Beat Happening, Beat Happening

Douglas Wolk

By Douglas Wolk

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Featherweight, ramshackle, childish and perversely radical.

From 1983-1985, when these tracks were recorded, K Records 'house band sounded perversely radical: in place of the precision and machismo that had overtaken punk rock, they were deliberately featherweight, ramshackle and childish, right down to the stick figure kitty cat on the cover. But what attracted them to the idea of childhood was that it's the time when everything feels scaldingly intense, love is scary and new, and establishing an identity is more important than anything. They created a subcultural style of their own: an entire generation of indie-pop followed in the wake of the "International Pop Underground" that rumbling-voiced frontman Calvin Johnson brought into being, simply by declaring its existence.