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Krist Novoselic's column runs every Tuesday on the Daily Weekly. He'll be performing with the Presidents of the United States of America on Wednesday, Sept.

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Why I'm Joining the Music Community in Support of Mike McGinn for Mayor

092309_FEAT_dow_kristcroc.jpg
Krist Novoselic's column runs every Tuesday on the Daily Weekly. He'll be performing with the Presidents of the United States of America on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at the Crocodile as part of a campaign fundraiser for Mike McGinn, Dow Constantine, and Peter Holmes.
The music community is supporting Dow Constantine, Mike McGinn, and Peter Holmes for a simple reason: They have made clear that they will be supportive of issues of importance to our community. (Read about McGinn's nightlife plans in this Daily Weekly post.) People need to know what kind of government will result from the election. Here's why:

Even though I moved out of Seattle in 1999, I am still happy to accept the invitation to participate in Wednesday's fundraiser in the heart of our state's music scene. I'm also on Dow Constantine's campaign committee. Dow had a very successful event at the Croc earlier this year, and it makes sense to give it another go at the same venue.

This fundraiser is hosted by the "music community," a group of promoters, venue operators, musicians, and others meeting a need for social and entertainment opportunities for people in Seattle and beyond. This "music establishment" comprises individuals with a lineage to JAMPAC--the group that fought the teen-dance ordinance, etc.--and other even earlier political efforts.

Let's travel back to the genesis of the idea. In the early 1990s, Seattle gained global recognition through its music community. However, local government didn't share this view. No longer could the music scene be looked at in terms of some kind of gritty cabaret. Music entrepreneurs needed to work together and raise awareness of a vital segment of the local economy and culture. This effort has been successful. And music still stands among the city's landmarks in the minds of people the world over. There's still some grit in this sector, but the fundamentals are the same--these are business people operating in the free-enterprise system.

Promoting a concert can be a very speculative endeavor. It could pay well, but poor ticket sales could spell bust. This dynamic may be a very fundamental form of capitalism, but it's not laissez-faire by any means. Many laws, rules, regulations, codes, and obligations govern the music industry. Until very recently, venues with a capacity under 999 paid an admissions tax. But there's still a plethora of obligations to the public sector, through employee, sales, B&O, and excise taxes. The latter two are based on gross receipts, therefore contributing to the "bust" scenario.

There's also the dynamic between entertainment venues and urban dwellers. I've seen shows let their audience out after midnight with still-amped people spilling into the streets. Some urbanites are hell-bent on driving music out of the city, and are active in this pursuit.

The noise and quiet; the free-enterprise and public-sector businesses; the human need for social and entertainment venues--all these come to a head during the political process we call an election. This fundraiser is going to be a lot of fun. I'm so excited to get to play with the Presidents of the United States of America. At the same time, we're coming together in support of candidates with clear policy proposals. Considering the realities of working in the music business, this community needs and wants an idea of what the new government will be like.

 
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