Last July, kids from all over the world flocked to Olympia, Washington -- a city with a population half that of Denton -- solely to see music, specifically the bands performing at the semi-regular Yoyo A Go Go festival. But even without a festival to spur them on, kids still come to Olympia. The reason: Over the past 10 years, the most notorious eruptions in rock music have had roots in the Northwest, with Olympia at their core. From the outside, the town can be romanticized as indie-rock Vegas, a place where things are unquestionably cool and influential. Nirvana played their earliest shows at house parties and art studios downtown. Unwound began as three Olympia high schoolers. And at the local Evergreen State College, Bikini Kill and Heavens to Betsy first practiced in the dorms, Lynda Barry and Matt Groening were newspaper nerds, and Calvin Johnson and Lois Maffeo met as... More >>>
"I'm just a fan, really," Calvin Johnson says. "I got into music like everyone else. I listened to records I liked and thought I could make some myself."