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Odd obsessions: The Danika and the Jeb Daylist (#1122)

Topics/tags: Obsessions

One of the few benefits of the pandemic is that it’s much easier to attend live concerts. In the early days of the pandemic, I went to a daily show by Grinnell alum Jon Richardson [1]. I also started attending shows by a duo called Danika [2] and the Jeb.

My relation to Danika and the Jeb is a strange one; at some point, I got a suggestion to back their new album on Kickstarter. They started out in Iowa (although they are now in Nashville), I liked the quick preview I heard, and Danika writes clever please support me prose. I think I supported two different albums, but it may be three. I’ll admit that the albums got lost in the too much music that I own.

In any case, I ended up on their mailing list. At the start of the pandemic, they started doing regular shows on StageIt [3] and I thought I’d check them out. I also supported them on Patreon [4]. I like their stage presence, I particularly enjoy Danika’s voice, especially when she takes a soulful turn. Jeb is an awesome guitar player and delves deeply into his music and sound. Danika also does a great job of making the audience feel welcome and narrating the songs. There are some originals (e.g., Unlit Match, You Make A Bad Day Good, Sway Into the Storm, No Hometown) and some covers (e.g., Ain’t No Sunshine; Some Kind of Wonderful) that I love. I also appreciated their weekly reports on the artwork they used as a background. Sadly, those reports are no longer part of their show.

So I’ve been watching approximately weekly, mostly just the Tuesday afternoon shows [5]. I like the community at their shows; the comments that appear in the chat, Danika and Jeb’s responses to those, the growing number of folks, including musicians, who seem to be bouncing between different musicians’ shows. It’s also nice seeing shows with the artists’ mothers.

I recommend that you check them out.

Amazingly, none of the preceding is the primary subject of this musing. So what is? Here goes.

A week or so ago, Danika and the Jeb posted a free signed CD offer to encourage folks to watch their videos on YouTube. I have many of their CDs, but not all of them. So I decided to take the challenge.

Because I have an obsessive personality, I decided to take the more extreme challenge for those who really enjoy our music. The challenge requires listening to the playlist twenty times. Since the playlist three hours long [6], that’s a lot of my time. But I found myself able to put it on in the background while I do other work [7,9]. At times, I’m an active YouTube listener, adding a comment on a piece. But most of the time, it’s background music. I don’t feel guilty; Danika did write It’s 100% cool to listen to this in the background :)

There are a few behind the scenes videos on the list, including a twenty-minute report on a recent European tour. I enjoyed them the first time or two, but I’d much prefer to listen to music than a narrative. And at least two of my favorite songs aren’t on the list.

Since I was planning twenty passes through the list, I decided to use the last video in the series to record some thoughts and to provide evidence that I had been listening. That video wasn’t quite the right place, but, hey, there were no other comments on that video and D&tJ did not provide another option. In any case, I’ll also eliminate them soon. Because I hate to throw things away, I’ve also recorded them here. I may have edited them slightly in this musing.

Whoo! Made it through the Day List once. (Well, once and a half.) You should have Thanks for watching the Daylist video to record comments like this. And what happened to Day Show 2349 (aka Live at Campbell Steele gallery)? I know I watched it in the playlist, but it’s gone now.

Finished pass 2.

Third time through. Only seventeen or so to go.

Forgot to record pass four on the Day List. Just finished pass five. Only fifteen left! (We’ll see if I make it to twenty.) I wonder if anyone reads these comments. I’m finding myself wanting to hear You Make a Bad Day Good [10,11], the cover of Son of a Preacher Man, and more. On the other hand, I’m finding myself more fond of some songs than the first time through.

Finished pass six. I’ve started to watch the travelogues at 2xspeed. (No offense, I hope. I love the music, and I liked them the first few times, but I listen for the music.) And I’m still wondering if anyone reads these

Finished pass seven. Beginning to question my sanity. Would love to see Unlit Match in the mix. Amused that Lock Me In Tonight has become an earworm for me [12,14]. (There are many D&tJ songs I like much more.)

Finished pass eight. Wondering why some songs are marked as unlisted. Bridging out into songs I miss, like Open Up.

Finished pass nine. Nearly halfway. Appreciate that I’m getting some responses to comments. Wonder what I misheard in No Hometown [15].

Pass ten finished. Halfway! Wondering why so many great videos are unlisted. (I know they were originally for Patreons, but if the goal is to increase viewership, perhaps the Patreon videos can be released after a few months.)

Done with pass eleven. Needed to skip the 20-minute Euro Tour this time, but subbed in (a) Make My Own Day (Live at 20 Front Street) [love the version], (b) Dreams Held Hostage [like the song, can’t stand the background noise], (c) White Christmas [always a great song; I like the backing and the guitar solo]; (d) The Second Chances Promo Reel [I like hearing your narratives]; (e) a t-shirt promo reel with you laughing [um …]; (f) a plug for you opening for the Nadas [sounds like it would have been a great show, even though it’s more than a decade ago]; (g) Living Your Dream, dedicated to Gary Andrew [enjoying it; I hope you move it into the Day List :-)]. Moving on to pass twelve.

Done with pass 12. Skipped the Euro Tour again. Watched as many other videos as I could find. Here are the quick notes. Miss You Most (At Christmas Time) [Not enough views for such a great cover!]; Forever Young [Love the matching guitars; hate the background chatter]; Living Your Dream x 2 [no comments right now]; Video Press Kit [10K+ views. Wow! The snippet of Bluebird doesn’t seem to be from a video I recall-do you have more out there?]; Son of a Preacher Man [at the Mill, right?]; This Love [I realize it doesn’t count since it’s not on your channel, but …]; Try [I’m amused about the Alyssa Jacey dialog in the comments]; another Some Kind of Wonderful [I prefer the sound of the ArtisTree version and the intro]; Black Horse and a Cherry Tree [nice cover]; and Danika Holmes Music Video Day 1 [um …]. At some point, I need to think about ranking my favorite videos. On to lucky pass 13.

Done with unlucky pass 13 of the Daylist. Watched some of this pass while making dinner for the family. (I did that for some other passes, but I thought I’d mention it here.) I’m beginning to wonder why I log my comments here; perhaps as evidence that I’ve done each pass. I’m beginning to feel like an overly obsessive fan. Should I log Danika’s hairstyles? (No.) Attempt to transcribe lyrics? (No.) Use Audacity to remove the wind noise in Paparazzi? (No.) Comment on every video? (Maybe.) Watch the Day list instead of attending shows? (No.) Have a goal of seven more passes through the Daylist to reach 20? (Yes.) Become a concert promoter and set up a post-pandemic tour with D&tJ + Hannah + Gemma + ? (No.) Venmo D&tJ? (Probably.)

The unspoken question, since it wasn’t something others would understand, is Muse about listening to the Daylist?. The answer is Yes and this musing is the result. There are times my muse chooses strange goals.

Back to the log.

Done with pass 14. Two passes in one day. Yay! I’m sad that I couldn’t make today’s show. I’ve started thinking about which videos are my favorites (and least favorites). Today I’m also realizing that the big key that Danika shows off in this video looks a lot like our front door key. The next time through, I think I’ll sub in the three versions of Unlit Match for the Euro Tour video. Or maybe the Live StageIt Broadcast.

Note [18]: I will delete all these comments a few days after I reach twenty passes through the Daylist.

Done with Pass 15. Replaced the behind-the-scenes pieces with the Live StageIt Broadcast from Nashville on Nov. 21, 2020. A great show, but a sad one. Wondering what kind of guitar Jeb is playing in that show. Finally tracked down the original of Dancing in the Snow. I prefer your version. Watching Pockets Full of Gold reminds me that I miss the art interludes that were a regular part of the early shows. For example, I’d love to see the guitar player tribute again.

Finished with Pass 16. 80% done! Watched the 2020-11-21 video again in place of the behind-the-scenes shows. Trying to figure out what kind of Fender Jeb is playing. The shape looks like a Telecaster, but the headstock does not. (Figured it out; it’s the John 5 Signature Telecaster.) Next up: Figuring out the green Strat-shaped electric [19]. Watched Hannah Woolmer’s show on Sunday and started to wonder whether you’ve thought of doing a prerecorded video intro like she does. Not a lot of comments from this pass. Looking forward to moving on to the music-only Daylist.

Finished with Pass 17. Appreciated the music-only daylist, particularly the addition of You Make A Bad Day Good, which is one of my favorite songs. The Baby It’s Cold Outside surprised me; I’ve heard it before, but I’m not used to it in the playlist. On the other hand, I’m not sure I needed to hear No Body, No Crime twice in the playlist; I’d rather hear more originals. Three passes left to twenty! Then on to other D&tJ music.

Done with Pass 18. 90% done with 20 passes. I’m running out of things to write. I also thought I was reaching the point that I’m starting to get sick of many of the songs, even ones that I love. Will I still enjoy them at the next live show? I hope so. Or maybe I’m not getting sick of them; I found that I still really enjoyed Sway Into The Storm, No Hometown, and Rainy Day Lovin’, among others. Looking forward to tomorrow’s show.

Done with Pass 19. Only one more to go. I returned to the main Daylist for these last two passes. No other comments this time through.

I attended the Tuesday afternoon show between passes 19 and 20. I managed to get Jeb to talk about his guitars, which helps with the video list. I found myself disconcerted that Danika kept referring to Sam is My Muse, but there was another attendee named samismymuse. Very strange.

Almost finished Pass 20 between yesterday’s afternoon show and yesterday’s evening show. Then life got busy. But I’m finally done with 20 listenings [20,21], right before the Hannah Woolmer show [22]. You [23] should expect to see email, Venmo, comments at a show, and a ’blog post [24] or two.

If I watch the Daylist another ten times [25], will you play Dar Williams’ Iowa and/or Greg Brown’s Iowa Waltz at a Tuesday afternoon show? (Iron Butterfly’s In-a-gadda-da-vida would also be fun [26].)

Now I’m done. I still love their music. I’ve obsessed much too much about Jeb’s guitars (and Danika’s). I’ve made some strange comments at the shows along the way. Did I just offer to watch the Daylist again?

You know what? Watching the Daylist 20+ times may have turned me into an obsessive fan. Sorry D&tJ! I’ll try to step back a bit.

Oh well, off to work on the database.

I’ll reflect more directly on the music and my favorite songs in another musing.

Postscript: While writing this musing, I found myself linking to way too many videos on YouTube. My muse then insisted that I organize those links and add commentary. That obsessive process is taking enough time that I’ve started a separate musing about the topic. Stay tuned for it. For now, you can check out the database that I created.

Postscript: Just in case it wasn’t clear, the obsession here was the challenge of listening to the Daylist twenty times. There are also some related obsessions, such as with D&tJ’s music and the aforementioned database.

Postscript: Here’s the email I sent to D&tJ.

Dear Danika and Jeb,

Thanks for setting up the Daylist and for the encouragement to watch it multiple times.

I’ve now completed twenty passes through the Daylist, plus a few partial passes. If you’d like to see my ’blog post about the experience of listening, you can find it at

Now that but since the CDs you shipped on December 7 arrived yesterday [27], I think have all of your CDs. I love your music, but don’t need extra copies, other than to give to friends.

So I don’t really need any reward for playing the Daylist twenty times. Your music and the StageIt shows are reward enough. However, if you feel like playing Dar Williams’ Iowa or your own How to Beautiful at an upcoming show, that would be great.

Thanks again!

[1] That reminds me; I haven’t been to one of Jon’s shows in a long while. Unfortunately, they’re at a time when I’m normally in a meeting, teaching, or preparing dinner.

[2] Pronounced Da-neek-uh not Dan-ick-uh. You can hear the pronunciation at the start of You Make a Bad Day Good.

[3] They may have already been doing regular shows on StageIt.

[4] Sorry Micki.

[5] Evenings and weekends are usually family time.

[6] It used to be longer; they eliminated the one-hundred minute live show, or at least subbed in some shorter videos.

[7] This week, my other work has been class prep and administrivia [8].

[8] Some of my other work ended up being these musings.

[9] There are some songs that I love enough that it’s hard not to look up and watch.

[10] No, I did not include links to the originals in my comments. But this musing felt incomplete without them. As I said, I’m somewhat obsessive.

[11] No, I did not have links to endnotes in the original comment.

[12] Lock Me In Tonight feels more like traditional mainstream modern country than most of Danika’s songs. I prefer the more soulful songs or the ones with deeper meaning.

[14] In my world, an earworm is a song you can’t get out of your head. I woke up hearing Danika sing Lock Me In Tonight two days in a row.

[15] I had written something like I love the way you sing Cotton in this song [16] and got a big Huh? as a response [17].

[16] Rhymed with forgotten.

[17] I have since confirmed that I heard the lyric correctly.

[18] The note was part of my Pass 14 post.

[19] It’s a Fender, too.

[20] Also endnote 20.

[21] Now is 1:55 p.m., CST, 2021-01-20.

[22] Hannah Woolmer is part of a group of musicians who seem to bounce between each others’ shows. I think it started with Hannah visiting a Danika and the Jeb show. I seem to recall her being mentioned on the 2020-11-21 show.

[23] In case it’s not clear, You is Danika and the Jeb.

[24] That’s this post.

[25] I was going to say twenty, but I don’t think I could make it through another twenty passes.

[26] Jeb talked about it at one of their shows. I don’t recall why.

[27] January 20. Yay USPS!

Version 1.0 of 2021-01-21.