of selfless support, unfettered creative inspiration and family in another location.