April 19, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things...

This weekend WaPo commemorated DC's Music Mecca with a front-page feature in Weekend, a video online, and a chat, online, with J. Freedom Dulac (former WaPo music guru) and 9:30 Club owner Seth Hurwitz.  Which made me totally geek out.  Not only did Seth answer some of my questions thoughtfully, I finally got an answer to where my favorite WaPo musical elitist went!  See below for my questions (including the dodged one re: capacity) and fave anecdote, and the link for the entire chat.  If you give a shiz about music in DC, you'll be intrigued by Seth&Josh's commentary on venues and Live Nation.  You'll also be tickled, hopefully, by the Purcellville resident who is too lazy to drive to DC.

Thanks WaPo for making this happen...

"Washington, DC:
 Do you ever feel bad about moving acts to the far less superior DAR? I've always wondered, why not just do TWO nights at 9:30? That other place is the pits.

Seth Hurwitz: I feel bad if you feel bad...we don't like to do shows where people don't like to go...right now, there aren't a lot of options but I'm always working on it...it's just really hard to find a spot that a developer hasn't locked up and is sitting on bands like to feel like they are growing...they don't like to think they're not getting any bigger...playing the 930 over & over bothers them sometimes doesn't bother me."

Curious about Capacity, DC: Hi Seth, I'm a frequent showgoer, frequent meaning I come close to bankrupting myself to get to shows. Anyhow, I'm wondering if you can answer a question for me. Are there several levels of "sold-out"? Some sold-out shows are bonecrushingly full, while others are less panick-room-like. Thoughts?  Also, any shows this year you are shocked did not sell out, or disappointed they didn't b/c they were so good? The Ben Gibbard/Jay Farrar show comes to my mind--dead crowd, amazing set.  Thanks!

Seth Hurwitz: some crowds are thinner than others."

Los Angeles, CA: hey seth, transplanted Marylander out here in LaLa Land. just wanted to say thanks for many great nights at the old 9th & F space, as well as the new.  especially at the original club it all felt so subversive. like we few hundred people were in on the best secret in the world for a couple of hours. keep on truckin!

J. Freedom du Lac: Natasha Reatig, one of the club regulars in the early days, had a great quote about that. "There was no sign; just an address. You were going to a place, in the dark, that nobody else would know was happening if they were just driving by." Natasha was tremendously helpful as I was reporting the piece, btw. She was really generous with her time (and photos) and gave me a bunch of leads. She also had a pretty funny aside about a business that was near the old club. "They opened a hot tub place around the corner from the club called Making Waves, on Ninth. Very often, people would take a break from the 9:30 club -- I would take a break, during the show and take a newly found 'friend' around the corner. There were private rooms you could rent. We'd make waves, dry ourselves off, go back to the club, thank each other and then dance some more.""

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