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Playing Live: Selector Dub Narcotic



You can't be a music geek without knowing about Calvin Johnson, founder of K Records and musician associated with early lo-fi groups Beat Happening, Dub Narcotic Sound System and the Halo Benders. Starting in the early 1980s, and even more so in the early 1990s, Johnson's droning vocals and incorporation of funky dance beats were refreshing and weird additions to the punk and garage-rock sounds that flooded independent music scenes from Olympia to Seattle to Missoula.

Selector Dub Narcotic is the newest incarnation for Johnson, who has produced music for well-known acts including Beck, Modest Mouse and Built to Spill. This Party is Just Getting Started, which came out last year on K Records, doesn't feel that much different from any of Johnson's previous projects. The opening track, "Hotter than Hott," acts as an introduction to SDN, and the rest of the album captures Johnson's ability to sound alluring and aloof at once.


The business world may be changing for Johnson, who put K Records up for sale last year and came under fire from some artists for not paying them royalties. But he's still making cool, uncomplicated tunes filled with idiosyncratic vocals, and if you've never seen him, you probably should. He's a legend, and he throws a good dance party.

Selector Dub Narcotic plays the ZACC Below Mon., Sept. 11, at 7 PM, along with Sandman the Rappin' Cowboy and Fantasy Suite. $6.


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