I urge you to memorize the above photo and then when you see it on the cover of your new favorite CD in the 'B' section of the used bin you'll know it on sight. This is one of the best albums you've probably never heard, and on top of that it's one of my favorite albums of all time. No freakin' lie: The Beatifics' How I Learned To Stop Worrying is required listening. Power Pop to the max.
It was pure chance that I heard The Beatifics in the first place. I worked with the sister of Beatifics main brain Chris Dorn at Barnes & Noble, and one day in 1996 she asked me if I would want to hear her brother's new album. Anybody who has ever heard these words before knows that the outcome isn't guaranteed to be a good one, but I thought I would be friendly and give it a listen. At the very least I'd have a new coaster.
The album she gave me was How I Learned To Stop Worrying, and from the first drum beat to the hidden track at the end I was hooked. The songs were REALLY good. Poppy, great hooks, and fantastic musicianship through and through. I was singing rhapsodies when I reported back to my co-worker that I was bowled over. My exact words to her were "I want to glue my CD player shut with this album in it so I'm forced to listen to it forever."
There was a review in Goldmine at the time for it and the reviewer said that Chris Dorn could sing the phone book and it would be great. See, to me, that isn't even hyperbole. That's flat out truth. I was a dedicated fanboy from the first listen, and set out to get everything I could find from them. Over the years they put out a second album, The Way We Never Were, an EP, one lonely single, and a cover on a Bubblegum covers collection. The main problem with that list is that it's too short. I need to hear more.
I only saw The Beatifics live twice. The first time was in Mankato at The What's Up. It was a co-worker's birthday and she couldn't have cared less about the band. She had a headache and really didn't want to be there. The band showed up ridiculously late because they were at a Matthew Sweet concert, but in the brief amount of time they played they were amazing. I'm still in awe of their cover of Let's Do Something Cheap and Superficial.
The second time was a total accident. Shelley and I were in the cities, probably to see a movie or go record shopping or something. I don't remember the reason. We were in the uptown area and just happened to see that The Beatifics were playing that night at the legendary Uptown bar. We hightailed it over there and, again, they were amazing. This night was memorable also because it was the first time I was ever hit on by a guy, and he kept flashing me his old Rev 105 t-shirt that he was wearing. But what a great show.
The band doesn't seem to play much anymore. Every once and a while I'll do a search and find out they played somewhere four months earlier, such is my luck. It was during one of these searches that I discovered the release of a NEW Beatifics song last year. Their first release in ELEVEN YEARS. In what world is that kind of delay just? Their song was just one of many from a Twin Cities roll call of glory compilation to benefit a beloved figure in the music community. The new song is a demo from who knows when, and it makes me wonder just how many more of these things are out there?
THIS IS A PUBLIC URGING TO CHRIS DORN TO RELEASE MORE MUSIC! Hell, if you don't want to bother putting songs out digitally or on a physical format you could just send them our way and we would play the hell out of them on our radio show! We're big Beatifics fans, and we preach the gospel of your music regularly. I mean, we're lucky to have the recordings that are out there now. You're a music fan, though. You know what it's like to love a band and wish you had more, right? That's all this is. Full on fandom. END OF PUBLIC URGING.
But seriously, you guys should hunt down their first album. You'll instantly fall in love.
"Fun nite at the Hex, 24 bands playing 7 minute sets. Local favorites, The Beatifics, fit nine songs into their 7 minute medley!!"