There is an army of people who could be credited for helping to shape and push forward “Indie” music as it became less underground and more mainstream. I’m using Indie as it was originally intended — describing D.I.Y. artists completely free of corporate influence/support — not its contemporary catch-all meaning, which lumps millionaire major-label acts into the category. One of the more undeniable pioneers of true Indie sounds and anti-corporate integrity is Calvin Johnson, a key part of the American Northwest scene that has spawned so many successful, creative bands.
With Beat Happening and K Records, Johnson became influential with a unique brand of Indie Pop that was primitive, innocent, sparse and remarkably endearing. Kurt Cobain (and innumerable others in the region and beyond) was such a huge fan of Johnson’s, he had the label’s logo tattooed on his hand. K keeps going strong and Johnson, since Beat Happening, has launched projects like The Halo Benders, The Go Team and Dub Narcotic Sound System, with each entity showcasing a different side of his interests. Lately, he’s gone acoustic and released a few solo albums, but he is still involved in a variety of other endeavors.
Wednesday, Johnson plays the Hoffner Masonic Lodge (4120 Hamilton Ave., Northside), in the same building as the late Art Damage Lodge (Art Damage booked this show). Opening are Josiah Wolf from Why? and Magic Words, Lisa Walker of Wussy’s solo guise. Showtime is 9 p.m., admission is $5 and the show is open to all ages.