Various Artists – Fortune Cookie Prize: A Tribute to Beat Happening
Simple Machines, 1992
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2008
Purchased at the height of my K Records obsession (I still someday want to get a K tattoo on my upper right arm, but only after I am no longer convinced that people won't just think I'm obsessed with Kurt Cobain), this is a pretty sweet-ass compilation of Beat Happening covers. Despite coming out the same year as Beat Happening's final album, You Turn Me On, Fortune Cookie Prize culls mostly from tracks from their first album. There are a couple from Black Candy, one from Jamboree and one from Dreamy. Honestly, my only beef with this record is that A.) There could have been more songs and B.) It's lacking the hits. But that's you know, kind of what makes it cool, sorta. I also much prefer Teenage Fanclub's cover of “Bad Seeds” to Scrawl's. Oh, and also balancing out the cool is the roster, featuring such 90s indie-rock luminaries as Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, Unrest, Superchunk, and Velocity Girl. Super rad Australian band and K Recs affiliates the Cannanes are on it too! The Kite Tails once attempted a cover of “Black Candy,” which was awesome but I don't think we ever played it live because it was impossible for me to sing as low as Calvin and when I tried I was mostly inaudible. Kim Gordon sings it way better on this comp. I've always wanted to do a cover of “Godsend,” too, one of the great overlooked tracks of Beat Happening's spectacular career. I mean, how many bands are there that never have a slump? I mean, it's not like they were setting the bar TOO high, but in an era when bands try to replicate themselves album after album Beat Happening managed to improve upon their simple formula album after album and are totally deserving of a tribute album!
Here's a little video for one of my favorite Beat Happening songs that's not on this comp, "Tiger Trap."