Various Artists

Happy Happy Birthday to Me, Vol. 1

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The first compilation and first release from Florida label Happy Happy Birthday to Me was this 15-track compendium of blissful doses of indie pop and indie rock. Cincinnati's Big Soap kicks off the disc with the short, chaotic, and choppy song "Space." What follows is a collection of bands from around the U.S., including Athens, GA (Elf Power, Of Montreal, Masters of the Hemisphere, Marshmallow Coast, Great Lakes), New York and New Jersey (Rosenbergs, Kingsauce, Regia, Mendoza Line, Vince Mole and His Calcium Orchestra), Chicago (Birddog), Wisconsin (Teacups), Oregon (Minders), and Texas (Kiss Offs). The songs are of varying tones and length, with highlights being the sappy toe-tapper "Favorite Colour" by the Rosenbergs, Masters of the Hemisphere's simple, heartfelt "Coat of Arms," the Teacups' shaky and somber "My Parasol," and the unyieldingly seductive "Red Underwear/Seductra" by the Kiss Offs. Happy Happy Birthday to Me quickly made a mark for itself with their unique packaging, releasing this CD in a cloth case instead of the normal jewel-box compact disc casing. The label would later release a collection of 7" records, each packaged and uniquely designed by the label, with label owner Mike Turner in the director's chair. The label emerged from Turner's Bees Knee's fanzine and quickly became a notable label on the indie rock/pop map.