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Friday, May 8, 2009

Calvin Johnson in-store at Vacation Gallery Mon., May 11

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On Mon., May 11 K Records co-founder, former Beat Happening frontman Calvin Johnson plays a free solo acoustic in-store perfromance at Vacation Gallery.

The show doubles as an art opening for two local artists, Jen Kordner and Allen Taylor.

Calvin Johnson is also in town on Monday to play a show at the Drunken Unicorn with his latest group, the Hive Dwellers who are touring with Ian Svenonious' latest project Chain & the Gang. Pine Hill Haints and the Coathangers also perform.

Ian Svenonius has the uncanny ability to reinvent himself with each new incarnation, while maintaining the provocative lisp and satire that has defined him since his days with Nation of Ulysses. Down with Liberty... finds the D.C. humorist/antagonist exploring muffled and slow punk/soul grooves that evoke genius in subversive ways. The album's opening line, "I see progress in paint peeling..." sets the tone for a poetic poke at post-George W. Bush frustrations. Like modern slave songs, "Reparations," "What Is a Dollar" and "Deathbed Confession" embrace paranoia and blue-collar burdens with a literal read of Fox News' vision of freedom and all of the absurdity it has wrought.

Chain & the Gang, the Hive Dwellers, Pine Hall Haints and the Coathangers  play the Drunken Unicorn on Mon., May 11. 8 p.m. $8-$10.

(Photo by Hilary Harris)

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