Throwaway Style is a monthly column dedicated to examining all aspects of the Northwest music scene. Whether it’s a new artist making waves, headlines affecting local talent, or reflecting on some of the music that’s been a foundation in our region; this space celebrates everything happening in the Northwest region, the first Thursday of every new month on KEXP.org.
Cobain and Cornbread might be a remarkably succinct and fitting descriptor for the sounds of the Black Tones – whose creative nucleus consists of twin siblings Eva and Cedric Walker – but the truth is they draw from sources which go back farther than the shelf life of Jiffy corn muffin mix and Saint Kurt following the Melvins around. The first-generation Seattleites pull rock ‘n roll directly from its roots; blues, soul, volume, and grit. Eva is a boisterously talented singer and nearly psychically intuitive guitarist while Cedric possesses an equally preternatural sense of rhythm; the symbiotic benefit of having shared a womb cannot be overstated.
Over five decades of the rock ‘n roll genre being whitewashed has not deterred the Black Tones from creating a distinctly African-American, southern-inspired uplift, rebellion, and grasp for salvation. Opener “Ghetto Spaceship” is a getaway anthem crouched inside a two-seater love song and their cover of the early African-American spiritual “Rivers of Jordan” is all handclaps and stomps and ecstatically blown harmonica and Eva belting out a long journey toward glory.
“The Key of Black (They Want Us Dead),” driven by the weight of Cedric’s backbeat and augmented by Eva’s murmuring guitar, is a call-and-response hymn about the many forces which conspire to eradicate the whole of black people in America. (Of course, in the video game They Want Us Dead, you are able to utilize 8-bit edifices of either of the Walker twins to physically fight physical manifestations of those forces: alt-right shitkickers, hooded Ku-Klux Klan members [as opposed to the ones who walk around our streets unhooded and unencumbered] and Nazis in full military uniform.)
The concept and themes of the Black Tones are (naturally) deeply rooted in family. “Mama, There’s a Spider in My Room!” plays out like a children’s story which ends with the protagonist urging her father to kill the creature who has been tormenting her throughout the day. The siblings’ familial ties to New Orleans and music always being played around the house throughout childhood course throughout Cobain and Cornbread and their fun live sets, which sometimes features a chorus of family members.
In 2019, young black people playing rock ‘n roll music – especially the kind proudly rooted in blackness – could be considered, like many things related to blackness in Trump’s America, a radical act. As Eva mentioned in this interview and many times before, she has been confronted with the idea that rock music is not widely considered a black art form. And yet, her and her brother are succeeding wildly at preserving rock ‘n roll as such, no matter the bleached history and forgotten black legends.
As the three of us young, black members of Seattle’s rock scene share the somewhat cramped quarters of a busy Columbia City coffee shop, we chat off-the-record for nearly ten minutes about pro wrestling and how the art form still seems to be a secret language among a certain subset of fans (of course, in present company, it is a language I’m proudly fluent in). When the red light started blinking, we cover an array of topics in the hour we talked, including working with Jack Endino on Cobain and Cornbread, the fact that “Welcome Mr. Pink” isn’t about Reservoir Dogs, and the burning question I begin the interview with. (This sprawling, hourlong interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
KEXP: Which one of you is the older twin?
By how long? [Eva proudly displays the tattoo on her wrist, while Cedric wiggles his arm out of his jacket sleeve to show his.] I've gotta see the tattoo. [Each of their tattoos has their twin's name and the time they were born on it.] Oh, that is so awesome.
Eva: So I was born first at 2:46, ten minutes. And apparently, I had him, like squished up. Which is why it took him ten minutes to come out.
Cedric: She suffocated me!
Y'all were wrestling in the womb!
Eva: I pinned him and I came out first!
So tell me about your upbringing. Did you have a musical family or was it just like music in the house all the time or a combination of both?
Eva: I would say [there was always] music in the house. We had a family of lovers of music. Admirers of music that aren't, per se, musicians. Except for my dad, but we didn't grow up with him, because he was a bank robber. The connection with that is that he had a funk band in prison, he played piano. And my mom would tell us how he put a record on and listen to it and then try to figure it out on the piano, and he'd play it by ear. And that's how I always learned any instrument, and my mom was like, "You get that from your dad." Like I just developed that before even knowing my dad. Kind of this weird, like, "Maybe that is genetic." To pick up something like that, this auditory habit.
So our music history started with our dad's funk band in prison. As far as musicianship goes. My mom dabbled around on piano a few times, but there weren't any performing musicians. My mom was a dancer. As far as her career, she was an educator for thirty years, she was a teacher and principal. But her first love was dance. Our family was into jazz, blues, soul. All that stuff.
And my sister would put on my mom's records like the 5th Dimension. And then like James Brown, Michael Jackson. And of course it was the 90s and we had older siblings, so we were watching MTV and The Box music network and VH1. And they were watching that, my older brother and sister.
Cedric: Glued. Gigi was like recording music videos and stuff. They were in it.
What are the first artists that the two of you got into, that felt like your own thing and not like something that was introduced to you by your family?
Cedric: I think my first tape was Usher, My Way. I wanted to be Usher, he was young and hip and cool, you know? [laughs].
Eva: I would definitely say Alanis Morrissette for me.
When did you start playing music?
Eva: I danced first. Hated it. I danced for like eight years.
Cedric: Well, band, if you wanted to go all the way back to middle school. Or elementary school or whatever, whenever we did that.
Eva: [to KEXP]: I guess you mean when we actually wanted to focus on it as a career. I won't even count that.
I mean, no. I would count that. I played French horn in middle school! I don't have anything to do with playing music [now], but I played music in middle school.
Eva: I played the flute; half the time I pretended I was playing it. So that was the first time, but the first time I was actually invested in playing music and liked playing music was in high school.
I read about the infamous backstory about you playing Folklife 2011, which ushered in the era of the Black Tones. What did you sound like when you were playing that type of folksy, singer/songwriter-y music? Was it like Alanis Morrissette type stuff?
Cedric: It definitely was because there was a song that she had, it was called "Too Many Times," and it was acoustic [and had a similar vibe]. When we put a band behind it, it got way more like rock 'n roll.
Eva: It was kind bluesy.
Cedric: Yeah, it had a little more soul than a lot of acoustic [singer/songwriter] stuff.
Eva: I was listening to Jimi Hendrix by then. I don't think it was sounding as much like him at that point. I was listening to a lot of blues and stuff. I was actually listening to less Alanis Morrissette because, with her, I was like nine or ten years old listening to her. In high school, I was introduced to Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. Stuff like that. So that stuff became kind of an influence. The writing wasn't reflecting that kind of classic rock stuff, but the influence was there.
Tell me about when the Black Tones first formed. What were those practices like? What was your first song?
Cedric: "Woman in Black" and "Too Many Times." were the first songs we learned.
So songs you still play, yeah. That's promising. [Writer's note: The band no longer plays "Too Many Times" but "Woman in Black" is a staple for their live set]
Cedric: Eva was very much like, "We're going to play these songs!" Like an artist, right? She had the vision of how it was supposed to look and was like, "Make sure you get it right." I would say nowadays, she's a little more like, "Alright, you guys, let's play and see how it goes."
But I mean I understand, because even when I first started like I didn't want to mess up her art. You know, I was joining in a sense; I was trying to be a part of it.
You felt like you were there to facilitate her vision.
Cedric: Exactly, I was trying to help her out, so I was like, "Whatever you need me to do, Eva, just tell me." And I would do it. But yeah. I think we definitely evolved.
Eva: After Folklife, he wanted to learn drums, and we got him drum lessons. Then, I was like, "I have these songs written. Do you want to learn these?" And he was like, "Okay, sure." So it was like, he asked for lessons but I was like [twiddles fingers like a villain], "I'm gonna make him the drummer that I need." [laughter]
We started with these songs I already had written. And some of them we haven't recorded yet because I'm not sure if they're ones we're sure we want to revisit yet. But yeah, I had some songs written and I needed a drummer for them!
Cedric: And I'm pretty sure most of these songs were written in high school already. Or was it --
Eva: A little bit after.
Cedric: A little bit after, okay.
Eva: I've been getting space and time all meshed up together. I think there were a couple. It started in high school. There might have been a couple from high school and a couple after.
Was that around the time that where your Hendrix influence started creeping in and you started exploring?
Eva: Oh yeah. At one point in junior, senior year, I thought I was [Hendrix] reincarnated. Not like [a half-joking belief], but, "I might actually be him." [laughter] And then I got older and stopped believing it. I think most guitarists probably think they're Jimi Hendrix at some point.
Part of that was because I didn't see a lot of black rock 'n rollers at the time. And he just blew me away. And then after high school, I got more into the blues and Hendrix's influences. People before that. Like Robert Johnson and stuff like that. But yeah, I got into stuff like that after high school, like, "Okay. This is the foundation of rock 'n roll."
Tell me more about your other influences.
Eva: I'll be inspired by the wood paneling in my grandma's house. It doesn't have to be music-related. It'll just come from space or something like that. Just life experiences.
[But also,] Kraftwerk. Bone Thugs N Harmony. Everything. Electronic music, hip-hop music, rock 'n roll music, soul music. You have to walk around with an open mind. I woke up to the sound of a leaf blower and wrote a song. So you could say the leaf blower was an influence.
That's great. I feel as though the truest artists are inspired by everything. Like yeah, the leaf blower. I feel like, you render whatever influence comes into you into your art. I do that with writing all the time, I could watch a wrestling match. Or the leaves in this tea. And try to replicate how I feel or what it looks like.
Eva: As a kid, before I had access to instruments, we'd be in my grandpa's car and the music of the engine and I would hear a song. It was music. My brain was producing these sounds. And when I think back on it, I'm like, "Wow. I think I was always meant to be doing music." As much as I heard about it, envisioned it, thought about it all the time as a kid.
Tell me about Cobain and Cornbread. Like the process of going into the studio and how you got to the studio.
Eva: Jake [Uitti, KEXP.org contributor and Eva's fiancee] knows Jack Endino, and he connected the two of us. There was an Afropunk article that came out on us. Jake got really excited about it because he's really supportive and amazing. He sent the Afropunk article and "Woman in Black" to Jack. And was like, "Jack! You should work with this band!"
And he told me what he did, and I was like, "Ahhhh! You did what? You sent him what?" And Jack replied. He was like, "Holy shit! I could record the shit out of this band!" We got in touch with him and we recorded the first two singles, "The Key of Black" and "Plaid Pants." And we released those and were like, "Let's make a full-length record."
Cedric: It was kind of like after the fact, too. We were just kind of like, "Yeah, we'll do the full-length."
Eva: We recorded six out of the eight songs with Jack and the other two with our friend Mason from Bread and Butter. And it was amazing. And Jack was a dream, dream engineer. He would pull the best out of us, the best out of the song. And we would go in there with an idea and come out with, "Whoa, this did not sound how I thought it would, and it's way better than with what I went in with, the idea I originally had."
Are there any specific songs [you can think of where this happened]?
Eva: Yeah, on "Plaid Pants," he added the build-up. He gives constructive feedback. He's honest, but in a way, like, "We can put more into this and make it better." When we came in with "Plaid Pants," it was just more like a straight line. And he said, "We need something dynamic, we need something that builds toward the ending."
Cedric: That's what he's good at, describing what is lacking. He's good at pinpointing that.
Eva: Yeah, and he encourages you to experiment or add something, which is something I'm sometimes scared to do. "Well, this is how I wrote it, so this is how it'll go forever, right?" And then you go work with Jack, and he inspires you to add things and experiment. And you're not stuck with it, you can take it off if you absolutely hate it. His feedback is so helpful, he's like a chemist behind the soundboards. You just see him working, his ear is unbelievable. Working with him has made me more confident in experimenting with things. I feel more comfortable with taking a little bit of risk.
I think the cool thing about being an artist is the idea of not being too attached to your product. Because it's always interchangeable, it's always mutable. Sometimes, a lot of the time, you can make it better.
Eva: I struggled with that when I first started with music. I was kinda stubborn, a little bit? But then working with other musicians – because the Black Tones was a four-piece, for like a few years actually. Then it was a three-piece, then it was a two-piece, now we hire a bassist to play shows with us.
Cedric: We should have always had it that way.
Eva: Yeah. So now when we have people sit in, I kind of like to be OK with the bass players just kind of like learning the song, and not playing exactly how the other three bass players play because it's not a big deal. Maybe I can have it recorded a certain way, but live, being more open. Because also listening to Zeppelin live sounds different than on their recording, or Hendrix live. But yeah, I've learned to be more open. Cedric knows, he was with me in the beginning.
Cedric: If we bring back the question you gave us earlier about, "So how strict were you?" But, like I said, I was totally about it. I wasn't trying to mess anything up. And I was like just entering the music scene, right? You know and Eva had already gotten her feet wet and everything and I was like, "I need to make sure I know what I'm doing." Even our first show, I told Eva, I was terrified. Playing drums, looking at Eva, like, "Am I doing this right? Do people like it? What's going on right now?" I too have calmed down a little bit.
So let's talk about the title, Cobain and Cornbread. Might as well get into my history, I grew up in North Carolina. You know, I'm no stranger to Southern cooking. I grew up in a black family who did not understand my love of rock 'n roll music. Watching Nirvana, Nirvana was the first band that I absolutely loved. And so I thought the title Cobain and Cornbread was very evocative, very representative of a particular black experience.
Eva: Me and Cedric and our older siblings are first-generation Seattleites. And same with our first cousins.
Where's your family from?
Eva: From Louisiana. They came up here in '68 and '69. And this is obviously going to taper off as we have kids because we're from here. But we have this direct upbringing from Louisiana. But in the Northwest setting, it was like the wood paneling in my house and southern cooking and southern drawls and "oil" being pronounced "Earl." And the folklores and sayings that don't really make sense now. But all under cloudy, rainy weather in Seattle. And so all of that influence, of the family and then the setting we were brought up in all influences our sound.
I remember sitting my grandma's bed, she had her 8-track player playing AM jazz or whatever, sitting in a rocking chair, and watching Nirvana music videos, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on my TV, and my grandma saying, "I remember when he blew his brains out and passed away. Poor thing."
It felt like a southern experience. I visited New Orleans for the first time last year when I got engaged. New Orleans felt like one big My Grandma's House. It was unbelievable. I was like all of this seems familiar. The hospitality, the people, the personalities, the food. One restaurant we went to tastes exactly like my grandma's cooking and Jake was like, "I've never seen you eat a plate so fast." "This is what I grew up with!" Cobain and Cornbread basically represents – they're like mascots of what has made us.
Cobain represents the aesthetic of the Northwest. With friends, we would say Hendrix was the original grunge sound, with all the noise and fuzzy guitar. But when you think of the aesthetic of the Northwest, you think of someone who looks like Kurt Cobain; the long hair and the flannel and the ripped jeans. You don't think of Jimi Hendrix's psychedelic outfits.
So, Cobain is more representative of the dreary weather of the Pacific Northwest.
Eva: As far as the grunge era, my favorite is Alice in Chains. But Layne Stayley and Cornbread doesn't really flow as well. [laughter]
It's more of a literary title. [laughter]
Eva: So we were playing a show and someone asked what we sound like. "We're southerners raised in the Northwest – Kurt Cobain and cornbread." And I was like, "Oooh, yeah. That's the record [title].".
Cedric: The crowd was like, "Ah!".
Eva: And a lot of people don't think we're from here, and it's because the people who raised us aren't from here. Like I mentioned, the more we're here and the generations of kids we have, that will taper off. But that influence has always been a big part of our lives. Kind of like you have kids who have parents who are first-generation US citizens. So they have the culture [from wherever they're from] because their parents are the last generation of immigrants. You hope it doesn't, but the culture they came with slowly starts to... dilute.
Yeah, I feel like America is kind of that – I don't want to use the word "diluted," per se, but like I understand. Yeah, that does happen. It's a cliche but it's like a melting pot like you sort of get everything in the stew and everything mixes together.
Eva: Unless we ever go back and we decide to live there, but right now we got the direct Southern upbringing without being in the south.
So let's go back to talking about the lyrics. So. I was listening to "Mama, There's a Spider in My Room!" I was wondering is it a fable? Is it a metaphor? What was going on when you were writing that song?
Eva: I would say it's more of a fable. I hate spiders. I really do. Henry from Naked Giants' mom asked my mom, "Did she really yell for you to kill spiders?" And she was like, "Yes, she would." I hate spiders, love the blues. And one of the things I like about the blues is that it can be kind of morbid, and I'm kind of a morbid person. Blues singers would see a lot of death, and folk songs had a lot of death as a topic.
So I wanted to write a blues song about a spider that was trying to kill me. There was a guy at a birthday party I went to, and he was like, "Hey I like your band and I like that song, really like the spider song. Is there a deep meaning to that? I've been thinking about all of these philosophical things, and maybe it's about personal demons." For him, it meant like this big spiritual thing, and I was like, "I just hate spiders. But don't lose your interpretation of it. Please keep that." And a part of me is like maybe I shouldn't expose what songs are about people because I want people to keep their interpretation of it. Like, "Yeah, I just hate spiders."
"Striped Walls" has a deeper meaning for [Cedric]. But yeah, I painted a striped wall in my old room at my grandma's house. And I was stoned and bought a banjo and I was like, "I'm going to write a song about it." Because I loved the wall so much.
Cedric: I think that's the best part about some of her lyrics that maybe she was unaware of. And you listen to it and you can tell that multiple people are going to go to multiple different avenues when they're listening to it. And although it might be [written at] face value, sometimes it comes out a little bit deeper, you know?
I think it's great. I think people are generally more open to the fact that everything is open for interpretation. I was talking to Ish from Shabazz Palaces–
Eva: My mom used to babysit him when he was a kid, a couple of times. We were all at Fisherman's Village and we introduced him to our mom and she was like, "Do you remember me?" And they remembered each other. It was cute. I was like, "My mom is so cool."
Yeah, that's a really good flex because Ish is like the coolest dude in the world. But yeah, I was talking to him and he always tries to leave things open to interpretation. He's really reluctant to talk about what was going through his own head when he's writing his songs. It really was ingrained in me that everything is open to interpretation. Yeah, I think artists who kind of shut that out and is like, "No, that's not what it's about."
Cedric: You're going to leave out more people that are going to come and experience your art. I would think as an artist that sometimes whether you're writing, singing, playing drums or whatever, it would be nice to hear other people's different perspectives just to be like, "Oh wow, I didn't think of it that way.".
Yeah, part of why I love criticism so much because I don't think of it as like, "This is my way and my way is the only way to think about this." I'm putting my perspective into the world and it inspires people to talk about their perspective. So what was the process of putting "Rivers of Jordan" on the album? I love that song.
Eva: It's kind of a risk. When we would perform that song, we used to perform a brief history lesson. Like, "You wouldn't have rock 'n roll, with gospel music, blues, and black people!" I'm not religious, but I respect and like gospel music. Rock 'n roll definitely has roots in it, and it's really good music.
Actually, my most favorite song ever is a song called "Judgement." And it's like a very spiritual, God-fearing, religious song. But I think it's amazing. I wanted to add that song ["Rivers of Jordan"] because it's historically significant and it's kind of paying homage to gospel music and its influence on rock 'n roll. So I kind of arranged my own version of that song. I wanted something that took a break from all the heavy guitars...
Cedric: And put a little cornbread into the CD. [laughter]
So going back to the roots of rock 'n roll being in gospel music and blues and black folk in general, do you feel as if you have to give people history lessons as far as the roots of rock 'n roll and how people are like, "This is white people music, what are you doing?"
Eva: We've definitely been told that, especially in high school. "Oh, you're the whitest black girl I know!" And that came from whites and blacks and more. Because of the representation of it, which is like a bunch of white folks. I used to do the history lesson, but it gets kind of tiring to explain to people who don't know this music has been whitewashed so many times. And if you don't know by now, that's your problem. I'm comfortable with the history of rock 'n roll, I'm comfortable with what we do. We belong in rock 'n roll because we want to be here.
And music's for everyone! It's not like we're saying like, "The whites can't play it because they stole it." It's just saying like hey everyone can play it, but let's recognize the history so we can stop saying things, we can stop telling little black kids, "You don't do rock 'n roll." Because that's harmful and it makes people question their identity.
I remember feeling like. "White people are everywhere in this field. Am I trying to be white? I don't wanna be white!" So, let's not forget where it started, so these kids can be like, "It's not weird that I'm black and I play rock 'n roll.".
Do you feel the Black Tones are an exercise in reclaiming rock' n roll for black people? Because I do. In a way, I do.
Eva: I think we all didn't know we were all doing it, so we had to find each other. Because I don't want to say we're like the Obamas of this movement. We can't take all of that credit.
Cedric: Maybe just a little more underrepresented.
Eva: It would be narcissistic for us to even think that. I appreciate other people saying it. For me, other people have to say that. For me, other people have to say that. Like we can't. Really. So I appreciate you saying that. You from your perspective. That's cool. It's amazing.
So let's talk about "The Key of Black." What was going on? I feel as though I kind of know the answer to this; I feel like it's kind of like a collective consciousness of the time that we live in. But like I wanted to know like the direct like the inspiration for writing "The Key of Black."
Cedric: It was like in the height of I guess you could say, early 2016, maybe late 2015 when things started getting a little more, you know, dark in America. You know like right before the election started to take off. And I remember showing up at my mom's house and I was telling Eva, "Hey we need to write something that's, like, going to hit people in the face." I sometimes get too sucked up into the news. And sometimes I need to like get away from it because I'll get way too emotional and upset about it. I brought that to Eva. "They're doing this! They're doing that!". And. I just came up with a drumbeat one day that I thought was very in your face. And I told Eva. "Hey check this out.".
Eva: It was really a response to seeing videos of unarmed black citizens. Taxpayers being murdered by people disguising themselves in uniform. It just got to the point where all these hate groups, they want us dead. Why are we dancing around this? Let's just call it what it is. I don't want to have any metaphors for this song. I want it to be straightforward, to the point, they want us dead. Itself.
We really believe – well, I'll speak for myself. That there are hate groups that infiltrate the police department. You know, people that are horrible, awful people. I've had police officers that have really helped me, were really nice. I mean we have family members that are in the police department. So I really think it's more of an infiltration of these horrible people wearing the uniform.
Which is why in our video game, we have the four levels; we start with the alt-right and then we have the Ku-Klux Klan, and then the Nazis and it ends with the Confederates, kind of going back into history. That's why we have those four groups and not the police department in the video game. We know it's not the entire police department [shooting unarmed black citizens]. It's the people infiltrating.
Cedric: The media was doing a disservice by trying to separate communities of color and the cops when it was like no one ever thought the cops were bad. To go back to Eva was saying, you have people disguising themselves in a police uniform.
Eva: Racist people. Who may be active members of the Klan, who may not be active members of the clan but support them. People that are in uniform. And they're trying to make this whole thing Black Lives Matter vs. Blue Lives Matter. Like, what? Like Smurfs? What the fuck does that mean? There's black lives in uniform. That was their way of making it look like black people hate the police. And there are some that do. Yes, because they've had terrible experiences. But that wasn't the overall mission. The mission was. I saw this online: Two houses are next to each other, one house is on fire, the other one's not. You're putting water on the house that's not on fire. It's like the black people are the house that's on fire. And that's like saying, all houses matter. It's like, but this one's not on fire!
My white fiance's life matters. Duh. But he's not the house on fire right now. Right now. We know what it is, it's the rich keep the poor hating each other. We're not dumb, we know what it is.
I think one of my favorite parts of "They Want Us Dead": You're talking about people just being people and people wanting to be alive and wanting to dance and wanting to spread love, and then it's like, "We pay our taxes!" We're just citizens!
Cedric: But they want us dead, right?
Eva: That's why I try to be careful about that, to ingrain that into people when I talk to them about it. That it's black, American, taxpaying citizens being killed because people want to forget all of that and just see "THE BLACKS." "The blacks committing crimes over there." No, these are citizens, who help fund the police departments. People going to school, people who love their families.
We're a part of the community as well as of our own community. But like ultimately we are all part of a community.
Cedric: And unfortunately America has went – I don't know how, but we went into this tribalism mode. I miss where we tried to get together and do that melting pot thing.
OK. One last question. Is Reservoir Dogs the best Quentin Tarantino movie?
Eva: I really like Kill Bill. Yeah. And "Mr. Pink" isn't really a Reservoir Dogs reference. They're parallel. It is, but it isn't. It's really about the pink that goes off in the dye pack when you rob a bank.
When my dad was robbing banks, the dye pack that went off was pink. I'm not championing that character, it's just that the dye pack happened to be the same color.
I didn't even think about that even though I knew about dye packs. I immediately went to Reservoir Dogs.
'Cobain and Cornbread' is out next week. Catch The Black Tones at their album release show April 11 at Chop Suey.
McMenamins' Elks Temple is (Almost) Open for Business in Tacoma
The McMenamin family, famous/infamous Pacific Northwest nightlife mavens, purchased the historic Elks building in Tacoma in 2007, and for the past two years have been restoring the building in order to create their newest venture, the Elks Temple Hotel. Well, work is just about complete and the building is set to open on April 24th. The hotel will include a space for music events, beginning with our friends in Knife Knights on April 25th playing a free show and including Mudhoney, Blitzen Trapper, and Detroit punk legends Death. Click here for more info on the Elks Temple.