Hi everybody. We recorded a full-length cover of the EP Tell Me What Happened by our good friend Other Daniel because we think it's an amazing piece of songwriting and we want more people to check it out.
I don’t think there’s anyone else quite like Daniel, and Tell Me What Happened is maybe the best argument for that. In terms of songwriting, I put him in the same category as Jonathan Richman or Stephen Meritt from the Magnetic Fields. His songs are hilarious, borderline ridiculously idiosyncratic, and above all, they could only have been written by one person in the world.
If there’s any theme in his music, I feel like it’s gotta be a sort of comfort with being yourself - something I find unfortunately rarely, I think. My favorite line on the album, and the first one to catch my ear, is “I got a pretty good GPA” in “Guess I’m Doing Alright.” It’s the kind of lyric I’m not used to hearing, I think mostly because a lot of the people my age who are making music seem pretty concerned with seeming older than they really are. Not Daniel. The only percussion on the original version of “Marijuana” is the metronome and a poorly mic’d snare, probably because those were the only resources he had when he recorded it. The song isn’t even goddamn about weed, which is something that I, as a Bay Area native who’s heard more than enough songs about weed, can greatly appreciate.
I’m not queer and I’m not much of a drug user, but I find a great deal of solidarity in these songs. I feel like everybody knows what it’s like to feel acutely aware that the ideas in your head of the way things should be - about yourself, about other people, about the whole world, anything - are not a reality, and Daniel writes about that beautifully, and with a brilliant sense of defiance. I love that the last line of the EP is “I told him everything and I don’t care how he felt.” It’s a very I-will-make-the-most-of-this approach.
It seems like the exact right kind of “fuck the bullshit” attitude. He never devolves into apathy or arrogance. Tell Me What Happened is all about moving forward through all that. And that’s why we wanted to cover it.
here's a link to the original version: otherdanielmusic.bandcamp.com/album/tell-me-what-happened-ep