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New book gives in-depth look into Washington music venues during COVID-19

 

Several music venues in the Puget Sound region are preparing to open their doors for the first time in over a year this summer.

A new book called "Bring Music Home" highlights nearly 10 clubs in Seattle and Bellingham as well as hundreds from across the country. 

The Clock-Out Lounge in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood recently reopened for dine-in food and drinks. Now, they’re gearing up to slowly bring back live events starting in August. 

“It's exciting as I’m sitting here and my phone's blowing up because people are touring,” said Jodi Ecklund, co-owner of the Clock-Out. “And, you know, it's scary at the same time because we want to make sure we're doing things as safe as possible."

The Clock-Out is one of the venues featured in "Bring Music Home." The book launched last year to document music venues shuttered during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Austin Wilson helped photograph and coordinate the local clubs involved. He said it was surreal to be inside some of his favorite venues.

“There were still set lists from the bands back in March 2020 taped to the stage floor and in the backstage areas, and there were still dirty dishes behind the bar at some of these places,” Wilson said. “It was really surreal to see how everything just stopped in the moment.”

Wilson said he hopes readers learn about the people behind live music events.

“Not just the artists, and not just the owners and things like that — but the small collectives that are truly the people who make those places special,” he said. 

Ecklund with the Clock-Out said she wanted to get involved with "Bring Music Home" because the book will benefit clubs affected by the pandemic.

“I knew that the proceeds would be going to help all of these independent venues struggling, and there's hundreds of thousands of venue workers out of work and displaced,” Ecklund said. “I just thought it would be a cool opportunity to capture this moment in time as well. It seemed like a cool project to be involved in and giving back to any way that I could.”

"Bring Music Home" showcases more than 200 venues from across the country. Other Washington venues featured in the book include the Showbox, Neumos and Royal Room in Seattle, plus Wild Buffalo in Bellingham.

The book is available to purchase online. A portion of the proceeds are donated to the National Independent Venue Association. A companion docuseries and podcast are expected to come out later this year or early next year.