The Funhouse Disappears in 2…1…
For nine years running, The Funhouse’s purple-hatted skull sign has leered larger-than-life over 5th Avenue, lending a welcome aura of Grand Guignol grotesquerie in contrast to the shiny-chewed-gum-lump that is the EMP Building. More importantly, the venerable (by today’s fleeting standards, anyway) watering hole/music club has provided some of the most unapologetically sweaty, loud, and fun shows to come shambling through Seattle. That era comes to an end tomorrow night, as the venue says farewell with their last show.
The mythic Seattle music scene–the one romanticized by the media since the late 1980s–has found its closest physical manifestation in the Funhouse’s environs for the last decade. It’s been one of the few clubs in town where real dyed-in-the-wool fans outnumber trend-huffing hipsters; a beer-sodden and lovably-dillapidated space where brave souls could risk flying beer cups, projectile vomit, or unruly slam-punks to have their worlds rocked. And with the building’s nearly 80-year-old history as a bar (previous incarnations included Tex’s Tavern and Zak’s), the demolition of the venue to make way for yet another residential/office building signals the death knell for a grotty but beloved piece of Seattle history.
Blessedly, it’s not too late to pay your respects. Wednesday evening’s farewell show features the wonderfully-bent Misfits cover band Glenn or Glennda, who’ve headlined the Funhouse for a few Halloweens now, so it’s only apropos that they’re sending the club off.
Advance tickets have sold out, but there will be a few tickets held back at the door. You’ll want to get there early, though: Those door tickets are likely to get gobbled up something quick, and there are l0ads of great bands filling out the evening. The Downstrokes pound out garage rock with equal parts surfy twang and Ramones pop/punk energy, and veteran local hardcore band Last Gasp hold up the old-school end. Blood Orange Paradise serve up an artier variety of post-punk noise with a decided Dischord influence, while Poop Attack’s irresistible sloppiness cranks up the fun factor. All of the bands share Funhouse DNA: Each outfit sports at least one employee as a member. The mayhem begins at 7pm.
Tonight offers another opportunity to breathe in the club’s stale air, too. It’s another stacked bill, with The Grindylow‘s vintage grunge colliding with swatches of double-kick-drum metal, Seattle metal-punks Brokaw decimating eardrums, artist/musician Dan Infecto’s death-metal/punk hybrid No World ripping away, and local goth/prog/sludge merchants Brain Hornet buzzing in for a set, among others. It’s a paltry $5 at the door, with the show beginning at 9pm. Both nights’ll find The Funhouse going out the only way it knows how–loudly.