A Season of Songs, day 6: Happening Song

A Season of Songs is a type of Fun-A-Day project that I plan to do throughout this spring.  I’ll hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod and see what comes up.  I’ll then write a bit about that song, the band, the record, whatever.  Enjoy!

Today’s song comes from local Pittsburgh band The Johnsons.  The song is called “Happening Song” and is included in a 10 track collection of songs recorded in 1997 at +/- Studios when it was at Millvale Industrial Theater.  The Johnsons came out of the Rickety Records scene that was really thriving here in Pittsburgh in the late 90’s when I first moved to the city.  At the time I didn’t take advantage of checking out a lot of the bands associated with Rickety and didn’t attend any of the various events they held at that time.  I think that was mainly cuz I was trying to be Captain DIY and many of their events were happening at 21+ bars (a good reminder to sometimes break out of your comfort spaces and go check out other shit in places that aren’t normally your thing).  But the Rickety scene and many of the bands persisted and I’ve had the chance to check out many bands associated with Rickety over the years including Dirty Faces and the Working Poor.

I think I only got the chance to see the Johnsons once.  It was at the Lascaux Gallery in the South Side.  If I remember correctly, they were opening for The Make Up.  Over the years The Johnsons would take on different forms, sometimes performing as a smaller unit and sometimes as The Johnsons Big Band.  I believe the performance I saw was as the Big Band. The stuff I’ve heard from them over the years ranges from simple folky rock to more artsy indie rock.  This track gives me a sorta Velvet Underground feel.

To check out The Johnsons and lots of other Rickety bands, go here.  To read a 2003 article about Rickety, go here.


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