A Revolution You Can Dance To: Panelists
Diana Arens ’93, MPA ’15
Diana Arens is a former Olympia riot grrrl, program director of KAOS Olympia Community Radio, and program producer and host of “Free Things Are Cool” on KAOS (1991-2008), as well as all-ages show organizer, photographer, and audio engineer at Dub Narcotic Studio and Yoyo Studio. Diana recorded many festivals, including Yoyo a Go Go in Olympia (1994 and 1997), Ladyfest Olympia (2000), and Homo a Go Go, and also built speakers still in use at Dub Narcotic Studio during the Evergreen course Audio in Media (1993). Diana has a song on the Go Olympia cassette in the exhibit and went on tour with the Cha Cha Cabaret. A double Greener, Diana graduated in ’93 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Communications, and Psychology and in 2013 completed her Master of Public Administration. She currently works for the State of Washington as a Senior Budget and Forecast Analyst. A lifelong Washingtonian, she lives in Olympia with her partner, Claude, and their three cats.
Pat Castaldo ’95
In the ’90s, Pat was a computer programmer, photographer, and graphic designer working on more than 50 different album covers for Northwest bands. He was heavily involved with the Olympia Film Society and practically lived at the Capitol Theater. He helped put on the Yoyo A Go Go music festivals and was deeply involved in the local music scene. In ’99, he co-founded buyolympia.com, the pioneering independent artists’ online shop. He now lives in Portland with his wife and son, where he curates the Land Gallery.
Steve Fisk ’82
Few people have as wide of a bandwidth as Steve Fisk. His background in analogue audio technology and synthesizers, music history, and production techniques, as well as his years in beats, looping, and programming—not to mention his two indie labels, use of “pre-surround” audio composition, and environmental work—provide a unique palate of skills to the artists and musicians he has worked with. A veteran of bands including Pell Mell, Halo Benders and Pigeonhed, Steve earned renown early on as a producer, helming sessions for many bands and musicians.
John Foster ’79
A ’79 graduate of Evergreen, Foster got his start in radio at the college’s station, KAOS-FM, serving as music librarian in the summer of ’75 and authoring the station's independent music policy—still in effect today— that stipulates 80% of the music played must be independent of major recording companies. He edited and published Lost Music Network's Op magazine, covering all genres of independently-produced music, and sang in John Foster’s Pop Philosophers in the early ’80s. He and Dana Squires, Op's art director, live with their youngest daughter and several pets in the Northeast Olympia neighborhood.
Toni Holm '78
Toni Holm was KAOS General Manager, and co-founder of OP Magazine, based in Olympia. Along with Dave Rauh, she successfully brought Olympia its first commercial FM radio station, in operation since 1990. Toni manages KXXO Mixx 96.1 FM, and is involved in Olympia Little Theater.
Calvin Johnson ’05
Based in Olympia, Calvin Johnson’s work in underground culture started as a teenage fan volunteering at local community radio station KAOS-FM. He moved on to writing for fanzines, organizing music and film events, and playing music in various ill-fated bands. Calvin established K Records, a locally-oriented media outlet, in ’82. In ’93 Calvin founded Dub Narcotic Studio, where he has documented the work of the Somehow Is and Never Was, such as Mirah, the Blow, Versus, Built To Spill, Fitz of Depression, Make-Up and Little Wings. It has also been the incubator of many “Calvin experiments” in collaboration and self-expression, such as Beat Happening, Halo Benders, Dub Narcotic Sound System, and Selector Dub Narcotic. The decade of the double zeroes saw Calvin Johnson set into the world, acoustic guitar in hand, as a solo artist of musical platitudes. Now that the one-zeroes have hit, Calvin is busy preparing a new album for the new decade.
Nomy Lamm ’97
Nomy Lamm grew up in Olympia where she acted in musical theater, played in bands (starting with Plain Jane at age 16), wrote zines, did drag and other performance art, and released solo albums, including Anthem (on Talent Show Records) and Effigy (on Yoyo Records). She was politicized by riot grrrl in the early 90s. In 2000 she co-wrote, co-produced and co-starred in The Transfused, a full-length rock opera about multi-gendered, hybrid animal people fighting against late-stage capitalism, a hundred years after the downfall of the American empire. She studied political economy and multimedia art at Evergreen, graduating in ’97.
Slim Moon ’14
Slim Moon is the founder of Olympia-based record label Kill Rock Stars. While living in Olympia from ‘86 to ’06, he attended Evergreen from ‘86-‘87 and then again in ‘11-'14, graduating with a BA in September ‘14. He was in a bunch of bands, including NDPN, Lush, and Witchypoo, among others; got involved in all kinds of projects (Yeahfest, Phantom City Records, Shotclock Management, etc); and put out about 400 records while he lived in Olympia.
Michelle Noel ’99
Michelle began attending punk shows and volunteering at Community World Theater Tacoma in ’87. After moving to Olympia in ’89 to attend Evergreen, she quickly became part of that scene, including becoming one of the original riot grrrls. Besides DJing and organizing many shows around Olympia, including the Yoyo A Go Go festivals, Michelle also hosted a radio show on KAOS for 12 years.
Mariella Luz ’00
Mariella moved to Olympia from the DC suburbs in the fall of ’95, reflecting that “Within the first month of being here, Fugazi played a show at the Capitol Theater and I knew I had come to the right place.” As Mariella started attending all-ages shows in the late ’80s, she attests that “Music quickly became one of the most important things in my life.” Twenty years later, when Olympia no longer had an all-ages venue, it became clear to her that creating that kind of space was vital. Hence, the Olympia All Ages Project and Northern were born.
Lois Maffeo ’85
Lois is a singer/songwriter and music journalist from Olympia, Washington. While at Evergreen, her interest in music flourished as a presenter on KAOS-FM, Olympia’s community and college radio station.
Patrick Maley ’84
Pat attended Evergreen in the early ’80s, graduating in ’84 with a BA in media production and continuing with classes through ’86. Pat is the founder and owner of recording studio and record label Yoyo Recordings, as well as a drummer, dad, grocer, and soon-to-be psychotherapist.
Kento Oiwa ’94
Sound engineer at Capitol Theater Backstage, publicist at K Records, and co-organizer at Yoyo A Go Go, Kento spent the early ’90s as a KAOS DJ, promoting and performing music shows on campus and in town, as well as actively participating in the Olympia music scene in multiple roles through the rest of the decade. A founding member of IQU, an electronic pop group with releases on K Records and comprised of fellow Evergreen alumni, Kento went on to tour extensively and make records from the mid-’90s through the next decade.
Joshua Ploeg ’93
Chef, author, and screamer Joshua Ploeg (aka Joshua Plague) attended Evergreen from ’90-’93, studying political economy and French. Joshua was involved in the Olympia and Northwest music scenes from the early 90s on, doing zines, putting on shows all over town, and playing music in several punk rock queercore bands. Joshua lives in San Diego, California and is currently a personal chef, caterer, and cookbook author, and still plays music as well.
Dave Rauh ’79
Dave attended Evergreen from 1975 until his graduation in ‘79 ,working as business manager, and then general manager, of student-run KAOS-FM in ’77 and ’78. While at Evergreen he participated in coordinated studies and individual contracts involving photography and graphic arts. Dave was part of the group (including John Foster and others) responsible for publishing OP Magazine; starting around ’78, they printed their first five issues as an insert in the KAOS Program Guide. OP Magazine continued as an independent, stand-alone magazine documenting many aspects of the "DIY"/indie music movement for several more years. After graduation, Dave and Toni Holm, who also managed KAOS and worked on OP Magazine, successfully brought Olympia its first commercial FM radio station which has continued in operation since 1990.
Chris “Sandman” Sand
Chris Sand grew up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains on the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana, and lived in Olympia for 11 years. He released his first CD in 1996 (recorded by Diana Arens ’93, ’15), which was followed by a dozen more over the next twenty years. Chris tours throughout the U.S. and Canada, performing a unique blend of original folk, punk, rap, and cowboy music. In 2008 Chris was the focus of a feature-length documentary, ROLL OUT, COWBOY. Chris performs and tours on a shoestring budget: he has played the same guitar for 25 years, he still rocks his old Casio Rapman, and he drives a 15-year-old car. Chris and his daughter live in Missoula, MT, where he works as a night janitor at The Roxy Theater. Chris uses humor, music, and poetry to tell stories, build connections, and get people thinking.
Aaron Tuller ’00
Aaron Tuller spent his high school summers in the mid-’90s at Sub Pop in Seattle, working on their first website and helping to document the history of the label and bands associated with the Pacific Northwest music scene. Working alongside many former Olympia residents, he was encouraged to apply to Evergreen and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 2000. While at Evergreen, Aaron was involved with campus radio station KAOS-FM and continued to work for local record labels, such as Kill Rock Stars and Punk In My Vitamins, with an eye towards cataloging the output of musicians in and around Olympia. In ’99 he co-founded buyolympia.com, a groundbreaking e-commerce site and showcase for independent artists.
Sarah Utter '05
Sarah Utter is a visual artist, letterpress print artist, musician (Plastique, Bangs, Western Hymn, Госкино), and animal lover. Sarah created the Reading is Sexy tee shirt and bumper stickers you may have seen.
Tae Won Yu
While not a full-time student, Tae Won Yu still “had the good fortune of being welcomed into the Evergreen community.” Auditing a photography class at Evergreen led him to documenting the punk scene in Olympia, which cross-pollinated with his multi-disciplinary work as a musician, designer, and artist. He played in the Olympia punk band Kicking Giant and produced graphics for many different projects, including Built To Spill, Yoyo A Go Go, Clear Cut Books, and K Records. Most recently he is the author of My First Baby Signs, a pull-tab book that teaches sign language to babies.