Calvin Johnson – The man who made Olympia famous. The godfather of the Northwest scene, founder of K Records, member of a million bands and the living embodiment of the DIY ethic. Sir, I salute you.
K Records – Since 1982 K Records has been the definitive voice of the indie Northwest. Calvin and Co. is responsible for more teenage love among grown adults than Boone’s Ferry wine.
Kill Rockstars – If K Records were Ryan from Fox’s “The O.C.,” then Kill Rockstars would be Trey, his badass older brother with a heart of gold. It looks like he’s up to no good, but then you hear that Elliott Smith record and realize he’s just looking for love, like all of us.
Buy Olympia – Is everyone in Olympia a multitalented artist? Yes. Do they all sell their brilliant wares on www.buyolympia.com? No, but you can break the bank here regardless.
Stella Mars – There are a million brilliant and political artists in Olympia, but only Stella can make a kitten eating pie revolutionary. She’s taken back Americana from the jerks.
Nikki McClure – Yes, her naturalistic and rousing paper cuts are everywhere. There’s a reason for that, however. She’s that badass. Seriously. And it’s not all crows and inspirational cherry blossoms. She also did the cover of a Thrones album, and that shit is hard.
KAOS 89.3 – Kickass community radio from the land of evergreens. It gives a voice to the city, gives you national progressive thought and plays the music that inspires the amazing community up north. I’m required to mention KPSU kicks ass too, perhaps better, but Portland’s a bigger city, so what ya’ gonna do.
Evergreen College – You make your own way here. For most, that way is straight down to the head shop, but for the inspired, Evergreen offers a chance to accomplish things traditional universities don’t.
Free Skool – The nice thing about forward thinking small communities is that things like the Free Skool can really take off. Teaching the community everything from gardening to Japanese, this school is about betterment of life, not necessarily pocketbooks. Novel.
Olympia Brewery – It used to be about the water, now it’s about Miller buying up all the Northwest beers and closing down the breweries. Damn you, Miller brewing! Damn you to hell!
The Capitol building – Oh, Olympia is the Washington State Capitol. However, capitols are boring to everyone but grandmas, politicians and The Oregonian.
CrimethINC – If you are an activist under the age of 30 and you haven’t read “Days of War, Nights of Love,” you’re doing something wrong. Or Right, but wrong. CrimethINC is the thoughtful written voice of Northwest activism, but extends its compassionate change throughout the world.
Olympia film society – One of the best revival groups in the country, housed in the beautiful and important Capitol Theater.
Capitol Theater – Beautiful and important, the Capitol Theater hosts drama, film and punk rock. Ian MacKaye worked the door here during the Yoyo A Go Go festival here. And that’s just one legend.