Calvin Johnson

Pub date January 20, 2009
SectionMusicSectionMusic Features

PREVIEW It’s not hard to see Calvin Johnson as the obverse of Henry Rollins in the protean world of ’80s underground rock. Johnson’s teddy-bear huggability, and the straightforwardness and purity of sentiment of a track like his old band Beat Happening’s "Honey Pot," has nothing to do with Black Flag’s macho angst. Rather than burying his emotional life under muscle, Johnson’s appeal came from an embarrassing vulnerability. While he’s better known for his historic role and his work as K Records’ head honcho than for his current endeavors, Johnson remains au courant: his most recent release, Calvin Johnson and the Sons of the Soil (K, 2007), finds him backed by the likes of Adam Forkner, a.k.a. Portland, Ore., drone chief White Rainbow.

At press time, San Francisco opening act Grass Widow tentatively canceled its performance due to multiple family emergencies, so this Club Sandwich event will likely be rounded out by screenings of Heart of Nowhere, a stream-of-consciousness documentary about life in Alabama, and Crisis in the Credit System, a 2008 film by Melanie Gilligan. If you’re missing the cold, these hits of sunshine might not be for you.

CALVIN JOHNSON With screening of Heart of Nowhere and Crisis in the Credit System. Mon/26, 8 p.m., $6. Artists’ Television Access, 992 Valencia, SF. (415) 824-3890,,