The cassette-only release by the Olympia trio the Supreme Cool Beings was the first release on . Entitled Survival of the Coolest, it debuted in 1982. Comprised of Heather Lewis, Gary Allen May and Doug Monaghan, the Supreme Cool Beings played around Olympia and Tacoma for about six months before Survival of the Coolest was recorded during a live broadcast the band performed on Calvin Johnson’s Boy Meets Girl radio show on KAOS-FM, Olympia’s community radio station. The Supreme Cool Beings were seminally Olympian in a number of ways: they often did not use a bass guitar, had both male and female vocals, a female drummer, and played in multiple bands at the same time. Though now commonplace, these features were quite unusual in 1982. The cover of Survival of the Coolest was designed by Heather and each was hand-painted by the band.
The following year, Heather Lewis began playing with Laura Carter and Calvin Johnson in Laura, Heather and Calvin, which became Beat Happening when Bret Lunsford joined in August, 1983.
During the year 1983, released it’s first compilation. Danger Is Their Business, an a cappella collection collated by Calvin Johnson and Rich Jensen that featured Olympia area artists such as John Foster, Heidi Drucker, Twin Diet, Robin James, Lorraine Tong; Calvin and Rich also each contributed a song. The cover was a white spray-painted cassette box hand stamped with a carved linoleum block design.
In 1984 released several more cassettes: Rich Jensen The Animal Box (a cappella songs and found sounds with hand spray-painted covers); two five song collections by Beat Happening, Beat Happening (produced by Greg Sage of the Wipers) and Three Tea Breakfast (recorded on their trip to Japan that year); Let’s Together, a compilation collated by Bret Lunsford and Calvin Johnson, which documented the emerging Olympia underground (Beat Happening, Young Pioneers, Wimps, Wild, Wild, Wild Spoons, John Fosters Pop Philosophers), artists from around Washington state such as Melvins (Montesano) and the Public Service (Anacortes), all-female hardcore band the Wrecks from Reno, Nv., two pop rockin’ combos from Tucson, Az. (Rotte Kapelle, Seldoms) and two punk bands from Tokyo, Japan’s Rebel Beat Factory label, the Loods (featuring Nissie) and Kyah (an all-female band that Beat Happening met while living in Tokyo). Also released that year was a sixty-minute cassette by John Foster’s Pop Philosophers, which featured an electronic epic “The Kennedy Saga”, a thirty minute exploration of the Kennedy family, adapted from a paperback biography. “The Kennedy Saga” was also the debut by frequent artist and producer Steve Fisk.
1984 was capped by the release of the first record on , the Beat Happening 45 “Our Secret” b/w “What’s Important”, two Greg Sage produced songs which had been included on the Beat Happening cassette release earlier in the year. The cover was a Bongo and Maraca design by Heather, hand coloured by the band.