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  CALVIN JOHNSON w/ Little Wing  
  SeaLevel Records  
  Los Angeles, CA  
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This was the first official show at SeaLevel Records, which is owned by a buddy of mine. Plenty of people shelled out the $6 to see a legend of the indie rock world play, and they were well rewarded. I spent a nice evening hanging out and watching the performance.

SeaLevel Records is a cozy place with large multi-colored walls, and the crazy brightness of the place provided a pleasant DIY feel to the show. As such, it was hard not to think back to the beginnings of Beat Happening in Olympia, WA, where they played in record stores and in back alleys.... I've seen several in-stores here and the sound is always great. I'd equate the design of the space to that of a funnel. The sound is spread out acoustically, making every spot a good one.

Little Wing went on first, and the majority of their performance was without the help of microphones. They walked throughout the store while playing on several occasions. The intimacy of the store was apparent as they talked to the audience throughout the show and played their beautiful and simple music to everyone. They also had the chance to explain their songs a bit and take requests for songs.

Calvin Johnson played by himself and with part of Little Wing backing him. His booming voice and acoustic guitar contrasted as well as they have over the last 20 years as he played songs from his solo records. He fielded questions from the crowd including a hilarious diatribe concerning the pending baseball strike and the current state of music and popular culture. The music was at times touching but still tongue-in-cheek and the show was overall very enjoyable.

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