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Beat Happening

Beat Happening

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Album Review

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.

Biography

Formed: 1982 in Olympia, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

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...
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