Saturday, December 12, 2020

Christmas in the Looney Bin

Daniel Johnston, a lot of people have a special place in their heart for this singer-songwriter. He passed away just over a year ago, he was championed by Nirvana, Vic Chesnutt, Tom Waits and Pearl Jam - covering his songs, mentioning his name. There's a fine documentary on the man, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, and that title is a giveaway. Daniel was bipolar, had anxiety attacks, he was a fragile man. Listen to his best known song True Love Will Find You In the End, and you'll get a taste of just how extraordinary he was. Read his obituary in The Guardian HERE.
Daniel recorded a Christmas album, one track is called Christmas in the Looney Bin. It's a quite unusual song, no wonder it's on one of Matt Bomarr's Wild Christmas mixes:

The full Daniel Johnston album (a cassette) "Merry Christmas" is on YouTube.

The song was covered by several artists. Here's a selection. I found a really nice one on a fresh xmas compilation with mostly choir singing (but this isnt'), by Zondique (Louie & Monique):

This dreamwave version by Spanish band Tungaloon is also quite nice:

And there's this very well produced, pop punk version with members of Dictators, Superchunk:

From this year, rather simple (man+guitar) but well done: