“A Revolution You Can Dance To” explores the Northwest’s indie music scene

TACOMA…Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden may be the most recognizable bands originating from the Pacific Northwest in the early 1990s, but there are hundreds more that helped pave the way. The newest exhibit at the Washington State History Museum – “A Revolution You Can Dance To: Indie Music in the Northwest” – highlights the underground music scene in places like Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle. 

“Anyone from Washington knows that grunge was born here, but there is so much more behind the alternative music scene that we think hasn’t been fully explored…until now,” said Washington State Historical Society Director Jennifer Kilmer. “Visitors will feel like they’re in the front row for concerts by bands like Bikini Kill and Beat Happening, and festivals like Yoyo A Go Go, Ladyfest and Super Saturday.” 

“Revolution” also packs some serious girl power with artifacts and memorabilia documenting the original Riot Grrl movement. Artifacts on display include guitars, original zines and promotional artwork. In addition, the exhibit provides visitors the opportunity to make their own zine, listen to original and rare music clips and place themselves in the action onstage.

“A Revolution You Can Dance To” is sponsored by former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl, along with Click! Cable. Novoselic currently serves on the state historical society’s board of directors. 

Revolutions exhibit posterThe exhibit opens to the public Sept. 10 after a members-only preview event the evening prior, and runs through April 23, 2017. For information on how to become a member, please visit Globally known music industry graphic artist Art Chantry – a Tacoma native – designed the official poster for “A Revolution You Can Dance To.” A limited quantity of screened prints will be available for sale online and in the Museum Store. Chantry was an influential artist in Washington’s underground music scene and the exhibit poster is based on some of his designs from that era.

The Washington State History Museum, located at 1911 Pacific Ave. in Tacoma, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission for members is always free. Paid admission is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors, students and active duty or retired military with ID, and free for children under 5. Patrons with a Washington Quest card can attend for $1 per person or $2 per family. Admission is free after 2 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month when the museum stays open until 8 p.m.