A week before the event, Adam Martin, the President of Artists 4 Life in The Sound, saw a BBC car on the UWT campus. He hopped the Link tracks, walked up to the reporter in the car and introduced himself. When the reporter asked Martin where to find punk music in Tacoma, specifically socially conscientious punk, Martin suggested a group called LOZEN, and took the reporter to a potential venue they could play at called the New Frontier.
Why was the BBC in Tacoma? They have a mobile bureau, BBC Pop Up, which spends a month in 6 very different parts of the US, which allows Americans to tell them what local stories they should share with a global audience. Pop Up has included Boulder, Baton Rouge, Pittsburg, and now Tacoma. Martin states, “Historically, with regards to punk music, the Brits followed a lot of what America did – the BBC just happened to look for what’s new in America right here in Tacoma.” Martin helped provided BBC with a more positive, proactive view of the punk scene here in Tacoma.
The New Frontier Lounge is an over 21 bar and music venue that is known for hosting original live music from around the Pacific Northwest. This punk rock show happened on February 28 and contained some big names from Tacoma and Olympia, including Pig Snout!, LOZEN, Full Moon Radio, and Globelamp.
The reason for the chosen set list of predominantly female rockers is because that’s what BBC wanted. UK’s first experience with punk rock was gender neutral groups and female players. “Their impression is that punk was historically the first genre to be more inclusive of the social fringe, that it was more accepting. They wanted to find that in the Tacoma scene,” says Martin.
The crowd was very diverse from adult punk rockers to community members. Martin personally invited community leaders and people from community organizations like Hilltop Urban Gardens, Puget Creek Restoration Society, and Tacoma’s Food Co-op. Adam Boyd, Creator and host of the Why Adam? show says, “All that place is missing is the underlying smoke vapor of the ‘70s.”
Pig Snout! is a rock group that consists of guitarist Justin and his children Dahlia (6 years old) and Lucien (9 years old) who switch off between drums and keyboards. Pig Snout is a project to help the kids learn the ins and outs of playing music and being in a band.
The second group to play was LOZEN—an experimental female rock group from Tacoma. Compared to the other punk rock groups, they take a more indie approach with a very melodic and blues feel. It was like the White Stripes unplugged.
Jayme Fisher; the music director of non-profit music festival called “Music & Art in Wright Park” says, “I know LOZEN well and I have seen them tons of times. They are always awesome and so dynamic.”
Full Moon Radio is a female rock group from Olympia, with a retro gothic look. They won an award in 2014 for Best Band, Best Indie Rock Band in the Olympia Weekly Volcano. The last performance was Olympia group Globelamp, a psychedelic folk group.
“I hope that BBC puts a spotlight on Tacoma for a lot of its originality and I hope that they see how amazing this place is as opposed to the reputation that it holds,” says Fisher.
Martin has some thoughts on his experience while hosting the show. “We threw this show together in a week. It is amazing how fast our community can come together to make something happen for the right cause.”