Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Here's something to get people talking.

On Thursday, The Stranger hit the streets with an article about the all-ages shows happening at Atlas Clothing and how they were supposedly covert. On Friday, the Seattle Fire Department shut down shows at Atlas because the place wasn't up to code.

Commenters to The Stranger's blogs, Slog and Line Out, are irate and directing most of the vitriol toward the paper.

What do you think? Was The Stranger wrong to publish the article? Surely the visit from the fire department was in direct response to the article, but does blaming The Stranger let Atlas off the hook for the fire code violations in the first place?

Here's my opinion: I don't think the paper did anything wrong. If an all-ages spot pops up on Capitol Hill, it is newsworthy. Whether or not it is legal is another matter. The article quotes the owner of Atlas openly discussing how to make the shows profitable – including selling alcohol. I tend to believe that being covert and profitable are usually mutually exclusive. Moreover, I've known about all-ages shows at Atlas for months – they're mentioned on MySpace (as of the time I'm writing this, Atlas still has its calendar up), through e-mails (including countless e-mails from publicists – who are not in the business of keeping secrets), most show listings (including TIG's), posters on telephone poles, etc…. I've yet to hear anyone tell me "shhh, keep it quiet."

Of course, I also think more all-ages venues are better than fewer, so I do hope Atlas is up and running soon – this time with everything in order.