March 6, 2002
8:00 AM   Subscribe

John Darnielle has written a song by song defense of Radiohead's amnesiac (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8/9,10,11), among other overly wordy and passionate music reviews, including many pleas for us all to learn to love doom/death metal. John is a prolific songwriter himself, under the name The Mountain Goats. All the TMG's music, including their newest, is recorded on the Panasonic RX-FT500, a cheap boom box with the gears audibly churning in the background as extra musician.
posted by malphigian (25 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes yes, the mountain goats are one of my favorite bands. But I'm hoping this is not a whats-your-fav-band quiz post, I think his writing stands on its own as interesting.
posted by malphigian at 8:03 AM on March 6, 2002

Wow. It would take months to go through that site. I'll bookmark this one for later.
posted by ColdChef at 8:09 AM on March 6, 2002

Lots of songs about "Going" to different places. But, my God! Blue text on black? No. Don't.
posted by ColdChef at 8:17 AM on March 6, 2002

That site does have some horrid design, but its worth mentioning its a fan site. Not only a lot of songs about Going to..., a lot of song about Romans, he used to have liner notes in latin, too -- i think he has a classics degree of some sort, but you never know.
posted by malphigian at 8:21 AM on March 6, 2002

Great link. Thanks, malphigian.
posted by andnbsp at 8:28 AM on March 6, 2002

Damn, that's good writing (and damn, that's nice presentation). Thanks, malphigian.

Wish he'd done Kid A too. The two should really be listened to in one long hit. While driving alone along a long, straight highway. Just as it gets dark. (Well, it worked for me.)

Other good music writing sites: The War Against Silence has been blazing the trail for years, and I Hate Music is a hoot (part of the freakytrigger empire).
posted by rory at 8:34 AM on March 6, 2002

The reviewer doesn't mention (unless i fell asleep and missed it) that Radiohead have been actively trying to kill their "radiohead" brand with kid a and amnesiac.

They read a little too much "no logo" and look what happened.

I have all of radiohead's stuff and these two get very very little airplay on my headphones. Personally I wish they would remember how to play their guitars.
posted by Spoon at 8:44 AM on March 6, 2002

I have all of radiohead's stuff and these two get very very much airplay on mine. *shrug*

Anyone else have any favourite music writing sites (solo, collaborative, zine etc)?
posted by rory at 8:57 AM on March 6, 2002

I Love Music
posted by skwm at 9:40 AM on March 6, 2002

Personally I wish they would remember how to play their guitars.

another victim of reading the music press instead of actually listening. it appalled me to read critics saying that they'd abandoned guitars (what the hell are those noises in optimistic, knives out, how to disappear etc etc? eggwhisks?).
a) no they haven't, and b) so what even if they had? are they legally obliged to only use guitars? if the songs are as moving and poignant as they are, then i don't care if they're farted out.

anyway. great site, malphigian - i'll be going back there and checking more out when i get chance.
posted by nylon at 9:58 AM on March 6, 2002

Was anybody else suprised at how malevolent and scary the author thought the album was? Amnesiac always had a vaguely uneasy feeling running through it (like all Radiohead's work) but I've never thought of it as particularly hellish.

I'll probably listen to the album differently from here on out, though. I wish there were more music journalists who wrote like this, analyzing the narrative qualities of an album in addition to its music. Maybe there just aren't enough albums that actually tell good stories to warrant this.
posted by andnbsp at 9:59 AM on March 6, 2002

Radiohead needs defending?

posted by dogmatic at 10:42 AM on March 6, 2002

Am I the only one who has found these two records to make a lot more sense post 9/11? I mean I have been a big Radiohead fan since the Bends came out and I like these records but I liked 'Planet Telex" more until a few days after the crashes... i popped in Amnesiac and went out to walk around NYC and it just seemed so prophetic and powerful in light of everything that was going on.
posted by n9 at 12:05 PM on March 6, 2002

Yep. Post 9/11, I listened to Amnesiac and Surfer Rosa/Come On Pilgrim, and drove like a fuckin' maniac. It felt like I was in a bumper car to hell. When Isla de Encanta came on my Civic hit 110mph by itself.
posted by maschnitz at 12:58 PM on March 6, 2002

The Mountain Goats have a new album out? Goddammit, nobody told me! I need to be on the Mountain Goats New Album Paging Service, dammit! And here I was thinking I was such a good fanboy because I found a copy of Martial Arts Weekend. Sob sob sob!
posted by jacobm at 1:00 PM on March 6, 2002

What about the good bands, like Toto?
posted by dong_resin at 1:28 PM on March 6, 2002

another victim of reading the music press instead of actually listening

I spend all my time listening and very little time reading the music press. I'm not asking you to agree with me. I'm telling you that I prefer Pablo Honey and The Bends and the guitar playing contained within.

Carry on.
posted by Spoon at 2:30 PM on March 6, 2002

that's funny, maschnitz -- i can remember getting my 81 civic to hit 100mph listening to the same record... in 1989!
posted by n9 at 3:01 PM on March 6, 2002

Of all the "death/doom" metal bands to write about, he chooses Eyehategod? They always struck me as death metal for people who don't like metal. I applaud the sentiment(and the writing is good but perhaps he'd convince more people if he started with Nile, Nevermore, Neurosis , or Dying Fetus.
These bands make for a much better introduction to the genre , IMHO.
posted by jonmc at 4:06 PM on March 6, 2002

hold the line dong resin, hold the line.
posted by quonsar at 4:06 PM on March 6, 2002

Sirs: The Mountain Goats certainly do have a new album out. And Mr. Darnielle is one half of The Extra Glenns, a rather poppy duo with excellent songwriting, as one would suspect. He lives here in Ames, IA and will be playing here next Monday. He's got a shortish tour going on now. Check him out if you get the chance.
posted by Rockames at 6:19 PM on March 6, 2002

I wasn't keen on this bloke's writing. He lost me as soon as he accused me (and pretty much every other Radiohead fan) of being told what we like to listen to. I'm with you Spoon. OK Computer and The Bends were the band's peak. This guy needs to recognise that different people have different tastes in music.

Is Thom Yorke a genius or in severe emotional distress? I vote the latter.
posted by salmacis at 1:05 AM on March 7, 2002

Jonmc: the eyehategod piece is just his latest; he's written about death metal many times. Dig through the archives.
posted by jacobm at 7:33 AM on March 7, 2002

I don't really think of Eyehategod as death metal. They're much more on the sludge/doom side. It was a nicely written appeal for those who aren't usually into that genre. I'm always trying to get people into similar bands, but a lot of folks can't get past the fact that metal is not just for redneck teenagers...
posted by ry at 3:18 PM on March 7, 2002

genius in severe emotional distress.
posted by Spoon at 3:39 PM on March 7, 2002

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