Editor's note: Last November Daniel Johnston missed a flight and was forced to reschedule his stop at Crescent Ballroom. But time flies, and this weekend, on Sunday, February 3, he's slated to make up his date with a special performance. We ran this piece from New Times contributor Chris Parker in November, but wanted to share it again for those getting pumped for a performance from the legendary outsider artist. Enjoy.
There's no better illustration of the fine line between brilliance and madness than Daniel Johnston. Indeed, the childlike simplicity and directness of his lyrics suggests the two are inseparable at times. A talented cult fave who spent years and years listening to and dissecting the Beatles, Johnston has a gift for melody that even the rudimentary nature of his early-'80s lo-fi tape recordings can't hide. But it's the vulnerability and honesty of the lyrics that are most striking.