Calvin Johnson. Katie and the Lichen. MOM. Nov. 18th at 8!

 

The next show we’re having is THIS FRIDAY the 18th at 8PM! KDVS presents Calvin Johnson, Katie and the Lichen, and MOM. It’s gonna be a great one!

RSVP to the facebook event.
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Calvin Johnson is well-known and well-loved around Sacramento. Founder and owner of the influential indie record label K Records, Johnson was one of the key players in developing Olympia, Washington’s music scene in the 80′s. He’s been a part of several bands and music  projects including Dub Narcotic, Go Team and Beat Happening. Johnson has been performing and recording as a solo artist since about 2000.

Calvin Johnson

Here are a few questions I asked of Mr. Johnson:
How does Sacramento’s music/arts scene compare to Olympia or Seattle’s? What do you think are important aspects of a healthy arts/music scene?

Sacramento has always been a magic spot. My first encounter with the music scene was through Tiger Trap in the early ’90s, spent some time there during that era, some some neat bands like the Bananas and Bi-Curious George, onto Amy and henry’s dress and then there is so many more cool pop (Holiday Flyer) and garage bands; then we are onto the Out Hud era, Tyler Pope was always a prince. The last decade or so I’ve been out of touch with the Sacramento scene.

However, Mom is completely demented, we bonded instantly on our mutual love of Annette Funicello.

What’s your take on the “artist’s economy” idea? It’s sort of controversial because art is “supposed” to be about something other than money. 

It is admirable that you are oriented towards artists supporting themselves financially; hopefully that is not at the expense of your own survival as a gallery and venue.
It is difficult for performers and artists to maintain a living wage by doing their own thing. Good luck to everyone, it can happen (if you don’t mind living close to the ground; in your car; dumpster diving, etc.)

You’ve been in a lot of bands throughout the years–how would you say your “sound” has evolved? How would you describe your sound now? 

The sound of now Calvin is like the before Calvin with more wood and velvet bellow.

What’s your opinion of Katie and the Lichen?

Katie & the Lichen are the fun boss rad feminist pop super-car vibe queens of cave-rock!

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Katie and the Lichen is a sweet indie ensemble from Vancouver, Canada. They describe themselves on their website as “a 5 piece pop-verisimilitudes/sister/pop-verite, all female band. Playing ukes, andmelodicas, guitars and drums, and more, they focus on the anti-pop-anti-folk aspects of the lo-fi music universe, this includes crunching class divisions and endorsing and eating feminism. They are unladylike. They are encouragable, endearing and effing adorable.” Listen to tracks from their latest album, Kiss and Run, here.

Katie and the Lichen

I asked Katie Caron, lead singer, some questions:

How long has Katie and the Lichen been together? 

The name for Katie and the Lichen is about a year old.  For years I just played music under my own name “Katie Caron”. In the past 4 years I have been working on projects that contain 3-5 members at a time and once the project had solid members it didn’t feel right to play under Katie Caron.

How would you describe your style? Your website says you focus on the anti-pop, anti-folk aspects of the lo-fi music universe. Can you expand on that? Do you have any particular influences? 
Describing the style has always been kinda hard. The songs are heavy and light, melodic and driving.

Influences would have to be most touring bands like ourselves. We are very inspired by the people we are around and the lives we lead. The west coast has an amazing underground music scene that we are very excited to be a part of.

Have you done a major tour before? 

Touring is no stranger to us, a lot of us in Katie and the Lichen are also in other bands like the Greenbelt Collective which has done quite a few tours for months at a time. We have toured all through North America and Europe. Being on the road is something most of us really love so every year we try to do a couple two week tours and every two years we try to tour for a few months.

How is the tour going so far? What’s been your favorite show?

This tour has been pretty amazing to us. The Five of us in Katie and the lichen are also divided into two other bands on this tour. Mansion Music and KMVP. We like to call this the Smash Patriarchy tour. We have been able to check out a lot of the occupies across the US and Canada which has been pretty lucky for the group of us. Some of the shows have been pretty wild and it would be hard to sum it up into the best shows of the tour.

Newfoundland was pretty crazy, probably one of our favourite shows was at the Rose & Thistle. It was our fourth night in St Johns, we hung from the rafters, did chin ups, chanted Smash Patriarchy at the top of our lungs, pumped fists, screamed Fuck the Pigs with everybody, high-fived, crowd-surfed, and made a bunch of rad new friends.  Sorry about your busted leg, Jam.  We also played an amazing show at our friend Amanda’s house in Peterborough Ontario.  She made us the most delicious vegan spread and hand-delivered hand-lettered invitations to fifty of her closest friends.  Nikki, the melodica player in Katie & the Lichen and bassist in Mansion Music wore a silver bicycle helmet and piggybacked in the mosh pit.  It was amazing, she was exuding magic power.

In Brooklyn we stayed at Clayton’s house on 53rd & 3rd.  Get it?  We watched the Shining, tramped around the city in a snowstorm, did a whirlwind tour of the Museum of Natural History, and dropped a bajillion dollars on mediocre pizza.  We busked in DC and wrote a beautiful song about being followed by the cops.  Like the eye of Sauron, those bastards pulled to the side of the road in front of us and shone an evil searchlight into our sketchy van.  We managed to catch all the sights at 11:30pm.  At the white house, we saw a beautiful vigil tent that’s been there in protest of nuclear bombs and atomic power since the eighties.  In Gainesville Florida we played an open mic poetry night at the Civic Media Centre and witnessed rad local artist James Wesson tearing around the stage singing to the beats on his laptop, brushing his hair maniacally with four hairbrushes at once.  We’re lucky enough to be meeting up with friends on the west coast and are looking forward to being back in the salal again.

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A lot of people are confused as to why Calvin Johnson is playing with notoriously eccentric and theatrical performer MOM, but he requested to play with her and it should be an exciting show. You can hear her tracks on her myspace page, but listening to MOM doesn’t give you the whole picture–you have to see her perform.

I would attempt to describe the fascinating insanity that is MOM…but you probably should just read the interview. It speaks for itself.

MOM

How long have you been performing as MOM? Have you been in other bands?

EST since New Years Y2K.

How would you describe your musical style? Do you have any particular influences?

Imagine a greasy smelly mouse lady with puffy red blushing cheeks and shoes that dully shine from year old crusted vomit with patches of black mold. A faded red showtime uniform stiff as a dead corpse bathing on the summer beach is proudly worn. Its like waking up on a Sunday morning watching those old wacky black and white cartoons when suddenly you are rudely fully awoken by a mouse lady no smaller than a rose bush popping out of the old television and gyrating compulsively; included in this is catchy song and dance routines all done to warpped 60′s beach party childish like tunes and yet sometimes nightmarish. This includes mood swings one minute she is Americas sweet heart and the next minute a raving lunatic cracked out on a gallon worth of sugar. her voice will change from a high little mouse to a low drugged out hippo voice , and when she sings her heart is clearly shown as pure gold! I got no influences just the dirt on the ground.

I’ve heard you described as a “performance artist”. Would you describe yourself this way? What role does performance play in your music?

I’m just a little old mouse in a whirlwind of fantasy, I guess. My life is simple..I feast on sticky cheese (an expert of the finest cheeses of the world) and smell stinky feet for the big bucks $$$. Simply people just take off their shoes and I take a big WHIFF and just a little pat on my furry ass and i’m on my merry way! I like to dance, gymnastics, and bathe in blood ( really gets the grease outta hair!).

What’s your favorite part about performing?

Not being able to see anything if there was three of me I’d be blind.

What do you think of the Sacramento arts/music scene? Do you perform in other areas often and if so how do they compare to Sac? 

I don’t know much about Sacramento. I originated from Holland ,lived there for years and ran a successful chocolate business. I ‘ve played other places and yes I love to rollerskate.

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