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Matson on Music

Music news, concert reviews, analysis and opinion by music writer Andrew Matson.

March 13, 2012 at 1:25 PM

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The Funhouse closing? Say it isn't so!

Photos via Google Maps and "Save the Funhouse!!!" Facebook page

There's news floating that The Funhouse in Queen Anne (formerly Tex's Tavern) will close and be replaced by mixed-use buildings. If that indeed happens, it would be a terrible blow to the Seattle underground music scene.

For the uninitiated, The Funhouse is the small dive bar and anything-goes concert venue by the Space Needle with the scary clown fixture on top. If you've been in the area, you've seen it. If you attend a lot of concerts in Seattle, you've been there. It's a fixture. spike.jpeg

Events at the Funhouse are always cheap (most are $5-7) and the music is often good. And loud. You have to be OK with loudness inside the Funhouse. Owner Brian Foss co-hosts KEXP's punk rock show "Sonic Reducer" and books The Funhouse with expertise in that area, drawing heavily on loud rock but famously open to all styles of music and levels of experience. I've seen hip-hop and acoustic folk shows there. Many a band has played their first show at The Funhouse.

Often times I think to myself that The Funhouse is my favorite venue in the city. I love a grand theater like McCaw Hall or the Paramount. But not everyone can afford to visit those places. And not every performance is right for that kind of building. My general rule about live music is it's better the closer you are to the performers. The Funhouse excels there by shoving musicians in your face (it tops the short list of great, tiny bar/concert venues in Seattle). And I love the breeding-grounds aspect of it. It's a practice space for the city to test out new ideas. A vital creative zone.

Relevant links to learn more about The Funhouse's closure situation:

"Save the Funhouse!!!" Facebook event page

"Planned development will replace Queen Anne's Funhouse" via KOMO

"Hundreds join fight to save the Funhouse" via KOMO

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