More big changes in clubland. First the tallest, nicest club manager ever -- Big Tall Rich -- gets let go from the Breakroom, then this: The Elliott Smith show on Feb 28 marked the end of Chad Quierolo's shortish stint as the Breakroom's booker. The very day Quierolo tendered his letter of resignation to owner Trish Timmers, he assumed the booking position at Graceland and I-Spy, two burgeoning live music venues competing with the Crocodile and the Breakroom for the indie rock crown. What will happen to the Breakroom now is anyone's guess, but if you've spent any time there lately, you'd have to agree that a certain element has become more and more visible among its crowd. Namely, the Crusties. Those spiked, loudmouthed, Pabst-guzzling, well-drink-swilling, vest-wearing partiers who don't really pay a club's bills, if you get what I mean. As for Graceland, will it ever get over its past as the Off-Ramp and become a viable live music venue? Folks who hung out there before the Grunge Years still tolerate it pretty well, and don't harbor the same disdain for the place that those of us who frequented it in its later years do. We can't help it -- it was awful! Quierolo did a fine job booking the Breakroom, so there's no reason to doubt he'll do the same for Graceland and I-Spy. Time will tell.
Here's more Breakroom gossip: After last week's It's My Party accused the club's sound guy of incompetence at the Carissa's Weird show, CW singer Jen -- a mere wisp of a woman -- was accosted in the street by said sound guy, who advised menacingly that she tell her "friends at The Stranger" to find something new to write about. Big bully.
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Two popular Pioneer Square clubs are making changes as well: Neighborhood anchor the Fenix has decided not to renew the lease on its main concert hall, the Aboveground. Although It's My Party has never been one to mourn the demise of any Pioneer Square club, ever, it must be noted that the impending closure of this large, courteously run live music venue is a sad event simply because, well, it was large and courteously run. Seattle can't have too many of those. And the Fenix has been host to some of this city's most memorable comeback tours, including Swans and the always stellar Echo & The Bunnymen, who packed the room last fall. The dungeon-like Underground will remain in operation, however, so fans of '80s Something and the Retros should fear not -- and all you frat guys still have a place to hang out and desperately try to get laid.