Review Revue: Beat Happening - Jamboree

Review Revue
Levi Fuller

I've covered Beat Happening records in this space before, but it's been just over six years, so I figure the time is ripe to go back to that well. For my previous post, I compared the reactions to the Oly DIY heroes' first and fourth albums. Today we'll split the difference (sort of) and go back to their second full-length, the widely adored Jamboree (which, of course, contains the indie rock classic "Indian Summer" - described by Dean Wareham as "indie's 'Knocking on Heaven's Door'). According to this page from Kurt Cobain's diary (which I had never seen before), Jamboree was one of Nirvana's top 50 albums, included on an impressive list that would be a pretty great musical education for almost anyone. So, yeah, people like this album. Including most of the KCMU DJs, it seems.

"'Hangman' a rewrite of their previous 'hit,' 'Bad Seeds,' but what the hell, if it rocks play it. Songs about love, life 'n' stuff. Sometimes the guitars distort and sometimes there aren't even guitars. That means this record runs the gamut from short a cappella ditties to rockin' tunes rooted firmly in the tradition of NW rock. A sly sense of bittersweet humour underlies the whole affair. And to top it off, the best feedback since any live version of 'Cables' by Big Black."

"Had to throw in a BB reference, huh Creed?"

"Seems like they used the same guitar track for 3 songs: 2-3, 2-4, 2-5." [Not really, there's just a similar one and-a-two and-a-one strumming pattern that carries through - sounds like rock and roll to me.]

[comment completely scribbled out.]

"An earlier EP now in Library section called 'Crashing Thru.'"

"I'm from Olympia (please feel sorry for me here & now) but that is not why I like this."

"Who are you? I'm also from Oly."

"Hmmm... I'm not too sure about this one."

"Undertones-ish (a compliment)."

"Trouble Records. More useless info to Brighten your day.

"I enjoy listening to this record."

"Sorry scotty. He can buy some EGGPLANT!"[???]

"K is Calvin's own label, with many imported compilations as well as B.H. + local bands."

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