Music Tonight: Thursday, Feb. 1

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Olympia's DIY-born and bred K Records is one of those phenomena in the history of American music that make the most sense looking backward through the trajectory of pop culture. The early home of indie groups like Built To Spill and Bikini Kill began at a time when punk rock was undergoing an identity crises between the machismo of hardcore and the nuance of a new generation of musicians defined by their introversion, wry humor and far-left sexual and identity politics, and who would end up dominating the indie scene by the 1990s. K Records served as a sort of foil to the louder/heavier dynamic found in neighboring label Kill Rock Stars' releases. One of its flagship bands was the quietly coy and inscrutable Beat Happening, whose frontman is K Records label founder Calvin Johnson, who plays the Outer Space tonight at 7 p.m. with locals Monster Women and Slop opening ($8). Expect deep monotone vocals and clever lyrics over a twee pop wash of tone.

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