K Records, which is based in Olympia (Washington), is a well respected indiepop label and will soon be 21 years old, having first been established in the Summer of 1982. K Records was first formed by Calvin Johnson as a cassette only label to focus on Olympia's music scene.

The name, Calvin Johnson, is connected with many other projects as well. Probably the best known is Beat Happening, which emerged in 1983 and started releasing their music on K Records. Johnson's first ever involvement in music, however, goes back to 1977 when he started doing his own radio show on a summer course called ‘Radio For Everyone’. Later he also started writing for the fanzine ‘Sub Pop’. He also created the International Pop Underground Festival in 1991.

There are many other side projects Johnson has been involved in, however, K Records has been and always will his main concern. The ever first release on K was  'Survival Of The Coolest' by the Supreme Cool Beings. The band consisted of Gary Allen May, Doug Monaghan and Heather Lewis, the latter of whom later would become a member of Beat Happening.

K Records to date has had nearly 50 bands on its rooster. "Bands organize everything as regards tours and management" explains Johnson, taking a few minutes out his busy schedule to speak to Pennyblackmusic "They normally play with other bands on the label so they know each other which works well and makes things easier for them. I will be performing with the Microphones and Little Wings, for example in Japan in late February."

That leaves the label to fully concentrate on releasing the music. "There are 6 people now working at K" says Johnson proudly

The label's store stocks just about everything from records to T-shirts and buttons to K mittens and K wallets.

There are new releases coming out regularly. "We have just released 'Wasted/Groove' by Dub Narcotic Sound System.”says Johnson. “ I also really like the Microphones who have just released a new album ' Mount Eerie' on both Cd and vinyl which is really good."

To hear K bands you can log onto their web site on www.kpunk.com and listen to the labels' radio, which is currently featuring over 20 songs by K artists. The radio is hosted by www.musicsteps.com

Looking into the future what are the main plans of K Records?

"Just to keep releasing good music and bringing it to music fans" Johnson says, answering my question.













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