Seattle >Arts & Entertainment > The J & M Cafe
201 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810447.600747 -122.334418
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Pioneer Square
Worst. Venue. Ever. – We were booked for a show last night at the J&M.
The mix for the first two bands was awful: Deafening vocals, zero guitars.
We get onstage, everything is set up: we stood onstage for about 20 minutes without the mics turned on waiting to line-check.
Finally they turned the mics on, and we said "Screw it: they can adjust us on the fly," so we started our set.
We asked for more guitars in our monitor.
Second song: a bit of an abortion, since I still couldn't hear my guitar. Oh well. Song ends: we're told to turn down. I turn from 5 to 4 on my head. This is not very loud.
Third song: a bit better, but still none of us can hear anything. Song ends, the Manager (Who said "I own this place," even though I know he doesn't;) storms up and says we're too loud and that we're done.
It was delivered with the same condescension as if your dad came in to the garage to tell your band to stop playing because your mom can't hear her soap operas. I'm a grown man, and I've been playing music for years. Don't talk to me like I'm twelve.
Please also note that the sound guy told me that I couldn't hear my guitar because I was too far from my amp. The audience was further from my amp than I was, so how could it possibly have been too loud?!?
I pretty much lose my composure here.
First, I announced through the still-live mic that the J&M had cut us off for being too Rock and Roll, and that we were very sorry that we were too rock and roll for this venue, and that if they didn't want rock bands playing loud, they probably shouldn't book rock bands. I then announced that everyone who had paid to see a rock show should please go to the door and demand their money back, since they didn't get what they paid for.
They killed the mics.
I then yelled that if they didn't want loud bands they probably shouldn't have installed such a massive PA, that you can't turn drums down, and that "Effing Nirvana" had played this venue and that we weren't nearly as loud as they were.
I disconnected my head, carried it to the front of the stage, pointed at the volume knob, and asked the staff what number it said. (By this time the GM had sent every member of security to surround the stage...) I pointed out that it was at "4."
The GM came up and asked if I was going to "shut the (expletive) up." I told him, "No, I'm not: because I'm apparently too loud." He said they'd be happy to help me get the gear out of the club, and I told him that would be great because I didn't feel like moving it myself.
Pretty much everyone left the bar within five minutes of us being cut off. Good call, Manager. I'm sure the actual owner will be very pleased with your brilliant call to cut off the one thing keeping people in your crappy bar spending money.
The regular staff was actually really cool and accommodating and nice, so I hope they get better jobs at a venue that isn't made of turds.
I hope that the J&M has a good time booking Matchbox 20 cover bands, because having rock bands play is clearly not their forte.
Don't play there ever, no matter what. Don't eat there, drink there, and certainly don't go to shows there because you probably won't get to see the band you paid for because they'll get cut off, and then they won't get paid either.
I wouldn't be surprised if they took your burger away from you after a couple of bites because the burger is too beefy.
I suppose if you need to pee or something you can go in and pee, but I'd say to pee on the wall. I also wouldn't be opposed to you whipping out your naughty bits in the middle of the room and slathering yourself with mayonnaise.
We will not be back, and we will be making sure that no one we know or care about ever has the opportunity to get so blatantly mistreated again.
-Berto, Dies Drear
Citysearch Editorial Review – Once known more for its rowdy, slightly sketchy nightclub scene than its food, the J&M Café has re-opened after an extensive overhaul that rivals Heidi Montag’s in scope. Still, the J&M retains some of its divey charm: The room remains as dimly lit as always, the bar polished to its former glory. A beer-friendly menu with plenty of greasy spoon staples—piles of crispy onion rings with tartar sauce, wings and nachos make this an ideal stop for a snack with the guys. Those in search of a more substantial meal have the option of burgers, “Mexican” plates (think tostadas and enchiladas), or down home favorites like fish and chips and creamy mac 'n' cheese. Post-work revelers can catch the game on the TV, or book out the Cardroom for a private party. A fair warning: the service can be sporadic, and the cocktails a little more expensive ($13) than you’d expect, given the surroundings.
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