Seattle rock outfit Sunny Day Real Estate might be in a state of flux, but guitarist Dan Hoerner is still passionate about the Washington music scene. In an effort to save legendary Spokane venue The Big Dipper, Hoerner has started an IndieGoGo campaign with a target of $50,000.
After learning that The Big Dipper had fallen into shambles, Hoerner bought the downtown venue with his wife, Dawson Smith-Hoerner. They’ve spent the past seven months renovating the space, but they’re still in need of a full fire sprinkler system – which is where the crowdfunding comes into play.
“Spokane needs to have The Big Dipper as part of the cityscape,” Hoerner said in a statement. “It’s like the goat at the park or the horses on the Carousel or Merlyn’s or the Flour Mill. . . You have to have that stuff around for Spokane to be Spokane. We think The Big Dipper needs to be a part of the fabric of our city and we want to bring it back to life.”
The venue is currently open for event rentals, but the goal is to restore The Big Dipper to its original greatness as a music space this spring. Hoener also hopes to utilize the venue for “poetry readings, open mics, karaoke, cosplay, art shows, game nights and film screenings on its full-sized floor-to-ceiling movie screen.”
As a member of Sunny Day Real Estate, Hoerner was one of the accidental early architects of “emo” in the Nineties; that influential quartet would broaden their sound across four studio albums before disbanding in 2001. After a brief reunion tour in 2009, the band attempted to record a new LP, but those sessions ultimately fell apart. The good news: they’re releasing a new song, “Lipton Witch,” on an exclusive split release with Circa Survive for this year’s Record Store Day event on April 19th. The track will be the band’s first new music since 2000’s The Rising Tide.