Date: Sat Dec 23

Place: Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave NW

Time: 11 pm

The Seattle music scene may be many things--insular, indifferent, nepotistic--but it's also fiercely compassionate. A recent A&E special on Mia Zapata's murder made repeated mention of the way the community came together in that time of crisis, which certainly wasn't an isolated historical incident. In the 10 years since Mia's death, I've attended countless rock-show benefits. Whether it was to raise money for someone's legal fund or to help cover the cost of a motorcycle accident, it never fails to move me how quickly local artists act to take care of their own. The impetus for this evening's fundraiser is the diagnosis of local photographer Lisa Hagman with multiple sclerosis. When we arrive, country-gothic balladeers Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter are midway through their set and the club is nearly sold out. Making my way to the bar is no small feat; I've recently noticed that crowded Tractor shows seem to result in that uncomfortable configuration of folks who don't seem to have the decency to move the hell out of the way once they've placed their drink orders. I eventually retire toward the back of the room, near the merchandise table where opener Larry Barrett and Hattie's Hat bartender Drew Church (incidentally, Hagman's boyfriend) are chatting merrily, clearly pleased with the generous turnout and the overall good cheer permeating the room. The Minus 5 take the stage and perennially shaded frontman Scott McCaughey reminds everyone that tonight is also the 10-year anniversary of Seattle musician Jimmy Silva's death--a tragic event resulting from Silva's fatal bout with chicken pox at the age of 42. Appropriately, the band launch into a cover of the Kinks' "A Well Respected Man," and the close-knit crowd moves in closer to the stage. HANNAH LEVIN

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