Beat Happening was a fantastic band from Olympia, Washington that included Calvin Johnson, the founder of K Records. The other members were Heather Lewis and Bret Lunsford, and the three of them came together to create amateurish sounding and wonderfully expressive music that drastically stands out from a lot of other things you’ve probably heard. The songs tend to be quite simple but at the same time demonstrate a great deal of meaning and importance.
When I think of Beat Happening, I always find them to be very inspiring because their music seems to constantly convey the idea that if you want to make music you should just do it right now no matter what you think is holding you back. The way Calvin sings is now probably my favorite form of singing to listen to, and yet many would argue that he cannot sing because he is off key or whatever it is musicians say to legitimize themselves. I honestly no longer enjoy listening to people sing on key because the idea is such a boring one since it’s so limiting. There have also been a few times that I noticed some mistakes (or what other people would call mistakes) in their music like drums being off time or something. The fact that they just kept it that way delights me.
It is easy to forget that art is expression and not perfection. When making music, you are not designing a bridge or writing an essay for school, so who gives a fuck? If you decide you still like something after realizing that you did something you didn’t intend to do, go with it. Lots of things are not fun, but music is fun. If you listen to Beat Happening, you get the sense that this is pretty much how they felt. K Records in general too. It’s always great to stumble upon something as unbelievably positive and meaningful as Beat Happening and K Records (you can also stream all of their music for free on their website, which is nice of them).
K’s motto: “K, exploding the teenage underground into passionate revolt against the corporate ogre since 1982!”