SELECTOR DUB NARCOTIC Live
@ the draw
May 3rd 2018 doors at 6:30p show at 7:30p
thursday may 3rd
The Draw 800 s lawe st appleton
doors at 6:30
bands start at 7:15
DJ to follow
Dub Selector Narcotic aka Calvin Johnson (olympia, wa)
The French Goodbye (chicago/la)
DJ Bryan Phillip
It's not that Calvin Johnson constantly seeks to reinvent himself. It's just that he has many musical interests that take time to emerge.
“There are different forms of expression that make sense to me,” says Johnson.
Johnson first emerged with the lo-fi indie band Beat Happening, but might be best known as the founder of K Records. Under his guidance, the label released early albums by artists including Beck, Modest Mouse, and Built to Spill. Since then he's performed in a number of groups including the Halo Benders and Go Team, and has released three solo albums.
As Selector Dub Narcotic, Johnson continues to explore his varied interests. His most recent album, “This Party Is Just Getting Started,” was recorded with producer Smoke M2D6 at his studio in Olympia, Washington. The music mixes soul, garage rock, R&B, dance hall, and various other sounds in songs such as “All for the Sake of Rhymin'” and “Hotter than Hott.”
At live shows, Johnson triggers the beats and sounds via a laptop. He doesn't use a microphone, but his distinct baritone is more than capable of projecting in the smallish venues Johnson tends to play.
In comparison to performing with a band, Johnson's live shows are “a lot more normal sounding,” he says, “although I can never really sound normal. It's as close to normal as I can get. … I just have the dreaded and inevitable laptop setup.”
Johnson admits he was initially resistant to performing with just recorded accompaniment.
“It's basically karaoke,” he says, “but people just think of it as being normal. No one even questions it.”
The music Johnson creates in Selector Dub Narcotic is almost the polar opposite of the spare, primal rock he was known for in Beat Happening. But change and innovation have always been signatures of his work. Whether as a musician, a producer, or a record company owner, he's always sought the same musical values
Referring to the K Records roster, he says, “Those were bands with vision that just speak from their heart. That's what I'm looking for.”
Rege Behe is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.