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WWD Music issue 09/04/2008

Neumos provides a haven for Seattle’s rock ’n’ roll lovers.

Seattle’s grunge may be past, but venues like Capitol Hill’s Neumos continue to reinforce the city’s love affair with rock music.

This story first appeared in the September 4, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Smaller than megaconcert hall The Showbox but larger than holes-in-the-wall, Neumos’ 800-capacity, two-level space accommodates well-known touring bands such as The Raconteurs, The Kills and The Roots, as well as fledgling local bands. The upstairs lounge, with its bar and leather booths, provides some solace from the main fl oor’s crowds. If that’s not enough of a respite, the adjacent Moe Bar usually attracts the 21-and-over concert contingent with its $2 happy hour.

Neumos certainly has its grunge roots. From 1993 to 1997, the space belonged to Moe’s Mo’ Rockin Café, a beloved rock joint that hosted the Flaming Lips, Radiohead and Seattle’s own 7 Year Bitch. It reopened as the roomier Neumos (as in “new moe’s”) in 2003. Moe’s founder Jerry Everard still retains some ownership, but the  new guard, led by veteran music promoter Steven Severin and Jason Lajeunesse, the booker for annual indie music festival Capitol Hill Block Party, takes the credit for its diverse and reliable lineup of talent.

“We’re not just a rock club or a hip-hop club or a dance club,” says Severin. “We do it all. That’s one of the reasons that we have done so well.”

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