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Knick Knack News

When Anti-Folk and Folk Collide--The Foghorns perform at Northwest Folklife

Among a range of exciting local folk musicians, the forty-first Northwest Folklife Festival will feature a band that defines itself as “anti-folk”, Knick Knack Records’ The Foghorns. The Foghorns began performing in Brooklyn in 2002, part of the movement that combined punk ethics with folk instrumentation. Somewhere along the line “anti-folk” became the name for the movement. The Foghorns have since moved on to Iceland and finally Seattle. The Foghorns will perform on the Indie Roots stage at 8:30 PM on May 27, and as part of the Harry Smith Tribute at the Northwest Court on May 28th.

After Northwest Folklife, the Foghorns will return to their regular home, Tractor Tavern, for a gig on June 5th. You can follow The Foghorns at

For an interesting article by Foghorns lyricist and singer Bart Cameron that discusses, in detail, his thoughts on Harry Smith, folk music, and his Iowa folk revival childhood, check this link:

The Foghorns’ last album, To the Stars on the Wings of a Pig (2011), received praise from Seattle Weekly, SSGMUSIC, and the Weekly Volcano, among others.

below is a fan video of the Foghorns performance of the song Lullaby at the Folklife Festival

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Knick Knack Records on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

Knick Knack Records owner Joe Johnson is a guest on Seattle Sounds (KIRO Radio 97.3)

with host Josh Kerns and Seattle Weekly music editor Chris Kornelis:

..."meet the guy starting a new Seattle-based record label that thinks he can actually change the way bands do business."

right around the 20 minute mark is where Joe talks about Knick Knack Records.

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Knick Knack Records: More Music, Less Noise

Knick Knack Records: More Music, Less Noise

Knick Knack Records: More Music, Less Noise


The local record store goes online to sell music, not commercials


There’s nothing like a needle on a record for genuine tone. Nothing like a corner record store for an honest conversation about music.

And for most of us, both are now harder and harder to access. As iTunes concludes its first decade, music lovers and musicians are wondering-- how much have we lost?

In the spring of 2010, Seattle musician and entrepreneur Joe Johnson launched Knick Knack Records, a label, online record store and distribution venue for artists looking to bypass the MP3 sold via GAP and VW-commercial ethos that was the aughts.


Local Bands Sold Without A Sneer


“We’re creating a site and a label that’s by musicians, real musicians, for real music lovers. People who want their money going to something genuine,” says Johnson about the label.

His greatest pleasure in launching Knick Knack is offering an outlet that actually cares about music. The board of Knick Knack will vet every band, voting on each selection based solely on artistic merits. Knick Knack promises to run their site with the dedication more suited to Lester Bangs than Steve Jobs. This isn’t commerce, it’s art.


Fair Play, Fair Pay


“We don’t require exclusive contracts. We welcome bands who want fair play, fair prices. We’ll be able to offer far better rates than venues like Amazon and iTunes,” Johnson explains. “And we’re not just a book seller or a computer company. We’ll be reviewing and selecting music with quality, not just widgets.”

The Knick Knack Records site, established by Seattle musician and veteran of the city’s web commerce industry, Joe Johnson, will offer access to thousands of hard-to-find records. The label will showcase its own roster of artists on the label who represent the best of what Seattle and the northwest has to offer.

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