Music to Climb the Apple Tree by

Beat Happening

This compilation of tracks by the vanguards of the DIY movement, originally included in the seven-CD retrospective box set Crashing Through (K Records), is a shake-down of out-of-print recordings from 45s, compilations and other projects. But this isn’t just candy for completist collectors, it’s a peek behind the curtain and into the process of discovery that takes place when a group of kids get together and decide to make some music. There’s a revolution of the human spirit that comes through when Calvin Johnson and Co. just play on despite the fact that the songs are rough, amateurish and at times out of key. “Nancy Sin” is probably the most memorable of the bunch, raw and dirty, with just distorted chords and a snare and Johnson’s baritone purring along, “Good girl, bad girl…” It’s one of those simple and sexy rock songs that get under your skin, belonging in the same chapter of rock-’n’-roll history as the Troggs’ “Wild Thing.”