Friday, May 18, 2007

NY Times: A Tenderhearted Introvert, Crooning in Eclectic Company

Published: May 18, 2007

Two-thirds of the lineup made obvious sense at the Highline Ballroom show on Wednesday night, which was curated by David Bowie. Daniel Johnston, the headliner, and the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, who opened, are two Texas characters with longtime cult followings.

They both straddle the line between primitive and primitivist, but to very different effect. Mr. Johnson is a nervous, tenderhearted introvert, crooning childlike songs about heartbreak and loneliness. And the Ledge, as he calls himself, is a rowdy psychobilly pioneer who made his wild-eyed debut single, “Paralyzed,” in 1968. In between were the Bang on a Can All-Stars, a contemporary chamber-music group, playing the part of their repertory — drum-driven, motoric, yet by no means primitive — closest to rock. Whatever the curatorial point was, it was a prime triple bill.
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