• Last week, the Seattle City Council signed a resolution "designating a Downtown Historic Theatre District" that includes ACT, the Moore, Town Hall, the 5th Avenue, and the Paramount. That sounds boring—and it is! In plain English, the resolution basically states that the City of Seattle realizes theaters exist. The resolution doesn't actually do anything at the moment, but it opens the door to "exploring" whether those theaters could maybe dip into city money for marketing, building preservation, energy efficiency, and perhaps receive favorable zoning decisions (like putting cafe tables on the sidewalk). For now, all the benefits are speculative and mostly unspecified. As one staff member at a newly minted "downtown historic theater" put it: "Generally, it lets us put our weight together so we can throw it around someday."
• Why is Greenwood Seattle's hottest neighborhood? In 2009, police arrested (and a jury later convicted) an arsonist who torched four (FOUR!) Greenwood businesses. But the Greenwood arsonist is currently serving a 30-year prison sentence. So who—or what—can be behind the burning of Gainsbourg, Greenwood's well-loved, vaguely French bar-with-food, which suffered extensive damage (but no injuries, thank God) in a fire this weekend? No answers for now, but Gainsbourg is currently closed for repairs. Godspeed, Gainsbourg!
• According to rumors on internet message boards and people who know people who work at Amazon.com, 30 percent of customers who've bought the Fire—Amazon's new tablet—are sending it back. This could be catastrophic, depending on why they're being returned. If it's because of hardware problems, people probably just want a replacement. (Not so bad.) If it's because of the Fire's janky software problems, people are probably asking for outright refunds. (Much worse.) Keep an eye on sales of refurbished units in upcoming months; if Amazon makes a ton of secondhand tablets available for next to nothing, their next quarterly report could be a bloodbath.
• In other Amazon news, Jason Calacanis of internet news site Launch.is posted a rumor that the online retailer is seriously considering getting into the brick-and-mortar business (which it helped kill back in the 1990s) with a showroom full of big-ticket electronic samples but nothing in stock—you'd swipe your credit card and your purchase would be shipped to you immediately. At the front of this hypothetical store, to encourage browsing, Amazon would sell books and DVDs. That's one way to make up for wiping out bookstores nationwide.
• Guitarist/keyboardist Timm Mason and bassist Jayson Kochan of Midday Veil (one of Seattle's finest psych-rock bands) have started a cosmic-disco project tentatively called TJ Max. The one track they've cut so far, "Wrong to Run," sounds like it came straight out of Italy's coolest club circa 1977. And local sludge-metal band Samothrace are in the studio with Brandon Fitzsimons (formerly of doom-metal band Wormwood). Their LP, title still TBA, is due out mid-2012 via 20 Buck Spin.
This article has been updated since its original publication.