Don't Play Cards With Satan (D.Johnston)

October 14, 2007 9:03 AM

Took a look at this month's challenge themes and thought: Tom Waits does a much better Tom Waits impersonation than I could ever muster, and I'm just not a 'lots of notes' kinda guy. But, "spooky"... there you go! Submitted for your listening pleasure, my version of this Daniel Johnston song. With lines like "I saw my own heart laying, black with blood", I guess you could say it's pretty damn spooky. Here's a very powerful clip of Johnston performing the song on organ.

I went with the lyrics as performed by Johnston on that linked video clip: although it might've been a mistake on Johnston's part, I really like the cognitive disconnect of the line "somebody oughtta do like the good book should", as opposed to the less mysterious "somebody said we should do like the good book says we should".

posted by flapjax at midnite (7 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Oh, and here's an FPP on Johnston from 2006, courtesy of Mefier rollbiz.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:44 AM on October 14, 2007

Wow, that's a powerful song. Very spooky in the spritual sense! I'm confused about udo though. Is it the peasant style or the assemblage of certain instruments?
posted by snsranch at 4:03 PM on October 14, 2007

Hi snsranch. I'm forever getting that spelling wrong: writing "udo" when it's actually "udu". Here's a Wiki page on the instrument, with a photo and all. The one I'm using, though, has one unique innovation: it's a ceramic jug, just like the one shown, but it also has a drum head incorporated into the design. The jug is made with one extra hole, a rather big one, which is covered with a goat skin. It was made by the TOCA percussion company, and I love it madly. Sadly, I think it's been discontinued. Anyway, the talking drum is panned slightly to the left, I believe, and the udu is panned slightly to the right. And the talking drum is a hotter in the mix than the udu.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:45 PM on October 14, 2007

Wowsa! Nice to see Mr. Johnston getting some coverage in here. Excellent rendition.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 7:37 PM on October 14, 2007

I'm just happy to see more people cover Daniel Johnston. He's one of, IMHO, the most honest and beautiful songwriters ever.
posted by sleepy pete at 8:59 PM on October 14, 2007

Very good! I think you made Johnston's song into a masterpiece. You're truly an alchemist!

Other than udu and talking drum, what other percussion instruments did you use? Or are you scraping the side of the udu?
posted by strangeguitars at 5:29 AM on October 25, 2007

strangeguitars: Aside from udu and talking drum, there's 2 tambourines (little cheap ones from the 100-yen store, the equivalent of the US "dollar store") and a scraper.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:55 PM on October 25, 2007

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