Daniel Johnston headed to First Avenue this August


The abyss gazes also-- Daniel Johnston.

Of all the unlikely successes in this unlikely business, Daniel Johnston's is probably the unlikeliest.

For anyone who has seen the outstanding 2005 documentary "The Devil and Daniel Johnston," Johnston's position in pop music is singular. Fewer artists have sprung from such obscurity, scaled such personal Everests, and have sacrificed so much at the altar of their art.

And recently, First Avenue announced that Johnston will be coming to the Main Room for his first show since February of last year. As if that news wasn't good enough, Knife World were announced as his openers and backing band.

Knife World live at Treehouse Records, filmed by aycheemacyhe.

Yes, you read correctly-- Knife World will not only be opening for Johnston on the First Avenue Main Stage, but will be performing as Johnston's backing band.

We'll take a moment for you to watch the video above, digest it, and then we can proceed. Go on. We'll be right here.

It's no secret that Johnston enjoys eclectic backing music, and has often made backing bands of local openers in the towns he tours. But the difference between Knife World's craft and Johnston's is as great as can be conceived-- Knife World is the spasmodic, intractably exploratory rock band with no shortage of noodle. Johnston is the savant strummer. Where Knife World's music is a savage sound, Johnston's is the fragile, unspoiled sound of a haunted soul stripped ass-naked and shivering in the cold.

The news broke just this weekend, and already the whispers are becoming shouts. For fans and newcomers alike, this has the makings of being the show of the summer. If nothing else, finding out exactly how Johnston and Knife World plan to meld their minds and their music is worth the ticket price alone.

18+. Thursday, August 16. 6:00 P.M. $15.00 advance/ $17.00 door. With Knife World. First Avenue Main Room, 701 First Avenue North, Minneapolis; 612.338.8388.