Music of Olympia

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Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney in Olympia, mid-1990s — early 2001

The Pacific Northwest town of Olympia, Washington, United States, has been a center of post-hardcore, anti-folk, and other youth-oriented musical genres since at least the late 1970s; before that, Olympia's The Fleetwoods enjoyed several Billboard chart successes between 1959-1963. Along with Washington, D.C., Olympia was a center for the riot grrrl movement in the early 1990s, with Bikini Kill and Bratmobile as prominent proponents of the movement.

Olympia is also the home of a number of record labels, including K Records (Beat Happening, Mirah, The Microphones), which was co-founded in 1983, and Kill Rock Stars (founded in 1991 by Slim Moon) (Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Unwound).

Notable early-period musicians and recording artists included John Foster (John Foster's Pop Philosophers), Lois Maffeo and Steve Fisk (Pell Mell). Beck and Ian Svenonius (of the Make-Up) frequented Olympia in the early 1990s and Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana moved to Olympia from Aberdeen/Hoquiam in the late 80s/early 90s before moving on to Seattle and worldwide fame.

The Olympia scene is the subject of the closing song on the Hole album Live Through This.

Notable Olympia bands[edit]


These are radio stations that play local music.

Record labels[edit]