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."

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the Mynabirds + Josh Ritter at Antone's

As you may or may not know, Bloggy isn't really people who knows people, he just plays pretend. In real life he's a waiter (shhhh) but in the Austin nightlife, he goes out on the town with a Flipcam and an air of importance in order to talk his way into shows and areas of clubs where he doesn't belong. Well, last night, at Antone's, Bloggy was people who knew people who knew the Mynabirds, which was a very good thing. The show as ridiculously packed, I don't know if it sold-out but if it didn't it came very close. Mynabirds took the stage at 9p on the nose and the house was wall to wall sweaty faces. The band played a short set that left the crowd wanting more, which is pretty much ideal for a non-headlining slot. I'm not going to pretend to critique the performance, I'm pretty much biased (loved it). But feel free to form your own, un-biased, opinion about them. Although, if you think about it, how can any opinion about anything truly be unbiased? Even a robot trained to be unbiased has a bias against being bias. But I digress. My BloggyCam footage turned out terrible, so I'm not going to subject you to it. Enjoy this instead.

the Mynabirds - Numbers Don't Lie video via YouTube

I must admit, generally having "All-Access" or "VIP" status amounts to almost-nothing in most Austin venues but at Antone's it's the best way to see a show there. Not only are you right above the bathroom area but you have to walk through the band's dressing room in order to get to the VIP area. How cool is that? Cool for you, possibly not cool for the band. Also, when the show is over you can use an exit door that no one else can use. In case of fire, you're cool, they're effed. Well, not really, but that's how it felt. Did I mention they also have a cocktail server so you don't even have to get up to get alcohol? Oh, and I had a surface. An actual table to set things on. It was crazy sauce and I recommend you start your own blog and trick people into thinking you're important. Actually forget I said that. Moving on.

I only stayed for the first 3-5 songs of Josh Ritter's set. I know, I'm lame but I had to sling pancakes at 6:30 this morning. Not wake up at 6:30 but actually be there, at work, awake, acting like I want to bring you coffee and such at 6:30am. So get off my case, at least I was there alright?! Anyway, I was quite impressed with Josh Ritter's set. I have a few songs of his in my iTunes library but I have like a billion songs in my iTunes library and those few songs of his had never really stuck out to me, in the past. However, in person, with a full band to liven things up Ritter was quite the showman. The crowd was paying attention at a level I found eerie for an Austin audience. The quiet parts in the songs were actually quiet. Also, the music was very pleasant and I could see a big cross-section of Americans really get into Josh Ritter.

Josh Ritter - Girl In the War video via YouTube

The above video doesn't really capture the high-energy set Ritter played last night with a full band but that is I beautiful song. Did I mention the show turned into an impromptu tweet-up when I ran into half my twitter feed and some of my customers from work? I love that about this city. When you start to get to know the people standing near you at shows you'll find that they're standing near you at lots of shows and then you can cheers with your Lone Stars and smile.

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