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Author Topic: What was your first exposure to Daniel's Music?  (Read 53309 times)
Henry Long
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« on: October 08, 2003, 03:56:26 PM »

Okay, here's a thought...
What was your very first exposure to hearing Daniel's music? Did a friend give you a tape? Hear something in the background of "Slacker" or "Kids?" Maybe it was through another band's cover.
Myself, I was visiting an Actor/Musician friend of mine in Wilkes-Barre Pa. about 6 years ago. Before I returned home, I asked him to let me borrow something interesting to listen to for the ride back to Wilmington, Delaware (about a 2-hour drive) What he gave me was a dubbed cassette someone handed to him in NYC years earlier of "Hi, How Are You?"
The damage was done. I wore that little white cassette tape out. There was next to nothing on the web at that time, just a few articles here and there. Spotty at best. Finally contacted Jeff at Stress and thus begun my nearly dangerous preoccupation with all things Daniel.
One more metaphor, if I may. I heard a story once, that when William Burroughs met Allen Ginsberg for the first time, he handed the poet a copy of Oswald Spengler's "Decline of the West" and said, "Here. Educate yourself!" Continuing that tradition, I now do the same with Daniel's music.
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2003, 09:47:35 PM »

I heard 'Summer Time' from 'It's Spooky' on Lee & Herring's radio show when I was 13 and it scared the **** out of me...I taped all their shows but that night rewound the tape and recorded the remainder of the show over that bit, so I never caught the name nor did I want to hear it again.  When I saw L&H live in Carlisle a year and a half later, they played many of the unusual songs they had played on the Radio One show before they came on stage, and oh **** there it was, "Nooo ooone understaaands youuuu...."

I had definately seen the name about various places, and had noticed copies of 'Fun' and 'It's Spooky' in shops but never took it in, just knew that he must be some american indie guy.  I got hold of Wilco's 'A Shot In The Arm' single and noticed 'True Love Will Find You In The End' was written by Daniel Johnston, which was got buried at the back of my mind, as did noticing the same thing about The Pastels 'Speeding Motorcycle'.  Anyway, I heard good things about Half Japanese and I assumed Jad and Daniel were members (for some reason) so I downloaded a bunch of Half-Japanese songs and thought they were pretty good.  It wasn't until I found a messageboard discussion thread about unrequited love songs that I heard Daniel: someone recommended 'Laurie' as being the ultimate song of this kind.  I downloaded it and was blown away, it sounded like some mad kind of murder ballad with great lyrics but I never thought it would be a true story.

I started downloading Daniel's songs according to the titles I liked, stuff like 'Despair Came Knocking' and 'Impossible Love' and thought they we're exactly what I was looking for, and then I heard 'I Remember Painfully' which was almost too much.  It reminded me of Jonathan Richman but taking that method of writing much further and it sounded scary and very, very real.  I had to get hold of some CDs and do some research.  It was only then that I found out about Daniel's illness and it sort of put the urgency of something like 'I Remember Painfully' in perspective a bit more.  I read every online article I could find and bought what few CDs I could get in Scotland.  I got a CD burner for the main purpose of downloading the tapes (legally) off Emusic and went on a mini-crusade to get all the CDs that I could.  The rest is history, I've raved about Daniel's music to most people I know and managed to get some others listening too - you can imagine my jealousy at my friend Alex finding a vinyl copy of 'Artistic Vice' in the only record shop in Dumfries...

At no point in the last couple of years has my appreciation, fascination and enthusiasm for Daniel calmed down and I still think he might be the best ever.....
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2004, 09:05:01 AM »

It was about 7years ago, and I was in Vermont, at the end of my junior college year. A friend of mine said to me "Have you ever heard of Daniel Johnston?" I said "No, can't say I have". He said "If I introduce you to his music, you promise me you'll be a fan of his?" since this was a good friend telling me this, I took him at face value and said "sure".
and lo and behold, I've been a fan ever since.

I've tried the same tactic on other people, but its never really worked.
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2004, 05:05:36 PM »

i had heard of daniel for a long time before making the plunge. i have to admit that even though i hate to hear it now it was some of his antics i read about that roused my curiosity. but one word that always stuck with me when i read about his music was HONESTY. well twice a year i venture back to my old stomping grounds (houston) to see friends and family and to load up on all the music i cant get in the small town that i moved to. one record store i have gone to for well over 10 years (vinal edge) had some daniel in stock and i asked the owner chuck about daniel and he said something like "oh man that guy is great everything he has put out is great" then he walks behind the counter a gets a stack of polaroids of daniel and proceeds to tell me that he comes in every few months and is one of his favorite customers!! he said daniel will come in and do some trades and hang out for a few minutes and shoot the breeze. i had to ask about the tales of insanity and such and chuck said" well its obvious he is battleing some demons but nonetheless he is always super nice and always has a good story to tell, super cool guy no doubt about it" i could not help but notice the guy behind him nodding in agreement. well i bought rejected unknown and chuck said if i wanted to take the disc with me and leave the case there he would have daniel sign it for me but i was not sure when i would make it back down so i declined. well when i listened to it i was expecting more lo-fi. when the second song funeral girl came on well needless to say i was blown away and hooked from that point on. a funny part to this story is that when i was going to visit friends i would take the cd with me to play for them well my glovebox is so full of junk that somehow my cd fell down into the dash and after having my wife veto the idea of yanking out the dash to recover it i had no choice but to go back and buy me a new copy!!!! i have since sold that car to a friend with the clause that if he ever junks it that i be able to rip out the dash and recover my cd...........he looked at me as if i was nuts but damnit that car ate my cd and i want it back. ever since my discovery of daniel i have not looked back and have gotten all his releases and gotten a rather large pile of bootlegs. in fact my whole family digs on daniel he is just awesome. i have to admit i am a cheap bastard but when i set out money for a daniel johnston tape/cd i know i will get my moneys worth. never ever have i been dissapointed and with his body of work being so big that is saying something. well thank you members of the forum for sharing your stories with me and chuck if you ever read this thanks a million for the introduction to daniel and for always making sure your shelves have some daniel on it. you changed my life in a way! THANKS!



www.vinaledge.com                   check it out
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2004, 05:58:50 PM »

encountered daniel's music too many years ago to count.  it made no impression at all at the time.  our youth is gone from us.

"It was a piece of subtle refinement that God learned Greek when he wanted to become a writer- and that he did not learn it better."

cheesy
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timmel78
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2004, 06:04:51 PM »

my first exposure to the great music of Daniel Johnston was when i was listening to a DJ show on radio done by Eddie Vedder.. he played "A Little Story" and "Joy Without Pleasure".. after those 2 songs, i was hooked..
then i did more research and realized Cobain liked his music too.. any musician who had the respect of Vedder and the late great Cobain has to be good.. so i went to museumoflove.com and ordered all the casettes and hi how are u shirt..
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2004, 09:00:20 PM »

My first exposure to Daniel's music was in a now-defunct record store in Belmar, N.J. that my friend Eric tended - one day in 1994 I wandered in, and he said: "You've got to hear THIS guy..." and played the first track off of "Fun." I was hooked within a matter of seconds, and haven't stopped yet smiley. Funny thing is, my friend soon lost interest in Daniel's music, and didn't like "1990" when I played it for him some time later - he said it was too depressing. I think that's interesting, because I've never found Daniel's music to be depressing - heartwrenching at times, sad at times - but sad and beautiful at the same time, which makes up for it.

Two other things...
I created an Excel file of Daniel's performances. After a bit more polishing, I don't see why that couldn't be made available to anyone here who wants it. I don't know about you youngsters (snort), but there are over 700 songs now, and I'm beginning to have trouble remembering what song is on what album! (Dejected... did you get this okay? I realize you're busy... just nod yes or no... wink).

Second other thing...
Any news on the tribute album, like further artists, or release date? I wonder what the chances are of getting one of Jeff Tweedy's performances of "True Love Will Find You In The End" on there. That would pull in X amount of Wilco fans - which I assume is the aim of the whole project, to pull in fans of the performing artists' work and introduce them to Daniel's music. Has someone remembered to invite Kathy McCarty? She was a pioneer in this kind of thing - although, come to think of it, I haven't heard anything from her AT ALL since "Dead Dog's Eyeball" and the "Sorry Entertainer" EP (sigh).
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2004, 10:27:01 PM »

Hi Doug,

As you can see, there┤s a list(tribute artists) on the website and other posts about it on the forum....

I was hoping wilco to be on the record, maybe a studio version for "true love", with Jim O┤Rourke as producer...it would be "killer"!!!

But i┤m satisfied with mercury rev, Sparklehorse and the Lips....
I just hope that they were all produced and engineered by the great Dave Fridman.

Doug, have you ever imagined The Beatles playing some Daniel┤s songs??? It would sound great!!!!

...and......that excel file would be great for all fans!!!!!!
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Love to hear that organ music...........
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« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2004, 12:40:11 PM »

Hey Mindwalk, I just entered our fave producer┤s website some time ago, and I read that, yes, Friedmann is producting the Flaming Lips/Sparklehorse┤s Go!  Here┤s from the site:

March 25, 2004 Flaming Lips here working on a Daniel Johnston song for Mark Linkous. And recording some new Lips stuff.
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« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2004, 01:54:33 PM »

Quote from: Farmer Williams
Hey Mindwalk, I just entered our fave producer┤s website some time ago, and I read that, yes, Friedmann is producting the Flaming Lips/Sparklehorse┤s Go!  Here┤s from the site:

March 25, 2004 Flaming Lips here working on a Daniel Johnston song for Mark Linkous. And recording some new Lips stuff.


Man, if only they could get Tom Jones to do the vocals!!!

Just kidding (he says as he ducks and dodges)!

  - Not Daniel
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« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2004, 10:04:36 AM »

Hi Andy! I saw that on the site!!!!! It┤s great!!!!!

I just have to chill myself as i wait for the CD!!!!!
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Love to hear that organ music...........
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2004, 10:21:08 AM »

My first exposure to D.J. was through his collaboration with yo la tengo on their genious +love=yo la tengo album.  It wasn't until later though that I truly discovered the brilliance of this great songwriter.  Currently my favorites are the first two, songs of pain and more songs of pain.  I also like his other albums, but I find myself going back to the first two.  Daniel+piano+boombox=magic...
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2004, 05:55:47 AM »

I'd heard of Daniel over the years , maybe first in the Record reviews of Psychotronic video mag back in the early 90s, but didn't really pay much attention.

The big thing for me was Kathy McCarty's cover of 'Living Life' at the end of Before Sunrise.  'Honest, direct and beautiful' is how I'd describe it. Then, on the credits, 'composed by Daniel Johnston'. Things didn't really click until a month or so ago, when Before Sunset opened in the UK.  I ordered a copy of the soundtrack (to both movies) because, amongst others, 'Living Life' is on it..

I'd also heard DJ mentioned in old interviews by a great band who never got much attention , House of Freaks. (although their first two albums have now been re-released on CD , Monkey on a Chain gang , and Tantilla , and I'd recommend them to all).

So I'd heard the name for years , but did a search on Google a couple of weeks ago, and the rest is recent history! I bought Rejected Unknown and Fear Yourself , and more CDs will be following once I get paid at the end of the month! I'm pretty floored by the music and art - all the things that others have said about truth, honesty, beauty I'd agree with. And the man can write a damn good song.

Looking forward to the tribute album...
Db
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« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2004, 08:24:00 PM »

THis is news to me - you can order the soundtrack?   I'll have to go web shopping...
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« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2004, 04:39:27 AM »

You sure can , I bought mine from CD Universe :


http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?style=music&pid=6748131&cart=203731438



It's $14.29
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