TF Archives

Daniel Johnston... Discovered Uncovered

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Daniel Johnston is one of the rare, cult figures in US singer/songwriter
history. His living legend has grown by word of mouth since his early days
of hawking homemade cassettes in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

The tapes featured pasted drawings and handwritten tracklistings, the music
comprised of Daniel singing songs into a tape recorder, accompanied by
rudimentary piano, his mother often yelling in the background. Suffering
from mental illness, he spent a lot of his life in and out of institutions.

He has since become an unlikely hero to a world of disaffected people, and
is credited as the grandfather of lo-fi. His songs are appreciated for their
utter lack of artifice and undeniable simple brilliance. The heavyweight
fans he has collected along the way are testament to the enduring nature of
his work.

Kurt Cobain famously wore one of his T-shirts to 1992's MTV Video Music
Awards, promoting several major label recording contracts, which were turned
down. He is the musician's cult musician, and he has been covered by artists
as varied as Wilco, Sonic Youth and Pearl Jam.

"Discovered Covered'; is both an introduction to Daniel's art, and also a
tribute to it. It is a 2CD set comprising a collection of originals spanning
his career, and a group of covers by some of Daniel's more famous fans. It
is a virtual who's who of current alternative musicians; from Beck to Bright
Eyes, M.Ward to Mercury Rev, TV On The Radio to Tom Waits.

The album has been licensed by Inertia to the Rogue Records label (home to
Pinback, Dios Malos and Aberfeldy), and is released on February 28th.