At some point during my tenure as a barista, I became the curator of the cafe’s music selection. It was my job to buy CDs for the fifty-disc CD changer that served as a primitive iPod, providing the musical backdrop for caffeinated web browsing.
Founded by former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, JAMPAC was focused on fighting several anti-music and anti-performance laws being introduced or enforced in Washington State. One of its primary causes was to repeal the Teen Dance Ordinance, which it ultimately had a hand in achieving in 2002.
One of my new roommates brought me down to the Speakeasy Cafe one night after Bumbershoot in early September. It was a packed house and Aaron Straight’s jazz group, ‘Mustard, Ketchup, Relish’ was playing. I was so immediately drawn to the place and the vibe.