The band discovered Johnston during a recent tour, via the 2004 documentary The Devil and Daniel Johnston. The film documents the acclaimed, eccentric singer's two-decade struggle with manic depression. A few weeks after the band returned home, the Grog Shop announced a Johnston show.
"We saw the listing and asked if we could get on the show," says drummer-bassist Ryan Brannon. "They called back and said that we could be on that night -- if we would back Daniel up for a couple of his songs. We were, like, 'Shut the fuck up!' The Grog said that in his contract, he requested a band to be put on the bill that would be into backing him up for a couple of songs."
Beaten Awake is rehearsing four songs: "Rock and Roll/EGA," "Casper the Friendly Ghost," "Walking the Cow," and "Fly Eye." Brannon says the band plans to document the set. While the contract prohibits commercial use of the material, band members hope to "do something cool with it." Johnston has had different groups join him during his recent tour.
"We've been in touch with [manager-brother] Dick Johnston, who is on tour with Daniel," says Brannon. "And he said the overseas shows have been some of the best performances he has ever seen Daniel give."
· Mofos return, but Amps remain unplugged: The Gordon Solie Motherfuckers will relapse for a show at Now That's Class (11213 Detroit Avenue) Saturday, May 12. The Cleveland punk legend's lineup overlaps with Nine Shocks Terror, Inmates, and others, including Amps II Eleven bassist Tony Erba. Erba says, "We're not getting back together or anything. Rather, like most of our circle of bands, we'll sporadically pop up every couple of years to wreck shit, then slink back into our holes till the smoke clears." An Amps reunion scheduled for July 7 is now canceled. "Amps II Eleven is not going to reform," says Erba. "We're done. My heart and passion was fully invested in that band. Others' was not. So fuck it."
· Just Plain Folks will host a showcase of original music Thursday, May 17 at the Symposium (11794 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood). The online music community will open the show to non-members. Visit www.justplainfolks.org to register.
· Industrial-metal ripper Keratoma has recorded its overdue second album, tentatively titled Anathema, at Mars Studios. Programmer Tom Shaffner says it's "heavier and noisier than our last record, I promise you that. It'll be worth the wait."
· Cleveland's Ante Up Audio has installed a second vintage Neve console. The popular models are renowned for their warm analog tone and deep low-end. The studio has recently recorded or mixed albums by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Chimaira, and Al Fatz.
· Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman will speak Wednesday, May 16 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at 7 p.m. Tickets are free; call 216-515-8426 or e-mail [email protected].
· Visit Scene's C-Notes blog -- www.clevescene.com/blogs -- for early concert announcements and online exclusives, including interviews, videos, and downloads.