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Issue: February 1995
Daniel Johnston

weird, contorted potential

Fun (Atlantic)

Daniel Johnston

I once did a critique of someone I had never heard of, who I denigrated as a Dylan/Elvis/Buddy Holly wannabe. My scathing review has haunted me ever since, because that "wannabe" was none other than Bruce Springsteen!

Daniel Johnston inspires that same feeling in me, though I keep saying "there's something there, but what is it?" Perhaps we should look to Johnston's song titles to construct it.

"When I Met You" I listened to tales of your "Life in Vain" and our "Crazy Love" and "Silly Love," which is a "Psycho Nightmare" that left me in a "Mind Contorted" state of "Delusion & Confusion."

Just remember, "Circus Man," that "Sad Sac & Tarzan" seem to be having a "Happy Time" with "My Little Girl" (the "Foxy Girl") and though you're having a "Lousy Weekend," "Love Will See You Through" and all will be "Jelly Beans."

Perhaps we should retreat to the reference desk.

Dada: style with antirational approach and nihilistic, absurdist and incongrous themes. Random House Word Menu.

Daniel Johnston's lyrics: dissembling schizophrenic rants a la mode Wild Man Fischer, Chris Chandler or Lord Buckley, but with less cohesion.

Johnston's music: every style imaginable from simple acoustic folk guitar to complex electronic tonal rambling excursions into the void.

If this sounds like your bowl of soup, Entertainment Weekly recommends you check out Dead Dog's Eyeball." Songs of Daniel Johnston by K. McCarty.

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