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A dizzying bill

For Olympia Arts Walk, Cascadia Brewing Co. has assembled two incredible shows

Le Grotto is just one of about 20 bands to be playing at Cascadia Brewing Co. Photo credit: Facebook

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Olympia's a small town with an overactive arts scene, and as such, the event of a music venue shutting down can have a seismic effect. Such was the sad case when Obsidian abruptly shuttered its doors late last year. The café and performance space was frequently responsible for bringing in some of the most exciting shows on any given night of the week, many of which were all ages and openly projected the message of inclusivity and community togetherness that defines much of Olympia's ethos. In Obsidian's absence, Olympia's music scene experienced a bit of a stutter step as everyone worked to regroup.

One of the venues that has really come into its own, since Obsidian's closing, is Cascadia Brewing Co. While the brewery was no stranger to hosting shows, the breadth and variety of their booking has seemed to increase exponentially over the past few months. Case in point: Cascadia Brewing Co. will be participating in the Olympia Arts Walk Friday and Saturday, showcasing a staggering amount of bands, numbering to around 20. What's more impressive is the eclectic mix of genres and sounds, resulting in something of a self-contained festival for Cascadia. It would take way too much time to get you hip to all the bands that are playing this weekend, but I'm more than willing to hype some acts that I'd personally be a fool to miss.

On Friday, we've got the fried acid-rock of Mhostly Ghostly (which may also get top honors for most absurdly awesome name). The Seattle group's 2017 album, A Faceless Fiction, is packed with psych-rock freak-outs that also display impeccable musicianship, resulting in the kind of songs that take you on a vibrant journey through space and time. The ‘70s-appropriate prog-rock flute on "Europa" is a perfect touch. Fuzzy Math also takes the stage Friday, with their flamboyant electro-rock that veers into heady, Radiohead-esque territory. The weirdo bedroom pop of Oh Blue Minium will be present, offering a diverting mix of confessional songwriting and inscrutable sounds. Perhaps the most straightforward band on Friday's bill is Silver Saturn, whose winsome indie rock carries with it a bit of soul and a sing-a-long vibe.

Saturday's show is a positively dizzying collection of acts, starting at noon and running until SinNombre, who take the stage at 11 p.m., are done. The lively funk of SinNombre is a fine way to end the night. Earlier, though, we have the slacker rock of Le Grotto, who have slowly settled their way into becoming one of my favorite bands in the Pacific Northwest. Their mix of laid-back driving music and wild periods of catharsis is eminently satisfying. The dreamy, fuzz-laden Heat Shimmer will also be performing, with their unexpected mix of surf-pop, shoegaze and punk. One of the more exciting inclusions on this bill is the Black Tones, a Seattle trio that melds punk, blues, and righteous political anger. There are unforeseen touches, like on "Welcome Mr. Pink," with its theatrical feel and Pink Floyd-esque psychedelia.

There are many more bands to be mentioned that are playing at Cascadia during Arts Walk, like the wistful indie pop of Erina, or the oddball psych of Forest Ray. The main thing, though, is that this is an absurd feast of music from Olympia and beyond. During these two days, the city will be lively with events to be seen, but Cascadia will be a veritable hotbed of activity. If I were you, I'd post up at Cascadia and take in everything, letting my mind wander along with the meandering din of unfamiliar music. It's a pleasure to be able to experience new music blasted in your general direction as you sip a beer.

OLYMPIA ARTS WALK MUSIC, 5 p.m., Friday; noon, Saturday, April 27-28, $5-$10, Cascadia Brewing Co., 211 4th Ave. E., Olympia, 360.943.2337,

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