Out­sider artist Daniel John­ston em­barks on his last tour ever— or is it?


DUR­ING THE 80S, Austin- based song­writer Daniel John­ston be­gan record­ing frac­tured, child­like pop ge­nius onto a boom­box. As he passed the tapes around, he caught the at­ten­tion of al­ter­na­tive acts like Built to Spill, Sonic Youth, and Nir­vana— Kurt Cobain fa­mously in­tro­duced the main­stream to John­ston’s mu­sic by wear­ing a T- shirt with the cover art for John­ston’s 1983 al­bum Hi How Are You to the 1992 MTV Video Mu­sic Awards. Praise from the punk gi­ants al­lowed John­ston ( now con­sid­ered an out­sider leg­end) some no­to­ri­ety in the 90s, and he grad­u­ated from mak­ing al­bums with a sin­gle mi­cro­phone and a rick­ety piano to record­ing them in ac­tual stu­dios with back­ing bands. Since the 90s his records have lacked the magic of his early one- mike avant- piano- pop, but his knack for off- kil­ter, con­fes­sional bril­liance has never faded away. His lat­est record, 2012’ s Space Ducks, is a full- on high- fi­delity af­fair, slick and poppy through­out. At each stop of this tour, John­ston will be backed by a band of mu­si­cians who’ve been in­flu­enced by his work; he per­forms the Chicago shows with Jeff Tweedy & Friends. While John­ston’s cur­rent string of live dates has been billed as his last ever, the 56- year- old re­cently told the New York

Times that he sees no rea­son for this to be the end of his per­form­ing ca­reer. The shows will open up with a screen­ing of the 2006 doc­u­men­tary The Devil & Daniel John­ston, which fo­cuses on his ca­reer and strug­gles with bipo­lar dis­or­der and schizophre­nia.

DANIEL JOHN­STON WITH JEFF TWEEDY & FRIENDS Wed 10/ 18, 7: 30 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sh­effield, $ 45. Also Fri­day, Oc­to­ber 20, sold out. 18+

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