Hot! Spotlight Olympia III: Back in Time

Posted by on March 16th, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Welcome to another adventure down the rabbit hole that is the Olympia, WA music scene. This time we explore Hysterics, and their fight against the tyrannical oppressors of comedy, meet Nuts! mainman Ben Trogdon, and explore the top bandcamp sites of the week.

There is a tendency to write history from one’s own perspective. This phenomena can be viewed in memoirs, narrative journalism, even major historical texts. It simply exists that writers then to make the past fit a mold.

In a lot of ways musicology is the same way; and the popular discourse on Olympia music scene tends to focus strongly on Riot Grrrl, Grunge, and “love rock.” While they are all well deserved topics, really Olympia’s music scene predates that.

For example The Fleetwoods found themselves with a #1 pop hit in 1959 with “Come Softly to Me,” a product of Olympia High School students! Another OHS alum, Don Rich, teamed up with Buck Owens, for a string of hits in the 1960s… But that is just some history, and now the news!

Exhibit A

Hysterics “Take On” Green Day:

The joke is on the readers of Maximum RocknRoll who fell for Olympia’s Hysterics satirical barb aimed at Green Day.

In their open letter to “Green Day,” the band mockingly decried the similarities of Green Day’s shirt to their own, as well as the classic Black Flag logo; in turn the band also called into question the male centric nature of band iconography. The brief letter stated: “We are writing in response to a graphic used on tee shirts by your rock group Green Day in which four blood-soaked tampons are placed upside-down, perhaps as a feminist appropriation of the Black Flag bars as a response to the patriarchal machismo of the hardcore scene in which we both grew up. My initial response was one of shock and disappointment due to the fact that the portrayal of tampon bars has been a longstanding symbol of our Washington-based feminist rock group Hysterics. However, the more I ponder the content of our little coincidence, the more my concern grows regarding the absorbency of the tampons depicted on some of your tee shirts. Our tampons are well-used, sure, but the Green Day tampons are fully soaked in blood, which indicates to me that you may need to upgrade to higher-absorbency tampons in order to accommodate your heavy flow….”

It wasn’t long before MRR’s facebook republished the letter. Where punk fans from various desperate locales hotly debated the validity of their argument; albeit, totally missing the joke. Some of the choice comments included, “This person just went full retard. 1) the bars are dynamite, not tampons. 2) if you plagerize [sic.] a black flag shirt, you can’t call plagerism [sic.] on a shirt that looks similar. If nothing else, they’re copying the one that you copied.” As well as barbs calling the band members dumbasses, as well as some gender based derogatory statements, as if the band were not aware that the Green Day image were not tampons.

In response, the band rolled with the punches and released an official statement: “The idea that anyone, let alone punk rockers, would get so up in arms about an independent group poking a little fun at a mainstream act that has their own version of [the video game] Rock Band is almost as appalling as it is hilarious. Joke’s on you, goofs.”

With antics like this, I nominate Hysterics to be the musical equivalent of Andy Kaufman.

Meet Ben Trogdon, Founder of Nuts! Fanzine:

89.3 KAOS FM radio dj Frankie B. has posted a profile of artist, musician, and Nuts! Fanzine founder founder Ben Trogdon on his Campfire Island website.

Beyond Nuts! Fanzine, Ben also plays in the bands Weird Tv and Crude Thought, as well as runs the photoblog V.B.D.B.C.T.

Campfire Island also broadcasts a weekly radio show on KAOS 89.3 FM (in Olympia, WA) every Saturday at from 10pm to midnight (Pacific), as well as hosts an concert calendar for the Olympia, WA area.

Bandcamp Top 15 (as of 3/16/12):

1. (position last week 1, weeks on list 3) Christian Mistress — Possession
2. (2, 3) Crumbs — Hallow Tongue
3. (3, 3) Kickball — Everything is a Miracle
4. (5, 3) Happy Noose — Happy Noose
5. (4, 3) RVIVR — Dirty Water EP
6. (6, 3) Teradaktyle — Just the Good Bits
7. (11, 3) Four Minute Mile — Indian Summer
8. (9, 3) Fickle — Until Infinity
9. (New) Dance Archy – Dance Archy
10. (9, 3)Broken Water — Peripheral Star
11. (7, 3) Alaric — Alaric
12. (10, 3) Generifus — I Don’t Have to Worry
13. (13, 3) Broken Water — Whet
14. (12, 3) Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat dan Singa — Trance Punk 14. Manifestos Vol. III
15. (15, 2) Beats — Giorgio Momurda

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