Results 11-17of 17 Reviews
May 8, 2004
From journal Seattle in all its glory!!
Leeds, United Kingdom
June 19, 2002
The Experience Music Project is the pet project of one of the Microsoft billionaires, a florescent red and green monstrosity at the foot of the Space Needle, a shrine to Jimi Hendrix, the perfect example of the things that go wrong when people have too much money and not enough... not enough people around them to tell them when an idea is just plain dumb.
The EMP can't decide whether it's a museum or a theme park, and nastily meshes elements of both. There are exhibits, and each exhibit can trigger a commentary or a piece of explanatory text on your MEG - a little palm-top computer that you're given on the way in - and I have to say that this is actually a pretty cool piece of kit. The problem with the concept is that you end up with hundreds of people walking around the exhibits wearing headphones plugged into the MEG. The very thing that music is best at - bringing people together - has been stripped away from it.
There are also rides, and I use the term loosely. The Artist's Journey is essentially a cinema in which the seats move, telling the story of 'Funk' using tacky film-making techniques and actors that would have seemed stilted in the 1920s. There are other rides which allow you to perform on stage in front of an imaginary audience and have your picture taken as a rock 'n' roll star. They aren't bad ideas - then again, they ain't great - but the problem is that it just takes too long to get in to the rides, queues sometimes going as long as 90 minutes.
There are hundreds of reasons to hate the EMP. The way it takes itself so seriously. The way the employees all think that they're roadies. The way that it is so damn ugly, and so damn bright.
I, however, have a very personal reason to hate the EMP. Why would they build something that has nowhere to shelter under. Trying to run from the rain and hiding under the EMP is a singularly bad idea since the futuristic curvy shape forms a perfect funnel to direct rain onto those underneath. Then again, it's not as if it rains in Seattle.
From journal Summer in Seattle
March 25, 2002
I think many folks consider themselves to be huge music aficionados, but this museum will spoil that illusion for the less enthusiastic fan. The displays are rather detailed and academic, lending a serious museum-like quality to this "Project." Despite having plenty of diversions like the interactive thrill ride, Experience Music project does offer a serious investigation into the art form of rock music. Many friends have remarked to me how boring the whole thing was, even though they were quite excited initially about visiting the "rock museum."
I know that I have been a huge music forever, as my 3000 CD collection can attest. But I was still somewhat frustrated by aspects of the museum, too. There is a strong bent towards rock and blues, which is perfectly understandable considering that Jimi Hendrix is the focal point of the "Experience." But many significant genres of rock (specifically r&b/soul music) are nearly absent from the museum. Perhaps my biggest gripe is that there is no serious research facility associated with the museum. An interactive computer exhibit downstairs offers some additional information on the museum’s holdings but is in no way a significant research tool for students of popular music studies.
The exhibits are quite well put together and informative. The Northwest Passage in particular was illuminating in both the history of local music and Seattle itself. I’m not really a Jimi Hendrix fan, though the exhibit on his life and work was thoughtfully constructed and engaging.
The interactive musical instrument play area was fun, but the lines to use each piece of equipment had my friend and I running out of their pretty quick. It’s pretty funny (and embarrassing with others waiting outside, watching you) to sing along with Ann & Nancy Wilson of Heart.
The James Brown funk thrill ride was somewhat amusing, but it didn’t seem like a good use of the expensive technology employed in creating it. The kids who rode along with us didn’t seem to absorb anything about funk; all they could talk about was the space ride that lasts for a few seconds at the beginning and end of the ride. I think older children are better suited to appreciating this somewhat mature and academic museum.
One final note: the free audio guides that you can check out to bring along on your trip weigh a ton. You might want to consider going without one, as they don’t provide that much insightful commentary.
From journal Washington: Seattle
by Cancel Account
May 5, 2001
From journal Seattle
March 14, 2001
From journal Seattle Sounds
New York, New York
December 30, 2000
From journal Experience Music Project in Seattle
LOS ANGELES, California
October 17, 2000
From journal How I Love Jet City