Capitol Hill has always been a prime place to dive into Seattle’s distinctive music scene—from the Broadway Avenue sculpture honoring hometown hero Jimi Hendrix to nearby Neumos (925 E Pike St), a hip venue regularly spotlighting indie bands like The Pineapple Thief (playing Dec 14). And the lyrical area has been bolstered by Life on Mars (722 E Pike St), a new collaboration between several local music powerhouses.
Life on Mars’s owners are Amy and John Richards, aka “John in the Morning” of Seattle’s beloved radio station KEXP (90.3), and Leigh Sims and Steven Severin, who also own Neumos. Their bar features cushy yellow booths, a sleek black bar-top, and a wall of 5,500-plus vinyl records, which visitors can pull down and add to the queue during happy hour. To curate the collection, the owners partnered with West Seattle’s fantastic cafe and music shop Easy Street Records (4559 California Ave SW). Enjoy the killer soundtrack with creative cocktails and plant-based snacks like pulled jackfruit, chicken-fried artichokes, and poutine-inspired “Disco Fries.” You can also sip Life on Mars Imperial IPA from Reuben’s Brews in Ballard or KEXP Transistor IPA from Everett’s Scuttlebutt Brewing Company—100 percent of this beer’s proceeds go to KEXP.
Down the hill at Seattle Center, visit the KEXP Gathering Space (*472 First Ave N), a welcoming lounge and event venue also home to La Marzocco Cafe (472 First Ave N) and Light in the Attic Records (472 First Ave N). Nearby, funky Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) (*325 Fifth Ave N) hosts exhibits on rock superstars, science fiction, and more inside a Frank Gehry-designed building. After dark, catch shows at institutions like downtown’s The Showbox (*1426 First Ave) or SoDo’s WAMU Theater (*800 Occidental Ave S).
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