There’s just so much heartache, the kind that gets you with its earnestness, that makes you overlook clunker lines because you’re like, “yeah man, yeah, it’s gonna be okay, you play that piano for REAL.”
I can remember you on stage and I can remember singing along and I can remember feeling good about just thinking that you all fucking rocked. Such a bonus, going for the headliner and being rocked by the opener. This happens in Portland, this thing where the band no one knows shows up at the Doug Fir, knows their shit, and just wins over the entire room.
We tripped over ourselves to wonder if you could really be that old. We said, yeah, yeah, it totally makes sense that your music be paired up with theirs. We watched your bassist fuckin rule that 70’s weirdoslap bassline and make it her own.
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.