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Music Notes: Bill's Place is resurrecting live music

Keen-eyed readers may have noticed something special hidden in our cover story about bands helping bands a month ago.

It mentioned that Bill’s Place owner Doug Granstrand had paid in advance for three Bad Habit concerts so that local band could get its van up and running. That’s great, of course. But it’s also noteworthy in that Bill’s, a one-time neighborhood dive that has in the past decade reinvented itself as one of Yakima’s cool-kids spots, hasn’t hosted live music on a regular basis for years. So news that Granstrand had booked Bad Habit for not just one, but three, shows sounded promising.

And now it’s official, with a Facebook announcement this week that “Bill’s Place is bringing live music back!” The announcement also mentioned a new, improved sound system. So that’s nice. The first show is set for Oct. 11, and it’s Bad Habit (Yakima’s leading punk band and winners of this year’s Yakima AppleJam Battle of the Bands) along with Renton hard rockers Ball Bag. It’ll be good to hear some righteous noise coming out of Bill’s again.

Now a few other notes from the local scene:

■ It’s a big weekend for local concerts by acts you loved 10 or 20 years ago but had mostly forgotten about. Legends Casino is hosting what it calls a 90’s (sic) Throwback Party at 8 p.m. Friday, though Ticketmaster is selling it as “Kings of Hip Hop.” Legends’ description is more accurate.

It’s Vanilla Ice, Tone Loc, Biz Markie and Color Me Badd. Those are not kings of hip hop. They’re a boy band (Color Me Badd), two rappers whose work the world considers somewhere between a trifle and an embarrassment (Ice, Loc) and one legitimately important and legitimately entertaining hip-hop figure (Biz Markie). Whether it’s worth the $20-$45 ticket to see Biz depends on how much of that other stuff you care to endure.

For more information, visit or call 509-865-8800.

■ A more appealing throwback option, depending on whether you were forced to eat one of those Fyre Festival cheese sandwiches, is Friday at El Dos de Oro, 5 Ranchrite Road. Ja Rule and Ashanti play the venue at 8 p.m.

Each of them has more cred than anyone on the Legends bill (except maybe Biz Markie), though Ja Rule has been the butt of a lot of jokes lately owing to his association with the ill-conceived (or maybe just intentionally fraudulent) Fyre Festival. Still, dude had as commercially productive a first five years of this century as just about anyone, and a few of those songs still hold up. Ashanti, likewise, was huge about 15 years ago. And a lot of her stuff still sounds good, too. Tickets are available via

■ There are a few other shows coming up fast that don’t feature former chart-toppers but are nevertheless worth your time.

Single Hill Brewing Co., 102 N. Naches Ave., has outstanding Portland band Seance Crasher tonight alongside funky Portland act Night Heron. Seance Crasher, which is lately doing a synth-driven ’80s thing, is worth your time. The show starts at 7 p.m., and it’s free.

Brewminatti in Prosser has Max Hatt and Edda Glass tonight. He plays guitar, she sings. But they’re not your typical duo. They do a jazz-lounge take on Americana that takes a minute to warm up to but then delivers beyond what you’d have expected. That one starts at 7 with tickets costing $23 at the door. Brewminatti is at 713 Sixth St. in Prosser.

The Seasons Performance Hall, 101 N. Naches Ave., has Joe Brooks and The Joe Brooks Quartet on Friday in a show that will be split between Brooks’ classical clarinet playing and his jazz combo. That one starts at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $12, $15 and $25.

It’s back to Brewminatti on Wednesday for folk-harmony trio Lula Wiles, a group that isn’t afraid to include contemporary pop and distortion in its unique take on folk. That show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

Reach Pat Muir at

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