I know next to nothing about Beat Happening other than they are the band most associated with Calvin Johnson, who is regraded as something of a god by many whose musical tastes verge towards the lo-fi end of indie pop music.  He was also, of course, given more than a passing mention in the recent feature on Heavenly that was penned by The Three Musketeers.

Wiki tells me that the band formed in Olympia, Washington back in 1982 and that the other two members are Heather Lewis and Bret Lunsford. There were five albums, all released between 1985 and 1992 on Johnson’s K Records label, with the latter material also being backed by either Rough Trade or Sub Pop.

It’s the link up with Rough Trade that enables today’s quite whimsical offering:-

mp3: Beat Happening – Indian Summer

It’s a track on the 1988 album, Jamboree.  But it was also included on Indiepop, a 2 x CD Rough Trade compilation released in 2004.

I’ve actually one other Beat Happening release in the collection, the Optic Nerve Records re-release of the 1987 EP, Crashing Through, which I bought on a whim last year.  I’ll maybe get round to posting it up some day.


5 thoughts on “INDIAN SUMMER

  1. Real favourite band of mine. While the first two Beat Happening LPs are my favourites I’m a fan of all the output including Calvin’s work outwith the band.

    Indian Summer is possibly their best known song – and what a corker it is! Cover versions of the song are numerous and could fill an ICA on their own.

    A while back (over a decade ago) Calvin embarked on a tour – just him and his guitar. He played in a small room in a church in Great Western Road. Myself and another who walks these halls attended. It was an emotional night – it could’ve been the dark rum and green ginger – the room was full to busting with the Glasgow Scene glitteratti- old and new. I cuddled Calvin, consensually. It’s a night that will stay with me.

    The bands back catalogue is soon to be re-issued on vinyl.

  2. Their final record, You Turn Me On, is an absolute gem. Every song is excellent

  3. Might be tough for some folks to adjust to Calvin’s singing, which can sound like a dial-tone. But I’ll listen to Jamboree or Black Candy any time. And, as FFF says, today’s song was covered by everybody, my personal favorite being the version by Luna. The definition of lo-fi indie rock.

  4. I have some BH bits and pieces. Indian Summer is a beauty, a definite keeper. I have covers by REM, Sonic Boom and Manhattan Love Suicides, all of which are worth hearing.

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