Now that everyone has a video camera in their ‘phone there is less need to carry your own.
Here, for instance, is a clip with Daniel Johnston playing taken at the Belmont in Austin just before Born to Spill took the stage at SXSW 2012. I was towards the front at the right. I didn’t record any video but another fan has captured the moment. There are other clips from different angles. Mr Johnston was treated reverentially by the crowd and this song is pretty cool. It was odd seeing him as an older guy. I think of him as the young, awkward boy who first recorded these songs using a crappy mono recorder and accompanying himself on the piano.
Daniel Johnston’s life and his precarious mental health have been well documented, particularly in the Dutch doco, The Devil and Daniel Johnston.
In 1990, Johnston played at a music festival in Austin, Texas. On the way back to West Virginia on a small, private two-seater plane piloted by his father Bill, Johnston had a manic episode believing he was Casper the Friendly Ghost and removed the key from the plane’s ignition and threw it out of the plane. His father, a former Air Force pilot, managed to successfully crash-land the plane, even though “there was nothing down there but trees”. Although the plane was destroyed, Johnston and his father emerged with only minor injuries. As a result of this episode, Johnston was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital.
On this mix I included a track from The Tallest Man on Earth, an alt country guy from Sweden I have been listening to on and off for a while. He has a distinctive voice and this is the first song of his that I really like. Ditto Sun Kil Moon as Mark Kozelek’s languid delivery has taken a while to take root. The track from the new Mountain Goats album is excellent. Big Deal present from a session recorded in a church along with a live session from The Lumineers, There are tracks from The Vaselines, Beat Happening, J. Irvin Dally, Edwyn Collins and Joel Alme, an acoustic number from The Jesus & Mary Chain, a thrashier track from Young Jesus, A. A. Bondy, Sam Baker, Holy Sons (and here) and one from Scotland’s finest – Spaghetti Everywhere.