The first time they came and recorded with me—which was January 23, 1988—they didn't have a band name, and they just had a borrowed drummer, which was Dale from the Melvins. But, yeah, they came and recorded 10 songs with me in one afternoon. I was left going "God, who are these people?" The cassettes I gave out just said "Kurt Cobain and Company" on them, because that's all I knew. - Recording Nirvana Before They Were Nirvana. As Nirvanas first albulm hits 20 years old, with Sub Pop prepare to release a remastered anniversary edition, the Seattle Weekly takes a look back at the album that launched grunge.
Why are people like Isaiah Kalebu—people diagnosed with serious psychological problems and accused of violent crimes—allowed to remain free until trial? [more inside]
Technology innovation will be a large part of late 20th century American history. Now the gearheads can explore the roots of all that geekdom. The Geek's Guide to Seattle is a virtual tour of some of the region’s most interesting and notable technology locations. A Geek's Tour of Silicon Valley hits hotspots there. Don't forget The Tech Museum and the Computer History Museum. Back east, there's Research Triangle Park (pdf) in North Carolina, and The Computing Revolution at the Museum of Science in Boston.
To clarify the "incident" at my Seattle signing. NSFW! - artist Alex Pardee deals with some crazy shit. (via)
A well-dressed man wakes up in a Seattle city park. He has $600 in his sock and no memory of who he is or how he got there. He is fluent in English, French and German and has an apparent deep knowledge of European cultural history. He seems to have traveled the world. And he says he is a widower. Doctors suspect he is not faking it but they don’t know how to help. Police are stumped as well. [more inside]
Concept proposals for Seattle's Space Needle. More sketches and images, from the University of Washington's image database. Erecting The Needle, a four-part series about the Space Needle's construction: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, with a picture of the rarely-seen gas-flame beacon in action. And this morning, the Space Needle was briefly for sale!
Waterlines is a new online exhibit from the excellent Burke Museum at the University of Washington, Seattle. It tells the story of the land underlying Seattle, one of the United States' most geologically active city sites, and of the human attempts to engineer this landform. Closely related are the archaeology of West Point and Coast Salish Villages of Puget Sound (e.g., read the story of North Wind and Storm Wind).
Seattle bus riders rejoice! From the Univ. of WA comes One Bus Away which answers the eternal public transit question "where the hell is my freaking bus??" With six flavors of awesome, you can get real-time bus arrival info. via phone, website, SMS, an iPhone-optimized webpage, or for those us still rocking the un-smart phones there's even a text-only webpage available.
"The newsroom collectively screamed—via a chain of famous quotes with not too subtle undertones that staffers e-mailed out to the all-staff list. We designated a dog as the employee of the month." An Insider's View: The Strange Final Days Of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer. There's a loss of dignity when you lose your job. Those who stayed at the online PI faced a different indignity. And what to do with thousands of newspaper racks. [more inside]
The Seattle P-I is known for its in depth, epic, investigative reports. As the print edition closes down this week here is a look at one report that made the PI great: The Health of the Puget Sound. [more inside]
15 year old girl in holding cell beaten by Seattle Cop Caught on Camera. 15 year old girl in holding cell beaten by Seattle Cop. Not surprisingly the cop's lawyer didn't want this video published.
Amidst The Ghosts Of Its Fallen Figures: With the 20th anniversary of the Seattle scene's insurgence fast approaching, Exclaim! follows the timeline of Mark Lanegan, the scene's poetic misfit. [more inside]
Seattle area gay bars received a very strange and threatening letter yesterday. Dan Savage believes it might have been sent by a gay person. Here is Savage's first post about the letter.
More catcam goodness (previously on Mefi). Cooper the cat roams his Seattle neighborhood. Via Phinneywood, an excellent neighborhood blog about the Greenwood and Phinney neighborhoods in Seattle. [more inside]
Rejoice! There are Seattle World's Fair 1962 images, advertisements for the Gayway (which became Fun Forest) section of the attraction, racy construction shots and postcards. [more inside]
Matt Cameron gained a lot of respect early on in the Seattle grunge scene, particularly for his ability to make odd time signatures feel like straight time. Over the years he kept time for Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Temple of the Dog, and his own Wellwater Conspiracy. Since 1998 he's played with the last men standing of the Seattle heavyweights, though it's a little known fact that he recorded drums on the original pre-Vedder demo. In the 8 years between, Pearl Jam had a few other drummers of note sit in. [more inside]
"He's always thinking about lots of things — he's a pollinator, he brings ideas to the table" You probably know Neal Stephenson for his work as an author (generally in or adjacent to the Science Fiction genre), but he's also an inventor at Washington based "Idea Factory" Intellectual Ventures, a place with modern goals like stomping out malaria and preventing hurricanes. This is after his old job as part-time rocket scientist.
The University of Washington has put a collection of Vietnam War era printed ephemera (posters, flyers, pamphlets, magazines, mostly cheap mimeographs or photocopies) online. The browsable collection ranges from Defend the Black Panthers to How to Make a Revolution in the U.S. to the Planetary Citizen Human Manifesto to plain old Do Something. The collection offers a fascinating insight into the passion, energy and graphic sensibilities of grassroots, home-front politics in late 1960s and early 1970s Seattle. [more inside]
From New York City to Seattle, Critical Mass cyclists are not having a good week. In Seattle, some question the motivations of Critical Mass, some report conflicting stories, while others suggest foul play.
The Greatest Sideshow Video Ever Made. "The Greatest Sideshow Video Ever Made was shot at the Moore theater in Seattle in 1992. The oddball cousin of Seattle's grunge music scene, the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow mixed vintage sideshow acts with novel stunts never before seen. Previously available only on VHS tape or DVD, this mind-blowing collection of feats of human daring is now available online in six parts for your viewing pleasure: 1 2 3 4 5 6 As an added bonus, watch as Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam participates." [via mefi projects] [more inside]
Goodbye Seattle! Hello Oklahoma! Get ready for the NBA's newest team, the Oklahoma City SuperSonics! Whither Seattle basketball? Methinks not.
"What the autistic 12-year-old can't express verbally or in social interaction he can show through his carefully cut out geometric shapes assembled into characters in a paper collage."
Nearly 20 years later, after several major delays, Seattle Chinese Garden is nearing a milestone: the completion of the Knowing The Spring Courtyard. Free guided tours are offered at 10AM on the second Saturday of each month until October. According to the tour guide, 22 artisans from Chongqing, Seattle's sister city, are working on the project, which will open on August 8th. (To be clear, there is also a construction company involved.) If you can't make it in person, you can pay a virtual visit anytime (PST daylight recommended). [more inside]
"I love reading your letters—I do. But I couldn't get into it. I just don't have a column in me this week." A sweet, sad eulogy from columnist Dan Savage.
After taking possession of a brand spankin' new Boeing 777-300ER airliner, the pilot decided to celebrate by buzzing the airfield, landing gear retracted, at 28 feet above the ground [YouTube]. Killjoy airline executives promptly fired his ass.
Curious why the power is out at your office or the fire engines are rushing past your home? If you live in Seattle, public911 might be able to tell you.
Virtual Tour of Steve's Weird House. "Stephen resides in a Victorian home that is a cluttered combination of museum, library and art gallery, decorated with that old-world Addam's Family charm. Not only is every inch of every wall covered with art, but all the ceilings are also decorated." (Via.)
On public access TV in Seattle a preacher named Bruce Howard rambled each week for twenty five minutes about love and hope. He would then abruptly burst into song (some covers, some original) and lavish affection onto his pug, BUSTER LOVE! We watched at first to mock, and then grew to genuinely like him. But sometime between then and now he seems to have gone mad (last two links nsfw-ish).
The great Seattle Fire. "The spring of 1889 in Seattle had been beautiful....Unfortunately, the unusually good weather proved to be disastrous, as the dry conditions conspired with a handful of other elements to allow for the worst fire in city history...the fire burned until 3:00 am. When it was done, the damage was enormous. 120 acres (25 city blocks) had been destroyed, as was every wharf and Mill from Union to Jackson Streets. Although the loss of human life was evidently low (no statistics were kept on that) it was estimated that 1 million rats were killed...." Photo gallery. A roughly contemporaneous account. A Historylink essay on the fire. How the fire changed Seattle's architecture.
Proposition 1 - Sound Transit & RTID: Dan Savage is for it ("I want 50 miles of light rail so bad, I don’t give a shit if they pave 180 miles with baby mice," sorta), while the Sierra Club is against ("It wants to support the Sound Transit/light rail portion of the ballot issue, but not the Regional Transportation Improvement District part, which seeks more money to expand and repair roads and highways"). On November 6, voters in Washington's King, Pierce and Snohomish counties will decide.
Segregated Seattle: For most of its history Seattle was a segregated city, as committed to white supremacy as any location in America. Segregated Seattle is a student/community created website and digital archive sponsored by UW's Civil Rights and Labor History Project. Check out the segregation maps, the short films and slide shows, Activist Oral Histories, and a page where you can browse the site by time period or topic. And the Restrictive Covenants Database will help Seattle homeowners determine if the fine print in their deed forbids the property from being "used or occupied by any person of the Ethiopian, Malay, or any Asiatic race."
Edith Macefield is stubborn. Man, is she stubborn. That's what her mother told her when she was a little girl back in the 1920s. It's a characteristic that has followed her all her life. Now that unrelenting stubbornness has won the 86-year-old woman admirers throughout Ballard. Macefield refused to sell her little old house where she has lived since 1966 to developers, forcing them to build an entire five-story project, which includes a grocery store, fitness club and parking garage, around her. She was offered $1 million to leave. She turned it down flat.Old Ballard's new hero
Newsfilter, local interest filter, too, but, oh, man, it lifts the spirits. Her's is the last house on the block, the one in which she grew up, the one her mother died in. She is going to be surrounded by five storys of shopping mall but she isn't moving. It's like The Little House come to life. And bonus points: Mike's Chili Parlor, the other hold out on the same block, is the bomb. So you get two Old Lost Seattle treasures in one post.
Seattle to Boston in 15 minutes. Katja Suletzki drove the full length of Interstate 90, the longest interstate highway in America, from Seattle to Boston. Thanks to a webcam, a modified version of Flix, and a laptop, the journey was recorded for posterity as a 15 minute film.
March of the librarians: "Twice a year, tens of thousands of librarians make a trek across the United States to a meeting of the ALA. How they know to congregate in the same spot, no one knows. They come to learn, to network, to collect free stuff, and possibly to mate." (YouTube)
An Unsolved Killing. Tom Wales, a 49-year-old Assistant US Attorney, was murdered in Seattle's Queen Anne neighborhood on October 11, 2001, and the case is getting cold. Former U.S. attorney John McKay was fired in March 2005 in part for pressing for a more active investigation.
Why We Banned Legos - Exploring power, ownership, and equity in an early childhood classroom. National Review response. (via this post on Salon Broadsheet)
Captain America started Metafilter in 1999. Maybe not, but Defective Yeti is a consistent source of one-man-band goodness. Who can best The 30 least hot follow-ups to the 30 hottest things you can say to a naked woman or approach the caustic, laser-like wit of a would-be screenplay that begins with"CHENEY sits behind a desk. He is playing NINTENDOGS on his DS, but, instead of trying to teach them tricks, he is STABBING the puppies with his STYLUS." See the favorites page for a quick tour. Previous work from Matthew Baldwin has been here before.
Sasquatch!, the indie music festival, returns to The Gorge with an impressive line-up headlined by Bjork and the Beastie Boys. As usual, KEXP has a veritable cornucopia of live performances from the artists. If you're wondering what might be in store, check out select songs from The Arcade Fire, M.I.A., Citizen Cope, Neko Case, The Thermals, Viva Voce, Interpol, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Spoon, Ozomatli, Bad Brains, The Dandy Warhols, Jesse Sykes & The Sweet Hereafter, Common Market, Smoosh, and Minus The Bear. Bring sunscreen and an umbrella on your short drive from Seattle to George, Washington
The Seattle Times has a nice multimedia tour of the soon to open Seattle Art Museum sculpture park. It seems to be a beautiful new installation. The park sits on an out of the way parcel North of the downtown core, but is nearby the earthquake-damaged Alaskan Way viaduct. If the viaduct is replaced with a surface boulevard and parkland, the sculpture park could end up more connected to the downtown core. Link to Flickr group with photos of the park.
Creativity, Inc: Dave Eggers of McSweeney's is a proprietor. A shopkeeper. Perhaps even a franchise magnate! It was his keen perception of unmet needs in niche markets that led to the opening of a growing array of supply houses across the country. Among them: The Pirate Store, for the well-outfitted swashbuckler; The Boring Store, a subtle, unassuming purveyor of goods for secret agents; the Superhero Supply Store, in Brooklyn, carrying all the eyewear and accessories today's world-savers require; and Greenwood Space Travel Supply, where customers are reminded of the space-travel axiom "A lack of preparation is a prescription for mishaps." If these sound like curious business ventures for a celebrated author, there's a reason: the storefronts, though real, are just that - fronts. They're the streetside faces (and fundraising arms) of the nonprofit 826National, a family of learning centers for kids ages 6-18. The 826 'stores' provide free field trips, creatively themed writing workshops, publishing, and one-on-one instruction. Supported by an impressive field of cultural types (including Ira Glass, Sarah Vowell, Sherman Alexie, and others), the program is growing. Coming soon: Michigan 826 will open Monster Union Local 826, and 826LA will open the Echo Park Time Travel Mart.
And that's why you always buy the loss damage waiver when you rent a car. Man flies to Seattle, rents a PT Cruiser, drives to Olympic National Park to camp. Then one of the wettest months in regional history happens. The road washes out. While he and his companion are rescued, the car remains in the park, accruing rental charges. Rental company cuts him a deal. After 43 days and $871, the car is retrieved after emergency road repairs, and it's back in service at Sea-Tac.
After the holiday sweeties we ponder the age-old question: Can fish smell snickerdoodles?
Randi Rhodes is the MC at the mainstage at 4:20 Seattle Hemp Fest 2006 I knew you were cool Randi! Also, Dr.Bob Melameda explains why humans need marijuana to fuction properly.