THE COOPER POINT JOURNAL

While studying at The Evergreen State College, I led the rebranding and operation of the student newspaper the Cooper Point Journal, refocused on its heritage as an arts- and culture-centric print publication.

Founded in the early 1970s as a radical, student-led organization, it was where such figures as Matt Groening and Craig Bartlett published their first work before creating "The Simpsons" and "Hey Arnold."

When I arrived in 2011, years of disinvestment had gutted the paper of resources and community engagement, and it had atrophied into a seldom-used news blog.

Rather than succumbing to digitization, we completely reimagined the publication as a biweekly print newspaper enveloped in vibrant student artwork and filled with commentary and creativity.

The processes was as fundamental as finding a printing facility, selecting a paper to print on, writing job descriptions and hiring staff, and loading up a pickup truck with bundles of warm newspapers and delivering them to pizza shops and cafes.

Winning an award in our yearly "Best of Olympia" edition became a source of pride for local businesses, and a campaign in our pages prevented the closure of the college's art gallery.

Circulation returned to historic levels, and we brought the paper from the brink of extinction to petitioning the college for expanded resources, filling the office with new state-of-the-art equipment for the first time in a decade.


Best New Music: LAKE - Circular Doorway

LAKE assembles a cabal of talented players for laid back, vintage-sounding grooves in what is arguably most quintessentially Olympia band imaginable. Nearing a decade since their first release, Circular Doorway shows that the quartet has settled comfortably into their offbeat pop rock sound. Today their pastel twee style essentially defines the contemporary K Records aesthetic: unrelentingly mellow and cultishly familial . . . Read More

Best Bets: Four Ways to Have an Alright Time in Olympia

Few bands in Olympia are as unapologetically fun as Holy Komodo. Thick bass lines, seductive harmonies, and infectious disco grooves, cut easily through the fog of cynicism that clogs Olympia’s musical arteries. Their mission is to make you dance, so for a bit you can stop sulkily contemplating Foucault or whatever . . . Read More

Best Bets May 9: Tal National

Tal National became the most celebrated band in their home nation Niger over a decade of touring constantly throughout the Sahara, playing five hour gigs every day. Lately, they’ve hit the international tour circuit, leading them now to Olympia for the first time. The members—sometimes 13 strong, but more often around six—bring together a variety of West Africa’s distinguished musical traditions into jittery and intense rock n’ roll . . . Read More



Best New Music: Here's what you we think you should be listening to.

While everyone fawns over Portland, Chicago and Austin as hot spots for new music, Olympia quietly ferments the kind of sublime weirdness that has contributed disproportionately to overall “alternative culture,” whatever that means.

Obviously, themes established by riot grrrl and grunge—Olympia’s most heralded cultural export—remain pervasive in the music world. And what would indie rock be today without Sub Pop and K Records, both formulated by students at Evergreen? . . . Read More

Spring Arts Walk Previews


Nathan Barnes will show his distorted, grotesque mixed media portraits at Salon Refu for his new exhibition “Strangely Familial.” The Olympia artist fits broadly into the genre of pop surrealism, where cartoonish assemblages make up uncannily warped scenes. In the new series, 3D collaged faces melt away horrifically, revealing biological mechanics and toy store bric-a-brac . . . Read More

Nü Sensae Keeps Northwest Punk Rock Alive


Like a great Quentin Tarantino shootout, the new record from northwest punk trio Nü Sensae balances perfectly on the edge of senselessness: simultaneously orgiastic and faultlessly choreographed . . . Read More