my life with the mountain goats
alright, so this isn’t rare or anything, but the story behind how i came to release it is pretty good. plus i’ll throw up a rare live recording just to spice things up.
anyway, my first ever non-cassette release was a 7″ compilation called cyanide guilt trip. in retrospect, a pretty decent single other than the horrible, horrible little jupiter (me). the irving klaw trio song is excellent. the milky wimpshake track was a better version than my favorite song off their tape i had. and the edeith presler song is maybe their best ever song. and then there’s the mountain goats song, “leaving home.” my opinion of this song is clouded by the fact i put it out at a time when the mountain goats were, far & away, my favorite band. so, i love it. but i do think it is a great song.
so the story goes that i was doing this 7″ compilation and of course wanted to see if i could land a song from darnielle. as was the case back then, you generally got in touch via dennis callaci/shrimper. i sent dennis a letter w/ another letter to pass on to john. i included my address, email, and phone # so he could get back to me, though i’ll be honest – i wasn’t sure i’d ever hear anything. well, much to my surprise maybe a week later, i get a phone call from john darnielle. again, i was 16 at the time and the mountain goats were, easily, my favorite band. this would have been like axl rose calling me when i was 10. but i think i kept my cool. heh. anyway, he said he had a song for my compilation, but didn’t have any cash to mail it, so if i could send him some stamps, he’d get it over to me. RULED. i sent stamps right away and a week later had “leaving home” in my mitts. we talked a few more times over the years and sort of/barely kept in touch. i saw the mountain goats live for the first time a few years after i stopped my label – 2000 maybe? – in norman, oklahoma. much to my surprise, peter hughes had joined him on bass permanently at that point so i get to hang out with them and reminisce a bit (i’d met peter and his now ex-wife a few years earlier out in la verne, CA. that’s another pretty good story for another day). the show was awesome, and then TMG went on to bigger and better things. it still makes me incredibly happy that they’ve/he’s become a bit of a household name thanks to a bunch of great records on 4AD. couldn’t happen to a better person.
so i promised a rare bit here and will shut-up. this is a live recording from 1999 of one of my all-time favorite mountain goats songs, “commandante.” such good lyrics.