part of what draws me to the mountain goats is their level of empathy for fucked-up crazy people. like not necessarily sympathy or even compassion, but empathy – they have all these songs about people who are maybe doing really bad things! that don’t say what they’re doing is ok, but do say why they’re doing it, and aren’t a bunch of bullshit. no platitudes here. and then there’s… that thread about everyone’s favorite sad tmg song. it inevitably turned into a debate about what constitutes a sad tmg song, of course, mostly because literally every tmg song could be considered sad when read the right way.like i defy any of you to prove me wrong, for realsies. and that – that is most of why i love the mountain goats. because if there’s one common thread running through all of their work from the first cassette release to beat the champ, it’s sorrow. triumph too, yes, and joy, and rage, but also grief – even the spent gladiator songs on transcendental youth are a plea to amy to just stay alive, stay forever alive. these songs are all about the terrible grief of those we leave behind when we disappear or die, on some level, because sometimes, that grief is the only reason we choose to endure the hideous pain that is living. they’re about the balancing act of death and life, about choosing the action that inflicts the least pain, or the most maybe; they’re about whether or not one will die. if you asked me to choose one word to articulate the central theme of every mountain goats song ever written, i would choose the word loss. you know?
SEASON TWO Raise Hell, Brandi Carlile :: Sing Sing, The Bones of J.R. Jones :: Fire, Rachel Goodrich :: Like a Mountain, Timber Timbre :: Me and the Devil, Soap & Skin :: How Do You Ruin Me, Black Prairie :: Evening On the Ground (Lilith’s Song), Iron & Wine :: Devil’s Resting Place, Laura Marling
and we’ll live a long lifea playlist for Henry Sturges [x]
1. angel with a shotgun | the cab 2. weight of living, pt. ii | bastille 3. alone together | fall out boy 4. counting stars | onerepublic 5. maybe sprout wings | the mountain goats 6. pompeii | bastille 7. take me to church | hozier 8. shots | imagine dragons 9. how far we’ve come | matchbox twenty 10. ghosts that we knew | mumford and sons 11. centuries | fall out boy