Daniel Dale Johnston is an American singer-songwriter and visual artist, regarded as a significant figure in outsider, lo-fi, alternative music scenes. Most of his work consists of cassettes he recorded alone in his home, his music is cited for its "pure and childlike soul". Johnston has spent extended periods of his life in psychiatric institutions and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, he gathered a local following in the 1980s by passing out tapes of his music while working at a McDonald's in Austin, Texas. His cult status was propelled when Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was seen wearing a T-shirt that featured artwork from Johnston's 1983 album Hi, How Are You. In 2005, Johnston was the subject of the documentary The Daniel Johnston. Johnston was born in Sacramento and grew up in New Cumberland, West Virginia, he is the youngest of five children of Mabel Ruth Voyles Johnston. He began recording music in the late 1970s on a $59 Sanyo monaural boombox and playing piano as well as the chord organ.
Following graduation from Oak Glen High School, Johnston spent a few weeks at Abilene Christian University in West Texas before dropping out. He attended the art program at the East Liverpool campus of Kent State University, during which he recorded Songs of Pain and More Songs of Pain; when Johnston moved to Austin, Texas, he began to attract the attention of the local press and gained a following augmented in numbers by his habit of handing out tapes to people he met. Live performances were hotly anticipated, his local standing led to him being featured in a 1985 episode of the MTV program The Cutting Edge featuring performers from Austin's "New Sincerity" music scene. Subsequently, he performed at the 1985 Woodshock music festival in Austin and was featured in the short documentary Woodshock. In 1988, Johnston visited New York City and recorded 1990 with producer Kramer at his Noise New York studio, it was released in 1990 on Kramer's Shimmy-Disc label. This was Johnston's first experience in a professional recording environment after a decade of releasing home-made cassette recordings.
His mental health further deteriorated during the making of 1990. In 1989, Johnston released the album It's Spooky in collaboration with Half Japanese singer Jad Fair. In 1990, Johnston played at a music festival in Texas. On the way back to West Virginia on a private two-seater plane piloted by his father Bill, Johnston had a manic psychotic episode, his father, a former US Air Force pilot, managed to crash-land the plane though "there was nothing down there but trees". Although the plane was destroyed and his father emerged with only minor injuries; as a result of this episode, Johnston was involuntarily committed to a mental hospital. Interest in Johnston increased when Kurt Cobain was photographed wearing a T-shirt featuring the cover image of Johnston's album Hi, How Are You that music journalist Everett True gave him. Kurt Cobain listed Yip/Jump Music as one of his favorite albums in his journal in 1993. In spite of Johnston being resident in a mental hospital at the time, there was a bidding war to sign him.
He refused to sign a multi-album deal with Elektra Records because Metallica was on the label's roster and he was convinced that they were of Satan and would hurt him. He dropped his manager after having a psychotic episode at a Butthole Surfers concert, he signed with Atlantic Records in February 1994 and that September released Fun, produced by Paul Leary of Butthole Surfers. It was a commercial failure. In June 1996, Atlantic dropped Daniel from the label. In 1993, the Sound Exchange record store in Austin, Texas commissioned Johnston to paint a mural of the Hi, How Are You? frog from the album's cover. After the record store closed in 2003, the building remained unoccupied until 2004 when a Mexican grill franchise called Baja Fresh took ownership and decided to remove the wall that held the mural. A group of people who lived in the neighborhood convinced the managers and contractors to keep the mural intact; as of 2018, the building houses a Thai restaurant called "Thai, How Are You". Johnston contributed two songs to the soundtrack for Larry Clark's controversial 1995 film Kids, produced by Folk Implosion and Sebadoh's frontman, Lou Barlow.
Johnston covered Schoolhouse Rock!'s "Unpack Your Adjectives" for a compilation of the popular education songs called Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks in 1996. In 2004, he released The Late Great Daniel Johnston: a two-disc compilation; the first disc featured covers of his songs by artists including Tom Waits, Beck, TV on the Radio, Jad Fair, Bright Eyes, Calvin Johnson, Death Cab for Cutie, Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips and Starlight Mints. The second disc featured Johnston's original recordings of the songs. In 2005, Texas-based theater company Infernal Bridegroom Productions received a Multi-Arts Production/MAP Fund grant to work with Johnston to create a rock opera based on his music, titled Speeding Motorcycle. A 2005 Dutch documentary about Johnston for the TV series R. A. M. was followed in 2006 by The Daniel Johnston. Jeff Feuerzeig's documentary, four years in the making, collated some of the vast amount of recorded material Johnston had produced over the years to portray his life and music; the film won high praise.
The film inspired more interest in Johnston's work, increased his prestige as a to
Jad Fair is an American singer, graphic artist and a founding member of lo-fi alternative rock group Half Japanese. Fair was born in Michigan. In 1974, he and his brother David formed the lo-fi group Half Japanese. Since Half Japanese has released nearly 30 records. Besides Half Japanese, Fair performs and records as a solo artist, collaborates with artists such as Terry Adams, Norman Blake, Kevin Blechdom, Isobel Campbell, Eugene Chadbourne, DQE, Steve Fisk, Fred Frith, God Is My Co-Pilot, Richard Hell, Daniel Johnston, J. Mascis, Jason Willett, Monster Party, Weird Paul Petroskey, R. Stevie Moore, Thurston Moore, The Pastels, Phono-Comb, Steve Shelley, Strobe Talbot, Teenage Fanclub, The Tinklers, Moe Tucker, Bill Wells, Jason Willett, Adult Rodeo, Lumberob, Yo La Tengo, John Zorn. In 1982 Fair released his first solo work, the single "The Zombies of Mora-Tau" followed by the full-length album Everyone Knew... But Me one year later. Besides his musical career Fair is active as a visual artist, drawings as well as papercuttings.
He took up papercutting to alleviate boredom while touring on the road. Many of the album covers are made by Fair. Four books of Fair's art have been published. Exhibitions of Fair's paper cuts and drawings have taken place in New York, Glasgow, Paris, Houston, The Hague at the State-X New Forms festival and in Nantes at Le Lieu Unique together with Daniel Johnston. It's Spooky is a 1989 collaboration album by Jad Fair. Strange but True is a collaborative album between the band Yo La Jad Fair, it was released by Matador Records in 1998. Song titles on the album were taken from outrageous newspaper headlines. In 2002 Fair recorded an album with R. Stevie Moore, titled FairMoore, described as "a lovely, heartfelt effort that shows both in top form" by Dave Mandl, who stated that it "brings together two fiercely original figures in the American music underground", the album consisting of Fair reciting his poetry over Moore's instrumental backing. Words Of Wisdom And Hope is a collaboration between Glasgow, Scotland's Teenage Fanclub and Fair, released in 2002.
In 2008 Vincent Moon made a short documentary called Paris lost in Texas, part of his The Take-Away Shows-series. In this short movie he visits Fair in house in Texas. In the same year experimental instrument builder Yuri Landman constructed for Fair a special 2 string instrument called the Bachelor QS. In 2011 Half Japanese toured through Europe. In 2011 Thick Syrup Records released the compilation album'78 LTD; this album features the track "36 Perfect Ways I Ching of Love" Fair made with Ken Stringfellow. In 2012 Fair contributed to the Landman album That's Right Go Cats with a 22-minute vocal contribution on side A of the record; the Nantes based venue Le Lieu Unique has organised a large exhibition of graphical work made by Fair and Daniel Johnston in April 2012. In the same month Fair released a lost album called Songs from a Haunted House with Gilles Reider on Interbang Records. In 2012 Jad Fair released on Joyful Noise Recordings a collaboration with French experimentalist trio Hifiklub, German guitarist/producer kptmichigan.
The band was assembled to provide the audio component to Jad Fair's art exhibition at Le Dojo - Nice in France, 2011. Everyone Knew... But Me Monarchs Best Wishes Great Expectations I Like It When You Smile Short Songs Greater Expectations Sunshiney Sunshine Mr. Snail's Halloween Party Beautiful Songs, 2011 Fire Records The Zombies of Mora-Tau "Good Day" – "Three Cycles" "Samantha" Jad and David Fair – Best Friends Jad and David Fair – 26 Monster Songs for Children Jad and David Fair – Six Dozen Cookies David and Jad Fair – Halloween Songs David and Jad Fair – I'll Be Moe Jad Fair and Daniel Johnston – It's Spooky The Lucky Sperms – Somewhat Humorous Jad Fair and Kramer – Roll Out the Barrel Jad Fair and Kramer – The Sound of Music Mosquito – Oh No Not Another Mosquito My House Is Full of Them! Mosquito – Time Was Mosquito – UFO Catcher Mosquito – Cupid's Fist Jad and Nao – Half Robot Jad and Nao – Half Alien Jad and Nao – Half Monster Jad Fair and The Pastels – This Could Be the Night EP Jad Fair and The Pastels – No. 2 EP We Are the Rage – Jad Fair & The Shapir-O'Rama I Like Your Face – Jad Fair & Shapir-O'Rama Teenage Fanclub and Jad Fair – Words Of Wisdom And Hope Teenage Fanclub and Jad Fair – "Near To You" Teenage Fanclub and Jad Fair – "Always In My Heart" Teenage Fanclub and Jad Fair – "Like a Monkey in a Zoo" Jason Willett/Jad Fair/Gilles Rieder Jason Willett & Jad Fair – It's All Good Jad Fair & Jason Willett – Honeybee Jad Fair & Jason Willett – The Mighty Super-Heroes Jad Fair & Jason Willett – Wonderful World triple cassette Jad Fair & Jason Willett – Twister lp Jason Willett & J
Tago Mago is the third album by the German krautrock band Can released as a double LP in 1971. It was the band's second studio album and the first to feature Damo Suzuki after the 1970 departure of previous vocalist Malcolm Mooney. Recorded in a rented castle near Cologne, the album features long-form experimental tracks blending funk rhythms, avant-garde noise, jazz improvisation, electronic tape editing techniques. Tago Mago has been described as Can's best and most extreme record in structure; the album has received much critical acclaim since its release and has been cited as an influence by various artists. Drowned in Sound called it "arguably the most influential rock album recorded." After Malcolm Mooney left Can in 1970 the remaining members were left without a vocalist. Bassist Holger Czukay happened to meet Kenji "Damo" Suzuki when the latter was busking outside a cafe in Munich, he invited Suzuki to join them. That evening, Suzuki performed with the band at the "Blow Up Club" and subsequently became a member of Can.
Tago Mago was recorded in 1971 by Czukay in a castle near Cologne. The band was allowed to stay there for a year without paying any rent by the owner, an art collector named Mr. Vohwinkel. Recording took three months to complete, with sessions lasting up to sixteen hours a day. Czukay would edit these disorganized jams into structured songs. Czukay used only two two-track tape recorders to capture the sessions. Due to the intense reverbration of the room used for recording, Czukay took advantage of the sonic bleed and limited the band to three microphones, shared between vocalist Damo Suzuki and drummer Jaki Liebezeit. Keyboardist Irmin Schmidt experimented with sine-wave generators and oscillators in place of typical synthesizers on "Aumgn"; this was the first of Can's albums to be made from not only recorded music, but combined "in-between-recordings", where Czukay secretly recorded the musicians jamming during pre-production sessions. Additionally, Czukay captured in-between-recordings of the shouts of a child who mistakenly burst into the room during recording, as well as the howling from a dog belonging to Vohwinkel.
According to Czukay, the album was named after Isla de Tagomago, an island off the east coast of Ibiza. It was released as a double LP in 1971 by United Artists. Julian Cope wrote in Krautrocksampler that Tago Mago "sounds only like itself, like no-one before or after", described the lyrics as delving "below into the Unconscious". Dummy called it "a genre-defining work of psychedelic, experimental rock music." Critic Simon Reynolds described the record's sound as "shamanic avant-funk." Tago Mago finds Can changing to a jazzier and more experimental sound than previous recordings, with longer instrumental interludes and fewer vocals. On the album, Can took sonic inspiration from sources as diverse as jazz musicians such as Miles Davis and from electronic avant-garde music; the album was inspired by the occultist Aleister Crowley, reflected through the dark sound of the album as well as being named after Illa de Tagomago, an island which features in the Crowley legend. Czukay reflects that the album was "an attempt in achieving a mystery musical world from light to darkness and return".
The group has referred to the album as their "magic record". The tracks have been described as having an "air of mystery and forbidden secrets". Tago Mago is divided into two LPs, the first of, more conventional and structured and the second more experimental and free-form."Paperhouse", the opening track, is one of the shorter songs on the album. Allmusic critic Ned Raggett depicted the song as "beginning with a low-key chime and beat, before amping up into a rumbling roll in the midsection calming down again before one last blast." "Mushroom" is the following track, which Leone noted as having a darker sound than the previous song. "Oh Yeah" and "Halleluhwah" contain the elements that have been referred to as Can's "trademark" sound: "Damo Suzuki's vocals, which shift from soft mumbles to aggressive outbursts without warning. Both "Oh Yeah" and "Halleluhwah" use repetitive grooves; the second LP features Can's more avant-garde efforts, with Roni Sarig, author of The Secret History of Rock calling it "as close as it got to avant-garde noise music."
Featuring Holger Czukay’s tape and radio experiments, the tracks "Aumgn" and "Peking O" have led music critics to write that Tago Mago is Can's "most extreme record in terms of sound and structure." "Peking O" made early use of a drum machine, an Ace Tone Rhythm Ace, combined with acoustic drumming. "Aumgn" features keyboardist Irmin Schmidt chanting rather than Suzuki's vocals. The closing track, "Bring Me Coffee or Tea", was described by Raggett as a "coda to a landmark record."The side-long track "Halleluhwah" was shortened from 18½ to 3½ minutes for the B-side of the single "Turtles Have Short Legs", a novelty song recorded during the Tago Mago sessions and released by Liberty Records in 1971. A different, 5½-minute shortened version of "Halleluhwah" would appear on the compilation Cannibalism in 1978 while the single's A-side remained out-of-print until its inclusion on 1992's Cannibalism 2. Tago Mago has been critically well received and is credited with pioneering various modern musical styles.
Raggett called Tago Mago a "rarity of the early'70s, a double album without a wasted note". In the book Kraftwerk: Man and Music, Pascal Bussy described the double LP as "hugely influ
It's Spooky is a collaboration album by musicians Daniel Johnston and Jad Fair, of the band Half Japanese. It was first released in 1989 on 50 Skidillion Watts Records, under the title Jad Fair and Daniel Johnston, it was re-issued on CD in 1993 on Paperhouse. The album featured 25 songs, a further six tracks were added for a re-release in 2001; the 2001 re-issue features, as an enhanced CD bonus, video footage of Daniel Johnston performing a version of his song "Don't Play Cards with Satan". Although receiving praise from critics and fans alike, the record was commercially overlooked. Both Johnston and Fair play the majority of instruments, including vocals, piano and drums. All songs written except where noted. "It's Spooky" "Summertime" "I Met Roky Erickson" "Happy Talk" "McDonalds on the Brain" "I Did Acid with Caroline" "If I'd Only Known" "Tongues Wag in This Town" "Tomorrow Never Knows" "Oh Honey" "A Vow of Love" "When Love Calls" "Frankenstein vs. The World" "Hands of Love" "Kicking the Dog" "What I've Seen" "Something's Got a Hold on Me" "Villain" "Chords of Fame" "Ostrich" "Casper the Friendly Ghost" "First Day at Work" "Fan and Games" "Nothing Left" "Memphis Tennessee" "Comes Back" † "Tears Stupid Tears" † "The Making of the Album" † "Get Yourself Together" † "What the World Needs Now" † "Sweet Loafed" † † Denotes bonus tracks featured on the 2001 re-release.
The album features both artists' idiosyncratic approach to songwriting, clever vocal wordplay, simple instrumentation, wild imaginations for song themes and concepts. Seven of the songs are covers; the structures of many of the songs are akin to Johnston's previous music.
The Pastels are an independent music group from Glasgow, formed in 1981. They were a key act of the UK independent music scene of the 1980s; the group consists of Stephen McRobbie, Katrina Mitchell, Gerard Love, John Hogarty, Tom Crossley, Alison Mitchell. Their early records for record labels such as Whaam!, Rough Trade, Glass Records, had a raw and immediate sound and amateur, which seemed at odds with the time. But an emerging fanzine culture identified with the group's sound and image, The Pastels started to influence a new wave of groups, which interested the NME and other UK media; the Pastels' sound continued to evolve and, although part of the NME's C86 compilation, in interviews they always sought to distance themselves from both twee and shambling developments. Their debut album, Up for a Bit With The Pastels moved from garage pop-punk through to ballads with synth orchestra splashes. In 2003, it was named the 37th best Scottish album by The Scotsman; the follow-up, Sittin' Pretty was less eclectic.
Reports started to appear in the UK music press. It became clear that a new line-up was configuring around original members, Stephen McRobbie and Annabel Wright, now joined by Katrina Mitchell; this line-up is the best known of The Pastels' various phases, featured either David Keegan or Gerard Love on guitar. They signed with the emerging Domino Records and completed two albums, Mobile Safari and Illumination, which showed them developing an odd, particular sound – melancholic and awkward, but warm and engaging. A remix set featured Jim O'Rourke and others on the album, Illuminati, their next release was the soundtrack to David Mackenzie's The Last Great Wilderness, made for film or not, is one of the most realised Pastels albums. It featured. In 2006, The Pastels developed and completed new music for a theatre production by Glasgow-based company, 12 Stars. In 2009, The Pastels, in collaboration with Tenniscoats from Tokyo, released an album called Two Sunsets. In 2013 they released their first album proper in Slow Summits again through Domino.
The Pastels featured on the soundtrack for the film The Acid House. The story of The Pastels from their formation to the early 1990s features in 2017 documentary Teenage Superstars; the Pastels now operate their own Geographic Music label through Domino, are partners in Glasgow's Monorail Music shop. Stephen McRobbie – guitar, vocals Katrina Mitchell – drums, vocals Brian Taylor – guitar Martin Hayward – bass, vocals Bernice Simpson – drums Annabel Wright – bass, keyboards Gerard Love – guitar, bass guitar Tom Crossley – flute, keyboards Alison Mitchell – trumpet John Hogarty – guitar Norman Blake – guitar, bass guitar Colin McIlroy – guitar David Keegan – guitar Jonathan Kilgour – guitar Eugene Kelly – vocals, guitar Charlie Dinsdale – drums Francis MacDonald – drums Chris Gordon – drums Michael – bass guitar Sandy Forbes – drums Dean Wareham – guitar Maureen McRoberts – saxophone Darren Ramsay – trumpet Up for a Bit with The Pastels Sittin' Pretty Mobile Safari Illumination Slow Summits Suck On Truckload Of Trouble Illuminati Summer Rain The Last Great Wilderness Jad Fair and The Pastels - This Could Be the Night EP Jad Fair and The Pastels - No. 2 EP The Pastels and Tenniscoats - Two Sunsets The Pastels and Tenniscoats - Vivid Youth / About You Official website The Pastels at AllMusic
Richard Lester Meyers, better known by his stage name Richard Hell, is an American singer, bass guitarist and writer. Richard Hell was an innovator of punk fashion, he was one of the first to spike his hair and wear torn and drawn-on shirts held together with safety pins. Malcolm McLaren, manager of the Sex Pistols, credited Hell as a source of inspiration for the Sex Pistols' look and attitude, as well as the safety-pin and graphics accessorized clothing that McLaren sold in his London shop, Sex. Hell was in several important, early punk bands, including Neon Boys and the Heartbreakers, after which he formed Richard Hell & the Voidoids, their 1977 album Blank Generation influenced many other punk bands. Its title track was named "One of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock" by music writers in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame listing and is ranked as one of the all-time Top 10 punk songs by a 2006 poll of original British punk figures, as reported in the Rough Guide to Punk. Since the late 1980s, Hell has devoted himself to writing, publishing two novels and several other books.
He was the film critic for BlackBook magazine from 2004 to 2006. Richard Lester Meyers grew up in Lexington, Kentucky in 1949, his father, a secular Jew, was an experimental psychologist. He died. Hell was raised by his mother, who came from Methodists of Welsh and English ancestry. After her husband's death, she became a professor. Hell attended the Sanford School in Delaware for one year, where he became friends with Tom Miller, who changed his name to Tom Verlaine, they ran away from school together and a short time were arrested in Alabama for arson and vandalism. Hell never finished high school. In New York he met fellow young poet David Giannini, moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico for several months, where Giannini and Meyers co-founded Genesis:Grasp, they used an AM VariTyper with changeable fonts to publish the magazine. They began publishing books and magazines, but decided to go their separate ways in 1971, after which Hell created and published Dot Books. Before he was 21, his own poems were published in numerous periodicals, ranging from Rolling Stone to the New Directions Annuals.
In 1971, along with Verlaine, Hell published under the pseudonym Theresa Stern, a fictional poet whose photo was a combination of both his and Verlaine's faces in drag, superimposed over one another to create a new identity. A book of poems credited to "Stern", Wanna Go Out?, was released by Dot in 1973. In 1972, Verlaine formed the Neon Boys. In 1974, the band added a second guitarist, Richard Lloyd, changed their name to Television. Television's performances at CBGB helped kick-start the first wave of punk bands, inspiring a number of different artists including Patti Smith, who wrote the first press review of Television for the SoHo Weekly News in June 1974, she formed a successful band of her own, the Patti Smith Group. Television was one of the early bands to play at CBGB because their manager, Terry Ork, persuaded owner Hilly Kristal to book them alongside the Ramones, they built the club's first stage. Hell started playing his punk rock anthem "Blank Generation" during his time in Television.
In early 1975, Hell parted ways with Television after a dispute over creative control. Hell claimed that he and Verlaine had divided the songwriting evenly but that Verlaine sometimes refused to play Hell's songs. Verlaine remained silent on the subject. Hell left Television the same week that Jerry Johnny Thunders quit the New York Dolls. In May 1975, the three of them formed the Heartbreakers. After one show, Walter Lure joined the Heartbreakers as a second guitarist. Four Heartbreakers demo tracks, recorded while Hell was still in the band, were released on that band's L. A. M. F. Definitive Edition reissue. A live album recorded with Hell in 1975 was released as What Goes Around... in 1991. In early 1976, Hell quit the Heartbreakers and started Richard Hell and the Voidoids with Robert Quine, Ivan Julian and Marc Bell; the band released two albums, though the second, Destiny Street, retained only Quine from the original group, with Naux on guitar and Fred Maher on drums. Hell's best known songs with the Voidoids included "Blank Generation", "Love Comes in Spurts", "The Kid With the Replaceable Head" and "Time".
In 2009, the guitar tracks on Destiny Street were re-recorded and released as Destiny Street Repaired, with guitarists Julian, Marc Ribot and Bill Frisell playing to the original rhythm tracks. In 2009, Hell gave his blessing to the public access program Pancake Mountain to create an animated music video for "The Kid with the Replaceable Head", it was the Voidoids' only official music video. The cut used for the animation appears on Hell's 2005 retrospective album, The Richard Hell Story. Hell's only other album release was as part of the band Dim Stars, for which he came out of retirement for a month in the early 1990s. Dim Stars featured guitarist Thurston Moore and drummer Steve Shelley from Sonic Youth, Gumball's guitarist Don Fleming, Quine, they formed only to record a 1991 EP and a 1992 album, both titled Dim Stars, played one show in public, a WFMU benefit at The Ritz in Manhattan. Hell sang lead vocals and wrote the lyrics for the album. Hell guested on the 1993 Roller Coaster album by Shotgun Rationale, co-wrote and sang lead vocals on the song "Never Mind" by the Heads, a 1996 collaborative effort between three former members of Talking Heads.