Texas pop savant Daniel Johnston has always been indie rock's prime example of outsider art.
Texas pop savant Daniel Johnston has always been indie rock's prime example of outsider art. The underground tunesmith has a knack for blending insinuating pop melodies with depressing yet oddly amusing lyrics. Capped with earnest, often off-key vocals, his recordings have something about them—something that has cultivated an ardent cult following. (He even inspired a brilliant tribute album in 2000.) After a brief, ill-advised flirtation with the rock mainstream, Johnston is back where he belongs: In his garage, cranking out quirky ditties about tortured love on perpetually out-of-tune instruments. Unknown is an acquired taste, yet one that might make you laugh, shake your head in bemusement, and ultimately remind you of those painfully awkward teenage years when first love felt fatal. Contact: 212-219-0700.—LF
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