Thursday 24 Apr

IndianGiver - Understudies

There’s a difference between being derivative and being inspired by something, a line a lot of artists can’t seem to find — or at least don’t care to.
04/22/2014 | Comments 0

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | 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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