Bellevue Lands W Hotel, Drivers Needed for Seniors

The top Seattle news stories you should be reading today
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Hotel news: Bellevue has nabbed a W Hotel as part of its $1.2 million expansion of The Bellevue Collection. Slated to open in spring 2017, Starwood Hotels' W Bellevue will feature 245 guestrooms (25 of those will be suites and one will be W's Presidential-style Extreme Wow Suite), three restaurants and bars and more than 11,400-square-feet of meeting and event space. “W Bellevue is being designed with a unique narrative that represents our Eastside community,” says Kemper Freeman, chairman and ceo for Kemper Development Company, which owns and operates the mixed-use Bellevue Collection. “The hotel’s cutting-edge design brings our community’s heritage into modern times with a contemporary interpretation of the joy and wonder that we all feel in a welcoming lakeside summer house. This hotel will truly represent all that we celebrate about our community and will bring an amped up W energy to Bellevue.” W Bellevue will be located on Bellevue Way between NE 4th and NE 8th Streets, and will be connected via a sky bridge to the new expansion slated for Bellevue Square.

More Bellevue updates: The large space in Bellevue Square vacated last year by Plano, Texas-based retailer J.C. Penney has been filled, reports The Puget Sound Business Journal. An upscale, urban grocery will move into the 200,000-square-foot spot, but it's not yet been determined if the grocer will be Whole Foods or another company. Kemper Freeman, chairman and ceo for Kemper Development Company, is "negotiating with two grocers."

Drivers wanted: A senior services transportation program has put out the call for volunteers to drive seniors to and from doctor appointments. According to King 5 News, "program administrators say demand is increasing and they need more volunteers" and are hoping that "more young people would consider giving a 3-4 hours of their week." To learn more about how to become a volunteer driver, visit seniorservices.org.

The highest court in Italy will rule on the Amanda Knox case this Wednesday, in which Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend appealed their guilty verdicts in the 2007 murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher. The Associated Press has a full look at the case, including possible outcomes and issues that might arise, here.

Bruce Pavitt's New App, 8Stem, Makes You the DJ

Bruce Pavitt's New App, 8Stem, Makes You the DJ

Sub Pop's Bruce Pavitt has a new app that puts anyone in the producer's seat
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8Stem creative director Bruce Pavitt (foreground) and CEO Adam Farish in their Capitol Hill office: Sub Pop’s 25 million record sales were just a start

Sub Pop cofounder Bruce Pavitt knows times have changed since he launched Seattle’s billion-dollar music revolution in the ’80s. Today’s kids prefer gizmos to guitars, and technology gives them easy ways to do it all, from making music to producing it. Pavitt’s new company, 8Stem, offers music fans a free, easy-as-Instagram iPhone app by that name. It turns everyone into a producer, able to delete and add new tracks on existing recordings: lead, bass, drums, instruments, synthesized vocals, beats. Kids addicted to gaming and tech can now listen interactively, erasing part of a tune by Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil—one of 40 artists who license music to 8Stem—and recording their own sounds over Thayil’s, and then sharing it with the touch of a button, so others can remix it at will. “We live in a remix culture,” says Pavitt. “If you go to YouTube, type in any pop song, then add ‘remix,’ the remixes are going to exceed the listeners of the original song.” Pavitt and his tech-exec partner Adam Farish designed 8Stem to cash in on that trend. 

Artists whose music is part of the remix benefit financially thanks to Dubset, a new “fingerprint” technology that scans remixes and detects music owned by any of the 14,000 labels and publishers it has deals with, then makes sure the various owners of the rights are paid. “We just inked a deal with Dubset,” says Pavitt, “and our first track was on Spotify, ‘Sleep In’ by Telekinesis.” 8Stem user Anomie Belle, a noted Seattle musician, added her vocals to the song and put the new version on Spotify; Telekinesis, 8Stem and remixer Belle all get a slice of the profit—and you can, too.

About 30 of 8Stem’s 40 artists are from Seattle, though a few are from London, Argentina and New York City. “We’re trying to reignite the local culture so it’s an energy source for new music and fresh ideas that can go anywhere,” says Pavitt, who used that very technique to conquer the world at Sub Pop. 


Need to Know

1. As a student at The Evergreen State College, Pavitt used $50 and a crayon to create Sub Pop as a fanzine for credit in 1979, made it a record company, and then sold 49 percent of it to Warner Music Group for $20 million in 1995. 

2. Pavitt’s spirited teen pals in his hometown of Park Forest, Illinois, included Kim Thayil and Hiro Yamamoto, who followed him to Seattle and started Soundgarden, and Tom Zutaut, who discovered Enya, Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses, featuring Seattle’s Duff McKagan.

3. Pavitt predicts that streaming music, including songs remixed on his new 8Stem app, will jump from a $4 billion market today to $16 billion in 2020.  

4. Farish (above, right) cofounded SmartAmerica Home Automation, owns Orcas Island’s Outlook Inn, made two albums and toured America as an electronic dance music DJ.