Friday, June 18, 2010

Daniel Johnston plays the Mohawk

I was marginally aware of Daniel Johnston's music before I moved to Austin but I certainly didn't revere him. I just knew him as that guy with the weird voice who writes the beautiful songs. Then I started to see his art on T-Shirts everywhere, then of course, there's his giant "Hi, How Are You" mural on the drag. Suddenly his legend was building for me and I was starting to get it. Then I saw The Devil and Daniel Johnston and now I realize he is a patron saint of Austin. He is one of those characters that made Richard Linklater fall in love with this place. He doesn't walk a fine line between genius and madness he struts along that line and he churns out touching, well-crafted songs all the while. This blogger is excited for what truly ammounts to a historical opportunity to see Johnston perform at the Mohawk tomorrow night. To be honest, I really have no idea what to expect but I'm going to set the bar kind of low. I won't be looking for fireworks, or Van Halen stage moves, I just want to see the man in person and hear him croak out a few songs. There are at least 5 great shows in town tomorrow night but if you're honest with yourself you'll realize this is the only show that is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. In other words click this ticket link before they're all gone.

Daniel Johnston - Don't Play Cards With Satan video via YouTube

Oh God, after watching that video above the break now I'm worried I might cry though Daniel Johnston's set. That was pretty intense for me for some reason. Why are Austin's characters so beautifully haunted and amazingly talented? Guess it sort of goes with the whole "Keep Austin Weird" schtick. So, if you see a 6'2" man with a beard crying his eyes out at the Daniel Johnston show tomorrow give him a hug and a beer and tell him it's gonna be ok.

For those of you who haven't seen The Devil and Daniel Johnston you should really rent it, it's a great film that gives some great insight. Here's the trailer:

The Devil and Daniel Johnston - Trailer video via YouTube

Here's a song that Daniel released on a homemade tape in 1981, if you were in Austin during that time you probably have a copy lying around your house somewhere and I am jealous of that fact.

Daniel Johnston - Grievances video via YouTube

"If I can't be a lover
then I'll be a pest."