Friday, November 22, 2019

About Beat Happening

Back in 2002, K Records released Crashing Through, a seven-disc box set devoted to the recorded output of the indie rock band Beat Happening. I asked Stephen McRobbie of the Pastels to review it for Careless Talk Costs Lives magazine, which remains the most quintessentially indie thing I’ve ever done (having chickened out from dancing on stage with Belle and Sebastian at a gig in Bangkok).

Now, there’s a new box set, We Are Beat Happening. It’s on vinyl this time, which I thought at first would make it more indie (analogue rather than digital), although it’s been remastered (at Abbey Road, no less), which I reckon seriously misses the point of BH’s lo-fi charm, and it actually contains less music than Crashing Through, losing the bonus tracks and the live mini-album.

And then of course I remembered that vinyl (or, ugh, “vinyls”), doesn’t mean what it used to mean. It’s a style thing, a hipster thing, it’s an acquisition. Really, they should have released the whole thing on cassettes. No, even better, they should have got someone to play it on the radio, and recorded that broadcast on cassettes, and decorated the inlay card with poems about someone who doesn’t fancy you, and CND stickers, and maybe burned off the corner of the case with a cigarette lighter.

Then I discovered that another band, the Oh Sees, are releasing a box set on eight-track cartridges. Now, who could I get to review that?

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