Calvin Johnson's history is filled with such odd touchstones (the iconic International Underground Pop Convention, Kurt Cobain talking shit about him in print) that it's sometimes easy to forget that he's still creating music that is obsessed with the tonally odd and the religiously low fidelity. Serving as a reminder is his forthcoming LP, Hewn From the Wilderness, released under the moniker of his most recent project, the Hive Dwellers.
"We were at the Dub Narcotic Studio, just banging some pots and pans together," says Johnson of the recording process. "Various folks came by and made their own contributions, played some spoons, things like that."
What Johnson means by "various folks" is a veritable cavalcade of K Records alums, including Jeremy Jay, Karl Blau, the Vibrarians' K.E. Sixx and Basemint's Spencer Kelley, among others. But despite the many people involved in the recording of Hewn From the Wilderness, Johnson's inimitable voice remains the most defining element of the album. His droning baritone has long been his calling card, and it allows the seamless incorporation of strange lyrics and ideas to slip by almost unnoticed. Something about the uniqueness of his voice manages to make cohesive an album of differing styles and a variety of collaborations.
NORTHERN, WITH GUESTS, SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 8 PM, $5, 414 1/2 LEGION WAY, OLYMPIA
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