I must be honest with you: Sitting in a coffee shop and listening to a slow acoustic guitar isn't really my idea of a good time. A coffee shop can be such a boring place for live music. Everyone just sits there, drinking coffee, scribbling in notebooks... whatever. But for some, the calmer atmosphere is a welcome wind-down, perfect before a long night of smoky, smelly, loud rock-and-roll. And that's exactly what the founders of Independents Day had in mind.

"We really wanted Independents Day to be on a good night of the week and earlier in the evening. That way, people could still come down to the show and then go somewhere else afterwards," said Seth Howard, one of the six creators of the Friday-night affair. The other five are friends and fellow musicians Louis O'Callaghan, Daniel G. Harmann, Mark Rose, Drew Whittemore, and Angie Benintendi.

"We're hoping to make this another way for musicians to be heard," said Louis. "I think one of the important things is to try to pair up a musician who nobody has heard of with a musician people have heard of."

And it doesn't always have to be a guy with a guitar, either--the band just has to be able to fit on (or around) the small stage, and not require a lot of space for bulky equipment.

"Our whole thing is acoustic or lo-fi indie rock," said Daniel. "It's as minimal as possible, definitely not full-on rock."

The group held their first event during the first week of August. And even though only a month has passed, everyone involved is more than happy with the direction Independents Day is taking.

"There's been an amazing response," gleamed Seth.

"Yeah, definitely," added Daniel. "And afterwards, someone always comes up to us and hands us a CD or tape, wanting to play one of the shows. September is already pretty much booked up."

Some of the confirmed acts for September include Michael John Serpe, Saeta, and Deception Pass. So before you go to the real rock show Friday night, swing by Aurafice (which isn't always bubbling with goth and industrial types), drink some coffee, and relax. Then go get your rock on. MEGAN SELING

megan@thestranger.com

Support The Stranger