Turnover of both staff and ownership in Seattle's music venues happens relatively often. So it makes sense that just when I was thinking it had been a while since there'd been a major shakeup, I received word that one had taken place. Last Thursday, Neumo's booking agent Jason Lajeunesse confirmed that he, Chop Suey talent buyer Steven Severin, and Neumo's bar manager Mike Meckling had jointly bought themselves a significant stake in ownership of Neumo's. The club was previously co-owned by Jerry Everard and Marcus Charles, but Charles, who recently opened Spitfire (in the old Sit 'n' Spin space in Belltown), had reportedly decided that his desire to attend grad school convinced him that it made sense to sell his share of the popular Capitol Hill music venue. (Charles was unavailable for comment at press time.)

"Jerry and Marcus had let me know that there might be [other parties] interested in investing in the club, but that they wanted to keep it in the family," explains Lajeunesse. "Mike had been working for the bar for a while, so when he caught wind of it, he called me and we started talking. Jerry talked to Steven about getting involved, and things just went from there. Marcus was very cool about it and it was all pretty straightforward."

Combining the diverse talents of Severin and Lajeunesse is an incredibly shrewd move—and one that will make the club an even more powerful and positive force in Seattle by making its programming scope much broader. "I realized that there's a difference between what the club is and what it should be," says Lajeunesse. "There are certain genres that should be more involved, like hiphop and electronica. I think that Steven and I can help bring together two different parts of the community. We'd like this to be a place that really sticks around for a long time and becomes as important to the [music community] as the Crocodile."

Severin affirms the need for a more eclectic calendar. "The crowd for a particular scene is only going to come out one to two times a week anyway, so spreading the crowds out makes it more exciting. I've been pegged as the guy who books hiphop and electronica, which I do [often in collaboration with Meli Darby from Obese Productions], but even at Chop Suey we had much more going on."

Severin and Lajeunesse have a long history of collaboration, working closely while Severin was at I-Spy and Lajeunesse was at Graceland (the two clubs shared an owner at the time). "Working with Jason is sort of like coming full circle," affirms Severin, who has been gradually working his way toward more significant business investments such as this one. "I've been trying to buy into different businesses and finally invested in the Liberty Lounge a few months ago, but wanted to do something bigger. It was a natural progression."

Although Charles will technically still be involved with the club until August 1, Severin has left Chop Suey already and it's rumored he'll be replaced by Chop Suey publicist Colin Johnson. "They were a bit bummed," says Severin of Chop Suey's owners' response to his departure. "But they knew it was going to happen someday. There's no bad blood."

In other full-circle stories, the Friday, June 23, show at Neumo's will mark the return of grunge-era semi-stars Love Battery and the final show for Alta May, a heavy, hooky, and wildly underrated local rock band featuring former members of the Fluid and Anodyne. Alta May will be missed, though some members will carry on under the name the Press Corps.

If you're looking for a show that will be all about hard drinking and even harder rocking, look no further than the Crocodile on Tuesday, June 27, when the four-pronged assault of the Bronx, Priestess, Riverboat Gamblers, and Wires on Fire will be blowing kegs and amplifiers with their collective fondness for loud and sweaty debauchery.

Lastly, in a weekend typically filled with disco-driven drag queens and paint-by-numbers dance music, it's refreshing to see that a bunch of punk-minded queers have booked a Pride show at the Funhouse that will appeal to those who'd rather chew on broken glass than endure another Cher remix. Sunday, June 25's show features Ramones cover band 1234, the Dead Vampires, Sick Bees, and DJ Baby J.recommended