by Jonathan Berger
The world just lost a small visionary; Dashan Coram is gone. The specifics of how this young man passed are less important than the fact that the AntiFolk community – as well as many other communities – are now without a distinctive and compassionate voice. It’s a small comfort to know that he died in his sleep, but a sad moment for many to lose such an artist – and friend – so young.
Coram was important to the budding creativity of lots of people around our community. He was a leader of Huggabroomstik, Urban Barnyard, and Friends with Benefits. He founded Secret Salamander, but was exceptionally communal in his shows. He clearly had a belief that art was for everyone, and encouraged all those around him to be creative. He was a catalyst, and a community leader, and will be missed.
Showing up at the Sidewalk around 2003, Coram had a penchant for not sitting in chairs, but balling himself up in the back part of the room, while viewing the open mic. He would make himself, seemingly, as small as possible, and soak in whatever the room had to offer.
He released a compilation album of acts that he was involved with, including usual like Dibs, Yoko Kikuchi, and Huggabroomstik, but also AntiFolk founder Lach with his band, the Secrets. He supported acts when he could, notably playing weird guitar parts in a cool version of Prewar Yardsale during one exceptional OJ All Day.
After forming Urban Barnyard, he eventually quit the group, but continued to support the band that once was his. When he left New York for love, his bands (Urban Barnyard and Huggabroomstik) continued on without him, perhaps a testament to the community involvement he engendered, leaving people pumped by his initial vision, and willing to keep it up after his time. His legacy was secure when he moved out of the city. With that sort of spirit, it’s pretty certain that Dashan will remain a vital and integral part of our lives forever – despite the recent turn of events.