If you’re a fan of Bright Eyes, Travis Morrison or any of this generation of quirky painfully honest eccentric singer songwriters; you should run, not walk, to the nearest record store and buy a Daniel Johnston cd.
Johnston, a fascinating character, much beloved of luminaries from Kurt Cobain to Sonic Youth, is the subject of a documentary film ‘The Devil and Daniel Johnston‘ (which Google tells me was screened at the IFI last October), that tracks his tragic decline into institutionalisation, and recovery as an artist.
Johnston is highly prolific with over 30 albums, I’d recommend 2004’s ‘Discovered Covered: The Late, Great Daniel Johnston’ as a starting point. The record combines a best of with a variety of cover/collaborations with musicians from Eels, Death Cab, Mercury Rev, The Flaming Lips, Bright Eyes and TV On The Radio. Go on, you know you want it!
Ps: You can hear what Daniel actually sounds like here.