Calvin Johnson & the Sons of the Soil: Calvin Johnson & the Sons of the Soil

Calvin Johnson &
the Sons of the Soil

Calvin Johnson &
the Sons of the Soil

K Records

I can't think of many underground denizens I respect more than Calvin Johnson, the deep-voiced DIY lifer who, in 1982, founded K Records in order to put out music by his friends and his own seminal twee-pop outfit, Beat Happening. But I can think of about two dozen folks who I'd rather hear describe their desire for "something sweet...if you know what I mean," as Johnson does in "Booty Run," a track from this set of remade tunes from throughout Johnson's long career in indie rock. (In addition to Beat Happening, Johnson's also played with the Go Team, Dub Narcotic Sound System, and the Halo Benders, the latter alongside Doug Martsch of Built to Spill.)

Sexual innuendo was a big part of Beat Happening's childlike jangle, but in those days the double entendres carried the whiff of punk-scene subversion; here, thanks in part to a relationship with pitch that's only grown more casual with age, Johnson just sounds like a drunk uncle commandeering the mic at his niece's wedding reception. Creepy!

Johnson fares much better when he relies on his latter-day James Brown impression: "Banana Meltdown," for instance, works up a goofy funkiness that wouldn't threaten a Dap-King, but probably proves a hell of a party-starter out in Olympia.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >