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, Elliot Smith).

The city's historic Capitol Theater was the site of the International Pop Underground Convention, a punk and indie rock music festival in 1991,[1] as well as the similarly-themed Yoyo A Go Go in 1994, 1997, 1999, and 2001.[2]

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 1980s/early 1990s before moving on to Seattle and worldwide fame.

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

Notable Olympia bands[edit]


These are radio stations that play local music.

Record labels[edit]


  1. ^ Nelson, Chris (8 August 2001). "The Day the Music Didn't Die". Seattle Weekly. Seattle, WA. Retrieved September 8, 2016. 
  2. ^ van Horn, Teri (June 25, 2001). "Bratmobile, Need, Gossip Playing Yoyo A Gogo Festival". MTV. Retrieved September 8, 2016.