My name is John Darnielle. When the wizard who dwells in the invisible castle by the sea dies I am next in line. Words, guitar and Fender Rhodes for the Mountain Goats. Author of Wolf in White Van, Master of Reality, and Universal Harvester.
A couple of years ago I played two solo sets at Swedish American in San Francisco that felt really special — the kind of show where the audience and I meet somewhere in the middle of the music I’m playing and something new happens in that in-between space, and when you remember it later, what you remember is that special energy, the flow, a sort of mystic mood that’s hard to describe without waxing all new-age about it so you just give up and fully indulge the sacred crystal synchronicity kinda mood. I hope I can do some shows there again before too long.”
And all that’s true: that’s the dynamic I’m talking about, except that it wasn’t a couple of years ago: it was three, and two other shows at the same venue that had a similar vibe were ten years ago. Time gets away from you if you’re not careful. Everybody’s had this feeling.
So instead of wondering why I never got around to revisiting the scenes of some of the really special shows I’ve been fortunate enough to play over the [mumbles vaguely number-sounding syllables into hand] years I’ve been doing this, I’m going to chart a course. Once a year I’m going to return to someplace where one of those everybody-gets-altitude shows happened somewhere along the line, and I’ll play two or three nights there. When it’s possible to revisit the same venue, I’ll do that. I probably won’t be recreating the sets from those shows, because I feel like that’d be not-the-good-kind-of-weird weird, but then again, what about the time I played thirty-two songs in a set at the Olde Club in Swarthmore about a year before Tallahassee came out? What if I just did all those songs again?
Anyway, that’s a question for a future date. The right thing to do is to kick this off in San Francisco, the first city Rachel & I ever played outside of the southern California, the place that boasted the first record store I know of to stock my tapes — the legendary Aquarius Records. These will be solo shows, but if I think of guests who’d be fun, there might be guests. I’ll do it at Swedish American again, because the memory of those solo sets is incredibly sweet to me. And then, after that, next year, we’ll see where it goes.
Dustin Wong was a part of the Baltimore Music scene in the early 2000’s with projects Ecstatic Sunshine and Ponytail.
From the 2010’s he would begin his solo project with looped and layered guitar pieces. He released 3 albums on Thrill Jockey, “Infinite Love”, “Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads” and “Mediation of Ecstatic Energy”.
Dustin Wong meets Takako Minekawa in 2012 and would begin their collaborations leading them to recording 3 albums, “Tropical Circle”, “Savage Imagination”, and “Are Euphoria”.
Since then he has released recordings of collaborations with Chicago group, Good Will Smith, and Japanese artist Hack from the band After Dinner.
Dustin has opened for Beach House on each of their tours in US and Europe and has played shows on the same bill with (in no particular order) Silver Apples, Keichi Suzuki, Greg Fox, Akira Sakata, DMBQ, Future Islands, MountainGoats, Calvin Johnson, and more. He was also a featured soloist for Dan Deacon at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, January of 2019. In 2018 Dustin moved his location to Los Angeles. He also has a monthly show at Dub Lab called “Why Did Why Did Why Did” where he interviews guests and has an improvised jam session with them on the 2nd half of the show
In 2019 Dustin has toured with Weyes Blood, Mac Demarco, and Animal Collective.