I don’t remember when we heard the news that Daniel had taken his own life, but I do remember how hard it hit us here at Hymie’s. Yes, we hardly knew him, but we loved his art — and we were working with his father, local musician Adam Levy of the Honeydogs, to have his jazz fusion side project Liminal Phase at our block party that year (this, by the way, turned out to be awesome). What has never left anyone here is how heartbreakingly familiar it was when Daniel died.
This past weekend was the anniversary of the death of a dear friend who took his own life eight years ago. It was, as always, one of the worst days of the year for me. But it was also a work day. All those years ago, I felt terrible contacting Adam about work-related things after his son’s death, but he was certainly nothing less than gracious when I checked in about the band, set times and those sort of things. It was a just another work day.
The Honeydogs had an album out weeks later, What Comes After. It was their best since 10,000 Years and likewise filled with dark premonitions — we were sure, however, that despite all we might read into that already-recorded album, there were nowehre near all the things left unsaid or undone. Last year, Adam wrote a cycle of songs inspired by his grief after the death of his son, and by all accounts Naubinway (his first solo album) is a great record. We couldn’t say much more here because to be honest we haven’t taken our copy out of the plastic yet. It’s just too much.
There are other very good records I simply cannot bear to hear for the same reason, notably The Pretender by Jackson Browne and End the Rain by Fargo folk singer Brenda Weiler. We’re often praising music which cuts to the bone here on the Hymies site, but sometimes it hits too close to the heart.
I wish I could get up in the morning and be “the happy idiot” from that Jackson Browne record, but the truth is I am just a plain ol’ idiot. I was a poor friend and all I have to show for it are regrets. Tomorrow we’ll go back to posting goofy stuff and strange records, because that’s what we’re best at doing.