Based in Olympia, Wash., Calvin's work in underground culture started as a teenage fan volunteering at the local community radio station, KAOS-FM. He moved on to writing for fanzines, organizing music and film events, playing music in various ill-fated bands. Calvin established K, a locally oriented media outlet, in 1982.
In 1993 Calvin founded Dub Narcotic, a recording studio, in which he has documented the work of the Somehow Is and Never Was, such as Mirah, the Blow, Versus, Built to Spill, Fitz of Depression, Make-Up and Little Wings. It has also been the incubator of many Calvin experiments in collaboration and self-expression, such as Beat Happening, Halo Benders and Dub Narcotic Sound System.
The decade of the double zeroes has seen Calvin Johnson set out into the world, acoustic guitar in hand, as a solo artist of musical platitudes. Last year's release of his album Before the Dream Faded [KLP170] is one byproduct of such venturing forth.