The first two parts of an eight-part documentary series about independent northwest music airs today on Hollow Earth Radio. The series, called the Sea-Port Beat, consists of interviews with musicians and radio djs who were involved in developing the unique sound of the region.
The show aired on the online radio station at noon today for the first time. There will be another airing at 6 p.m., and Hollow Earth is holding a listening party at their 21st and Union studio during that time. The station will air two of the eight episodes each Wednesday in March. They will be available for download after they are aired.
I had the chance to listen to some of episode one and most of episode two today during the first airing. Those interested in Central District music history should definitely tune-in at least for part two. Much of our region’s unique funk and garage rock sounds were started by people right here in the CD. The segment also goes into some of the racial inequity issues in our neighborhood’s music history, with white musicians getting big playing music by black musicians in the neighborhood who often went without credit.
Episode descriptions from Hollow Earth Radio:
Episode 1: This Time Let’s Do It Right: The Northwest Independent Music Legacy of the 1980’s: Setting the pace for the documentary, this episode is told though the personal geography and reflections of its producer, from what he has witnessed since the dawn of the modern NW DIY culture in 1980s Olympia. This was a crucial time and place as the theoretical headwaters of Sub Pop, K Records, Kill Rock Stars, and the Riot Grrl movement. Highlight: John Foster tells how and why he invented the world’s first explicitly independent music-based radio station, Olympia’s KAOS-fm. (Rich Jensen, Episode Producer; Amber Cortes, Segment Producer)
Episode 2: Origins Of A Sound: This episode asks how the unique Northwest sound developed. You’ll get a ground level view of the original independent music scene according to the Sonics, Wailers, Ventures, Dynamics, Raiders, Goodtimes and Pat Staten, to name a few. In fact, we’ll share the first Sonics interview from the 1950s. Not everything is shiny though, as we remove the veneer of the early dance hall scene to reveal the racism and corruption. (David Newman, Episode Producer; Segment Producers: CJ Gambrell, Lydia Helmick, Chris Bradbury, Editor)
Meanwhile, Hollow Earth Radio is also holding an independent music festival all month called Magma Festival. See our previous story for more information.