It’s hard to stress how important Beat Happening and K Records are. Calvin Johnson, Heather Lewis and Bret Lunsford lived by the “DIY” acronym. You know how they have the standard kilogram locked away somewhere – an object that weighs exactly one kilogram? Or how they have an atomic clock – the most exact reference for the time that we have? Beat Happening may very well be that “atomic clock” or that “kilogram.” If someone asks you to define what “indie rock” is, it might be best to point them to Beat Happening. They are indie. They completely disregarded traditional recording techniques and from what I understand, Bret Lunsford didn’t really even understand how to play guitar properly. Heather Lewis, the band’s drummer, didn’t own a pair of her own drums for much of the band’s existence – they had to borrow drums constantly. I’m going to go out on a limb here and write that I’m pretty sure Calvin and Heather never had formal vocal lessons, either. If you’ve never heard Beat Happening before, then check out the self-titled stream below via YouTube and see what you think of it. You’ll more or less be getting songs culled from that and their other releases. Cheers!

 

The Details

Look Around is a remastered, career-spanning double album anthology, handpicked by the band and a great starting point for the uninitiated as well a refreshing reminder to those who caught the wave the first time around. The 23 tracks range from their 1984 debut single, “Our Secret” b/w “What’s Important” (originally sold directly for $2.50 to individuals, but $4 to institutions) to “Angel Gone,” a single released in 2000 after eight years of inactivity.

“The biggest thing ever to happen to indie pop in America... Most of what's written about this band is all about that sweet pop and those childish affectations, but that misses the substance at the core: Their music was dark, damaged, full of fright and sex and death and vulnerability-- just like any real childhood...their hopscotch stories felt punker than Black Flag tattoos ever could.” - Nitsuh Abebe, Pitchfork

Price $24



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