What Comes After

Local musicians gather at History Theatre for a celebration of Daniel Levy’s life.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy Honeydogs

Photo courtesy of “The Artist.”

Griffin Fillipitch

What: Memorial show for Daniel Levy

When: 1:30 p.m., Saturday

Where: History Theatre, 30 E. 10th St., St. Paul

Cost: Free

Twin Cities rock veterans the Honeydogs are hard at work readying their 10th studio album for release in early March. It keeps front man Adam Levy busy, but it is clear that the death of his son Daniel is still always on his mind.

Daniel J. Levy took his own life Jan. 15. He was 21 years old, living in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

“His last year really saw the progression of his mental illness to the point where he was really paralyzed and hopeless,” Levy said. “It is an epic tragedy in my life and the lives of his mother and his two sisters.”

The songs on the Honeydogs’ forthcoming album, “What Comes After,” were written in the midst of this painful time.

“When I was writing these songs, I was thinking of Daniel,” Levy said. “He makes his way into the content of the music in overt ways and some more subtle ways. I think the struggle of watching him go through that pain and absorbing it as a parent is in these lyrics.”

In the wake of Daniel’s death, it will be more difficult for Levy to share the emotions within these songs. But it may be more vital, as well.

“There was this split second after Daniel had died, and I was listening to the record as we were sending it out to press and media,” Levy said. “I thought, ‘Oh my God. I’m just bearing my soul here. Am I really going to be able to do this without feeling physically sick?’ That has faded a little bit, and I’ve come to the idea that the music is really meaningful, and more meaningful in his absence.”

The experience brings a level of emotionality to these songs that may not have been there before. Levy is proud of the upcoming album, and thinks that it stacks up well to the Honeydogs’ previous work. Almost 20 years since they started, the band is finding new musical territory.

“When you’ve been doing this for so long, you want to make sure you’re not retreading old steps,” Levy said. “I think each record is a snapshot of where we were at a particular point in time. When I listen to this record, it feels that way. It feels very fresh.”

Many shows for the band will come before and after the March 10 release of the album, including a performance on Thursday at the McNally Smith College of Music. But the one most important to Levy will take place this weekend.

On Saturday, Levy will gather with friends and family for a memorial of his son at the History Theatre in St. Paul. It will include performances from friends and local musicians, including members of Kill the Vultures, Heiruspecs, The Bee’s Knees and several others. The service, which begins at 1:30 p.m., will be open to the public.

“This is an opportunity for people in Minneapolis that he’d connected with on some level, and are connected with our family, to celebrate his life and create some sort of closure, though we probably will never truly get that,” Levy said.

The local music community’s participation in the show is one of several ways that it has shown support of Levy and his family during this time. Many friends and fans have voiced their sympathy and support on Facebook and other sites. Hymie’s Vintage Records donated half of a day’s sales to Four Winds Hospital, a mental health clinic near Daniel’s home in New York. It is a testament to Levy’s importance and esteem to Twin Cities music.

“You don’t expect these things in your life,” Levy said. “You’re never prepared. I suppose after a period of time it will just be me and my family struggling with Daniel’s disappearance from our lives. But in this immediate, shocking period afterward, I am so grateful to feel this connected to so many people.”