Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ever So Slightly Behind Some Curve

So...I write a really cool piece on The Mountain Goats for Killing the Buddha, I tweet it, and hardly anyone pays me any mind. Then I tweet an only mildly funny word of despair concerning Smashmouth's cover of "Under Pressure" and myriad peoples take note. I remain unsure as to how to best broadcast these things. The Mountain goats deliciousness can be found here. I believe it speaks to all manner of interestingness. And I love how the album cover of The Life of the World to Come evokes (to my mind) the artwork on the final albums of Rich Mullins.
And perhaps now is as good a time as any to share a Paul Muldoon poem I copied out of a magazine. The last stanza helps me to just say No when I'm tempted to google myself. Enjoy.

A Second Hummingbird

Yet another money-man
With a finger in the till
At Flavor & Fragrance, my own
Not standing still

no less a stance
than his, the only grounds
for his existence
now being to make such rounds

and roundelays as mine, to touch
what I’ve come to see
as the raw nerve

in each of us, each
doomed to think himself ever so
slightly behind some curve.

--Paul Muldoon


Holy Moly! said...

It really is a fine piece, David.

Have you read John Darnielle's book on Black Sabbath? It's a really quick read, I bet you'd enjoy it. A novella written from the perspective of a 15 year old in an adolescent mental health facility.

jdaviddark said...

No, but I suspect I should. Is it one of those 33 and a third things?

NBooth said...

I read your article when you first tweeted it and purchased the album that very hour. It's good stuff--I've been listening now for a little while and find it fascinating for all the right reasons.

And now I'm scrambling off to locate some more Paul Muldoon....

Lara said...

I miss Rich Mullins. I don't think I've even bought a CD since he died. Does that mean I'm more than slightly behind the curve?

Baba C said...

I google you all the time. No really, ALL the time. One of us, one of us, one of us...

James Layne said...

I noticed!
I feel so confused by the mountain goats. I don't know why either.

mjaneb said...

confusion is a good place to start.

mjaneb said...

Read your article. The album sounds reallllly cool.

mjaneb said...

finally: the community is exciting. thanks for your words!

capnwatsisname said...

Thanks for pointing back at the Mountain Goats bit; really wonderful. Gave me the fuel to pick up the album, where the 30-second samples hadn't convinced me before.

Anonymous said...


I just read this article, the first piece of yours I have ever read. It is a fine piece of writing. I remember feeling similarly after seeing the Mountain Goats on their recent tour.

The first serious thought that comes to mind upon reading this: it's easy to feel an ironic detachment to a title like The Post-Irony Age, right? After all, people have been proclaiming the coming of all sorts of ages for a long time, and we, ironized, haven't been swept up in the presumed sea change yet... why would we now?

I hope that makes sense -- it's a difficult quibble to raise in so few words. But yeah, I love what Darnielle is doing, and you're on to something as to how we might best understand it. And his Black Sabbath 33 1/3rd book is worth it.



Unknown said...

Let me treble the acclaim for Darnielle's Master of Reality novel. Some background: at the time he began his musical career he was a residential worker at a state mental hospital; he's seen what he portrays in the book way too up close and personal. Anyone who enjoyed the book should seek out his song "The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton" from his lo-fi album All Hail West Texas.

Nice work noticing the resemblance to a Rich Mullins cover, David. May have been intentional; Darnielle has become a huge Mullins fan in the past year. I have a strong feeling Rich would have loved LoTHTC.

Finally, for anyone who has had their introduction to the Mountain Goats through Life of the World to Come and/or David's review, I would recommend as your next Mountain Goat stop the album The Sunset Tree. It is one of only two albums in which Darnielle got close to autobiographical (the other being "We Shall All Be Healed"). Sunset Tree is a collection of songs about growing up with an abusive stepfather. The concert sing-along favorite (and as close to a "hit" as JD has ever had) "This Year" is an irresistible "f*ck you, World!" anthem, told from the POV of a 17 year old who decides to have one day of freedom (though he knows he will pay with a beating) as a sort of eschatological foretaste of the freedom that will come when he turns 18 ("There'll be feasting and dancing in Jerusalem next year" ends the bridge).