1979, Bruce Pavitt moved to Olympia and began programming
a show on local community radio station KAOS-FM called
Subterranean Pop. Inspired by Olympia’s guide
to independent music, Op magazine, he founded a fanzine
version of Subterranean Pop, focusing on music with
a punk, new wave and experimental bent. Calvin Johnson
joined the fanzine’s staff in 1980, beginning
with the second issue.
Subterranean Pop‘s particular field of interest
was artists from the Midwest and Northwest. Most “punk”
and “new wave” fans at the time were puzzled
by this; a surprised “who even knew there were
enough bands in those regions to devote a column, let
alone an entire fanzine?” may have crossed their
minds. Even more puzzling was the exclusion of artists
like the Clash, Gang of Four, Blondie or PIL soley because
of their major label associations.
What follows are excerpts from various issues of Sup/Pop
(as it became known from issue #2 on) about Beakers,
the Blackouts and Mr. Brown records, an Olympia independent
label in the early ‘80s.