Monday, April 21, 2008
silly love

Sometimes music just has an unexplainable intangible quality. When you think of "good music," it's usually either technically sound or avant-garde or both. While Daniel Johnston is certainly unconventional, he's not really pushing any envelopes. And he certainly isn't a technically proficient musician. Hell, he can't really even sing. But there's certainly something about his music.

His performance at Richard's on Saturday wasn't always great: the full band sort of overwhelmed the simplicity of his songs at times. Plus, the dudes in the band were a bit campy. But the songs he performed solo - notably, a show closing acapella version of "Devil Town" - and the tunes that he did with only an acoustic guitarist as accompaniment were brilliant.

There's another dimension to watching Johnston perform live though. His troubles have been well documented, but it's still a little disconcerting to see the way his hands shake when there's no instrument in them. And, I couldn't help but feel a little uncomfortable when (parts of) the crowd erupted in laughter after certain things that clearly weren't intended as jokes (although, there were plenty of purposeful - and successful - attempts at humour too). On the other hand, if you think about where the guy was for a pretty significant part of his life, it's pretty awesome to see him up on stage, doing something he loves, and doing it so well.

On a side note, it's wicked that people were super amped about a relatively obscure, under-appreciated (althought, less so now) singer-songwriter, but if you're at a show - any show - you should remember that nobody came to hear your tone-deaf, dumb ass yell out the lyrics to every song (you know, unless the band asks for crowd participation on every song. but they won't. ever).

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upcoming shows
2/8 Twin Sister, Eleanor Friedberger, and Ava Luna @ the Media Club
2/9 David Choi @ the Rio
2/10 Secret Chiefs 3 and Dengue Fever @ the Rickshaw
2/13 White Buffalo @ the Media Club
2/14 The Ballyntines and Pleasure Cruise (TT) @ the Biltmore
2/18 Grimes w/Born Gold @ Fortune (early)
2/18 Cruel Young Heart, Young Liars, the Oh Wells, and Matiation @ the Dodson Rooms (AA)
2/18 Cursive w/UME @the Media Club
2/19 The Asteroids Galaxy Tour w/Vacationer @ Venue
2/20 Veronica Falls w/Bleached @ the Media Club
2/26 DJ Krush @ Fortune
2/29 Trevor Hall @ the Media Club
3/6 Slow Club w/Signals @ the Media Club
3/7 Cloud Nothings w/Mr. Dream @ the Media Clubr
3/8 Islands @ the Rio
3/10 Memoryhouse @ the Waldorf
3/17 William Fitzsimmons @ the Biltmore (early)
3/18 Magnetic Fields @ the Vogue (AA)
3/21 Plants & Animals>/b> @ the Rickshaw
3/22 Drive-by Truckers @ the Commodore
3/23 White Rabbits @ the Biltmore
3/23 Loney Dear @ the Media Club
3/24 Sharon Van Etten and the War on Drugs @ the Biltmore (early)
3/25 Nada Surf and An Horse @ the Rickshaw
3/27 The Ting Tings @ the Commodore
4/5 House de Racket @ the Electric Owl
4/6 Chairlift w/Nite Jewel @ the Electric Owl
4/7 Heartless Bastards @ the Media Club
4/8 Metronomy @ Venue
4/8 Gotye @ the Vogue (AA)
4/9 Cults @ Venue
4/10 First Aid Kit @ Venue
4/10 Andrew Bird w/Laura Marling @ the Vogue (AA)
4/13 The Odds and the Grapes of Wrath @ the Rickshaw
4/14 The Joel Plaskett Emergency @ the Vogue (AA)
4/24 School of Seven Bells w/Exitmusic @ the Electric Owl
4/26 Justice @ the PNE Forum (AA)
4/27 M83 @ the Vogue (AA)
4/27 Yukon Blonde @ the Commodore
4/28 Neon Indian @ Venue (early)
5/6 Delta Spirit w/Waters @ the Electric Owl
5/9 Yann Tiersen @ the Rickshaw
5/11 Great Lake Swimmers w/Cold Specks @ the Commodore
5/12 The Boxer Rebellion> @ the Biltmore
5/27 Coeur de Pirate @ Venue

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DG = @damaged goods
DFTK = @dirty for the kids
FJW = @fake jazz wed
EN = @easy now
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HL = @higher learning JH = @junior high
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previous posts
spin the black circle
whispering into the other
i've got news for you, baby, that i've made plans ...
petite mort
it was good what we did today
her life was saved by rock n roll
til i felt the floor
from a great height
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writing by Quinn
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