Wednesday 23 Jul

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

Kierston White - Don't Write Love Songs

The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?

Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.

07/01/2014 | Comments 0

Depth & Current - Dysrhythmia

"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
06/24/2014 | Comments 0

Weak Knees - “IceBevo”

Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
06/17/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Calvin and jobs

Calvin and jobs

Norman singer/songwriter John Calvin sees his occupation as letting listeners know what it feels like to live in worse parts of the world

Joshua Boydston April 13th, 2011

John Calvin and The Calvary
10 p.m. Thursday
Coach’s Brewhouse, 110 W. Main, Norman, 321-2739

Releasing an album is cause for celebration, and Norman-based singer/ songwriter John Calvin did his share as he let loose of his second album, “Wish Alloy.” But, like a good artist, he didn’t stop there.

“When you make an album, it’s a snapshot of you in that point of time — a sonic photo album, you could say. It was nice to have them done and share with people,” he said. “It’s not only a tool for self-promotion, but also self-analysis. It showed me all my inconsistencies and inadequacies.”

The record — brimming with simple and upbeat folk, indie rock and blues ditties — has had a few months to settle. While he enjoys the finished product, much time since has been spent looking at how it could have been better.

“I don’t hate my songs, and I hate the perfectionist attitude. I just want them to be better,” Calvin said. “Songs are never completed. All these songs are in transit. Like one of the sound engineers told me, ‘You never finish recording an album; you just abandon it.’” Not that it’s all bad … “It portrayed growth and adaptation, the evolution of my sound. It shows your craftsmanship and how you’ve learned to build,” he said. “If I was a painter, those would be my first couple of sketches.”

A new batch of songs is quickly cropping up that will assemble into a new album within a year’s time. A planet rife with devastating problems is the perfect muse for the anthropology student who is perpetually in tune with the climate of the world at large. He’s one of a dwindling number of artists who really care about spreading a message that goes deeper than love; it seems appropriate that Calvin, with his affinity for polyester shirts and a wild mane of hair, quite easily could pass for a young Bob Dylan.

“With the stuff going on in Japan, and the Libyan conflict and the Palestinian/Gaza conflict,” he said, “there’s terrible shit happening everywhere. It’s the social function of an artist to help people hear about and relate to these things, and offer their abilities and talents to the awareness and support of the people who are in the fray helping out.”

It’s not so much of their pain being his gain, but making sure everyone else knows how it feels.

“These people can’t walk down the street without having to worry about a Howitzer shell flying past their head,” Calvin said. “I can’t adequately express how these people are feeling, but I can express about how I feel about what they are dealing with. From what I’ve seen, heard and felt, it hurts.”

It won’t be long before Calvin spreads his message and music beyond the bounds of Oklahoma, but first things first.

“I’m going to graduate, and I’m not going to get a real job, because my real job is music,” he said. “I’m going to hit the road after I graduate, find myself in a new place. Maybe Nashville … but I’ll still be around for a few years. I’ve got some more things to show Norman first.”

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