listening to every mountain goats album in order of how cool their titles are

yeahhhh, this one is exactly what it says on the tin. now, i think that it's important to clarify: i'm cheating a little here. i already listened to all hail west texas and tallahassee, so i'm excluding see america right from the eps and singles. (i liked west texas a good bit; my thoughts on tallahassee may be inferred.) i've put beat the champ in the number 2 spot because i've heard some REALLY good things about it. i also intend to work my way through the alpha couple chronology separately, but when possible, i will be listening to live recordings; i think that mtn goats songs sound better that way

albums proper

  1. in league with dragons
  2. beat the champ
  3. the coroner's gambit
  4. getting into knives
  5. dark in here
  6. all eternals deck
  7. heretic pride
  8. the sunset tree
  9. we all shall be healed
  10. the life of the world to come
  11. transcendental youth
  12. get lonely
  13. goths
  14. full force galesburg
  15. nothing for juice
  16. zopilote machine
  17. songs for pierre chuvin
  18. sweden

eps and cassettes

  1. hex of infinite binding
  2. marsh witch visions
  3. songs about fire
  4. sentries in the ambush
  5. isopanisad radio hour
  6. blood capsules
  7. devil in the shortwave
  8. satanic messiah
  9. nine black poppies
  10. songs for petronius
  11. welcome to passaic
  12. philyra
  13. babylon springs
  14. beautiful rat sunset (hes right, rats ARE beautiful.)
  15. who you are
  16. letter from belgium
  17. dilaudid
  18. chile de arbol
  19. palmcorder yajna
  20. new asian cinema
  21. on juhu beach
  22. songs for peter hughes
  23. jam eater blues

in league with dragons

First one down, I don’t feel like counting how many there are to go!

Okay, so, I know I probably shouldn’t have listened to two of the most loved albums and then immediately the one that (presumably) made Kyle B. Arbour quit updating his site, buuuuut hey. We all make some judgement errors, and this one did have the most kickass title. It was also very hit or miss for me.

I feel that Darnielle’s voice is best accompanied by acoustic instruments, and the weird 80s-pop-country thing this had going on in places did NOT do it for me. The jank in his voice, the limited instrumentation, and/or the recording quality of the older stuff is charming, and none is present here. It’s a little too smooth musically, y’know? But I could just be all dad-rock’d out from watching a James Taylor concert on TV with my mom today.

In concept, I was so ready to love it! And I did for bits n pieces tbh. I haven’t had the opportunity to talk about it here yet, but I am a seasoned Dungeons and Dragons player and Dungeon Master. So obviously, In League with Dragons was my favorite. Yeah, sure, whatever, song with a steel guitar solo about some kid being best friends with with an actual literal dragon. Okay. We can go with that. Exactly the kind of insane, specific “this was so clearly made for the love of the game” kinda stuff I like. And you bet your ass that Antidote for Strychnine went RIGHT into my depressed mad scientist OC playlist.

Of course, Possum by Night was also a slam dunk with me. The dragon at the top of this website, Lightseeker, actually isn’t my primary sona - it’s Juniper the possum. There is legit traumatic backstory behind why I love and identify with possums so much and this song Gets It. Just being a strange, unloved, fucked up little creature, making their way through life, perfectly content with that. GOD, it’s perfect.

But, of course, not everything was a hit. Most of it just didn’t work for me. Passaic 1975 was… music, and the title of Clemency for the Wizard King got my hopes up for something different from what it brought to the table. Sicilian Crest is pretty cool as an execution of concept, but it’s not something I’d listen to casually. “This is really cool conceptually but I didn’t vibe with it” is something I found myself thinking a lot throughout, actually. I could see all this being someone’s cup of tea, but it’s not mine.

Overall, a swing and (largely) a miss. Below Tallahassee and Wexas. Next up will be Beat the Champ!