One of this nation’s most socially liberal states (read previous post) has one of the most asinine, conservative liquor control boards ever – in the history of the world. When Dad owned restaurants, I remember him saying that liquor laws in Washington are beyond outrageous. Now I know why. I can hardly buy a 40 oz. in this city, and tourists (save Utah Mormons) are shocked and appalled that they can’t buy liquor at a grocery store. I nearly cried in joy last time I was at a grocery store in Oregon.

But this shit crosses the line. The Stranger reports, “The state liquor control board proposed a new statewide license for nightclubs that would eliminate all-ages shows at establishments that serve alcohol – even if alcohol isn’t being served during the show.” That eliminates Seattle clubs, like Neumos and the Showbow, and Tacoma clubs, like Hell’s Kitchen and Jazzbones from hosting all-ages shows. They might as well bring back the Teen Dance Ordinance.

It’s a crime really. Go ahead and put limitations on those of us who can legally drink, but how many more walls can you put up against those who already don’t have legal access to alcohol? Reality check: Underage drinkers aren’t getting their drinks at the clubs they attend, they get them from grocery stores, older siblings, or their parents’ pantries beforehand. I’m usually politically correct, but I dare say that this proposal is retarded.

The new proposal also redefines “nightclubs” as being “any place that operates primarily between 10:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m.; is open five days a week or less; charges a cover fee; has live entertainment; has a higher occupancy than the number of seats; or doesn’t offer menus along with drinks – would have to get a license under the proposed regulations.”

Oh, and the liquor control board would be able to withhold a license if it felt the number of licenses in the area was “adequate for the reasonable needs of the community.” WTF?! How is that defined? What are “primary operating” hours? WTF? WTF? WTF?!

If this proposal passes, it will be up to the few non-alcohol serving all-ages clubs and educational institutions to host all-ages shows from now on. And those few venues will be empowered and literally monopolize all-ages events in their respective communities. This could be dangerous, as promoters and clubs could take advantage of the naïve all-ages audience and spike door charges and limit band line-ups (read: Club Impact).

So, I was looking forward to taking Sergio to see Common Market and Blue Scholars at Neumos, an all-ages show this Saturday. But now I’m really looking forward to taking Sergio to the show, as he might not be able to see a decent show again for a few years. We’ll be sure to swing by the supermarket on the way and buy some brews so that we can have a drink and pour a dose for the soon-to-be fallen all-ages venues.