We’re giving you a two-for-one deal with this edition of “Have a drink with.” Hi Crime is a local band that’s not only had one but two songs featured as KEXP’s Song of the Day. It’s been a while since we’ve done a Local Music Lowdown, and we’re glad to bring the feature back. Speaking of which — know a local band or artist you think we should spotlight? Let us know and reply to this email!
Hi Crime consists of Brielle Rutledge, Mitch Etter, Cody McCann, and Jesse Botello. If you missed our IG Live with Mitch and Brielle, you can find that here. The following is our Q&A with Mitch — Hi Crime’s guitarist and one of the founding members.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
The creative expression of recording music. There’s a great satisfaction in transforming something that started only as an idea in my head, into a fully produced artistic statement that often develops into something greater than I imagined during that recording process.
What’s your favorite hidden gem in Seattle?
I’m still a new enough transplant here, I’m sure I don’t know about the real hidden gems. But the weather is getting warmer out, and I’m starting to think more about kayaking. I really like launching out of the boat ramp by the Edmonds-Kingston ferry. It’s close, but never too crowded on the water. I always see some cool wildlife. I’m still waiting to see whales, but I’m hoping it’ll happen soon.
Where are two places you’d take an out-of-town guest?
On a hike in the Cascades, and to see a show at KEXP.
If you were to give a piece of advice to a newcomer to Seattle, what would it be?
My seven-year anniversary in Seattle is this summer. One bit of advice is to leave 15 minutes earlier than you think you need to when going to any kind of big event. You’ll often be able to find a free parking spot that’s closer than you think it would be (except for Belltown. I have no advice for free Belltown parking)
If you could change anything about Seattle, what would it be?
I mean, I love it here. I’d love to get a house someday, so if housing prices could fall a lot more, that’d be great for me.
Who or what are 5 Seattle people or organizations more people should know about?
For music lovers, stop by KEXP. Catch a free show, grab a coffee, do some record shopping, and hang. It’s a great spot! There are other great community radio stations in Seattle people can and should explore, but I’m loyal to KEXP and think they are the best lens into Seattle music culture.
Another music spot that doesn’t get enough attention is The Vera Project. Great location in Seattle center. It’s important because it’s an all-ages venue for all sorts of art/music. It really bothers me how many music venues in Seattle aren’t all ages. There shouldn’t be restrictions on people accessing art. I hate that so many people under 21 can’t see great local concerts in their community. The Vera Project does a great job in trying to lower those hurdles for young artists and art lovers.
Last music shout-out. Dan’s Tunes is doing some of my favorite music journalism in the scene. So many local art reviewers fall into that “indie blog” category. But Dan’s Tunes is a fully realized, professional journalism website covering a topic I happen to care a lot about. I know how hard they work, and I’m very appreciative of their role in the Seattle music scene.
Let’s shout out some food too. There’s a million great places of course. One of the under-the-radar spots near my house I love is Bryant Corner Cafe. Great quality diner food, comfortable atmosphere, friendly folks, and big portions. It’s a pretty regular spot for me when I eat out.
Aurora Commons is a great “welcoming space for unhoused neighbors to rest, prepare a meal, connect to resources and collectively create a healthy and vibrant community.” My cousin Lisa started this non-profit, and I’m very proud of her and her work lifting up communities that really need a hand.
Follow Hi Crime on Instagram, Facebook, and Bandcamp. If you sign up for their email list you’ll be the first to know about their new releases as well as receive a free download. Listen to their latest single “Rainy Days & Crooked Sheets” here.