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Where We're At 

The scene may have taken some hits venue-wise, but we're by no means hurting.

click to enlarge Carr's Corner - AMY HUNTER
  • Amy Hunter
  • Carr's Corner

Man, it’s been a rough year for venues, but we’ve already been over this. But hey, there are still a lot of places making huge contributions to the scene. We talk a lot about the Knit, the Hop!, Aclub, Mootsy’s — your usual downtown Spokane stuff. But allow us to introduce you to a handful of your newest saviors.

THE BELLTOWER
It makes perfect sense that a church — a building designed with both aesthetics and acoustics in mind — would translate well into a music venue. Such is the case for the Belltower in Pullman, which not only boasts some of the most phenomenal sound in the area, but also a gorgeous space to boot. While suited best for softer bands, the Belltower has been bringing in big indie names from all over, including Wovenhand, Local Natives, Y La Bamba and the June 20 STRFKR show. Owners Mike and Deb Yates remodeled the old church with music and events in mind, preserving the unique character of the building. Nowhere else in the area can you watch a band from a pew, beer garden, balcony or up at the front of the stage. It’s no surprise big acts who may have turned their noses up at the prospect of playing Pullman are now flocking to the alter of the Belltower. 125 SE Spring St., Pullman • (509) 334-3182

CARR’S CORNER
If you walked past Carr’s assuming it wasn’t somewhere you wanted to enter, that was your first mistake. If you assumed that only drinking happens there, that was your second. Relatively recently Carr’s Corner took the place of Judi’s Place, a spot that bartender/Blackout Booking agent Adrienne Hitchcock affectionately refers to as a “bum bar.” Not anymore, though. Hitchcock’s been bringing in tons of bands from all over, becoming a hefty player in the local punk and rockabilly scene. She’s even adding a “ladies night” — girls get in free and all the bands on the bill have at least one chick in them. The atmosphere is amazing, too: Thong underwear hangs from signs, Christmas lights decorate exposed ducts and bands play in front of a brick wall embellished with fancy graffiti work. The cover is always cheap, the beer is even cheaper and the book lending library is a nice touch. 230 S. Washington St. • 474-1731

JONES RADIATOR
Jones Radiator is proof that not all the music is happening in huge venues downtown, and that, in fact, sometimes the littlest guy can pack the biggest punch. Known for their extensive selection of craft beers and tasty foods (peanut-butter-and-jelly chicken wings, whaaat?!), Jones Radiator has also started hosting some live music — and no small potatoes either. (They hosted the Globes just a few weeks back.) Although the place is tiny, it almost adds to the charm of the show — 20 people there feels like a packed house. The sound is surprisingly good, and with said beer selection five feet from where the “stage” area is, ordering a beer has never been so entertaining. 120 E. Sprague Ave. • 747-6005

MIKEY’S GYROS
Aside from dishing up some delicious fare in the Moscow/Pullman area, Mikey’s Gyros has proven itself to be a totally kickass venue. There’s no stage, but this only serves to create an intimate feel with the performers. Divided into two main rooms — each plastered in the work of local artists — Mikey’s gives off a house-show vibe (minus the couches that look too sketchy to sit on). To top it all off, beer is cheap, the staff is super-friendly and it’s nice for a change to chat with the folks whose music you just enjoyed. 527 S. Main St., Moscow • (208) 882-0780

A Message from the Editor

There’s a good chance that the past year in local music might be one remembered more for its losses than its victories. Like the one-two gut-punch that was the closing of the Seaside in the fall and the Empyrean in early 2011.

But, we assure you, nothing is f---ed here, dude.

When our local music committee first assembled back in March to discuss the region’s best bands, we came up with 60 local bands worthy of watching. Six-ty. Some were brand-new — high school kids with amazing talent and excitement for the local scene. And some were seasoned music vets who’ve continued playing in Spokane for decades.

We may have fewer venues than in the past. Maybe we don’t have tons of promoters either. and Maybe many great touring bands skip over us. Well, screw ’em. We’ve got amazing talent right here. And in the following pages, you’ll read about five local acts that we’re proud to say were bred on local turf. Trust us, you’re gonna wanna keep an eye on these guys.

- Leah Sottile

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