The Mountain Goats

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I always recommend All Hail West Texas as a starting point for some reason, I've never really thought about why, just seemed reasonable. Maybe because the first thing they hear is the Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton and that track seems to appeal pretty bluntly to most people? Er...

RabiesAngentleman, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 15:05 (6 years ago) Permalink

Oh, and they sound rough because he recorded that early stuff on a boombox (multi-xpost)

RabiesAngentleman, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 15:06 (6 years ago) Permalink

yeah, but that album sounds pretty one-note.

Perry-Como-Zombie-Memorial-Radio-Now! (Ioannis), Wednesday, 24 September 2008 15:08 (6 years ago) Permalink

in terms of...?

RabiesAngentleman, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 15:17 (6 years ago) Permalink

style, sound, 'production', song-writing, you name it.

Perry-Como-Zombie-Memorial-Radio-Now! (Ioannis), Wednesday, 24 September 2008 15:22 (6 years ago) Permalink

I've never got much beyond Tallahassee (although I own about half-a-dozen), but by golly, Tallahassee is a fucking extraordinarily good record.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 24 September 2008 15:34 (6 years ago) Permalink

huh, my thoughts on it all were more along the lines of "cohesive" or "consistent", but I suppose I can see what you're saying (xpost)

RabiesAngentleman, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 15:42 (6 years ago) Permalink

well, yeah, that's exactly what i meant; it's all consistently one-note. th real problem for me, actually, is that it gets kinda hard to pay attention after the awesome opener. for me, it just ends up sinking into the background pretty much from that point on. i actually kinda wish J0hn would remake some of the stronger songs, or at least release live versions maybe.

Perry-Como-Zombie-Memorial-Radio-Now! (Ioannis), Wednesday, 24 September 2008 15:51 (6 years ago) Permalink

In hindsight you might be right...if my memory is accurate (though it's been a few years, and it isn't), all my favorite tracks are in the first half of the disc.

RabiesAngentleman, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 16:02 (6 years ago) Permalink

it's a pretty great one-two punch to open all hail west texas. those just-slightly-poetic codas —"if you punish a person," etc., and "your grandfather rode the boat over from ireland"—really punctuate the suburban drama.

mte, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 16:50 (6 years ago) Permalink

at least release live versions maybe

there are a lot of live versions of j0hn's stuff out there

t_g, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 17:18 (6 years ago) Permalink

Been falling in love all over again with 'Tallahassee' and 'The Sunset Tree' lately. "I'm gonna make it through this year, if it kills me." *heart*

Le Bateau Ivre, Wednesday, 24 September 2008 17:41 (6 years ago) Permalink

so this Last Night of Your Life tour with Kaki King, what's it like? taking turns, playing together, her material, his material, the collaborative songs? excited...

W i l l, Thursday, 2 October 2008 17:18 (6 years ago) Permalink

there're lots of links to great live stuff on the Mountain Goats' site.

oh, and, uh, best band ever, etc.

BigLurks, Thursday, 2 October 2008 17:22 (6 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

glad to hear you're still playing Manning

Rescinding this – it’s $52 at the uni and $20 in a depressed coal-mining port, so driving up the coast to see them. But mainly posting to alert J0hn that although Jester’s Pies have gone bust, while he's in the area today, the franchisee in Newtown bought out the location and it’s running as Janet’s Pies with similar, but not quite as exciting, pastry-encased vegetable matter.

venkman boners are totally canon (sic), Thursday, 4 December 2008 23:38 (6 years ago) Permalink

went to the morrissey fan site to check out some new album stuff and saw a story that linked to the goats doing "suedehead"! : )

you can't stop the shinin' (M@tt He1ges0n), Thursday, 4 December 2008 23:40 (6 years ago) Permalink

3 months pass...

kind of an annoying article. those pieces happen, what's the big deal? sure they're kind of obvious, but i don't believe they're completely lost on the artists in question. w/r/t to the goats piece, an avid fan (friend of mine) was really excited to see it.

Surmounter, Monday, 16 March 2009 14:17 (5 years ago) Permalink

not feelin that gawker thing at all

just sayin, Monday, 16 March 2009 14:22 (5 years ago) Permalink

"In fact, profiles of super-cool independent musicians in mass-market consumer magazines almost inevitably turn out to be cringe-inducing, forced exercises in justifying the relevance of an artist that often doesn't really care about being relevant to begin with."

so non-mainstream musicians don't care about being relevant? hmmm

Surmounter, Monday, 16 March 2009 14:23 (5 years ago) Permalink

it's weird to throw the new yorker profile in there also, they have profiles of lots of pretty obscure ppl right? also that article was dope

just sayin, Monday, 16 March 2009 14:28 (5 years ago) Permalink

(the nyer one i mean)

just sayin, Monday, 16 March 2009 14:28 (5 years ago) Permalink

they have profiles all the time, obscure or not. it's like he's annoyed that these artists are getting mainstream attention -- "i liked them before you did!!"

Surmounter, Monday, 16 March 2009 14:37 (5 years ago) Permalink

yeah that's really the only reason i can think he would have bothered writing this

anyway like someone said in the comments, the reason why he can do this list is bcz profiles generally follow a formula (no matter who's getting profiled)

just sayin, Monday, 16 March 2009 14:40 (5 years ago) Permalink

I really didn't like that New York magazine article. One of the reasons I like The Mountain Goats so much is that for the most part, John's songwriting doesn't fall into the "sensitive acoustic troubador" category. That's why I got into them so much, it was so weird to hear a lone-wolf-with-acoustic guitar guy who wasn't just all "I'm so sad," but instead wrote these wry, literary songs about fictional people's sadness. I mean that's sort of changed these days, since The Sunset Tree and all, but I feel like the NY mag article is trying to pigeonhole John, trying to fit him into a category to which he never belonged.

I could be dead wrong, of course.

telepathy_rock!, Monday, 16 March 2009 14:41 (5 years ago) Permalink

No, actually you're dead right and I'm with you.

ilxor, Monday, 16 March 2009 14:52 (5 years ago) Permalink

I didn't really like the New York mag article because, well...

Wesley, of course, read from the Book of Darnielle, while the next girl read the lyrics of Conor Oberst, a.k.a. the folksinger Bright Eyes. Wesley was disgusted. “Bright Eyes is not a man, he’s just a boy,” Wesley told me. “Bright Eyes is just this over the top ‘I am wussy man, hear me roar.’ Did you know the word virtue comes from the Latin word for man? You get too sensitive, you lose your strength. And his stuff is so vague. John once wrote a song that has a line ‘I love you because you gave me sausage and cheese when I was hungry’—it’s earned because it’s a concrete thought: You fed me, that’s why I love you.”

if you like it then you shoulda put a donk on it (bernard snowy), Monday, 16 March 2009 14:55 (5 years ago) Permalink

lol at the comments on the new yorker piece:

Ew.
By ping on 03/04/2009 at 6:35pm

Sappy and pathetic and please no more.
By ELECTRAfied26 on 03/08/2009 at 10:45pm

What did I just read?
By whygodwhy on 03/09/2009 at 7:03pm

I mean explain it to me, in a way a stoned person could understand.
By whygodwhy on 03/09/2009 at 7:04pm

joe, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:02 (5 years ago) Permalink

lol

but it seems the problem is more with the publications overall, than with how they tackle INDIE music, no?

Surmounter, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:03 (5 years ago) Permalink

i mean sometimes i have a problem reading anything in the new yorker

Surmounter, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:07 (5 years ago) Permalink

that was retarded

moonship journey to 51 (k3vin k.), Monday, 16 March 2009 15:10 (5 years ago) Permalink

i think the authors point isnt "oh how passe and lame and uncool of you to write about neko case"--i think the point he wants to make is "writing, as a journalist, about bands for which you have a deep & abiding affection doesnt make for very good journalism."

there are all sorts of sub-issues he has with that--like, deciding to write a piece abt your favorite band will often lead to paper-thin justifications for writing about that band so as to avoid the appearance that youre just writing about the band because you like them--and also that writing a piece about a band you love is a lot more likely to lead to the kind of cliched darkness-success-redemption story arc than writing about a band for a different reason (say, they have a new & compelling arc to their career, or you can make a successful argument for their uniqueness as a band).

obviously this is all subjective--to wide-eyed fans of neko case, john darnielle, etc., these artists are so compelling just on the face of it that you shouldnt need a justification to write about them! but to the other portion of the population (say, me) who dont really care too much for andrew bird, i need more of a reason than "hes really good" to read about him (in a journalistic setting, of course; criticism is a different animal, at least in the eyes of the blog post)

i guess i kind of agree with him.

rip dom passantino 3/5/09 never forget (max), Monday, 16 March 2009 15:13 (5 years ago) Permalink

when i say kind of, i mean, the darnielle piece wasnt poorly written, just poorly conceived, and i basically disagree about the bonnie prince billy piece for a couple reasons, incl. the new yorkers tendency towards hook-less articles that stand on the strength of their writing, and oldhams comparative stature vs. case, bird, darnielle (no offense john)

rip dom passantino 3/5/09 never forget (max), Monday, 16 March 2009 15:15 (5 years ago) Permalink

let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

or something.

ian, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:17 (5 years ago) Permalink

on a more positive note, my sixteen year old cousin is coming to visit me in a few weeks so she can go see the mountain goats thing with slice-of-key-lime-pie. her father is dying of cancer (soon) and she really needs to get outta the house for a while.

i guess that wasn't positive.

ian, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:18 (5 years ago) Permalink

The justification for writing about anything is always "I find this interesting/informative/entertaining" (delete where applicable). There isn't really anything else to it as far as I can tell, regardless of the subject or the setting, so I don't get where you're coming from, max (the disconnect appears to be between what you find intersting/informative/entertaining and what NYer editorial finds i/i/e).

Wes HI DEREson (HI DERE), Monday, 16 March 2009 15:23 (5 years ago) Permalink

the gawker deal is pretty much ridiculous because a) it means the author has bothered to read all the articles he claims to despise and b) it's barely readable sub-undergrad compare-and-contrast bullllllllshit. you think he'd have found better, more informative pull quotes if he'd dug 'em out of the Wire, the Believer and Rolling Stone? Doubtful.

ian, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:25 (5 years ago) Permalink

i guess what i'm trying to say is: the problem is not with the publications particularly, but with a tendency towards laziness and easy questions in rock n roll journalism as a whole.

ian, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:27 (5 years ago) Permalink

the canonization of the subversive musician

Surmounter, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:28 (5 years ago) Permalink

there is nothing particularly subversive about neko case though, amirite? and why do people attach such importance to these musicians being profiled in mainstream, middle-brow publications? the mtn goats, oldham etc haven't been obscurities for many, many years now.

ian, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:30 (5 years ago) Permalink

apparently the neko case album debuted at #3? pretty weird to say 'only the write cares abt her' or whatever

just sayin, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:32 (5 years ago) Permalink

*writer

just sayin, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:32 (5 years ago) Permalink

and why do people attach such importance to these musicians being profiled in mainstream, middle-brow publications? the mtn goats, oldham etc haven't been obscurities for many, many years now.

― ian, Monday, March 16, 2009 11:30 AM (5 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

i think that's exactly why -- cuz they have already established their own sort of relevance, and people get annoyed that these publications approach them like a sort of discovery. but the thing is, for a lot of people, they still are! it's kind of an audience issue.

Surmounter, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:44 (5 years ago) Permalink

The justification for writing about anything is always "I find this interesting/informative/entertaining" (delete where applicable). There isn't really anything else to it as far as I can tell, regardless of the subject or the setting, so I don't get where you're coming from, max (the disconnect appears to be between what you find intersting/informative/entertaining and what NYer editorial finds i/i/e).

― Wes HI DEREson (HI DERE), Monday, March 16, 2009 11:23 AM (13 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

well, yeah, this is absolutely true, and i acknowledge the subjectiveness of the argument being made in my post.

but there are very, very few publications out there where you can successfully pitch an editor on a story with just "hey, i love neko case, can i write an article about her?" (the ability to pitch like that probably has more to do with the writer him or herself--john mcphee, for example--than the publication). at the very least youre going to need "she has an album coming out"--and even then the editor is going to want more, since god knows how many people have albums out in a given month. arguably, case is big enough (#3 album etc) to warrant that kind of coverage--in fact, this is absolutely the case, since the writer was able to pitch the story to the editor successfully.

but then the article comes out and its structure is almost exactly the same as the structure of 3 other articles about musicians working in roughly the same melieu! and its like, what exactly is the threshold of 'interesting/informative/entertaining' here? if the pieces match so completely, is there really something interesting enough about the subjects to be worth writing about?

rip dom passantino 3/5/09 never forget (max), Monday, 16 March 2009 15:47 (5 years ago) Permalink

but there are very, very few publications out there where you can successfully pitch an editor on a story with just "hey, i love neko case, can i write an article about her?" (the ability to pitch like that probably has more to do with the writer him or herself--john mcphee, for example--than the publication). at the very least youre going to need "she has an album coming out"--and even then the editor is going to want more, since god knows how many people have albums out in a given month

The Gawker piece was awful, and this is the only defense for publishing Neko Case, Darnielle, and Bird articles in mass-market publications.

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 16 March 2009 15:51 (5 years ago) Permalink

I do wish articles like the one in Gawker would stop impugning the motives of these writers, the quality of their essays notwithstanding. I like Neko Case, so if I worked for The New Yorker and knew she had an album coming out soon, I'd pitch an article. What's so hard to understand?

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 16 March 2009 15:54 (5 years ago) Permalink

btw am i supposed to like know neko case? cuz apart from the name, i don't :/

Surmounter, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:56 (5 years ago) Permalink

Next time you run over to Starbucks for a toffee bar, you'll know.

The Screaming Lobster of Challops (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 16 March 2009 15:56 (5 years ago) Permalink

Neko is gonna be heartbroken, sur

Wes HI DEREson (HI DERE), Monday, 16 March 2009 15:57 (5 years ago) Permalink

smoky alt-country chanteuse, you might like her. in that new pornographesr band IIRC. xpxp

ian, Monday, 16 March 2009 15:57 (5 years ago) Permalink


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