23

MONDAY

Calvin Johnson’s deep, off-key croak of a voice sometimes wracks my nerves. For years I’ve wished he would take singing lessons. But I’d never write off this Olympia-based performer, who heads up K Records. With the indie-pop of both Beat Happening and the Halo Benders, and even with the less successful dance-party stylings of Dub Narcotic Sound System, Johnson’s always compensated for his musical weaknesses with his deep reservoir of charisma and his unique, fun-to-watch dance moves. Inspired by the heartfelt naiveté of Jonathan Richman and Half Japanese, and in love with the do-it-yourself ethic and the sounds of pop-punk, dub reggae, and garage rock, Johnson has spent 18 years as an on- and offstage catalyst for his label’s “international pop underground.” Tonight he performs solo, sharing a bill with the strum and jangle of Australia’s Cannanes and the twee femme melodies of the Softies, plus Even As We Speak and Steward. The show starts at 9 p.m. at the Galaxy Hut, 2711 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. Free. (703) 525-8646. (Steve Kiviat)