This is the album that sent a shockwave of empowerment through the nation’s cultural underground. In 1985, Olympia, Washington band Beat Happening released their eponymous debut of lo-fi pop songs on K Records and challenged every conception held about music. At the center of the group was the enigmatic Calvin Johnson and his revolutionary vision of artistic creation.
His foresight and industriousness allowed him to recruit to the K Records roster other free-spirited artists like Beck, Modest Mouse, and Built to Spill long before they gained widespread acclaim. This book, structured in abecedarian fashion, breaks down the fundamental components that defined Beat Happening’s self-titled album. With a foreword by Phil Elverum, it’s organized in a light-hearted yet incisive format, each of the book’s chapters details a particular facet of the record-band members, historic shows, recording sessions, songs, and ideologies-parts reflecting the album as a whole.
These alphabetic ingredients constitute a recipe book for feeding your creative spirit. Here is the story of a band that popularized do-it-yourself projects and home recording with four-track tape machines decades before the digital revolution would extend an open hand to garage bands everywhere. This is the story of musical pioneers.
This is Beat Happening.
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