Thursday, March 04, 2010

Tales of Brave Mark Lanegan, Part 2: Lanegan Rescues Calvin Johnson from a Bear

In the second volume of Tales of Brave Mark Lanegan (circa 1993), the Singing Tree saves the head of K Records (Beat Happening/Dub Narcotic Sound System Singer/songwriter Calvin Johnson) from the clutches of a pissed-off bear. Johnson was/is a great songwriter and important figure in Indie Rock (Beck released an early album on K Records, and the whole Olympia music scene that Johnson helped create influenced the DIY and Riot Grrl scenes immensely). Johnson was also the vocal equivalent of Eeyore on some of those Beat Happening records.

One of the highlights of my early music geekdom was attending a K Records Barbecue with my buddy Brad circa 1988, and getting into a humorous drunken discourse with Calvin Johnson on whether or not Isaac Hayes ever recorded a version of the theme from Shaft on which Hayes sang the F word instead of implying it with, "He's a Bad Mother--Shut your mouth." (Calvin insisted that Black Moses did sing the unexpurgated word on a recorded version of the Shaft theme at least once; I vigorously dissented). Johnson also had a singing voice that sorta sounded like a cooler version of Eeyore's deadpan monotone, a detail that merited lampooning.

 Again, click the image for a detailed zoom.

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