August 29, 2007 3:30 AM

Featuring Daniel Johnston (yes, that Daniel Johnston), Jad Fair, and item. Contains a bit of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', and may hold the world's record for the most number of musical bridges ever in a song.

posted by item (8 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Daniel - guitar, vocals
Jad - drums
item - guitar, vocals

Pieced together by Daniel and item

Where to begin...

For an interesting period of my life I held a friendship and musical collaboration with Daniel Johnston. This was recorded in the spring of 1999 in Daniel's parents garage (the 'studio' featured in The Devil and Daniel Johnston) under extreme amounts of duress. I had originally gone into the sessions thinking I'd be a sideman, but Daniel and Jad both asked me to contribute vocals and songs. I was not prepared.

Daniel's health, both mental and physical, was suffering greatly at the time. During one point in the sessions, Dan threw a guitar at me, convinced I had demons in my voice and was plotting with said demons against him. He later apologized by buying me a bunch of candy. His voice was suffering from his inability to stop chain smoking long enough to allow a case of bronchitis to pass.

I kept detailed journals of the sessions but unfortunately lost them in one of my many moves. I could write for the next 12 hours about the experience, but really, hey, isn't it about the music?

I'll post a few more tracks from this album in the near future. If for some reason you find yourself liking it, the album is called 'Somewhat Humorous' by the Lucky Sperms, available through Jagjaguwar/Secretly Canadian.
posted by item at 3:31 AM on August 29, 2007

Oh yeah... the song: a medley simply called 'Melody'. Daniel and I both picked out songs to rework. We actually played this live a few times. Audiences love it when you give them a game to play, this game being 'name that tune(less)'.
posted by item at 3:35 AM on August 29, 2007

Where to start... no really I've tried to start this 5 times and can't think of anything. I love Daniel, most of Jad Fair (and marvel at the idea of Jad Fair* more), and I may now love you, item. This is great, thanks for posting it.

*I saw Fair and his brother play in Half Japanese years ago. Jad sat around before the show, but he really just looked like a kinda weird record store dude, smiling at everyone. Of course being a teen and only really hearing the band without pictures, I didn't realize who it was (pre-internet, MTV wouldn't play them if their image depended on it). When he played he turned the guitar strings toward him and strummed the back of the guitar. It wasn't plugged in, but it was fairly convincing. Sorry, long story.
posted by sleepy pete at 9:35 AM on August 29, 2007

posted by TwoWordReview at 11:23 AM on August 29, 2007

Wow what a bitchen piece of history you're sharing with us! Thanks, this is incredibly interesting on many levels.

Here's a short wiki on Daniel.
posted by snsranch at 6:05 PM on August 29, 2007

I don't get it.
posted by tehloki at 5:30 AM on September 5, 2007

Hi, item. I just stumbled upon this post of yours, and well, I don't think I have any words other than "Wow". I mean, playing with this guy must have been amazing... and also a bit of an ordeal, I imagine. Thanks for taking the time/trouble to post this, and I hope you post a few more tracks.

And re:writing about the experience, well, I for one don't think it would be a wasted effort. At least I'll read it! haha, but anyway I'm sure others would be interested in that as well. Yes, the music does speak for itself, but I'm always a sucker for context. Gimme more context!

OK, enough. Thanks for this.
posted by papafrita at 4:58 PM on January 21, 2008

Photo of the three of us.
posted by item at 9:44 AM on June 30, 2015

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