Posted October 12, 2016 by Cooper Point Journal in Arts & Culture

Arts Walk Music Rundown: Genius or Madness?

By Rachel Carlson

Arts Walk weekend in Olympia is usually a circus, and this year was no different. Although I have seen the streets more crowded, the variety of musical acts was enough to entertain even the most jaded of listeners. Olympia really shone, coming out with some of the best emerging artists of the region, punctuated by the reigning king of contemporary artists from Olympia in the last ten years making an appearance.

I started the Artswalk weekend standing in the rain waiting for tickets to see Xperience: The Chasing Grace album release party, hosted by Macklemore. The drizzle was fierce and the line was about halfway down the block for tickets at the door. The show was sold out, and the crowd came to the consensus that the show was “amazing”. The high energy performance wowed the show goers and really kicked off the night. The cd release for “Chasing Grace” was a sold out success, and the thoughtful lyrics and evoked a lot of emotion from the crowd. Chasing Grace has been a long time coming and his website describes the album as “a sonic journey into the mind of man whose soul is at war. It’s a view into the essence of a man who is transforming from an insecure kid burdened with America’s social constructs, into one who questions the world and the religion he was raised in.” The performance was on point, fun, and really got the crowd of people who had waited so long pumped.

There were, of course, the usual jam bands and jazz acts, playing horns in the rain in front of Capitol City Guitars to small swells of people who ebbed and flowed from the audience in search of ice cream and mixed media installations to oogle. The Olympia music scene has long been hailed as a secret, and this Arts Walk lineup really made that clear. The talent holed up in our all american city is stacked, with new bands moving here just to network and play where their predecessors laid the groundwork for living a life of passion for art.


The weekend had a packed music schedule and on Friday Obsidian had a triple header featuring Fuzzy Math, The Loud Potions, and Co-Founders. Le Voyeur had a metal show and I caught a few minutes of A God or Another, and then moved onto McCoy’s for a show with Le Grotto, Soggy Creep, and Whitewood Funk. I wandered through a Brown Edition show at Cascadia Homebrew. Saturday night Swoon played at McCoy’s and brought out the usual crowd of local artists and greeners, plus the end of Arts Walk stragglers. There was live music everywhere and overall I feel like this weekend really gave us a slice of the best that Olympia has to offer. Fuzzy Math is a band that sounds like Radiohead lite, Soggy Creep is loud, Whitewood Funk is psychedelic and less funky than you would imagine, Le Grotto sounds like Olympia flavored surf rock, The Loud Potions are psychedelic pop rock who classify themselves as alternative, Swoon is calls themselves “a classic case of the fam jam blues”, Brown Edition brings the funk, and The Co Founder founded in September of 2015 were a pop rock group that was voted best pop act by What’s Up magazine in 2015. Brown Edition are established in the Olympia music scene and have been voted Best Band in Olympia by the Weekly Volcano two years in a row and Seattle Musicians of the Year by RAWartist Seattle. Le Grotto has been hailed as the best band in Olympia by K Recs intern John Winter and it’s no wonder why. The Olympia trio has been garnering a large following, bringing out other area bands who have made themselves into area favorites.

The weekend gave the listener a great slice of what Olympia has to offer as far as music is concerned. Some of the best musicians in Olympia and the surrounding area came out and really brought their A game. The variety of talent this city has fostered is amazing and the quality of music has really been exceptional, something we were lucky enough to see clearly displayed this weekend. This Arts Walk was a great one for music and showing the people of this city and it’s visitors what we’ve got.