Daniel Johnston

Do you dig outsider music? You know, the kind of music in which shaky instrumental technique and tone-deaf singing reign supreme and the fidelity is lower than Lou Barlow’s first practice session? Fond of naive worldviews and childlike takes on love? Enjoy simple melodies and tender-pathetic lyrics about unrequited love and cigarette butts? Then you need to check out Daniel Johnston, outsider music’s Paul McCartney. (He even covers the ex-Beatle’s “I Will.”) Encompassing Songs of Pain and More Songs of Pain, this retrospective captures the prolific idiot-savant at the 1980s peak of his limited powers. Though the Texas guitarist and pianist has a knack for penning naggingly memorable ditties of piercing sincerity, his adenoidal little-boy voice may drive you as crazy as he is.

Categories: Music