Apr 22, 2015

RhoDeo 1516 Aetix

Hello, ah yes there's a new Shriekback album out "Without Real String or Fish' check out this slightly ironic single Now Those Days Are Gone

Today an American indie pop band formed in Olympia, Washington in 1982. Calvin Johnson, Heather Lewis and Bret Lunsford have been the band's continual members. Beat Happening were early leaders in the American indie pop and lo-fi movements, noted for their use of primitive recording techniques, disregard for the technical aspects of musicianship, and songs with subject matters of a childish or coy nature.....Something to  N'Joy

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Beat Happening was among the truly seminal and influential American bands of the post-punk era, a paragon of pop minimalism, rebellious innocence, and indie defiance. The linchpin of the Olympia, WA-based International Pop Underground, they adopted a stance in direct opposition to the accepted norms at the heart of rock music; ignoring all notions of pretense, professionalism, and stardom, Beat Happening created an unorthodox, raw sound which democratically rotated vocal, guitar, and drum duties between members while jettisoning bass altogether. Dropping their last names to further emphasize their everyman approach, members Calvin (Johnson), Heather (Lewis), and Bret (Lunsford) expressed simple truths and simple emotions with simple music, favoring off-key, tuneless vocals and three-chord primitivism over slick, processed packaging; implicit in their work was also a rejection of major-label trappings, as the group steadfastly remained with K Records, Calvin's self-owned imprint and a model of D.I.Y. indie success.

Beat Happening formed in the early '80s; Calvin, a longtime fixture of the Olympia scene who also helped establish the original Sub Pop fanzine (the basis for the subsequent label), had already founded K, originally a cassette-only project started to release music no other company would touch. An alumnus of the short-lived Cool Rays, Calvin teamed with Heather and assorted friends in the first incarnation of Beat Happening, playing shows whenever and wherever they could as long as the performances were held at all-ages venues; his canyon-deep baritone quickly became as much a group trademark as their sardonic, even juvenile songs. After Bret joined in mid-1983, Beat Happening issued their debut five-song cassette a year later; a sightseeing trip to Japan followed, and while in Tokyo, the trio recorded its second effort, 1984's Three Tea Breakfast EP. Their 1985 eponymous full-length debut, produced by the Wipers' Greg Sage, brought Beat Happening their first widespread exposure, as well as a number of comparisons to the burgeoning British twee pop scene spearheaded by the Pastels. A long layoff followed prior to the release of 1988's remarkable Jamboree, co-produced by Mark Lanegan and Gary Lee Conner of the Screaming Trees.

The four-song joint release Beat Happening/Screaming Trees surfaced a few months later, trailed by 1989's Black Candy. With the release of 1991's Dreamy, Beat Happening's influence on the indie community became increasingly pronounced; not only did the blossoming cuddle-core movement owe the trio a huge debt, but in the summer 1991 Calvin masterminded the International Pop Underground Festival, a now-legendary concert spotlighting over 50 bands -- among them Bikini Kill, Fugazi, Scrawl, the Fastbacks, L7, and Mecca Normal -- all aligned in their opposition to corporate music. The sublime You Turn Me On followed, but apart from "Not a Care in the World," a track contributed to a 1992 Sub Pop sampler given away free to readers of Sassy magazine, Beat Happening spent much of the decade in limbo as Calvin focused on his Dub Narcotic Sound System project as well as the Halo Benders, a band founded with Built to Spill's Doug Martsch. Despite its absence from the stage and the studio, the trio maintained that it had not disbanded, and reportedly continued practicing on a monthly basis. Ten years after its last release, the band became the unlikely focus of a box set, Crashing Through, which collects all of the band's officially released music except for two of their tracks from a live cassette split with The Vaselines, was released in 2002. The box set included a booklet containing a lengthy essay on the history and impact of the band by Lois Maffeo, as well as rare photos of members Calvin, Heather and Bret..

The band's live performances stood out for Calvin's pogo, hula and shimmy moves, which he'd seen on news reports about UK punks. This did not ingratiate the band to hardcore audiences when they toured with Fugazi in the late 1980s, and audiences were openly hostile, even throwing an ashtrays at the band. Nonetheless, rock critic Michael Azzerrad suggests that "Beat Happening ... were a major force in widening the idea of a punk rocker from a mohawked guy in a motorcycle jacket to a nerdy girl in a cardigan". The presence of Heather Lewis on drums, and Calvin's non-threatening stage presence, presented a wider variety of punk identities and genders than other acts in the hardcore scene of the time, which was predominantly male Beat Happening has been cited as an influence on early riot grrl acts such as Bratmobile and Kathi Wilcox of Bikini Kill

Calvin Johnson was one of the founders of seminal indie-rock label K Records. The label achieved modest success and continues to hold its independent integrity, claiming to have been "exploding the teenage underground into passionate revolt against the corporate ogre since 1982."

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Beat Happening can't be given credit for creating the indie pop genre, but they certainly gave it life in America. This, their first album, is indie pop in its purest form: fuzzy bedroom recordings of simplistic, cutesy songs, with intentionally innocent and juvenile lyrics, which Calvin Johnson belts out with one of the most endearingly bad voices in music history. Their later albums sport better songwriting and are more listenable from a production standpoint, but Beat Happening is as twee and charming as this type of music can get. 1983-85, its CD reissue (with a few live songs and early recordings added), is for devoted indie pop fans only.

Beat Happening - Beat Happening  (flac 259mb)

01 Our Secret 2:51
02 What's Important 2:02
03 Down At The Sea 1:24
04 I Love You 2:03
05 Fourteen 1:50
06 Run Down The Stairs 2:13
07 Bad Seeds (Live) 2:03
08 In My Memory 2:04
09 Honey Pot 1:06
10 The Fall 1:46
11 Youth 1:57
12 Don't Mix The Colors 3:00
13 Foggy Eyes 2:46
14 Bad Seeds 1:50
15 I Let Him Get To Me 1:33
16 I Spy 1:50
17 Run Down The Stairs 1:55
18 Christmas 1:24
19 Fourteen 1:44
20 Let's Kiss 2:46
21 1, 2, 3 1:45
22 In Love With You Thing 1:11
23 Look Around 2:45
24 I Love You (Demo Snippet) 0:11

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Co-produced by Steve Fisk and the Screaming Trees' Mark Lanegan and Gary Lee Conner, Beat Happening's brief, brilliant sophomore effort significantly expands the trio's horizons without sacrificing any of their naïve charm. Sporting a fuller, more intricate sound and stronger songs than their debut, Jamboree crystallizes the trio's love-rock aesthetic in its embryonic stages; veering sharply from the idyllic drones of the perennial "Indian Summer" to the poignant crush-pop of "Cat Walk" to the indie-party classic "Midnight a Go-Go," each cut is a marvel of innocence and ingenuity.

Beat Happening - Jamboree  (flac 147mb)

01 Bewitched 3:06
02 In Between 2:21
03 Indian Summer  3:05
04 Hangman 2:31
05 Jamboree 1:03
06 Ask Me 0:58
07 Crashing Through 1:16
08 Cat Walk 1:58
09 Drive Car Girl 2:00
10 Midnight A Go-Go 2:18
11 The This Many Boyfriends Club 3:18

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As evidenced by its title, Black Candy is Beat Happening's darkest, most deliriously ominous album; clearly influenced by the Cramps, the record is dominated by Calvin Johnson's coffin-creak vocals, with Heather Lewis' breathy sweetness rarely in earshot to lighten the mood. A less developed batch of compositions than the previous Jamboree, it strives to evoke the mood of a grade-Z teen horror flick soundtrack, with faux-creepy songs ("Pajama Party in a Haunted Hive," "Gravedigger Blues," "Bonfire") and primal, drum-dominated production; less eclectic and nuanced than the trio's other LPs, Black Candy quickly grows tiresome, although the oft-covered highlight "Cast a Shadow" is a treat.

Beat Happening - Black Candy (flac 178mb)

01 Other Side 3:35
02 Black Candy 3:00
03 Knick Knack 2:14
04 Pajama Party In A Haunted Hive 4:39
05 Gravediggers Blues 2:26
06 Cast A Shadow 2:32
07 Bonfire 3:13
08 T.V. Girl 2:32
09 Playhouse 2:30
10 Ponytail 3:27

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Beat Happening's final LP is also their best: concluding the emotional and musical progression begun with the minimalist innocence of their earliest work, You Turn Me On is a mature record of tremendous breadth and complexity. Where once the trio's songs were brief and bouncy, the nine tracks here are epic (several top out at over six minutes) and ambitious; produced in part by ex-Young Marble Giant Stuart Moxham (an obvious influence), the record's full, deep sound belies its bare-bones performances -- "Teenage Caveman" sports booming, primal drums perfectly suited to its title, while the propulsive "Noise" manufactures the illusion of a bassline where none ever existed. The most democratic record in an output founded on egalitarian ideals, You Turn Me On offers Heather Lewis' strongest songs ever -- her hypnotic nine-minute "Godsend" is the LP's heart and soul -- and she and Calvin Johnson even trade verses on the closing "Bury the Hammer." As for Calvin himself, his solo contributions are exceptional -- the spartan opener "Tiger Trap" is an evocative heartbreaker, and the title track is a fire-breathing corker. A masterpiece.

Beat Happening - You Turn Me On (flac 296mb)

01 Tiger Trap 6:53
02 Noise 3:23
03 Pinebox Derby 3:08
04 Teenage Caveman 4:35
05 Sleepy Head 4:08
06 You Turn Me On 4:10
07 Godsend 9:28
08 Hey Day 3:25
09 Bury The Hammer 6:04

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Andrew Lau said...

wooow! thank you, I lost most of my music due a hard disk failure. is it possible that you may have the split with the vaselines and beat happening?

Rho said...

Sorry to hear you lost a hard disk, had that problem too, btw there's many ways to try to recover the data as for the Vaselines/Beat Happening album i don't have it looking at the discogs page it's rather rare and thus pricey

Anonymous said...

Hi Rho, would you be so kind and reupload "You Turn Me On"?
That would be great, thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

Hello Rho
Can you please re-up the Beat Happening albums?
Many thanks