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Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

Topic: music

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September 3, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Reader memories of Sherman Clay piano store



The Sherman Clay piano store in downtown Seattle is expected to close when the last piano is sold or at the end of September, whichever comes first. Earlier in August, I wrote an editorial notebook mourning the loss of the city’s only Steinway dealer and about the downtown Seattle store, which has been selling pianos at 4th and Pine since the 1920s.

You also shared your memories. Here are edited excerpts from the stories you shared with us.

From Zach Hyder:

“Back in college I befriended one of the sales associates during a UW student reception. We kept in touch for a few years, and when I was back in Seattle visiting one summer I dropped by the store to say hi right as it was closing. As they locked up I’ll never forget he said to me, ‘So go for it. Store is yours.’ I asked him which one he thought I should try. He pointed to this one particular Steinway concert grand. ‘That one,’ he said with a big smile on his face. It was incredible. It was like driving a Ferrari for someone who’d only ever been behind the wheel of a Volkswagen. Bach, Grieg, Chopin, Beethoven. I played for close to an hour while we chatted and told stories about our favorite composers and concerts we’d seen. We talked about what made Steinway’s so unique. For a moment, it felt like Carnegie Hall. It was an amazing experience — and I’ve never forgotten his kindness for letting a young kid have that momentary access to one of the world’s finest instruments.”

From William “Bruno” Santo, store manager from 1974 to 1982: 


Comments | Topics: business, downtown seattle, music

April 22, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Instagram: A look back at Record Store Day 2013 in Seattle

Last Friday, I wrote this blog post about my excitement over Record Store Day 2013. Indeed, Saturday’s annual holiday for music fiends reiterated the importance of supporting our local independent stores.

I also promised to document some of my favorite moments throughout the day. See the Storify slideshow below, with photos from my Instagram feed. Scroll to the end to see the four records I ended up taking home. (I had a hard time resisting the temptation to get more, but sometimes a girl’s gotta stick to her budget.)

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Special thanks to Lacey Swain and Ruben Mendez of Gold Van Records. This creative duo came up with the glorious idea of curating a collection of records, decking out a 1987 Mitsubishi Delica in gold, and driving around town once in a while to build a community around good music. (I’d been raring to meet them since reading this Seattle Met write-up.)


Comments | Topics: easy street records, everyday music, gold van records

April 19, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Support Seattle’s indie music stores on Record Store Day

Saturday is Record Store Day. I’m bracing myself for a busy morning with fellow music lovers around Seattle. My goal is to get one or two vinyl records max.  It’s hard to resist the urge to buy everything in sight when you know artists are selling limited and special editions of their music.

Dozens of music stores throughout Washington are participating.  Here’s a long list of what artists are offering up, from unreleased songs and special remixes to reissues and live performances. So many gems, including material from the likes of  Gary Clark, Jr., Best Coast, Grizzly Bear, and Rodriguez.

I’ll let the guys from one of my favorite bands, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Jr. out of Detroit, explain what the big deal is (as they offer a glimpse of their own RSD release, limited to 3,000 copies nationwide):

The first Record Store Day took place April 19, 2008 as a way to celebrate what remains of independently-owned record stores nationwide. Metallica kicked off the annual event at Rasputin Music in San Francisco. Now it happens every third weekend in April.


Comments | More in Video | Topics: dale earnhardt jr jr, easy street records, indie

April 16, 2013 at 6:09 AM

Justin Bieber hits the right note at the Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam (Photo by Alan Solomon / Chicago Tribune / MCT)

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam
(Alan Solomon/ Chicago Tribune/MCT)

The Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam endures as a symbol of lives and opportunities lost in the Nazi Holocaust. Frank’s poignant diary connects across generations.

That point was made once again when Canadian pop star Justin Bieber visited what is now a compelling shrine to ordinary lives caught up in unspeakable horrors. The moment was not lost on the 19-year-old, who wrote in a guestbook: “Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber.”


Comments | Topics: Anne Frank Museum, Holocaust, Justin Bieber