Posted September 30, 2012 by Cooper Point Journal in Arts & Entertainment
 
 

Music Spots


Olympia has a deep and storied history of live music since the 60s, stemming largely from Evergreen’s influence. Washington state’s capital has served as a training ground for bands such as Nirvana, Modest Mouse, The Melvins, and Sleater Kinney, to name a few. These are our picks for the five best options to catch live music around Olympia and beyond.

1. LE VOYEUR
WHERE: 404 E 4th Ave
THE LOWDOWN: A common hangout spot for local artists, this café, bar, and music venue hosts a wide variety of shows almost every night of the week. Ranging from doom metal, to indie rock, to electronic dance music, Le Voyeur features mostly local acts and is all ages until 10 p.m. They offer an awesome selection of hearty sandwiches and vegan/vegetarian options for a reasonable price. Oh, and don’t forget to order their bomb-ass garlic fries.
WHAT TO SPEND: $0 – 5
VoyeurOlympia.Com

 

2. NORTHERN
WHERE: 414 1/2 Legion Way
THE LOWDOWN: Northern has been working to keep all ages music alive since 2008. The volunteer run venue routinely hosts up-and-coming touring acts, as well as local favorites such as Calvin Johnson, RVIVR, The Maxines, and Meowtain. Volunteer meetings are opportunities to get involved booking shows, running sound, and working with bands.
WHAT TO SPEND: $5 – 7
Olympiallages.org

3. HOUSE SHOWS
WHERE: All over Olympia
THE LOWDOWN: An Evergreen tradition dating back to the school’s founding, basements and living rooms around town host the best times for the least dollars. Northwest indie greats Nirvana and Modest Mouse both started out playing informal shows at houses that opened their doors on a weekly basis to the community. Look for local groups like Meowtain, Camp Wisdom, RVIVR, Dick Binge, and Sitka in basements across our fair city.
WHAT TO SPEND: Most shows are free, but some request donations for touring bands.

4. CAPITOL THEATER
WHERE: 206 5th Avenue SE
THE LOWDOWN: Olympia Film Society screens an eclectic mix of award winning, international, and independent films and hosts a variety of live acts. Located in the historic Capitol Theater, check out this spot for Rhode Island MC Sage Francis as he takes the stage on Sept. 22.
WHAT TO SPEND: $0 – 5
olympiafilmsociety.org/

5. SEATTLE & PORTLAND
THE LOWDOWN: While Olympia itself does not usually attract most nationally touring bands, both Seattle and Portland are known for the quality and selection of live shows. Only an hour north, look for your favorite bands to come through Seattle venues like The ShowBox, Neumos, and The Paramount Theater. And only a two hour trek south, the major venues in the indie music mecca Portland include: The Crystal Ballroom, The Roseland Theater, Edgefield, The Doug Fir and Backspace.
WHAT TO SPEND: Shows in both cities range from $15 – 30, but gas will cost you as much.

By Issac Scott