Drunk At A Show: Hardly Art DJ Night at Revolver Bar
Distinction Management has stopped lying to ourselves about our collective problem to present you with another edition of Drunk At A Show. For this episode we sent contributor Micah Frederick to get wrecked and give us the deep cuts of the Hardly Art DJ Night at Revolver Bar.
Revolver is located under a beatlemania-esque sign on Olive amidst a grip of bars (Montana, Hula Hula) that are backwater enough to be a relief from the bro-fest of the Bars on Pike. It’s a great place to be, and Romona pouring happy hour Rainier makes it even sweeter. I appear on the scene at 10:30 a few beers in (It is a Tuesday night, after all.) Revolver is a wood paneled safe haven of vinyl. In the past year independently, Revolver has hosted a smattering of heavily attended DJ nights ranging from the ever popular Emo Night to the more popular (not to mention more aggressive) Goth Night, to colorful eighties and nineties dance nights. For the sake of hiding bias, I won’t tell you how many of these nights I’ve attended personally. I fucking love this bar. I smoke a parli on the front patio and try to figure out who’s spinning at the DJ booth. Whoever they are, they are not the headliner. I ask the locals. No one knows. Everyone laughs.
This event in particular showcases revolvers’ everyday steeze, as well as the celebration du-jour, Hardly Art Records’ 10th anniversary Celebration. For the uninitiated, Hardly Art has been one of the arteries of femme-forward punk-adjacent music in Seattle for ten years. The widely expanding careers of Hardly Art signees like La Luz, Chastity Belt, Gazebos, and Dude York attest to the label's importance to the local scene. The 10th Anniversary festivities kicked off back in May with a fantastic 2 night event at Chop Suey featuring acts like La Luz, Colleen Green, and Shannon and the Clams. The event was a blowout success. Tonight’s festivities are a lot more low key.
The night is centered around DJ sets by Julia Shapiro (of Chastity Belt and Childbirth notoriety) and some other friends of the label spinning a mixture of eighties pop and no wave bangers for people not dancing as much as they probably feel compelled to. With all DJ donations going to the ACLU, the evening has its head on straight. The music started out with grandparent bangers from the the fifties and sixties. The televisions and projector screens in the bar are playing clips of women in disco clubs, strippers, and a recurring, particularly insistent clip of a bunch top-down eighties ladies playing in a hair metal band. The visuals against the music is like a music video that never happened but definitely should have. The next DJ set transitioned decades into your mom’s bangers from the eighties (is it really a party if no one is double-clapping when Hall & Oats’ “Private Eyes” starts bumping?) When Julia Shapiro ascended the booth, the music changed into a dancey no-wave miasma that started shaking art-school hips in their booths. Everyone seems to be itching to move, but this is still Seattle. After the set ends, I stay for a minute to catch up with some friends. It’s a great night, and everyone’s either tipsy or past that.
If you want more Hardly Art hip-shaking in your life, check out Shapiro’s main musical project Chastity Belt. They have an upcoming KEXP live session that sees them off on a tour of the West Coast, Europe and the Netherlands. Also check out the brand new video for Used To Spend off the band’s newest record I Used To Spend So Much Time Alone. And as always, from Distinction Management to you, keep getting drunk, and keep going to shows.