#171 daniel johnston – careless soul


hello again. how are you? i finally bought myself a copy of daniel johnston‘s classic hi how are you, and listening to it brought back memories of the first song i ever heard from this eccentric genius (some say mad man). for quite a while, i couldn’t remember its title, until i searched through song list after song list, leading me finally to “careless soul”, which i instantly recognized. one of the live songs included in the album 1990, “careless” soul is an old hymn with a somber message warning of being unprepared to meet one’s maker. johnston’s version here was recorded at some new york bar, if i recall correctly, sung with no musical accompaniment whatsoever, so what you hear is his voice as it is, baring his torn and conflicted soul, as it is. listening to the lo-fi songs of johnston is always an uncomfortable exercise, especially when his mental state is delivered to your ears like a chunk of rotting meat, the ugly but honest reality staring you in your face. i still don’t quite know how to react when he breaks down near the end of the song, and i feel even worse when everyone starts clapping. yet, there remains a perverse reflex within me to listen to it all over again, and immerse myself yet again in that emotional tension i know will always remain unresolved.

mp3: daniel johnston – careless soul


2 responses to “#171 daniel johnston – careless soul

  1. I feel exactly the same way whenever I listen to his songs. Especially “I Had Lost My Mind” – the song is so unsettling, but there’s always this small part of me that wants to hear more. The emotions are so strangely addictive.

  2. natalee, that’s exactly the feeling i get. we’re all emotional voyeurs in a way, yeah?

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