Major Matt asks Daoud Tyler Ameen (Art Sorority For Girls, Urban Barnyard, Daouets) 5 questions (#23)


1. How did we originally meet?
I first saw you play at an outdoor event in Tompkins Square Park in 2002, my first summer out of high school. I went away to college that the fall, where I took full advantage of the blazing fast internet in the dorms (my mom and I had just gotten connected two years earlier, and it was dial-up at that). was then what MySpace and Bandcamp later became, so I found you and a handful of the other East Village artists I'd discovered that summer, downloaded a handful of songs and rocked them all year. The next summer, I was working an arts internship in the neighborhood. I'd just left work one day in August when the power in most of the city — the great blackout of 2003. I didn't feel like sitting at home in the heat, so I went the only place I could think of: The Sidewalk Café on 6th and A, where I would come to spend most of my summers for the next few years, attending the weekly open mic and making friends. You were there; so was your lady Nan Turner, my future Urban Barnyard bandmate Dibson T. Hoffweiler, and a handful of other folks from the scene. I followed the pack to your place and ended up spending the night on the roof, after a long evening spent chit-chatting and passing a guitar around. I had been waiting a year for an easy way to insinuate myself into your social circle. That night was it.

2. Three things that make you happy?
a. When a songwriter I've never seen or heard of plays something that punches me in the gut. It's the number-one thing I miss about my early days hanging out with the East Village antifolk crew. I didn't know anybody, and that made me open-minded — and all the more susceptible to having my mind blown.

b. When I reach the comfort level with a female friend where we kiss each other on the cheek to say hello or goodbye. There's something so comforting, and also so exciting, about being in public and touching a person's face with your face.

c. When I get to play a drum kit with the really dry, thuddy, Motown sound I love. Back when I was playing in a handful of bands at once, I had to constantly share or borrow drum gear, and would often find myself taping little folded-up squares of paper towel all over the damn things, trying to get the sound I liked. It's so nice when you sit down, bang on each surface once, and feel completely satisfied.

3. Three things that make you sad?
a. I can usually handle disappointment, but the feeling of having disappointed someone else will wreck me for days.

b. I've spent the past few years trying to do creative work but not really having any idea who I want to delight with it. That'll drive you batty after a while; it's like spending a long time on a heartfelt letter, then dropping it in the mail without stamps or an address and hoping for the best.

c. I just turned 27 and I still find socializing really, really hard. I just saw an episode of "Louie" where he hires a babysitter and tries to have a fun night out, but ends up just walking through the city alone, occasionally peering in the windows of bars and restaurants and deciding the people inside are having a perfectly good time without him. I found it so funny, maybe because that crushing feeling felt so real.

4. What is your favorite color?
When I was a kid I swore it was purple. I may well have liked the color, but I have a feeling the choice was equally motivated by this manic desire I had to stand out — which, during my adolescence, would inspire the purchase of an American flag bandanna, a badly screenprinted Spice Girls T-shirt, a leather hat, circular mirrored sunglasses, an obsidian shark's tooth necklace, and Converse All-Stars with a flame design. I could go on. (These days I wear nothing but blue and black.)

5. Three people who inspire you?
a. Louis CK:

b. Robyn:

c. Nitsuh Abebe: