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Polka Dot Dot Dot

They welcome Olympia's growing all-ages scene

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Born from a melting pot of music, polka dots, and ellipses, Polka Dot Dot Dot is in full force as their third band member, Jordan O’Jordan (Jordan Smith), arrived back into town to join bandmembers Onyx of Olympia and Twig Palace (Colleen Johnson).

Formed in the musically-saturated town of Olympia, the band isn’t so much influenced by certain bands as by historical periods.

“I’m really into Appalachian folk music from the 1900s,” Johnson chirps. Combined with Smith’s previous experience in a barbershop quartet and Onyx’s prior attachment to medieval choir music, Polka Dot Dot Dot has developed their own style of folksy genius. It is reminiscent of bygone days and heralds yet-to-be days filled with promise.

Just “being alive” inspires their music. the band explains. They claim life is their muse and it has compelled them to create an abundant and rich anthology of lyrical compositions. They bring these to the stage “sharing something with people and having it be a human experience shared between two people. Not a one-way interaction” — an experience and an “energy exchange” allowing for something to be gained and not simply taken. A rather mystical gift of hand claps, foot stomps, and banjo rhythms.  No one in the band is tied to one instrument as everyone lends a voice and his or her own human form of percussion.

As Polka Dot Dot Dot plays more shows and leaves the all-ages bracket, they have watched the scene in Olympia grow, and they realize there remains a need for all-ages venues. And as “Olympia (goes) through a lot of ebb and flow with all-ages venues … there are still so many awesome young bands,” explains Johnson.

At least a lack of venues does not stifle their own musical creativity.  So hip high school student organizations like the Olympia All Ages Project answer the need that musicians have regardless of age. Even if one is over the drinking age, it is lovely that venues exist that are not based on vices. 

The opening of Northern is an inspiring culmination of all the work that people have been doing to fuel the all-ages scene within Olympia and to inspire those around them to be passionate about their music no matter what obstacles they may face.

Polka Dot Dot Dot takes the stage at Northern Monday night, the latest all-ages venture from the Olympia All Ages Project, with Shenandoah Davis, Sleep Together, and Karczol. The selection of their band’s name might have been rushed because they had to head out for a New Zealand show with a deadline for fliers nipping at their heels, but there is nothing rushed about the simplistic intricacies of their charming melodies.

[Northern, Polka Dot Dot Dot, Shenandoah Davis, Sleep Together and Karczol, Monday, May 18, 8 p.m., all ages, $5, 321 Fourth Ave, Olympia]

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