Joseph Campbell describes a shaman as "person, male or female, who...has an overwhelming psychological experience that turns him totally inward. It's a kind of schizophrenic crack-up. The whole unconscious opens up, and the shaman falls into it." We'll never know the whole truth about what happened when (Foxyen drummer and former Disney child actor) Shaun Fleming moved from the West Coast suburbs to New York, but whatever it was fractured his psyche, opened it up, and gave birth to Diane Coffee.
In 2013, after joining the band Foxygen, Shaun Fleming left the green and golden fields of his hometown of Agoura Hills, CA to become the third roommate in a 700 square-foot, pre-war, closet-free Manhattan apartment. He was welcomed to The Big Apple by a nasty flu virus that drained the last bit of California sunshine out of the skinny, Macaulay Culken-looking 26-year-old's body. As he recovered, cabin fever supplanted the flu, and his relentless creative drive took over. Low on funds and bored out of his mind, he spent the next two weeks alone in his bedroom writing and recording what would become the debut Diane Coffee LP, My Friend Fish.
Despite his limited means (using a pseudo drum kit consisting of a snare, one broken cymbal, and a metal pot, recording parts with an iPhone's voice memo app, playing a detuned guitar rather than a real bass, etc) My Friend Fish sounds fully realized and remarkably polished. From a Donovan-esque song about Sriracha, to experiments with distortion and garage-rock, to songs like "All The Young Girls" in which he gleefully channels Tom Jones with sex-bomb confidence, on My Friend Fish Fleming's spell-casting powers are in full effect, inspiring panty-tossing glee. After you finish listening, you'll wonder as you stretch out in bed and enjoy a cigarette, "Who is Fish?"
DIANE COFFEE TOUR
Oct 29 - New York, NY * Pianos
Nov 2 - Austin, TX * Red 7 *
Nov 5 - Phoenix, AZ * The Rhythm Room *
Nov 7 - Los Angeles, CA * The Echo *
Nov 8 - Santa Ana, CA * The Constellation Room *
Nov 13 - San Francisco, CA * The Chapel *
Nov 15 - Seattle, WA * Barboza *
Nov 16 - Portland, OR * Bunk Bar *
Nov 19 - Denver, CO * Hi-Dive *
Nov 21 - Kansas City, MO * The Record Bar *
Nov 22 - Carbondale, IL * Hangar 9 *
Nov 23 - Louisville, KY * The Zanzabar *
* = w/ Those Darlins
2. Never Lonely
3. Tale Of A Dead Dog
5. New Years
6. All The Young Girls
7. When It's Known
8. That Stupid Girl Who Runs A Lot
9. Eat Your Love (With Sriracha)
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.