Another week, another end of an era, as Electric Avenue, the mostly free weekly held at CHAC's Lower Level for the past 16 months, hangs it up. The closure has nothing to do with the city's alleged War on Nightlife; rather the promoters are losing their space, as CHAC has decided to not renew their lease on the 12th Avenue venue.
The product of promoter/DJ crew United House Front, Electric Avenue has been a solid Friday-night option for the past year plus, quietly showcasing Seattle's talent along with guests from abroad. The dependence on locals and the sheer regularity of the night often left EA as a prime prefunk or fallback spot, but despite that, the night had a cadre of regulars.
"We wanted to have a regular Friday-night party that had a real community feel to it," says UHF's DJ Jizosh. "EA is as much about hanging out and playing foosball as it is about dancing."
Even with that laid-back approach, the promoters still occasionally booked larger names, including DJ Assault, Justin Long, Starski, and MSTRKRFT—the last booking and show put together in a matter of hours. The nights were met with mixed attendance, but UHF maintains a big-picture view of the situation.
"Seattle is starting to get 'big city' treatment when it comes to promoting EDM [electronic dance music] artists, but it still doesn't have a big-city interest base to pull from," says Jizosh. Still, he says, "I don't care if 10 people show up or 1,000. We just want to bring out someone whose tunes we love."
With that attitude, it's fitting that EA is closing out their run with Austin's Bird Peterson and Ocelot, a duo that has yet to hit household-name status.
"They are virtually unknown to anyone who doesn't invest a ton of time reading music blogs," says Jizosh. "But they are amazing talents, and it's only a matter of time until they are featured artists in XLR8R and on the big European tours."
And that's just the EA way.
"We've always been in front of the curve, trying to bring the best and newest shit to town."
The last Electric Avenue with Bird Peterson and Ocelot is Fri June 13, CHAC Lower Level, 10 pm–2 am, $10, 21+.
A notable exception in the long list of Friday the 13th events is this month's installment of art and music mashup Artifakt, headlined by former Tacoman Eliot Lipp. Lipp's latest, The Outside, is an exercise in chillectro, a retro-futuristic album full of delicately programmed beats and synths. Lipp's obvious hiphop influence should play well in Artifakt's urban-themed environment.
Eliot Lipp plays Artifakt Fri June 13, Lo_Fi, 9 pm–2 am, $8 adv/$10 DOS, 21+.