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Dub Narcotic Sound System



If you haven't heard of the incomparable Calvin Johnson yet, well it's time you did. He's played in two of the more-celebrated indie bands of the last few decades, Beat Happening and The Halo Benders (alongside Built To Spill's Doug Martsch), and operates the legendary K Records, home of the international pop underground, out of his Olympia-based Dub Narcotic recording studio. His latest project, Dub Narcotic Sound System is, as you've probably guessed by now, named after that very studio.

With his rotating cast of musical misfits (aka Olympia scenesters, including Lois and the members of the hip hop outfit Dead Presidents), Johnson's been refining the Dub Narcotic bump and grind since the mid-'90s. Here's how it works: take unpretentious Beat Happening-style indie pop and mix in copious amounts of King Tubby-style dub licks and a generous helping of twisted '70s funk. What do you get? A thick, groove-heavy sound that's pretty much a recipe for ass-shakin'. You show me someone who can listen to Out of Your Mind, the second Dub Narcotic record (featuring "Teenage Time Bomb"), without twitching their hips a little and I will eat my underwear.

On 1999's Sideways Soul, Dub Narcotic Sound System Meets The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion in an effort to find out who could mention the name of their band more times in a song. Jon Spencer won.