Monday, July 30, 2007


1989 (K Records)

"Everyone is a Beat Happening fan... and if they're not, they should be. They're truly one of the most influential bands of the late 80's/90's. Without them we'd be doomed. "other side" has to be one of the best album openers ever. It's such a great song." - adrian - bakersfield, CA, USA

"There's at least one moment in everyone's life when the whole world is balanced on the edge of a brand-new song, and it never spins for them quite the same way again. The day I went off to college, filling closets and tacking up posters, my new roommate put Beat Happening's "Black Candy" on the stereo. Hearing Calvin Johnson's impossibly deep, sternly sexy off-key howls and croons about candy, sex, playhouses and beehives knocked me off the axis of everything I'd ever thought about how music was supposed to sound. Beat Happening's childlike, feral songs embodied the life force of youth in rebellion, and that moment set the tone for the rest of my college years." -

"the whole time i just kept screaming “GOD, BEAT HAPPENING IS THE GREATEST BAND EVER ” and “GOD, THIS IS THE BEST PIZZA EVER ”. we began discussing beat happening and something became really clear: Beat Happening is one of the most aggressive bands ever. i know this is most likely the most ridiculous thing i could say about band that is often labeled twee pop or indie pop, but i really see them as DIY punk rock. everytime they play a melody over and over for a long time it is an act of aggression against all of the stereotypical distorted guitars that were clanging in the sea of hardcore and post-hardcore that surrounded them. they were the band that taught me that it doesnt have to be fast, there doesnt have to be a change for a chorus, there doesnt even have to be a chorus, you can drum on an empty bucket of frozen yogurt, you can do whatever it is that you want to do. beat happening makes me extremely happy." - etcvisitor

"Beat Happening was formed in 82' in Olympia WA. First it was Calvin, Heather and anyone else they could get going out and playing all ages shows. Bret joined in 83' and the band released a 5 song debut. On a trip to Japan the band recorded their first EP, "Three Tea Breakfast". Their first full length album, "Beat Happening", was released in 85' and was produced by Greg Sage of The Wipers.

They took a break for awhile, and then recorded "Jamboree" in 88'. The album was produced by Mark Lanagen and Gary Lee Conner of Screaming Trees. In the summer of '89 Calvin and a few other guys organized the Sound Out Northwest tour, the idea was to play shows in smaller towns. Beat Happening played two shows w/ Mudhoney. Also doing shows that summer was Some Velvet Sidewalk. After that album a joint release between Beat Happening and Screaming Trees. Soon after Beat Happening's next album, "Black Candy" was released.

In 91' the band released "Dreamy". In summer Calvin and friend Candance put on The International Pop Underground Convention in Olympia with over 50 bands like L7, The Melvins, Fugazi, Thee Headcoats, Bikini Kill, The Fastbacks and Seaweed. Part of the festival was released on a double album on K records. It was followed by "You Turn me On" in 92'." - The Sara Monster

"Knowingly innocent, sexually frustrated, perpetually teenaged, and oppressively minimal, Beat Happening put its last song to tape in 2000, after the eight year absence that followed their final LP, You Turn Me On. Survived by five full lengths, a rarities compilation, a box set, a mountain of cassettes, and 18 years of public service, Olympia's chosen sons (and daughter) deserve every accolade thats ever had lavished upon them--including this title, that of The Greatest Band of All Time." - ZAC

"Beat Happening should never have learned how to play their instruments. That's not to say that post-Black Candy releases aren't sublime and off-kilter pop confections in their own right. It's just that on this particular collection of songs, the awkward, knock-kneed instrumentation is the perfect accompaniment to lyrics about youth on the verge of coltish rebellion. The record lurches and howls, like a gawky, hormone-crazed teenager. Vocals jolt back and forth between Heather Lewis' charmingly askew romantic kid warbles and front man Calvin Johnson's trademark ocean deep baritone, and pounce within mere notes between handholding innocence to hard-core nookie in the backyard tree house. It's feral, sweet, raw music, and pretty damned scary upon first listen.

Johnson has never been one to worry about comforting the masses, founding his seminal indie label K-Records in the early 1980s specifically to prevent bands from having to pander to record company restrictions. Working in collaboration with artists like Beck, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Built to Spill, he's revealed a knack for assisting artists to screw the conventions and unleash their inner rock animal. He's at his own untamed best, however, with the pared down Beat Happening. The trio (now nearly on their 20th year together, albeit many of those years spent in a non-recording "hiatus") made Black Candy an album stripped to its most primal components. With drummer Bret Lunsford providing the raggedy backbeat and Lewis and Johnson swapping offkey lead singer and sloppy guitar duties, it's an aural exercise in barely-contained mania and the pure bliss of youth. While subsequent Beat Happening records provide their own more musically tutored joys, Black Candy is the one that stands as a snapshot of that spirit that sparked a DIY revolution." - FHM

Bret Lunsford, Guitar and Drums
Calvin Johnson, Guitar, and Vocals
Heather Lewis, Drums, Guitar and Vocals

1. Other Side
2. Black Candy
3. Knick Knack
4. Pajama Party In A Haunted Hive
5. Grave Digger Blues
6. Cast A Shadow
7. Bonfire
8. T.V. Girl
9. Playhouse
10. Ponytail

Download (192 Kbs, 55 Mb)


hdvns said...

I love this record! I still run into Heather once in a while.
And the other day when I was on here I enjoyed the vid of "Stompin" Tom Conners!

Anonymous said...

a truly great band

Johnny Graveyard said...

Thanks for The Traswomen!! just in this moment i listen it.


TuneLovinJacket said...

thanks for the great work on this blog