Beloved Olympia, Washington indie mainstay K Records is selling the building it occupies to make good on debts to artists. According to The Olympian, the imprint owes several artists money, ranging from $100 to five-figure sums.
Among the artists owed larger totals are Kimya Dawson of the Moldy Peaches and Phil Elverum of The Microphones and Mount Eerie. Dawson claims the label owes her “in the range of $90,000,” while Elverum says he’s owed around $63,000. K began by selling some recording assets, but as the debt continued to mount, owner Calvin Johnson decided the best course of action was to put its headquarters up for sale. The building is listed at $399,000. Johnson claims that despite the money owed to artists, the imprint isn’t in danger of closing and he hopes that selling the building will allow them to break ever.
Elverum unfortunately is in sore need of the money owed to him because his wife has exorbitant medical bills stemming from her treatment for Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He started a GoFundMe campaign to help cover her medical and living expenses. The label began making payments to Elverum and other artists sporadically in 2012, but a former accountant for K said it wasn’t until artists gathered and put pressure on the label that they decided to take swifter action. Dawson saved eight years of emails asking for statements of the exact amount owed to her before actually receiving them.
Johnson is relieved to finally be addressing the problem head on and apologetic that he’s put it off for so long saying, “I’m not making any excuses for any shortcomings. We’re trying to make things right.”