“If you really want to conjure up a ghost/Cultivate a space for the things that hurt the most/Rake the sands until they surface/blind their tiny eyes.”
—The Mountain Goats, “Outer Scorpion Squadron”
Every single one of us wounded, every single one of us guided by some sort of power or thought or delusion or incision. It’s so easy to picture those Radiohead-video-like (or maybe it is REM?) films with so many people walking, practically marching around a cityscape, somehow saying something about the ghosts and shells that walk, but not really telling us what in the hell it all means, which is how it should be anyway, right?Don’t go telling me that it gets better. Sometimes I really do wish that I could enter anyone else’s mind, because I’d help them see that it’s going to be okay; or at the very least, that for none of us will things be okay, always. I consider thinking about it, but then I remember that there’s still bourbon to drink. Throw everything in the kitchen sink. Just tell us that you know, just tell us what you think.
When he sings like that, I can understand people just not liking his voice. Or rather, it makes sense that a particular kind of person would not be able to get past his voice, because any time when I think “What an absurd idea, to not be able to get used to this unusual but not terrible voice,” I think about Bjork, and how much I hate her voice, and how it ruins some music that has really, really interesting origins or at least some pretty interesting stuff going on. I hope Bjork and her family are doing well, because we haven’t heard anything form her in a long time, have we? It would be strange to find out that Bjork messed up her finances and now has to work at, well, whatever the Icelandic version of McDonald’s would be (I mean, I understand that McDonald’s is probably there, too, but there’s probably something more Icelandic than Mickey D’s.).
When John Darnielle brushes his teeth, he sneers, and dares you to brush yours too. He’s wearing a “Listen to Slayer” shirt when he flosses, and flips off the light switch, and he heads out to the yard to meditate, except meditation for John Darnielle actually means “practicing walking on coals while yelling with a guitar around his shoulder.” When you are John Darnielle, you do never do things without considering how it reflects on your legacy of recording on boom boxes, then recording with Scott Solter, then realizing that fuck, having a band with a bunch of BAD ASS musicians is something you could, y’know, accomplish. When John Darnielle and Chuck Norris fight, they do not fight, they collaborate on a ritual that conjures bad ass death metal fighting, which is not something that you actually know what it is at this point but believe you me, if you ever meet them in an alley, you will know what it is, that is, until your nose is broken and elbow bends that way elbows-are-not-supposed-to-bend, and then after that shit gets REAL. And while it gets real, John Darnielle sings “Ignition (Remix)” to you, when he is not cackling, because “Ignition (Remix)” is not just ridiculous, it is CALCULATEDLY RIDICULOUS, which makes sense because so is John Darnielle, at least in his ridiculous moments. I suggest that you do not fight this alley fight, and instead you pay homage to the Chuck Norris John Darnielle Consortium. The best way to do this is to practice your karate chops or your boxing speed bag while listening to Get Lonely, because that shit will fuck up your mind and your body pretty severely, and yea, the Mountain Goats Norrisortium will be glad that you paid tribute and you will be spared. Oh yes, you will. For now.