Category: Music

Music for the People: The Clubs that Formed the Backbone of Seattle’s Early Alternative Scene

Any underground movement, when it builds up enough momentum to break into mainstream consciousness, offers the rest of us an opportunity to peer at the inner workings of a youth community that’s working to create its own culture and values. Apparently, a music industry that prefers to package its acts and calculate its images must assume that anything else it encounters must be packaged and calculated too. But most of the surface trappings of “alternative” scenes – the clothes, hairstyles, and lingo – were never as self-conscious as the media would have us believe.

Many of the band members who gigged and recorded in Seattle during the heyday of Grunge Rock never dreamt of playing arena shows, selling millions of records, or millions of online streams through gudang lagu. They wanted to write and record the kind of music they loved and earn enough money to eat and pay the bills without having to compromise with the major record labels. Herein lies the paradox of the scene: it was a rebellion against the music industry machine that finally grew to overshadow the established musical community. And its performers, who scorned the trappings associated with rock stardom, ended up being interviewed and written about in the biggest publications of the day.

Back in 1976, however, the idea of Seattle’s music scene is the darling of the world could not have been more foreign. The youth culture had begun to take inspiration from London’s punk rock, New York’s disco scene, and the garage sound of two bands from Detroit: the MC5 and Iggy and the Stooges. But there was no outlet in town for aspiring musicians to play – no clubs, only bars with cover bands and boogie rock. Punk and new wave bands would have to content themselves with playing rental halls, and with the occasional gig at the Paramount opening for national acts like David Bowie, Blondie, and the Talking Heads.

Things had improved by the early ‘80s with the opening of the Showbox, the Gorilla Room, and WREX, whose three nights a week shows inspired other bars around town to start booking bands. The Rosco Louie, a combined art and music space, provided another haven for Seattle’s musicians. This budding scene of the first half of the ’80’s nurtured such pioneering alternative rockers as the Fastbacks, Malfunkshun, the Accused, and the Melvins.

Pioneer Square became the hub of the new music scene when the Central Tavern, which was billed as “Seattle’s Only 2nd Class Tavern” started adding alternative-rock gigs to its normal jazz and R B; fare. Other supportive establishments around Pioneer Square included the Metropolis (an all-ages space) and two galleries: Ground Zero and Graven Image.

Unfortunately, many of these clubs were plagued not only by money problems but also by the unruly behavior of many of their patrons, which ran the gamut from drug use to violence and the destruction of property. For a time, the Seattle scene seemed fated to be torn apart by the very artists that it’d set out to nurture.

Handpan- Modern Day Percussion for New Generation Understanding

We always want to have the best things in life especially the elite spoilt brats, who despise anything out of the ordinary and aren’t satisfied with anything less than royalty because that is what they’ve been brought up with.

The less than privileged class have to earn everything through sheer merit and hard work simply because their crime is that they aren’t as privileged as their elite counterparts and at the end of the day, it is they that emerge as the victors by being the torchbearer of struggle and hard work while the brats are deemed products of nepotism.

Speaking of talent, there are many out there and if it relates to something as sweet and diverse as music, you can be sure that the discussion is going to be an interesting one as the topic is universally adored by one and all as music makes the world go round or so the experts say.

Basic Knowledge

When the discussion is on music, it is obvious that musical instruments will find their way into the discussion but we aren’t going to mention all of them but focus on one particular instrument that doesn’t immediately ring a bell as it isn’t used in conversations or concerts as much.

So it can be said that a handpan is grossly underrated as a music instrument of excellent quality that can give the best of the best a run for their money because it is so beautiful to look at and has a pleasant sound that is easy on the ears.

It is used for a group of musical instruments and isn’t confined to just one but what is important is that it is taken under the subset group of steelpan, which can be called as its parent instrument as that is where it originated from.

Handpans are typically in the shape and size of cymbals which are taken in the hands and beaten together to produce a crashing sound that you must have seen and heard in symphony orchestras but handpan is a little different than its erstwhile counterpart and more recent.

The handpans are taken from Hang, which originated in Switzerland that was used in old times during musical nights that were quite popular and slowly started spreading throughout Europe in a big way apart from becoming a household name in North America and so much so that there are regular musical concerts with handpans involved.


Handpans are extremely popular in European countries like Germany, Spain, France, Switzerland, Italy and many others but steelpans have origins dating back to the French Revolution of the 18th century when the colonial leaders were fascinated by what they termed as unique plates that reverberated on contact with each other.

British colonials fell in love with the musical idiom that originated from the sound and took it back to Europe from where they devised certain unique ways about how to give the instrument a modern day outlook.

All in all, handpans are extremely useful instruments that deserve to better known than they truly are.