So it's not every day that your favorite band puts out a new album, and the real truth is that I am typically pretty on top of these things in the manner of anybody who grew up claiming that music changed his life and is now thirty-one and would still probably hold on to this fact. So it was strange to the point of feeling disconcerting when I got the Insound newsletter today and it mentioned that yes, that crazy* bible-themed new Mountain Goats album, The Life of the World to Come, came out today.
Needless to say I have never been more on time as far as leaving for lunch break in my life.
I got even more good news when I was paying for the album and the clerk***, pointed out, “so hey, you actually just bought yourself the limited edition purple vinyl copy. There are only 777 of them” at this point flipping it over to show me the limited edition number, “and we basically just decided to sell them to the first five people.”
So tonight was a night I play the Warcraft III with friends, and though I was hoping I could listen to this album during that game playing, too many sound effects threatened to destroy that aural soup, not to mention making my first listen-through wholly unremarkable and annoying. So I gave that up.
But listening while doing chores? Yea, this decision was made, verily. And it was good, though the album needs volume, and that I couldn’t fully embrace, due to apartment living and how late it already had gotten.
I can tell you this, as I hit the middle of my second listen through: the first track is so hushed I thought to myself, “oh, I wonder if he’s going back to the boombox basics, but with more tracks, on this one?” It reminded me of the quietness of Get Lonely, but more so. The album does definitely get louder, and add more sound, but there's certainly no “Lovecraft in Brooklyn” or Palmcorder Yajna" on this album (although really would you expect a repeat of those songs, lightning in a bottle, etc.,, anyway, right?). Yet.
I’m excited about listening to this album more. My goal is to listen to nothing else this week (excepting podcasts, possibly), in the interest of full immersion. Lets hope it doesn’t hurt me too much--after all, Darnielle’s lyrics certainly don’t prettify the room (or rather, if they do, it’s a tragic kind of pretty, the last photo taken of the prom couple before the prom king drunkenly drives his car into a tree)--but y’know. I’ll be careful.
One last thought: I love that the convention of naming songs after bible verses means that it looks like we are, say, quoting Isaiah back to the Mount Goats (see below). Amusing, that. In a way, we can now say that the Mountain Goats are God.
“I won’t get better, but someday I’ll be free,”
“Isaiah 45:23,” The Mountain Goats
*not actually crazy, just an unconventional song-naming scheme**
**i mean really, I listened to Petra as a kid, and perhaps singing "sometimes God's children should be seen an not heard" at a concert is the actual crazy thing
*** who once said “enjoy your Kurt Vile album” to me, as if I was on the inside when it came to Kurt Vile, when in reality I just thought Vile sounded kinda neat when I heard the sound clips of the album, and it came out on Mexican Summer, a label who makes gorgeous looking and sometimes gorgeous sounding albums****
***yeah so I don’t know that I have even listened to tat Kurt Vile album even once*****
*****but hooray for cred, right?