July 16th, 2010
Seattle music goers you are in for a fucking treat! For the first time in 15 years one of the most underrated and unknown superstar NW bands Black Happy is reuniting for five shows in August, three of which are already sold out. August 6-7 at the Knitting Factory in Spokane, and August 20-22 at the Crocodile right here in Seattle. The 7th in Spokane and 22nd in Seattle still have tickets available, but there is a reason they sold out the first three shows in 15 years and why extra nights were added. The impact they made on the NW before they split in 1995 was huge, and deserving of every bit of hype about their reunion.
First let me just say in the early 90′s there weren’t (for the average kid) music blogs, cell phones, myspace, facebook, twitter or any of that bullshit. The only way anybody knew anything about good bands was word of mouth, going to shows, or picking up a copy of The Rocket. In 93 NW people were already eager to move onto (and support) the next big band that wasn’t grunge or 80′s glam rock. Black Happy emerged as a salty toothed giant from Idaho with way more potential and local feel than anything else going down at the time. Sure grunge was in full swing but Ten, Badmotorfinger and Nevermind were all 91, so the release of Peghead in 1993 gave the NW music lovers what they had been waiting for, another band to support with a new sound. Full horn-section-backed heavy metal that that brought an eight-piece band onslaught laying waste to a culture of kids that couldn’t get enough of it. Big crowds filled rooms and like a human whirlpool of rhythm flowed to the heavy riffs and droning horns and it wasn’t ska. The huge live sound brought a level of badass that was more than just a four piece with amps turned up. And in 1995 on the verge of blowing up with huge NW support, they were “living the dream.” So … why did they split?
Let me just put it like this, I’m sure the real internal breakdown and final demise of Black Happy is personal and intensive. But have you ever grown up with, lived with, or even been around 8 people for an extended period of time? Its hard, and even harder in a band, and in 1995 the group emerged as the four piece Shoveljerk … it was not the same, people didn’t understand, and that ended Black Happy.
One of the reasons I play (and write about) music today is influenced by this band. Not because I was young and impressionable, I’ve met plenty of hacks. But Black Happy was (and are) not that. They are probably one of my top-ten favorite bands of all time. They impacted a ridiculous amount of musicians and music goers and are worth check before they take another 15 year break. Here is a sample of their sound … and this was in 1993 … the sound was way ahead of itself … This is not a show to be missed.
Black Happy – Peghead – Bullmonkey