Beat Happening: Crashing Through!

International Pop Underground, Olympia Underground -

Beat Happening: Crashing Through!

Above: Beat Happening "Crashing Through (Meyering Mix)" cover art by Heather Lewis

After the first Beat Happening album was released in 1985, we had the idea of recording some of our newer songs (this is a band that had existed for only two years at that point). We gathered together all our ideas and headed to Yo-Yo Studio, which at the time was located in a converted chicken coop on the rural far Westside of Olympia. It doubled as the residence of Patrick Maley, Yo-Yo Studio proprietor. Patrick had us record some songs there in the chicken coop, and some songs in the barn. It's hard to keep track, but it seems like the version of "Crashing Through" in question was actually one of the barn recordings (Girl Trouble also recorded their first single in said barn). There were maybe six songs recorded of which we chose "Look Around" to be our next single (the first volume in the International Pop Underground series).

The recording session occurred in 1986. During that same time K was releasing a series of cassette compilations, the most recent of which was Let's Sea. One of the artists included on Let's Sea was Danger Bunny (they also appeared on the earlier compilation Let's Kiss, and a couple comps released by Green Monkey Records - - - you can stream several Danger Bunny songs at this Green Monkey site); Danger Bunny were pals from Seattle and included one member (George Romansic!) in common with The Beakers. While hanging out at Timothy Brock's residence one day I heard a tape of Danger Bunny recordings mixed by Timothy's friend Jim Meyering. He had recorded Danger Bunny and done some stylish mix-making. I was intrigued. What if we had Jim Meyering mix up a batch of the new Beat Happening songs? I called him up. Jim was not opposed to this idea. We had him down to the Yo-Yo and he did his thing. Cool.

This was right about when Rough Trade got in touch with us and asked about releasing our records. Somehow in all the confusion and light this reel of Jim Meyering Beat Happening mixes got lost in the shuffle. Until last autumn when it was unearthed from a large stack of reel-to-reel tapes. We gave it a listen and decided this Jim Meyering mix of "Crashing Through" should be heard. We re-recorded the song a year later with Steve Fisk for the Jamboree album, but this version had a tentative splashiness that warbled a contra tune.

The flip side of the 45rpm is a version of "The This Many Boyfriends Club" diff than the one included on Jamboree. This take was recorded at a live performance in Covallis, Oregon at the Olde World Deli by Rich Jensen on his hand held cassette deck. He was always doing that. He also recorded the live version of "Bad Seeds" included on the first Beat Happening album, in Portland, Oregon at the 13th Precinct. Both of those shows felt like excursions into exotic Other Worlds of local scenations, which they were. Perhaps that comes across in the recording.

The Beat Happening "Crashing Through (Meyering Mix)" [IPU147] 45rpm is the latest volume in our International Pop Underground series, and is available now for pre-order from The K Mail Order Dept. All pre-orders will ship Monday, August 23.

Calvin Johnson