• January 22nd AUSTIN HI, HOW ARE YOU DAY

    Hi, How Are You Day JANUARY 22 TO BE DESIGNATED “HI, HOW ARE YOU?” DAY IN AUSTIN Awareness for city-wide, neighbor-to-neighbor mental well-being check-in highlighted by a night of music and art and featuring performances by, Moving Panoramas, Kathy McCarty, Cowboy Diplomacy, Jane Ellen Bryant and Will Courtney.

    (AUSTIN, TEXAS – January 9, 2018) – “Hi, How Are You?” Foundation is pleased to present, in partnership with SIMS Foundation, City of Austin Music & Entertainment Division, and Mohawk, a night of music and art celebrating mental wellness on Monday, January 22 at Mohawk, located at 912 Red River St., Austin, Texas, 78701. The line-up includes Moving Panoramas (featuring Laurie Gallardo), Kathy McCarty, Cowboy Diplomacy, Jane Ellen Bryant, Will Courtney, Leslie Sisson with Josh T. Pierson and Jonathan Terrell, and special guests. The musicians will perform select songs written by Daniel Johnston, as well as their own original music. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. with a VIP art sale and cocktail hour with bites by Frank, and features works by artists Daniel Johnston, David Thornberry, Jason Archer, Miguel Rangel, and Matthew Rodriguez. Art will be for sale throughout the event and music starts at 8:00 p.m.

    “Hi, How Are You?” Day is the brainchild of Courtney Blanton and Tom Gimbel, co-founders of the aptly named “Hi, How Are You?” Foundation that promotes togetherness and education around mental well-being. It derives its name from the beloved Austin frog, “Jeremiah the Innocent”, famously painted on the corner of Guadalupe and 21st Street by singer-songwriter and visual artist Daniel Johnston. Johnston’s own mental health issues have long been chronicled and serve as inspiration to the music community and beyond that mental wellness can be a challenge for all of us and we need to check our mental health just like we get a physical at the doctor. “Hi, How Are You?” Day, will be officially proclaimed by the City of Austin on January 22 and will remind citizens of Austin to check on their friends and neighbors’ mental health and offer assistance and resources if needed.

    Tickets for the “Hi, How Are You?” Day show can be purchased for $10 in advance/$15 at the door for general admission, and $50 for the VIP ticket that includes art preview and sale, food and drink. Buy tickets at:

    "I have struggled with depression and anxiety throughout my life. I wanted a day to inspire and encourage others to talk openly about their own struggles and to really listen to and be with one another," said Courtney Blanton, co-founder of “Hi, How Are You?” Foundation. “My goal is to create a platform where leaders in the field of mental health come together to exchange ideas and foster positive change.”

    "I have had the privilege of working with Daniel Johnston for 25 years,” said Tom Gimbel, co-founder of “Hi, How Are You?” Foundation. “He is both a longtime friend and a lifetime inspiration. I can’t believe that ‘Jeremiah the Innocent’ has been staring us in the face all this time and no one has thought about the true meaning.”

    "SIMS Foundation is thrilled to be part of this creative effort to reduce stigma for seeking mental health services,” said Heather Alden, Executive Director of SIMS Foundation. "Musicians make eloquent and poetic work out of their emotions. But, emotional well-being can be difficult to maintain. We want the Austin music family and all Austinites to know resources exist for treating their mental health issues. "

    "The Austin Music & Entertainment Division jumped at the chance to be involved in the inaugural ‘Hi, How Are You? Day,’" said Erica Shamaly, Division Manager at City of Austin Music & Entertainment Division. "Music is an integral component of what makes Austin special, but the hours and expectations of the industry can be tough, leading to addiction or other challenges. We must be sure that we check in on each other, and this event is a great reminder to do just that.”

    ABOUT THE “HI, HOW ARE YOU?” FOUNDATION: The “Hi, How Are You?” (HHAY) Foundation was created to generate new conversation around mental well-being. The name and city-proclaimed HHAY Day were inspired by Austin’s love for the iconic mural painted by Daniel Johnston. On January 22nd (Johnston’s birthday) Austinites are encouraged to check in on a neighbor, friend, co-worker, family member, or loved one and ask, “Hi, How Are You?”. The Foundation, created with the support of the Johnston Family, provides a platform for the exchange of ideas and education on mental well-being. Johnston is a world-renowned musician and visual artist despite his own struggles with mental illness.

    ABOUT THE SIMS FOUNDATION: The SIMS Foundation provides mental health and addiction recovery services to Austin musicians, music industry professionals, and their family members. SIMS was founded in 1995 to treat the Austin music family with high quality, low-barrier to entry mental health services for depression, anxiety, stage fright, alcohol and chemical substance use disorders, trauma, and other mental health issues. More information about SIMS Foundation,

    ABOUT THE CITY OF AUSTIN MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT DIVISION: The ATX Music Office is an economic development accelerator and centralized resource center for Austin’s music industry, and an active community partner for Austin’s citizens, community groups, and neighborhoods. More information can be found at,

    MEDIA NOTE: To RSVP for the Jan. 22 event, or general press inquiries, please contact Courtney Blanton,, 917-853-0568.

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  • Playback: No Really, How Are You? Daniel Johnston provides backstory to Hi, How Are You? Day, plus the first 2017/18 Austin Music Awards talent reveal

    Playback: No Really, How Are You? Daniel Johnston provides backstory to Hi, How Are You? Day, plus the first 2017/18 Austin Music Awards talent reveal

    Playback: No Really, How Are You? Daniel Johnston provides backstory to Hi, How Are You? Day, plus the first 2017/18 Austin Music Awards talent reveal BY KEVIN CURTIN, JANUARY 19, 2018, MUSIC "People call it Jeremiah, like Jeremiah from the Bible, but it's not really the frog's name," clarified Daniel Johnston about the happy, tentacle-eyed amphibian famous from both his 1983 cassette Hi, How Are You: The Unfinished Album and the mural at Guadalupe & 21st Street. "I didn't have a name like that for the frog. I always called it the Innocent Frog.

    "He's full of innocence the way I was back then."

    The inimitable artist – whose lo-fi songs have been covered by Tom Waits and championed by Kurt Cobain, whose drawings of ducks, boxers, and Captain America sell in art galleries worldwide, and whose schizophrenia and manic-depression were explored in the 2005 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston – has recently endured a rough go that includes hospitalization, falling, and frequent adjustments to his medication – his sister Margy Johnston told "Playback."

    Nonetheless, the singer was upbeat last Friday when speaking by phone from his home in Waller, recalling the day in 1992 he painted the frog on the side of Sound Exchange, an erstwhile record store that kept a box of his cassettes by the cash register.

    "I remember they paid me $70 to do it!" exclaimed Johnston. "And I was happy."

    Former Sound Exchange employee/current Chronicle Listings Manager Mark Fagan says Johnston was a regular at the shop, often with a stack of drawings to sell to employees or trade for Beatles records. He says they supplied Johnston with a ladder and some paint one day, and the mural was done in a half hour. The initial rendition, he says, included flying eyeballs, but the neighboring church complained about the "satanic imagery." They were eventually painted over.

    Today, most know the iconic image from its overhanging phrase: "Hi, how are you."

    "When I was growing up, after church, everybody shook hands and would say, 'Hi. How are you?'" recounts Johnston. "I always heard it, even at the funeral home when there was some dead person who died of old age. The undertaker said to me, and I was just a little boy, 'Hi. How are you?' That's how that started.

    "Then, when I worked at AstroWorld, I found a container in the garbage that held rubber frogs," he elaborates. "It had a picture of a frog and it said on it, 'Hi. How are you?' So I decided to name my album Hi, How Are You."

    The Innocent Frog and its accompanying query remains omnipresent as a cultural landmark. You can buy it as a doll, a doormat, or a coffee mug, and now it's being used to frame discussions about mental health. The first-ever Hi, How Are You? Day, coming this Monday, Jan. 22 – Johnston's birthday – literally and figuratively puts a question mark on the artist's trademark phrase. Organizers envision it as a time for people to open up, in-person and online, about their mental well-being, thus eroding stigmas that keep us from talking about our issues.

    "The Jeremiah mural has been staring us in the face for 25 years saying, 'Hi, how are you,' and we've overlooked the potential for something much more profound," says Daniel's longtime co-manager Tom Gimbel, who founded the Hi, How Are You Foundation with partner Courtney Blanton.

    Blanton says the community's familiarity with Johnston and the Innocent Frog affords a comfortable environment for people to start sharing about their, or a loved one's, depression, anxiety, and mental illness.

    "When I think of Jeremiah the Innocent, I'm reminded that people with mental issues are just that: innocent," says Blanton. "We don't choose this."

    The effort coalesces at Mohawk with performances from Glass Eye's Kathy McCarty, still noted for 1992's all-Johnston cover LP Dead Dog's Eyeball, Lift to Experience singer/guitarist Josh T. Pearson, and Moving Panoramas with KUTX's afternoon deejay Laurie Gallardo. The gathering, benefiting SIMS and the new foundation, also features an art show including Johnston originals. While the celebrant himself isn't guaranteed to attend or expected to perform, he may yet feel compelled.

    "If they're having a get-together in my honor, then I think I should play a few songs when the crowd's there," declares Johnston unprompted. "All I would need is a microphone and an amplifier, and I could bring one of my own guitars."

    What would you sing?

    "'Casper the Friendly Ghost' and maybe some new ones. I've been working on a new album with [Austin's] Brian Beattie for years, and I hope it comes out real soon."

    Half Notes Rapper Merlyn Wood may be the biggest MC out of Austin, well, ever. Largely unknown while attending the UT School of Architecture, the 21-year-old local (real name William Wood) posted his college withdrawal documents on Twitter in May and headed to California to join his collaborators in Brockhampton, a hip-hop "boyband" founded in San Marcos in 2015 by Kevin Abstract. The collective has released a trilogy of LPs since last spring, gotten booked for Coachella, and has an album (Saturation III) currently charting on Billboard. Brockhampton's Love Your Parents tour hits Emo's Saturday.

    Poison 13 singer Mike Carroll, hospitalized since late last year with bacterial meningitis, died Tuesday. By all accounts friendly and shy offstage, the onetime Big Boys roadie spewed raw truth in the role of frontman. Poison 13, featuring Big Boys' Tim Kerr and Chris Gates, pioneered a strain of vastly influential blues punk with a rockabilly swagger beginning in 1984. In the ensuing decades, Carroll remained a foundational presence on the Austin scene and beyond with hard-hitting garage rockers Lord High Fixers and aggressive noise art mob Total Sound Group Direct Action Committee, both featuring Kerr at his side.

    The Best Songs on Lolita Lynne's new album, Fools Moon, read like love letters and breakup notes found on a nightstand after waking up alone. "Don't you want to break me in two, or am I another girl who paws all over you?" inquired Lolita Carroll Larriva with sultry, spellbinding delivery on gripping original "I Won't" during last Friday's album christening at Barracuda. Daughter of Tito & Tarantula bandleader Tito Larriva, she enchanted thoroughly with impeccably penned, personal songs delicately executed by an ensemble of trumpet, violin, upright bass, synth, and Latin-leaning beats. The outfit kept the room hushed until detonating must-hear single "Enslaved," which clarifies their genre: brooding lounge pop.

    The Black Angels descend on the Austin Music Awards Wednesday, Feb. 28, at the Moody Theater. Also on today's initial talent bulletin for the 36th AMAs: Americana heroine Lucinda Williams, local singer-songwriter breakouts Adam Torres and David Ramirez, plus a hip-hop set featuring Third Root, Riders Against the Storm, Bavu Blakes, and more. You have five days left to vote in the newly multiple choice Austin Music Poll:

    Doom Side of the Moon, the Sword spin-off that transmogrifies Pink Floyd into heavy doom rock, surprised fans with the Encore EP last week. Extension of the full-length The Dark Side of the Moon cover last August, the three-song platter further plumbs the UK psych heroes' larger catalog with epic results, including highlight "Have a Cigar," in which Jason Frey's space rock saxophone breaks orbit and then crashes into bandleader Kyle Shutt's black matter guitar. Encore streams now, while sludge-green 12-inch vinyl arrives in March.

    Copyright © 2018 Austin Chronicle Corporation. All rights reserved.

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  • Sorry Entertainer - new book about Daniel (en français)

    La production artistique de Daniel Johnston de 1979 à 1986

    Sorry Entertainer

    Daniel Johnston est sans aucun doute l'une des figures pop les plus épatantes du XXe siècle et pourtant, les contours de son oeuvre prodigieuse et singulière restent encore aujourd'hui trop méconnus du public. Reconnu et acclamé par ses pairs et aînés que sont David Bowie, Tom Waits, Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder ou Matt Groening, l'artiste a très rapidement su bâtir un univers extrêmement codifié, doté de sa propre mythologie interne, de ses complexités inhérentes ainsi que d'une certaine récurrence dans les thèmes poétiques développés. Depuis, il s'y cloître inlassablement, tout en laissant la fenêtre ouverte à quiconque souhaiterait l'y rejoindre, le temps d'une chanson ou au détour d'un dessin. Musicien et plasticien, sa production artistique vorace et exaltée représente aujourd'hui une synthèse tout à fait remarquable de ce qu'est et de ce que fut l'homme au quotidien : tissant la toile de son cosmos à son image, les innombrables références convoquées n'ont de cesse de se relier entre elles, s'interpeller, s'interroger et se compléter. À travers ce premier ouvrage francophone consacré à cet artiste qui intrigue autant qu'il fascine, l'auteur tente de présenter les vingt-cinq premières années de sa vie captivante, avant de revenir sur les bases de son expression artistique et de soulever quelques préoccupations esthétiques et conceptuelles, afin d'offrir les clés de compréhension nécessaires à l'appréhension de ce répertoire luxuriant et impérieux.

    Parlez Vous Francais?

    Buy it from the PUBLISHER or AMAZON.FR

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