Thursday, February 17, 2011

About An Artist Growing Old

So H-Double was posting the other day about Daniel Johnston . . .

Let me back up. H-Double was posting the other day. Can we all agree that this alone is worthy of a round of applause? (H-Double's blog went dark before I even got started, but I read him for years before I started writing here or on my blog, and I'd have to say that his posts were a partial influence when I decided to start in the first place. Anyway, if you never have, go check him out, including his archives -- he's one of the old school greats, and he walks among us again.)

But I was talking about Daniel Johnston, the disturbed young man/songwriting genius who has spent his life on the fringe of the music scene, inspiring some, pitied by others. He was the subject of the documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston.

I'll be the first to admit that Johnston probably isn't going to hit everybody the same. Technically he can be amateurish, even childish. His voice is a sort of adenoidal quaver. But he has something about him, something true and utterly compelling

Here's my favorite Johnston tune, simultaneously one of the most uplifting and saddest, one of the simplest and most complex songs I know of.

1 comment:

Joseph said...

What a great song