IT'S AN UNSEASONABLY SUNNY TUESDAY AFTER- noon and former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic is chuckling. Sitting outside a Capitol Hill coffee house, he's just been informed that Hype!, Doug Pray's 1995 film documenting the Northwest Grunge Explosion, is currently making the rounds on Showtime. This news comes the day after Seaweed, another band that figured respectfully in the early '90s blowout (they appeared in Hype! too) played its final show at the Breakroom to a crowd of around 100. Even the opening band, Valis--featuring Van Connor of Screaming Trees and Kurt Danielson of TAD (also heavily interviewed in Hype!)--couldn't draw more of a crowd. Both of these occurrences, a bemused chuckle and the passing of a rock band, are small examples of a constantly evolving--some might say eroding--musical landscape.

However, Seattle is still a rock town, and its every significant movement bears mentioning in these pages. We'd love to sweep our dirt under the carpet, but I can't stand by and let it happen. Someone has to bemoan the injustices occurring daily in our community--like the lunacy of Reprise's recent decision to drop Mudhoney just months after the granddaddies of garage released their finest record in years, Tomorrow Hits Today. But then who believes in anything other than record sales these days, huh? Loudermilk, who just inked a deal with Rick Rubin's American Recordings, chose the struggling label despite greater offers from several others, in hopes that quality would prevail over quantity. Still, will they become next year's Harvey Danger, who managed to parlay a quiet deal into superstardom? We'll see. Prevailing rumors indicate that Modest Mouse has signed with Epic--but the band is on the road in Japan with Built To Spill, so confirmation will have to wait.

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Perhaps because her reign is about to end with the demolition of RKCNDY, tongues are wagging about Infinite Productions' booking queen, Lori LeFavor. She may be the subject of a mountain of grievances, but anyone involved in the all-ages scene must loathfully submit. It's taken for granted that if you want an all-ages audience, your band has to go through LeFavor to get to the only big venue in town, RKCNDY (one exception: Rocket from the Crypt, who had enough clout to bring in an outside promoter). Several Oly bands refuse to work with LeFavor altogether. Recently, while negotiating two upcoming dates in Seattle, one at the Breakroom and one at an all-ages venue, the Melvins' booking agent--the nationally recognized William Morris Agency--accepted well under $1,000 to play the Velvet Elvis rather than RKCNDY, though LeFavor offered them upwards of $5,000 to play in her hall. Her screaming banshee phone calls to big bad William Morris fell on deaf ears--but they wouldn't surprise anyone here in Seattle. Several local bookers tell of LeFavor calling them at their private residences at all hours, hurling threats at them just because they competed against her for a show.

Since our town is nationally held to be a hotbed of spineless whiners, it shouldn't surprise anyone that although LeFavor's detractors are legion--all happily supplying hours of verbiage on her reputation--not one of these former co-workers, employees, band members, or associates would go on record for The Stranger. Instead they offered up excuses ranging from not wanting to further damage the endangered all-ages scene to plain old fear of retaliation. Most agreed, however, that LeFavor is in the all-ages business strictly for the money, whether she started out that way or not. In her defense, LeFavor's road has been a tough one; there's no doubt she's encountered many obstacles along her career path. This sentiment is perhaps best illustrated by LeFavor's own recent decision to get out of the all-ages booking business. Le Favor recently told the stranger "I've become a martyr for the cause and I'm not willing to do it anymore. If I continue, I'd end up bankrupt and I'm not willing to go that far with it." Whether or not you like Lori, RKCNDY's closure marks a sad day for our local scene.

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Speaking of scene, the city's latest rock and roll hangout seems to be the newly reborn Cyclops. In just one night members of Sunny Day Real Estate and Sky Cries Mary, as well as Josh White and John Wesley Harding, were seen sucking up the scenery as well as some lamentably weak drinks. Good thing the Rendezvous is right up the street.

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Lastly, is it just me, or is that once behemoth Sub Pop Mob--that shiny, ebullient group of cheerleaders/employees breezing into clubs moments before their Next Big Thing is about to hit the stage--dwindling? The recent Evil Tambourines show saw the pack assembled in shrunken numbers; nary a whoop or back slap was heard over the din of an audience gone bored.

Look for Kathleen Wilson's music column, It's My Party, each and every week in The Stranger.MUSIC