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Rock under construction

New live music clubs to open in June

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I think there is a secret reason why people play their stereos too loud at stop lights even though it annoys other drivers. Beneath it all, they’re music evangelists, subconsciously attempting to convert others to their genre as they merrily roll along. Or maybe they’re just hoping to catch a like-minded ear so they can wink knowingly and toss them a smile. Is it such a stretch to think opening a nightclub is kind of the same thing? Each new one that comes along has a little different flavor, a little different feel and attracts a different sort of crowd. In my experience, people who like the same sort of things will tend to like the same sort of music. If that’s true, then if you find the right live music club, you may find your musical soul mate. Beginning next month, four new musical options will be available in the South Sound.

Club Alano

For now, they’re calling it Club Alano but it may have a different name by the time the downtown Tacoma club actually opens on June 15. The club’s MySpace friends are currently voting on the name while the club is under construction. The masterminds behind Club Alano are Matrock Records owners Garrett Dawson, Mike Kopf and Louis Messina. Kopf and Messina are Tacoma School of the Arts graduates. Dawson is currently a SOTA senior.

They intend for it to be an all-ages venue that will serve as breaking ground for bands that don’t yet have the fan base required to play, and other venues in town.

“To me it seems like the alternative and avant-garde artists are being pushed out of the scene,” explains Dawson. “If you have no money, if you don’t have connections, you can’t play anywhere. This is a place for people who don’t, a place where people can hone their craft.”

The club’s location at 17th and Market has a rich history dating back to 1889. It was once a hotel for the Japanese who at the time weren’t allowed in other hotels. As for the new décor, Dawson says the interior is trashy and they intend for it to stay that way. There will be no alcohol, food or drinks for sale, but snacks and water will be offered for donations, and local music CDs will be sold on consignment.

Club Alano’s June 15 opening will feature live music by The Drug Purse, Tree Roots in the Basement, The End of the World (New York City) and Spider Silk Dress.

[Club Alano, 1554 Market St., Tacoma,]

Club Corridor

Club Corridor originally opened in 2004, and it has moved several times. Right now it’s located in Kent, but beginning June 9 it will take up residence in Hilltop Tacoma on 12th and Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

The new building is an old theater.  Club Corridor manager Mike Cunningham says it has a really cool balcony. The space has been empty for more than two years and its most recent occupant was ironically a meat market. Though it’s owned by a non-profit company, the club boasts state of the art sound and lights equipment.

The music will be mainly positive hip-hop with a spattering of indie rock nights, Christian bands, CD release parties and open mics.

Similar to Brick City down the hill, the club’s philosophy is an altruistic one.

“We won’t book artists that swear, have alcohol or drug references, no sex, guns and etc,” says Cunningham. “The mission of the club is to help people who are on the streets, get them out of gangs, etc. We offer the same thing other clubs do with no alcohol or drugs; just a great show with great atmosphere and great aesthetics.”

Club Corridor will open in Tacoma June 9 with Sharp Skills, Advocate, Baby Moses and guests.

[Club Corridor, 1216 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma,]

Radio City Café

Seattle Record Label C2M2 and indie radio station teamed up to open a music venue in Lakewood near Bowlero Lanes Bowling Alley in the building that has housed various strip clubs for the last few decades. Construction and hopefully sanitation efforts are underway now.

Manager Don Miller says they will have live music three or four nights a week, and the music will be rock, pop, country and pretty much everything but hip-hop.  They will also have comedy nights.

While it will be a fully functioning restaurant/bar, they intend for it to be a place that young people can hang out and hear good music until 8 p.m.

The menu will feature pizza and deli food. During lunch they will play recordings of old radio shows.

The décor will be a historic radio theme.

Due to haggling with the city over parking permits, the original opening date of June 1 has been temporarily postponed.

[Radio City Café, 3800 Steilacoom Blvd S.W., Lakewood,]


Emerging Market Development, the folks behind 21 Commerce, The Loft and Varsity Grill, will open another establishment in Tacoma in the space formerly occupied by their Club Taboo — Cans.

I’ve always suspected that good boys long to be bad boys once in a while. This, I’m told, is how the very blue-collar-friendly Cans was born. Apparently, it’s about foamy beverages that arrive on your table in an aluminum casing of some sort with a clever pop top opening to prevent spilling when you carry it around. Cans will serve more than 30 varieites of canned beer — no bottles.

Ownership tagged it “Tacoma’s Best Dive Bar” but I hardly think that’s fair since the other dive bars weren’t informed with enough notice to campaign for the title.

Since my calls were not returned and they are acting all mysterious about it, I can’t tell you much except it will house pool, shuffleboard, and there will be live rock/alternative/country bands on weekends.

[Cans, 100 S. Ninth, Tacoma,]

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