Friday, July 21, 2006

Hey, George, Do Your Chores

Sure all the hip kids* knew about Daniel Johnston already, but when K. McCarty's Dead Dog's Eyeball came out in 1994, it really helped spread the word of the wonderfully weird and troublingly troubled (how are we supposed to react to his clear pyschosis, a kind of madman minstrel show?) singer-songwriter.

All that said, and all the implications unsaid, McCarty's CD is a gem, still a bit indie-sloppy, it's not like her group Glass Eye was ever super-polished, but her voice is better than Daniel's, and that proves he could actually write tunes, none better than the deceptively simple "Living Life." And that gets us to our moment of the day, the fantastically forced rhyme of the I guess you have to call it a couplet: "Though people say we're an unlikely couple / Doris Day, and Mott the Hoople."

Sure it's pronounced hoop--like basketball--ull, not hop--like what makes beer good--ull, in the real world, but we're in Daniel Johnston's world here and Ian Hunter can walk off into a romantic Austin sunset with Doris Day if that's what he wants.

*After all, Yo La Tengo beat McCarty by 4 years with their cover of "Speeding Motorcycle" on the indispensible Fakebook, plus there's the version on the Here Comes My Baby promo only CDEP that YLT sold at their shows on which they back Johnston, who's on the phone but doing anything but calling in his performance, which he ends with "Are we done?"


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