Page 7 of 10

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 08:57
by linus
very excited about seeing calvin tonight in hertford

support comes from fenestration (gina davidson of the marine girls plus sir mark flunder of sportique/cee bee beaumont/the mctells/the tvps)

and there's djing from julian house (the bloke behind ghost box music? I'm presuming so) and fifty watts of power

maybe see you there?

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 23:38
by linus
we had a great time on friday night in hertford

the venue was the hertfordshire county council staff social club which is stuck round the back of county hall beyond the cricket pitch and by the tennis courts

sir mark flunder and chums had taken over one half of it for the gig with herts county council workers sat in the other half looking a little suspicious, mark had rigged up two film projectors and super 8 films were playing, an episode of fireball xl5 and an old kung fu movie played simultaneously side by side at one point (there was also film of what appeared to be some nudists up a mountain, some of the films mark made with the pastels plus other unusualness), julian house from ghost box spun some curious but deeply groovy (and presumably highly sort after) records and homemade cupcakes (iced with k shields) were served

I got to meet 2/3's of the mctells, 2/3's of cee bee beaumont, one half of the big paintings, a former marine girl, one half of the budget girls and all of sindyarthur (not bad going considering that was about 5 people in all)

one of those people supplies the bird noises on the live streaming of big brother and was having to go to their shift after this

and we met calvin outside before the show began and I gave him a copy of 'a fog of ideas', he and I talked about the sea lions, arrington de dionyso (from ol' time relijun), hornet leg and how his tour had been so far and where he was going next

I was a little shy and awkward (which hayley found hilarious) but he was cool and funny and I managed to not go 'ohmigollygosh! YOU'RE CALVIN JOHNSON! YOU ARE CALVIN JOHNSON!'

mark and gina hartman's band the fenestration were on first, this was gina's first live show since about 1983-1985, she couldn't quite remember but that last time she was on stage was at alan mcgee's living room club

the fenestration are gina on vocals and mark playing either a uke or a tiny (toy?) electric guitar fed thru' a gameboy... there were a few technical hiccups which meant there were some delays between songs but that didn't matter as each of the songs were rather brilliant and the game boy set up meant the uke and the guitar chimed like the chimiest ringingest sound you ever did hear

gina said afterwards that she'd like to play again, I hope the fenestration do play again soon, mark said they have to figure out a way of amping up their rather novel kit if they are to go out and play live

fen·es·tra·tion (fn-strshn)
n.
1. The design and placement of windows in a building.
2. An opening in the surface of a structure, as in a membrane.
3. The surgical creation of an artificial opening in the bony part of the inner ear so as to improve or restore hearing.

julian house and his 50 watts of power played some more records and I'll admit my feet got a little restless and there was some in space jigging about going on and then calvin stepped up, no mic, no amps, no stage... he urged the crowd to come a little closer, we did, and he began to sing

in brighton a few years earlier when I last saw calvin play it was to a crowd that was all hushed reverence, sat cross-legged on the floor, respectful... calvin back here for his third hertford show, second performance- his first show being when beat happening played the pioneer hall (in '88?), the second was when he was over with lois on the heavenly/lois tour again at the pioneer hall ('92?)- the mood here tonight seemed more up, excitable, I wasn't the only one whooping, some people were going a little crazy- calvin seemed to have a lot of fun, I lost track of the number of songs he did, 'sitting alone at the movies' came somewhere in the middle, he ended on 'can we kiss', which was perfect... it didn't matter that most of the songs he played were unfamiliar because the performance/the moment mattered more, the songs sprang into vivid life there and then

toward the end- following a prompt from mark and while thanking folk and plugging the three remaining cd's he had left to sell (the mixtapes he'd had to sell on the tour by now all sold out )- calvin plugged my 'zine, which was nice (in the spirit of the evening I decided to give the dozen or so I'd brought away to anyone who wanted one, including one to acclaimed designer, julian house... I felt like jedward offering tony bennett a lesson on stagecraft)

no idea what the regulars thought of the show, the social club cat seemed pretty happy outside, there was a dog inside playing fetch around the bar

everybody was kind of giddy after

for some reason I decided to shake everyone's hand before I left

outside in the fresh air I felt a bit daft

well, nevermind, daft is good

it was an entirely special and singular evening (one of many on this tour, I'm sure)

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 09:00
by darvé
Andy, thats wonderful, thanks for posting it. Weirdly i was sitting on the tube this morning wondering if you'd talked to Calvin and told him about/gave him the new 'fog of ideas' (not in some odd dreaming about you/stalker way, i'd just read your facebook post, honest guv'ner) Anyway, for various reasons August this year hasn't been the best for me financially which meant the slim chance i had of actually making this (and Broadstairs on Thursday which i'd love to have gone to - did anyone from here go? also, the weather would probably have dampened the spirits somewhat) pretty much dissolved into nothing.

So reading about it and forming the pictures and sounds in my mind is the next best thing.

I could also write about how utterly spellbinding the London show was on tuesday, but it's already been done by that Stolenwine, and i don't think i can add to what she's written.

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 09:12
by linus
we were stood outside while hayley had a fag and I could see him strolling around (the grounds) and then heading towards us and I thought I should say 'hey' and then- gripped by mania- I forced a fanzine on him and he was really gracious about it and stopped and chatted

when I saw him in brighton a few years back I couldn't bring myself to say a word to him- despite wanting to- and prior to that at the heavenly/lois/mctells/bartlebees show in hertford I said something about seeing him get up and do 'c is the heavenly option' with heavenly in camden a few nights before and would he be doing that tonight and, he said something, like 'no, maybe, I don't know' and then went back to hanging around in his wellies and I was too freaked out to say anything at that show in camden so it's been nearly twenty years and this was my forth opportunity to say something and I thought 'ah, what the hey' and ploughed in

possibly that seems kind of stalkery but there's probably five people (including calvin) I'm startstruck by and they're all sort of not celebrities (un-celebrities) so I figure why be all fannish... that said, my voice did go all small and I struggled to think coherently but we had a conversation of sorts

I felt like such a kid

it was a really great venue and atmosphere, dave, I'd have organised a minibus if I'd had the wherewithall

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 19:56
by linus
4898145931_1d93a702b7_b.jpg
4898739664_e7bb2c0599_b.jpg
4898146135_62b7003193_b.jpg
some photos hayley took on her 'phone

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 20:08
by linus
admittedly in neither of those photos does calvin appear to be having 'a lot of fun' but that's because he's a down dude and not louis spence

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 21:51
by linus

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 17:49
by gogogadgetpop
Is Calvin Johnson the Bill Murray of the indiepop scene?

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 18:24
by eleanorp
Oh! I saw Calvin Johnson a few weeks ago, and it was great. The banter he had inbetween songs was so intricate, I don't really know how to describe. It was stuff that he had clearly just thought of on the spot, but was also extremely eloquent. I suppose what I'm trying to say is, that he led us on these seemingly pointless stories, then right at the end cleanly brought it back to the point in an amusing way.
I don't know why that had such an impact on me, but I suppose it just cememted in my mind the image of him being really intellectual.

Oh...and the music was great!

He shook my hand after the gig and signed a copy of Calvin Johnson and the Sons of the Soil (on the inside of the sleeve) with a lovely note and a K logo.
Image
Brill!

p.s. it seemed to me like he was having fun. i definitely was. there was a lively man in the audience named Phil who he kept bringing up and having lovely chats with. so much fun!

----------------------

Now playing: The Pastels and Tenniscoats - Song for A Friend
via FoxyTunes

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 23:41
by linus
calvin reads from the book all known metal bands



it's great when he cracks up reading out the long list of bands all called oblivion

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 23:47
by eleanorp
i've watched that bit so many times!
it's great when he cracks up reading out the long list of bands all called oblivion
----------------
Now playing: Boyracer - It's Love (Acoustic)
via FoxyTunes

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 23:50
by linus
I'm trying to figure out who he looks like when he laughs

oh, and thanks for the clip, eleanorp

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 00:27
by lynsosaurus
fogofideas wrote:I'm trying to figure out who he looks like when he laughs
that's kind of what i was doing when i went to see him play here! it's some kind of uncanny resemblance but i'll be damned if i can work out who to.

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 08:19
by indiansummer
we're having a mini-acoustic festival in the flat this weekend (a very long house show, basically), and i don't half wish i'd thought on to see if Calvin fancied it. bah! lousy brain!

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 04:00
by DefenderOfPants
has anybody seen this? it's fucking hilarious. parts of it, at least.

http://www.vbs.tv/watch/soft-focus/calvin-johnson

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 08:24
by linus
I've never seen that, I could live without the advert for lost appearing every couple of minutes (or could I?) but that interview is great... I love how svenonius keeps cracking up, there's some great stuff in here about being independent/being on a major which rings really true for me plus the bit on charles schulz kinda' rules as does the bits on dancing, being 'unplugged', black and white culture, performance, the internet and on and on

hey, it's all good

and he eats a candy bar

'well, you just got to get a sharpie... start making notes' is one of my favourite lines

makes me feel pretty vindicated for picking calvin as my morrissey rather than actual morrissey

it's interesting (to me, if nobody else) to contrast the calvin interview with the bobby gillespie one on the same site... both bobby and calvin are the same age (bobby older by about 4-5 months) but calvin seems so much more youthful (and not just by 4-5 months)- in the sense that he's more playful, his ideas seem more sprightly and limber and elastic, he takes himself far less seriously, far less wrapped up in his own personality myth and the myth of rock n' roll

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 08:57
by indiansummer
not watched the video yet (i'll watch it tonight, if i remember) but it sounds great. the bobby gillespie comparison's quite interesting too... i suppose, to an extent, bobby's been allowed to retreat further into the rockstar bubble by dint of the label he's been on and the level success he's (occasionally...?) had.... though i also wonder how far you allow yourself to do that as well. hmm, i'll be musing on that all day, i suspect.

incidentally, text message received on saturday: "Bobby Gillespie. Waitrose. Holloway Road. How the mighty have become middle class!"

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 14:14
by stolenwine
indiansummer wrote:
incidentally, text message received on saturday: "Bobby Gillespie. Waitrose. Holloway Road. How the mighty have become middle class!"
haha, i saw him in waitrose islington once, with a full shopping cart. i didn't pay attention to the details of the shopping though, but i bet it was full of champagne and caviar.

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 14:37
by indiansummer
haha! he looks like Roland Rat these days

Calv, on the other hand, looks blimmin' georgeous. I WELL WOULD. despite the 'disappointingly-heterosecksual' handicap.

Re: Beat Happening & Calvin Johnson

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 17:02
by DefenderOfPants
yeah, i loved his recognition of Peanuts. i couldn't help but laugh when he referred to Charlie Brown as Charles Brown.

the candy bar was my favorite.