Tag Archives: Daniel Johnston

Eclectic Mainline 23rd May 2012

Manic Street Preachers mug

I broke my Manic Street Preachers mug! :'-(

I was feeling rather glum first thing this morning, after breaking my Manic Street Preachers mug.  I’m sure Nicky Wire would just tell me to stop feeling so attached to material objects…while counting his money.

Had I broken it one day later, I would have had the mug for precisely 15 years.  I’m not sad enough to have known this, I might add.  I just looked up the date they played at the Nynex Arena in Manchester in 1997.

So, my Manic Street Preachers mug lasted quite a long time, and some things do indeed last a long time.  What a gorgeous Daniel Johnston cover version Füxa and Britta Phillips have made.  So gorgeous in fact that I have now played all 8 minutes of it twice in Eclectic Mainline this month.

If you wish to listen back to tonight’s show, you’ll find it here.  And if you want every song to be a surprise, don’t read the playlist below: Continue reading

ATP Festival curated by Matt Groening – Day 3

Matt Groening introducing Daniel Johnston as his favourite songwriter

Matt Groening introducing Daniel Johnston as his "favourite songwriter"

Sunday dawns and Jim becomes my hero twice in ten minutes by making me a fried egg sandwich and telling me he once saw Spike Milligan in a pub in Manchester. Simon rather coyly reveals his affection for Spear of Destiny and I resolve to play the excellent “Do You Believe in the Westworld” on the radio for him, only to forget later and feel like a dick for doing so.

We race to the Centre Stage to see Boredoms again, just to reassure ourselves that we weren’t victim to some kind of mass hallucination yesterday and they are once again, amazing. We then decamp to Reds, the smallest of the Butlins venues to see Viv Albertine’s Limerice who are excellent. Continue reading

Mark Linkous RIP – looking backing

Mark Linkous (1962-2010)

Mark Linkous (1962-2010)

Oh the power of a major label marketing campaign.  Yes,  even an indie kid like me succumbed to them in my youth.  In 1992 Parlophone sent me a postcard suggesting I might like the debut EP by a new band of theirs called Radiohead.  I bought it for 99p and never looked back.  Four years later Parlophone sent me another postcard suggesting that the debut album by another new band, Sparklehorse,  might tickle my fancy.  As the postcard alluded to Radiohead’s admiration for this new band,  I thought it was worth a speculative purchase (this was of course before the days of the free 24/7 listening post on the internet).  Again,  I never looked back.  Sparklehorse and Radiohoead ended up collaborating on a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”,  and I think it’s a pity no smart alec at Parlophone sent me a postcard about that.

And so, I’m afraid that’s the only gag in today’s blog entry by me.  For it was with great sadness that I learnt that last weekend Mark Linkous, the heart of darkness that drove Sparklehorse, took his own life.  I still can’t quite believe he’s done it, even as I write this.  When Elliott Smith killed himself in 2003 I felt a similar sense of shock and upset.  Yet I have to admit that in the case of Both Smith and Linkous, there was a thought that ran through my mind along the lines of “it’s not a total surprise“.  But I do need to qualify that statement by saying that I didn’t know either man personally, and it is only based on what I knew of their music, on record and live, that makes me think that way.

Continue reading

3 days: 3 gigs; 1 session


St Vincent at Leeds Met

St Vincent at Leeds Met Students Union

Drowned in Sound absolutely adore St Vincent, and having seen a clip of her in soundcheck on said website a few weeks ago I was intrigued to learn that her support slot on the Grizzly Bear tour was solo. Apart from supplementary guitar on one song by Grizzly Bear’s Daniel Rossen, it was just Annie Clark, a looping pedal, and some sequenced backing. I must say I was surprised by how diverse she could be within those limitations. As Sam commented to me after The Strangers, she somehow managed to go seamlessly from 40s jazz guitar to an onslaught reminiscent of Joe Satriani in just 30 seconds. Songs such as Save Me From What I Want worked really well with her looping backing vocals along with herself, and during the more frenetic passages of Marrow she had the appearance of a manikin suffering a seizure. Her cover of The Beatles’ Dig A Pony was a pleasant surprise too. I was very impressed, and would like to know how these songs come across with a full band.

Continue reading

Eclectic Mainline 4th November 2009

What a few days lie ahead for gigs in the area!  Tonight (Thursday) there is Grizzly Bear + St. Vincent at Leeds Met Students Union.  Friday night there is Daniel Johnston + Laura Marling + The Wave Pictures at the Brudenel Social Club.  Then on Saturday back at Leeds Met again, Choir Of Young Believers are supporting Mew!  And of all the above, what with it being Fireworks Night, it would seem most appropriate to suggest you watch the marvellous video for Grizzly Bear‘s Two Weeks:

And last night, this is what I played in my show: Continue reading

Eclectic Mainline 14th October 2009

Half Man Half Biscuit

Half Man Half Biscuit

Well, in my last blog post I spouted off about the new album by Fuck Buttons, so I won’t go on about that again now.  There are a few wonderful things out at the moment:  Daniel Johnston‘s new album has whetted my appetite for seeing him at the Brudenel in Leeds on 6th November;  the b-side to the new Slow Club single (Trophy Room) is a hidden gem; a new EP by The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart is a welcome surprise; and the new single by Frightened Rabbit bodes well for the third album; and to top it all Half Man Half Biscuit are playing at the Stylus in Leeds tomorrow night!

This is what I played tonight:

Chicken Feed – Lights Out (feat. Hazel Mills)
Neil McSweeney – Half A Mind
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – Higher Than The Stars
Gable – I’m OK
Daniel Johnston – Queenie The Doggie
Fuck Buttons – Phantom Limb
Frightened Rabbit – Swim Until You Can’t See Land
Richard Hawley – For Your Lover Give Some Time
Hefner – Christian Girls (Boxing Version)
Slow Club – Thighs
Paper Planes – Doris Day
Emily Loizeau – La Femme a Barbe
Half Man Half Biscuit – Irk The Purists
Echo & The Bunnymen – Shroud Of Turin
Nancy Elizabeth – Bring On The Hurricane
The Horrors – Whole New Way