Talkhouse Weekend Playlist: 20 Years of Seattle’s The Vera Project

The staff behind the community-oriented music and arts space share some of the favorites who have passed through their doors.

If you’re from the Seattle area, you probably already know of the Vera Project — a nonprofit, youth-led, community-oriented music and arts space in the heart of downtown Seattle. To celebrate their 20th anniversary, they’ve kicked off Viva Vera 20, a fundraising effort to secure the future of The Vera Project. So far this year, there have been live-streamed performances and birthday shout-outs from local legends like Ben Gibbard, Perfume Genius, Foo Fighters, and many more. The Vera Project staff compiled some of the artists who have played Vera over the years for this weekend playlist. Check it out.
—Keenan Kush, Talkhouse Director of Operations


The Vera Project had its first show on Jan 27, 2001. For 20 years we have hosted so many bands and artists — too many to count. This playlist represents only a fraction of the amazing bands and artists that have come to our stages over the years. We tried to at least share some of them in this playlist, and hope you enjoy. Viva Vera 20!

—Vera Staff

Botch — “Vietmam”
Botch played Vera’s first-ever show at the Local 46 Union Hall. Thought-provoking lyrics, riffs, and a cast of celebrities who later went on to bands like Minus the Bear, Russian Circles, and more. A main fixture in the Seattle/Tacoma hardcore scene, Botch was a touring force and we are honored to be a part of that history.

The Murder City Devils — “I Want A Lot Now (So Come On)”
Another alumni of the first Vera show, the Murder City Devils embody a true sense of Seattle in the late ’90s. Done with the grunge thing and back to showing Seattle in its true nature: a punk sea shanty village with nothing to lose.

The Blood Brothers — “Set Fire to the Face on Fire”
Some don’t get it, but when it clicks, they understand what this band did for the rest of the world. A missing dynamic radiant glow that Blood Brothers brought to our early shows gave this scene life.

Blue Scholars — “Sagaba”
Oftentimes, Northwest hip-hop scenes are forgotten. We don’t get Netflix special cuts, we don’t often see the same love as their contemporaries in NYC. Blue Scholars became a beloved piece of its history. Vera was proud to be able to help to host their shows and wouldn’t have half the support without the work these people put into our all ages scene.

Kimya Dawson — “Tire Swing”
The undisputed queen of all anti-folk-punk. Kimya has a special place in all of our hearts. Watching 300-plus people sitting on a dirty venue floor, quietly watching, listening is truly magical. We <3 Kimya, always and forever

Iron Lung — “Sexless / No Sex”
Vera has always been hand and hand with punk. Iron Lung shared its 10th anniversary celebration on our stage — a weekend of music from all over the world coming together, plus a seated dinner with a live performance from the legends themselves. We love Iron Lung, the band and record label.

Thee Oh Sees — “C”
During the beginnings of the current space we are in, we had the pleasure of hosting this amazing group in its early stages. My, have they continued to be a force. Do-it-yourself ethics, an independent record label, and so much more from this group. They embody our values and energy.

Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus, Phoebe Bridgers — “Souvenir”
Julien on their rise to the top made Vera a pit stop for many years. We are happy to have been a part of that upward movement.

Laura Stevenson — “Master of Art”
You haven’t lived until you have an opportunity to watch Laura perform. Band or solo, she lights up the room; a hyper-focused performance that demands your attention. Lyrics both intimate and personal, but so relatable. So many years with Laura, and hopefully more to come.

Sol — “Ain’t Gon’ Stop”
We feel like there is always something special about Sol. Positive music, great beats, community-driven. What more can we say? Check em’ out!

Shellac — “Steady As She Goes”
Many moons ago, Shellac graced our stage. These legends packed our main space to the brim. Perhaps too many people? Haha!

Deerhoof — “Fresh Born”
What can we say? Just a great and innovative band, and we got to host them. 🙂

fish narc — “WiLDFiRE”
Vera family, always and forever. Long live fish narc.

Rico Nasty — “OHFR”
One time, Rico Nasty played a show at Vera and then recorded a music video in our bathroom, our grimey, sticker-ridden bathroom.

Screaming Females — “I’ll Make You Sorry”
We <3 Screaming Females and have always been blessed to have them in our space. Tru rippers.

(Photo Credit: right, Ansley Lee)