Writing this week's music lead made me a big fan of the charming and hilarious Alex Kostelnik, the Seattle native who owns and operates the Central District bike shop/rock venue 20/20 Cycle. I'm not Kostelnik's only fan, by far. Here are some words of praise from a few local musicians I interviewed for the story:
Damien Jurado: I was very fortunate to have played 20/20 not long ago. I remember it being one of the most intimate shows I had ever been to. Everyone in attendance, quiet and attentive. It was a great reminder that a show can be put on anywhere ... even a bike shop.
Phil Elverum: I have loved playing at 20/20. Alex has been wonderful to deal with and seems to be providing an essential service to Seattle, making truly independent music shows and hosting cool art things. I haven't been to shows other than my own there, but I get the impression he does a good job curating. Plus, Hollow Earth Radio just next door makes the block a very special hub of independent culture. Plus, amazing bikes. I bought one, and it was cheap, and he fixed it up so nice.
(PS. You can hear a few songs from Blau's November 9 20/20 show with Lovers Without Borders and Ever Ending Kicks on Blau's website).
Karl Blau: Every show I've played at 20/20 has been a joy. 20/20 is my favorite place in Seattle to play hands down. Why? Because at the core of this show is Alex Kostelnik, and if he's putting on a show at his bike shop it's because he's super passionate about the lineup. If you know Alex, you know how passionate he can be.
I have to give a little bit of insight as to what goes into a show at the full-time bike shop that is 20/20. All the bikes on the floor get removed and either chained up out front or gets moved out into a back storage area, tables get moved in for the entryway for artists' goods, extensive sound equipment gets routed and rigged, lights get strung up; it's pretty amazing to stand in the space before and after this process. The place is totally transformed. And Alex probably does most all of this himself (as well as AFTER the show).
Eli Moore: 20/20 is great because Alex and his crew are great. It's not their "job" to do shows, so it always seems like a fun time for them. Alex is an excellent recording engineer too, so the sound is always good. The shows at 20/20 Cycle are special because they help build a creative bond between music and biking in our community. It's my favorite venue in Seattle.