Add To Cart: The Seattle Independent Venue Edition w/ The Vera Project, The Crocodile, & More

Add to Cart
Janice Headley

With festivals, tours, and concerts canceled, and no end in sight, members of the music community are feeling financially strapped. Previous editions of Add to Cart have focused on ways to support musicians and their crews, but in this week's edition, we're shining a spotlight on independent music venues. As the Washington Nightlife Music Association (WANMA) website points out, "live music venues were the first to close due to COVID-19 and will be the last to reopen." 

As reported on KEXP's Sound & Vision, venues are banding together, and asking music fans to get in contact with their congressmembers to pass the RESTART Act. ( makes it easy with a prepared template.) You can donate directly to organizations like the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and many venues have launched their own GoFundMe accounts (see a list of Seattle venues here), but if, like myself, you're looking for a little retail therapy, here are some items you can buy below that will help support your favorite venues. 

(NOTE: just for reassurance, the Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidance maintain there is no evidence the coronavirus is spreading through the mail. Also, please note that some mail might be delayed due to the USPS's limited transportation availability as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 impacts.) 

The Vera Project's DIYs Not Dead #1 Compilation [$10]

Their doors may be closed for the time being, but our Seattle Center neighbors at the Vera Project continue to fight the good fight for the DIY Community. Earlier this year, they launched the DIY Community Relief Fund, whose mission is to "save vital music and arts community spaces that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 in Washington and beyond." They add: "100% of all proceeds support our most beloved unconventional venues and the gig & production workers that make them possible, a majority of which do not qualify for formal means of institutional support."

In addition to the t-shirts and zines available in their webshop (especially this awesome, hilarious "KEXP neighbor" tee), they just released the DIYs Not Dead #1 compilation album, featuring demos, covers, rare, unreleased, and previously released tracks from bands like Iron Lung, The Body, Dreamdecay, Total Control, Casual Hex, Thou, KrimeWatch, Gag, and more. It's a must-buy. 

And if you're looking for even more ways to support the Vera Project, they're continuing their educational programming via online classes, like Music Mixing and Mastering or Embroidery & DIY Culture. We love you, neighbors!!!

Cocktails-to-Go from the Clock-Out Lounge [$VARIED]

This one's for our 21-and-older readers, and you'll have to pick them up in person, but our friends at Seattle’s Clock-Out Lounge are offering pre-made cocktails-to-go, available for pick-up daily from 4-9 PM at their Beacon Hill location. Get yourself a Wild Roots Mule or a Hot Charlotte, packaged in an easy-to-travel and Pinterest-friendly mason jar with two servings inside. (So, you can share... or not!) 

If cocktails aren't your thing, the venue is also offering growlers, bottles, cans, prosecco, wine — heck, you can even get a coffee to go! Right now, they're only accepting credit/debit card payments, and they ask that you wear a mask when you come to pick up your order. And, of course, it goes without saying, but Washington Law states: "Pre-mixed alcoholic beverages that are packaged by this establishment may not be consumed in a motor vehicle or transported in a motor vehicle except in the vehicle’s trunk; or, if there is no trunk, in some other area of the vehicle not normally occupied by the driver or passengers (this does not include a utility compartment or glove compartment, but may include underneath a seat outside of the driver’s reach)." Of course.

The Crocodile's "Here We Are Now" Employee Benefit Tee [$25]

Founded in 1991, The Crocodile is a Seattle music scene landmark, having hosted shows with now-legendary grunge icons like Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Mad Season, and, of course, Nirvana, who apparently played a secret show there in 1992 under the alias “Pen Cap Chew.” So, it's only fitting that the venue would borrow a line from their iconic single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for their employee benefit t-shirts.

When the coronavirus first hit Seattle, the venue had to lay off "nearly 50 full and part-time employees", including "bartenders, stage managers, the production team, box office, sound engineers, lighting designers, kitchen staff." There's a GoFundMe set-up for the staff here, but if you'd like to contribute in a more "fashionable" way, you can pick up this t-shirt here.

(And it goes without saying, but if you feel contagious... don't be stupid. Stay home.)

Chop Suey Enamel Pin [$5]

Since 2002, Chop Suey has been host to some excellent shows on Capitol Hill, championing local artists and providing an intimate live experience. They don't have much in their online webshop, but they've got this cute little enamel pin available that will look very chic on your denim jacket or backpack. 

They've also got a GoFundMe going with some really excellent incentives, like ticket and drink packages, early entry to a show of your choosing, or a private party for you and up to 75 of your friends in their lounge area. You might not know which concert you want to go to yet, or who will be included on your guest list of 75 friends, but with this little pin, you'll at least know what you'll be wearing. 

Tractor Tavern T-Shirt [$20]

You might not get it for a while, but this Tractor Tavern t-shirt will be worth the wait. As the venue states on their website: "We are significantly behind on processing t-shirt orders, we do not have any paid staff to process orders right now.  All orders are being logged and we will do our best to get them out in a timely matter.  Please be patient with us!"

As reported in the Seattle Times back in March, the beloved Ballard-based club had to let go of 14 part-timers and they reduced their staff to a small crew of office employees who generously took pay cuts to keep the venue afloat. After 26 years of providing us with some rollicking fun shows, I think we can wait a while for the package to arrive if it helps support the Tractor. 

NIVA "Save Our Stages" Red Lightning T-Shirt [$25]

And, finally, you can help spread the word about the importance of supporting independent venues with this snazzy tee from the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA). (They've got more designs, plus face masks and tote bags here.) NIVA is committed to "securing financial support to preserve the national ecosystem of independent venues and promoters" across the country. They've submitted letters to Congress signed by over 600 musicians, including Dave GrohlMavis StaplesGary Clark Jr., and, well, at least 597 others, and they've been hosting exclusive raffles of music memorabilia to help raise funds. You can follow along with their efforts here, and help save our stages here.

Related News & Reviews

Add to Cart

Add to Cart: Black Northwest Artists to Support this Juneteenth on Bandcamp

Today, Friday, June 19th, Bandcamp launch an annual tradition of waiving their revenue share on all purchases for 24 hours to support racial justice, equality and change. KEXP's Digital Content Team has rounded up some of the things we'll be adding to our carts today.

Read More
Add to Cart

Add To Cart: Buy Stuff From Fave Bands Like Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, These New Puritans, Devo, White Denim, Wilco

KEXP continues our series spotlighting stuff you should buy to help support your favorite bands during the quarantine.

Read More
Add to Cart

Add To Cart: Stuff to Buy From Fave Bands Like LCD Soundsystem, Washed Out, Shabazz Palaces, More

KEXP continues our series spotlighting stuff you should buy to help support your favorite bands during the quarantine.

Read More