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Singer/songwriter/guitarist Kathy McCarty helped make her former band Glass Eye one of the most interesting (if not commercially successful bands) to come out of the Austin, Texas music scene in the 1980s. When they disbanded in 1993, McCarty decided to record an entire album dedicated to the songs of another local favorite, Daniel Johnston. Johnston's songs possess the honesty and pain of the blues and the charm of the best pop music. Most of his recordings — done on a boom box with crude piano, guitar, and even chord organ — are primitive, while his songs range from sophisticated to almost childlike. McCarty became friendly with Johnston after he opened several shows for Glass Eye, and when Johnston's ongoing battles with mental illness made it seem unlikely that he would be able to continue his career in music, McCarty created Dead Dog's Eyeball: Songs of Daniel Johnston as a "labor of love" in tribute to the troubled songwriter. The album earned enthusiastic reviews, and McCarty's version of "Living Life" made its way onto the soundtrack of the movie Before Sunrise. The attention the album received also helped Johnston score a short-lived record deal with a major label. At this writing, McCarty has yet to release a second album, though she remains a presence on the Austin music scene.
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