A lot has changed since Calvin Johnson (pictured) began playing music in the early 1980s. Indie rock got popular, zines died and iPods changed the record industry.
But at least one thing remains the same: Johnson, now in his mid-40s, is still considered a pioneering figure on the independent music scene — and not for nothing. Over the past two decades, Johnson founded K Records, one of the most influential independent record labels of all time, fronted classic indie rock bands Beat Happening, the Halo Benders and Dub Narcotic Sound System, and developed a rich catalog of solo material.
Given this legacy, Johnson’s latest creative endeavor seems particularly apt. It’s a record called “Calvin Johnson & the Sons of the Soil” on which he covers his own songs. Released last month on K, the album features 11 new versions of some of Johnson’s best tracks from over the years.
The idea for the project came from a few fellow K artists and collaborators. “They had the idea that instead of playing my songs acoustic, I should have a ‘real band’ and could play songs from whenever, not just my solo stuff,” Johnson, who will perform some of these staples on June 1, told GO Brooklyn.
Though a number of Johnson’s shows are taking him to rural areas, he told us that he never tires of visiting Brooklyn.
“I love playing New York,” he said. “ I also love playing in the middle of nowhere. I just love playing.”
Calvin Johnson will perform on June 1 at 8 pm at Don Pedro’s (90 Manhattan Ave., between Boerum and McKibben streets in East Williamsburg). For information, visit www.toddpnyc.com.
©2007 Community News Group
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