Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely


The Mountain Goats, "Half Dead" (ezarchive link)

The Mountain Goats, "Woke Up New"
(ezarchive link)

This post is dedicated to me, because I feel sad and I'm listening to lots of sad music. It don't come any sadder than The Mountain Goats' Get Lonely, one of last year's best albums. Let's get this out of the way: I just got the album, didn't have a chance to really listen to it before I made my year end lists. This is a huge omission, as it's wonderful and one of the best of the year and so those lists are probably obsolete but that's the beauty of music and lists and nerdom. New things are always coming to the fore, forcing you to change what you listen to.

Get Lonely is quite possibly the greatest work created from the ashes of a break-up since Blood On The Tracks. I must confess that I don't have much history with The Mountain Goats, so I don't know if this is typical of their work or not. The band is really John Darnielle, who has been the one mainstay through various line-ups over the years.

I think that the brief conversation between Tom Breihan of Pitchfork and Darnielle is the best thoughts on the album I've come across:

Darnielle: Have you heard the new album?
Me: Yeah, I just got it.
Darnielle: What do you think?
Me: I've only heard it a couple of times; I'm still processing.
Darnielle: Do you have a girlfriend?
Me: Yeah, she's right over...
Darnielle: I hope she leaves you. Then you'll understand it.

I can't speak how truthful it is for those who haven't suffered a break-up and the collapse of a relationship. For me personally, this album is the truth. Darnielle takes us inside after the collapse of his own relationship, exposing us to the pain and struggle and false starts of recovery that we all go through. As he sings on "Woke Up New", "On the morning that I woke with you for the first time, I felt free and I felt lonely and I felt scared." He then goes on to discuss the disconcerting reality of suddenly being alone, from making coffee for two to drinking it because his ex didn't like to waste things to talking to himself to fill the silence.

This album isn't an easy listen, as personal works rarely are. It tends to stay within the acoustic parameters set up, as the music is never really very loud or energized. That's not to say that it's a blur of same-sounding acoustic strumming, as there is more upbeat tunes, some are sparser than others. I'm really not sure if this album is for everyone, but I really can't believe that there is someone out there who hasn't experienced heartbreak at some point. This album should speak to everyone, I can't recommend it more highly. Go here and buy it, let me know what you think.

-I figured that I'd hype a few of my recent articles for the Philadelphia Weekly. Check out this one on the new clothing boutique Umoi, which specializes in Japanese clothing and trends. More recently, I profiled Philadelphian Jeremy Dean of House 33 who has started his own line called Double Edge Sword. Some real sick t-shirts in the first line, check out some of them and holler at him on myspace. I'm gonna do more detailed posts about both of these two in the near future, as this is the new Philly rising and what else am I here for than to spread the word about this? Oh, and I think that this one is kinda funny for a Valentine's Day party.

-I have begun using Axe Body Wash these past few weeks. I'd like to say that at no point has anyone's mother or a gaggle of hot young babes come onto me and propositioned me. I cannot believe that the company lied in its ads, so my only answer is that the fact that I have a blog offsets the pheromones of the Axe. I'm asking the manufacturer to create a blogger edition, one that is extra strength and can overcome the embarrassing fact

-Finally, add Pound for Pound as your myspace friend, as I'm gonna start utilizing that more and more for party info, extras, maybe even more free music! Plus, you know you wanna say that you had P4P as a friend before it blew up like the blogger

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