Daniel Johnston, Yip/Jump Music

Jeff Feuerzeig

By Jeff Feuerzeig

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

An organ masterpiece! Recorded in the hot Houston, Texas, summer of 1983 under the dark cloud of his brother Dick's disapproving gaze, Yip! Jump Music is a musical and personal triumph of will. By night, Daniel was working at the River of No Return ride at Six Flags 'Astroworld, flaunting his truly hilarious/manic boat-guide "spiel"; by day he was surreptitiously laying down these heavy tracks in the garage on a Rube Goldberg-esque recording studio fashioned out of a rusty weight bench, two Radio Shack cassette recorders, wire hangers, and a Magnus Chord Organ from Newark, New Jersey. The results are Daniel's only "hit" songs to date: "Speeding Motorcycle," "Casper the Friendly Ghost," "The Beatles," "Museum of Love," and my personal fave, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Your Grievances" which conjures up the swirling carousels and vintage Tilt-a-Whirls that Daniel would surround himself with as a carnie.