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Friday, March 31, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Night Watch

What's new? What's not?

Seattle Times staff reporter

Like the cherry blossoms busting out around Seattle, buds are sprouting around Seattle nightlife.

Newness is everywhere.

• New nightspots: Fuel and the Heavens Nightclub in Pioneer Square, Liberty in east Capitol Hill.

With its hardwood floors and chill-out couches, Liberty looks a bit like a hair salon, but it's a music-oriented bar, about the same size and a few doors down on 15th Avenue from the Hopvine. Liberty's owner, Steven Severin, is the booking agent at Chop Suey; in this smaller space, he'll offer frequent "listening parties," playing new CDs.

Liberty is at 517 17th Ave. (across from Sonic Boom Records). Tonight at 7, Liberty will play the Editors' "The Backroom," and Saturday night at 7, Morrissey's "Ringleader of the Tormentors" plays at the new bar.

Fuel is just up the block on Washington Street from the Last Supper Club, and, though smaller than the LSC, Fuel has that swank feel. This is the former African restaurant and sometimes music venue Wazobia, redone and fancy-fied. It's a DJ spot, with a $5 cover last weekend.

Right next door to Fuel, taking over the space the Catwalk held for so long (1993-2005), comes the Heavens Nightclub, scheduled to open at 9 tonight ($10). The club will have mash-up/electronic music, two rooms with different dance-music genres in each.

The club's myspace.com/theheavensnightclub site promises great things:

"Besides having designed our club with your comfort in mind, we also took it a step further with the most advanced sound, lighting, and video systems available. We offer the finest handcrafted cocktails, best selection of champagnes, and tableside service in our exclusive VIP lounge."

Find the Heavens at 172 S. Washington St. (206-622-1863).

• New hotspot: Trinity.

Who said Pioneer Square is dead?

Regularly charging $15, Trinity — the former Bohemian — has one of the highest cover charges in town. But that didn't stop well-dressed ladies and gentlemen (hopefully!) from lining up to enter the dance spot last weekend.

Tonight's cover is $10 for DJs Chuck Love and LSDJ, and it's back up to $15 Saturday night for Top 40/house DJ Guy and others. Trinity celebrates its first anniversary on April 7.

• New space for the Vera Project: The all-ages indie/punk club is leaving downtown, destined for Seattle Center's Snoqualmie Room in the fall. (Sporadic concerts will be held at Capitol Hill venues while the Snoqualmie is renovated.) Mayor Greg Nickels plays MC on Wednesday, announcing the move at a 10 a.m. press conference. Should be much more interesting for music fans at 6 p.m. Wednesday, when the princess-pop sister-duo Smoosh and hip-hop duo Common Market throw a free concert at the Snoqualmie Room.

• New compilation: Radio station The End 107.7 has just released "Endsessions Volume 4," with songs by Death Cab for Cutie ("The New Year"), Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, the Strokes and others. The CD sells for $10.77, available at local record stores and online at www.sonicboomrecords.com and www.easystreetonline.com.

• A new band: Open Choir Fire.

Based on a five-song EP, OCF has the potential to be one of the more vigorous rock bands around Seattle.

Open Choir Fire landed a top-notch producer — Johnny Sangster (Mudhoney, Murder City Devils), at Egg Studios — to track its new EP, "In Each Appropriate, Everlasting and Not. " While the title leans toward pretentious, the album avoids the cute: Its five songs are forward-moving, driving toward a goal ... even if the goal is not always spelled out in black and white. The sound at various times faintly echoes early Modest Mouse, Juno's moody urgency, a few dashes of Queens of the Stone Age — singer Amo DelBello sounds a bit like QOTSA's Josh Homme.

Open Choir Fire ("The name doesn't mean much," says DelBello, a Southwesterner who went to Tacoma's UPS with drummer Terry Kyte; the two were later joined by bass player Brian Massey) plays from its EP at 9 p.m. Saturday at the MarsBar ($6).

• A new CD from a veteran Seattle band: FCS North, which throws up electronic, rock and hip-hop instrumental mashes, has a new disc called "Say Go." Very new, for FCS: a few vocals, more aggressive keyboards. It's a challenging, rewarding CD, with FCS ("focus") North blazing new territory.

FCS North will play the new songs on Wednesday at the War Room. Also on this powerhouse midweek bill are Scientific American, New Orleans electro-duo Time Promises Power and DJs FITS and Plastiq Phantom.

Tom Scanlon: tscanlon@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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