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STEREO EMBERS VIDEO PREMIERE – “Blue Skies Will Haunt You From Now On” by The Electric Ghosts (Daniel Johnston, Jack Medicine & Kramer) from Shimmy-Disc Vinyl Reissue of 2006’s ‘I Killed the Monster: The Songs of Daniel Johnston

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Yep, that’s a very long heading up above but how could it be avoided what with the abundance of talent and portent that attended the original release some seventeen years ago? Y’see, Daniel Johnston, in case you’re unaware, was the exemplar of primitivist genius that dared take the inimitable templates laid down by Captain Beefheart and Jonathan Richman and those weirdness-adjacent Fair brothers, and make their own inimitable version of that charming sui generis ram-a-lam rock’n’roll that few could understand and even fewer could take as their core inspiration. That there’s a naive inspiration combined with a native drive goes without saying, as does the fact that the art that resulted was, despite whatever influences, without compare. No one, not the above-mentioned, not those out there in the meadows of weird Americana, not even those engaged in the pursuit of ‘avant-pop’, could even come close. Simply put, you don’t approach creating Daniel Johnston-level material without actually being Daniel Johnston. It’s a basic, conundrum-free premise that Kramer recognized from the off (he has that sort of ‘oddness radar’ that few possess and fewer still can bring to the wider world) and thereby set about enlisting as many simpatico artists as he could muster from his Rolodex of the decidedly off-key to populate a compilation album that came to be called I Killed The Monster (21 Artists Performing The Songs Of Daniel Johnston, a killer comp that included Dot Allison, Joy Zipper, R Stevie Moore, Kimya Dawson, Chris Harford, Mike Watt and a surfeit of others. It was a must-have for many of us back in those ubiquitous CD days and like so many such albums has fallen into the ‘if-only-it-were-available-on-vinyl’ rabbit hole that few such collections emerge from. This one, however, due the love and determination of its compiler and the aid provided by one of this world’s greatest labels Joyful Noise that helped bring Shimmy-Disc back to life, has avoided that dollar bin fate via a fresh new double vinyl LP that by its very resurrection reminds us what went missing back in those rabid, early digital days. From that collection we offer you the premiere of the spanking new video of one of the most alluring tracks from that mythical comp, the poignant, loving, scraped pop masterpiece that is “Blue Skies Will Haunt You From Now On”. The only track on that sprawling collection not solely written by Johnston (the lyrics are his – of course – but the meat of the song was co-composed with Jack Medicine, one of the three mythic Electric Ghosts along with Johnston and Kramer), it nonetheless fits the general template like a beautifully stressed piece of a Johnstonian puzzle. It is, in other words, aching, piningly gorgeous, and moving down to its very core and we are proud as fck to bring this video to a world questing for this level honesty and simplicity and love, especially as art this unabashedly sincere is largely absent in the current-day, all-too-knowing digital milieu we call home. The phrase ‘they don’t make ’em like this anymore’ comes to mind but of course they don’t when even our concept of sincerity has become jaded or at the very least suspect. In a world insatiable for glitz, the music of Daniel Johnston reminds us that the human heart could really give a shit about all that. What it wants is a kind of robust humility, an integrity of purpose, and the love apparent in an artist that puts the all of their humble soul into their work. It’s beautiful in that way, and it’s rare. [get the vinyl Monster here]