— I lived in Chicago from 1992-1999. I moved there for grad school and then stayed on for another 5 years painting, teaching, working at Dusty Groove and playing music. I met Devin Johnston early on while he was getting his PhD at University of Chicago. We became fast friends and started playing music together. Our first foray into recording was an attempt to cover the entirety of Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait. We abandoned the project after the first track, but we have been collaborating ever since. Soon thereafter, we started playing with Corre Dilworth as the 53rd St Project. This was probably the summer of 1994. Gene Booth moved back from New York and Gene, Corre, Devin and I started playing as USA. We recorded an EP and an LP for Drag City. USA disbanded sometime around 1998, and Devin and I continued writing and playing together as The Hours. After accumulating a batch of songs, we enlisted Rich Germer to drum and play some electronics. We tried to keep effects and overdubs to a bare minimum. I don’t quite recall why but I suppose we were trying to construct a fairly minimal form of songwriting. We recorded several songs with Jim O’Rourke in Chicago and then some more with Paul Oldham in Shelbyville, Kentucky. A few weeks after recording with Paul, I moved back to California. Corbett vs. Dempsey will release an EP from these recordings in early 2016.
A LITTLE MONEY
A Barrel Drops (& All Falls) and A Little Money were both recorded with Jim O’Rourke at his home studio in 1999. If I remember correctly (Jim and I did a lot of bartering back then), I traded a painting for Jim’s payment. The painting was subsequently used as the cover for Loose Fur, Jim’s project with Jeff Tweedy and Glenn Kotche. We stopped referring to the band as The Hours as another band started releasing music under that name shortly thereafter.
Devin Johnston lives in St. Louis and teaches at Saint Louis University. He is the author of several books of poetry. He co-founded, and co-edits, Flood Editions with Michael O’Leary.
Brian Calvin was born in 1969, in Visalia, California, he lives and works in Ojai. He has had shows at Almine Rech Gallery, Paris; Anton Kern, New York; Corvi-Mora, London; Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago; Marc Foxx, Los Angeles; and Gallery Side 2, Tokyo, amongst others.