Cyrus — Denton is
provincial. I await your
return. Your friend, Jeff.
From the liner notes of Transcendental Youth by the Mountain Goats.
“Steal Smoked Fish (Alternate Take)”
The Mountain Goats
Transcendental Youth [Bonus Tracks]
The Mountain Goats, “Autoclave”
I dreamt that I was perched atop a throne of human skulls
On a cliff above the ocean, howling wind and shrieking seagulls
And the dream went on forever, one single static frame
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.
He has written almost 600 songs now, and some of them are very sad, dealing with hard drugs and tragic ends, hurting yourself and others, sicknesses of both body and brain, off-brand alcohols. They are told in beautiful, unnerving, specific detail, because John Darnielle is a very good writer, and also some of them are just true stories about his own life.
But many have noted that John Darnielle seems often very happy, and his demeanor on stage is almost exclusively unhaunted, ecstatic.
Anyone who reads his Twitter feed knows he takes great delight in his delights: vegan cooking, fat babies, hockey, the beautiful alchemy of Chemex coffee, Anonymous 4, playing music for people, loaning out socks when the time comes, basements.
These are the consolations; and if some of his songs suggest that there are real hells on earth, other songs remind that the heavens are equally close at hand.
(Sometimes they are even the same songs.)
This is the official video for “Estate Sale Sign” by the Mountain Goats.
What the fuck did I just watch.
I have spent worse days home sick.
Don’t eat meat. Be as passionate as you can all the time. Don’t use the word “soundscape” if you can help it. Work for social justice. Don’t let the right wing convince you that “feminist” is a bad word; proclaim your feminism loudly and publicly. Listen to heavy metal. Cuddle your beloved more than seems reasonable. Write. Buy multiple copies of Mountain Goats records, since John’s unfortunate Zinfandel habit is getting unmanageable. Give money to charity as often as you can, and give a little more than you’re comfortable giving. Remember the homeless always and everywhere. Thank whatever God you worship for your inestimable good luck in being loved, and if you are not loved, love someone as best you can.