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Concert Thu Nov 01 2012

Preview: Daniel Johnston @ Bottom Lounge 11/3

There is so much legend and backstory around Daniel Johnston that it's almost hard to believe he's still a real guy on the road playing shows. For several decades already, he has self-released an extraordinary catalogue of strikingly stark, imaginative songs and illustrations despite the ups and downs of his continuous struggles with mental health.

Yet Daniel Johnston's uniquely genuine music has managed to have an irreplaceable influence on much of today's artists without Johnston himself ever really having a direct presence in the scene. In fact, a typical way to discover Johnston isn't even through his own recordings, but through the many covers he has inspired among some of the bigger names in indie rock.

But Johnston has continued quietly producing his art all along. Even now in his 50s, Johnston's playful creativity seems to be flowing out of him as much as ever, both through music and illustration.

This spring, he released Space Ducks: An Infinite Comic Book of Musical Greatness, which he both wrote and illustrated, along with an accompanying iPad app and soundtrack featuring not only original music of his own, but also contributions from Eleanor Friedberger, Fruit Bats, Deer Tick, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and more. He's been on tour in support of the project for most of this year already. Johnston also recently released a live 10" vinyl EP featuring a handful of old and new songs, and a Beatles cover, in order to raise money for guitarist Brett Hartenbach, who is currently fighting brain cancer. (If nothing else, Johnston's show at Bottom Lounge this Saturday is likely to have an impressive merch table.)

spaceducks.jpg

Watch Johnston's recent appearance on NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series below, which offers a great example of the piercing simplicity of his music, particularly on the haunting classic "True Love Will Find You in the End":

Daniel Johnston performs in Chicago this Saturday at Bottom Lounge. The show is 17+ with valid ID. Doors open at 7pm, and local Chicagoans Felix and Lyons open at 8pm. Tickets are $25. Bottom Lounge is located at 1375 W. Lake St. in the West Loop.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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