Deer Daniel

HiHowAreYouContinuedStoryCDcover2in_small.jpgSome nights on the way home, my drive takes me down Wickshire Lane bordering Mabel Davis Park, which is currently undergoing a massive cleanup from illegal dumping of pesticides and car battery casings among other things from the days when it was a landfill, and Linder Elementary.

This past week, I was driving that way and happened upon four deer standing just on the edge of the road. They were all of a similar size and either all does or too young to have antlers. As I passed them, I was listening to KGSR play “Story of An Artist”, a Daniel Johnston song covered by Matt Ward from Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered. It’s a very haunting song and it fit the moment perfectly.

Daniel Johnston is one of those famous but not-so-famous Austin-area artists. You can find plenty about him on other sites, so I leave the searching to you. There’s a regional premier at SXSW of the documentary, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, about his life. He’s also performing live this Wednesday at Escapist Bookstore at 6pm. I think his live appearances are fairly rare.

For the out-of-towners, there was a controversy early last year, when the Wendy’s owned Baja Fresh moved into the space formerly occupied by Sound Exchange, an independent record store that had been there for as long as I can remember. Daniel Johnston had painted his famous, “Hi, How are you?”, alien on the wall years back and it was going to be demolished as part of the changeover. There was a quick mobilization of citizens who wanted to see it preserved, driven to some degree thanks to blogs and e-mail, if I’m not mistaken, and Baja Fresh did The Right Thing and kept it. A small victory in the battle between what Austin once was and what it is becoming. You can check it out for yourself. It’s at the intersection of Guadalupe and 21st Street, effectively the southwest corner of the UT campus.

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