1. Born in Black – Laura Jane Grace and The Devouring Mothers
“Dancing towards the abyss
You and me, swallowed up by a black hole
In perpetual concession, infinite distance, eternal displacement
I cannot escape the pull
Fall into the collapse, let the time stretch
Doorways to the unknown
Where hurt becomes love, and pain is happiness
Born in black
We’ve only ever wanted to go back”
2. Jenny – The Mountain Goats
On the second bike trip Big S told me that she gave me this song because it was about me. That I’m a pirate.
“How much better, how much better can my life get?
900 cubic centimeters of raw, whining power, no outstanding warrants for my arrest
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, the pirate’s life for me”
My memory is riding with Big S along the C&O trail, on the right ponds that made up the old lock system, on the left is a line of trees. This song is playing and every time after he says “pirate’s life for me”, I would ride frantically to the song weaving from side to side of the path, in and among the grass line with frantic excited energy. I am a pirate, a joker and a free spirit, apparently I forgot.
3. Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton – The Mountain Goats
“When you punish a person for dreaming his dreaming
Don’t expect him to thank or forgive you”
I mischievously enjoy singing this song when the lyrics “hail satan” come on. Whether I am walking or biking it is such a hoot to think someone would hear and misunderstand why I was saying it.
4. Southwood Plantation Road – The Mountain Goats
“I am not gonna lose you
We are gonna stay married
In this house like a Louisiana graveyard
Where nothing stays buried”
I think a lot of these songs were me still getting over and moving past feelings surrounding Clarity. I listened to the Tallahassee album hundreds of times over. I can’t say much more about this song other than the lyrics above.
5. No Children – The Mountain Goats
“I hope I cut myself shaving tomorrow
I hope it bleeds all day long
Our friends say it’s darkest before the sun rises
We’re pretty sure they’re all wrong
I hope it stays dark forever
I hope the worst isn’t over
And I hope you blink before I do
And I hope I never get sober”
Oh I sung this song with so much glee, everywhere I went. The lyrics to this song are so great and disheartening. This is a song I listened to in early summer. “I hope you die! I hope we both die”
6. Oceanographer’s Choice
“I don’t know why I’m so persuaded
That if I think things through
Long enough and hard enough
I’ll somehow get to you
But then you came in
And we locked eyes
You kicked the ashtray over as we came toward each other
Stubbed my cigarette out against the west wall
Quickly lit another”
My memory is of listening to this walking in the strip district. I tried my damnedest to walk off my demons of my past relationship.
7. Broom People – The Mountain Goats
I often didn’t feel too great and in early spring. I mostly just walked around a lot and didn’t talk to many folks about what had occurred just a year prior. The previous two years haunted me quite a lot on my walks and alone in my room. It’s why I watched so much tv, it was why I would drink (not that I drank very much I just normally don’t drink at all), and why I would walk.
Big S was where I could become a babbling brook. I’ll forever be thankful for that.
8. The Mess Inside – The Mountain Goats
“We went to New York City in September
Took the train out of Manhattan to the Grand Army stop
Found that bench we’d sat together on a thousand years ago
When I felt such love for you I thought my heart was gonna pop
I wanted you
To love me like you used to do”
I’m certain this song is about Clarity as well.
9. Black Coffee – Mal Blum
“I got so high that I forgot
That I’m no better than I seem”
I saw Mal Blum with Big S and their coworker. I didn’t know Mal’s new album but I got into it once hearing it live. This is the song that caught Big S the most when it was playing. It felt too close to home for both me and her. I definitely was a hot mess when I met Big S and was no better than I seemed.
10. You Or Your Memory – The Mountain Goats
“St. Joseph’s baby aspirin
Bartles and Jaymes
Or your memory”
Cheap high, cheap alcohol and complicated memories of his abusive step dad who just passed. The complicated memories and mourning is certainly what I relate to.
11. Painter In Your Pocket – Destroyer
“Where did you get that line?
Where did you get that look?
Where did you get that penchant for destruction in the way you talk?”
Big S is a big fan of this band and for some reason this song from the album caught my ear one time spotify was playing random music for me.
12. Dance Music – The Mountain Goats
“I’m listening to dance music
So nice and upbeat, am I wrong? “So this is what the volume nob is for.”
13. Dissatisfactions – Onsind
“There’s something wrong with me
I don’t think I’ll ever be okay
I just take it day by day (by day by day)”
Big S has been called inconsolable by several partners and friends.
I sung the lyrics above over and over again. While I was caught up in this song I was convinced that was true for me, that I don’t think I’ll ever be okay, I’m happy to say I feel like that is less true today.
14. This Year – The Mountain Goats
“I am going to make it through this year
If it kills me
I am going to make it though this year
If it kills me”
This song caught me one day when I was biking to Heart’s house where I was cat sitting. I biked as fast as I could to out run the feelings of this song. I don’t know where that feeling came from and I don’t really care to think about it but I biked so hard and fast trying to escape it.
15. Riches and Wonder – The Mountain Goats
“And I want to go home
But I am home”
Memory: I was cat sitting at Heart’s house for 2 weeks. I was there because the previous house I was living in was being sold so all of my things were shoved in a closet in a room that wasn’t mine, not to mention that Librarian was making me increasingly uncomfortable. At Heart’s house they have a “anti-inspirational quote board.” I wrote a play on these lyrics as my quote for the wall. “Sometimes you want to go home, Sometimes you are home, Sometimes you have no home.”
I wrote this because to celebrate my year anniversary of not having a home for a few weeks I once again didn’t have any place I could call home, luckily it wasn’t as traumatic as the last time due to the support of my friends.
16. Fall of the Star High School Running Back – The Mountain Goats
“But selling acid was a bad idea
And selling it to a cop was a worse one”
17. Going to Georgia – Laura Jane Grace (Mountain Goat’s Cover)
The house I was living at was being sold, I had to move all of my possessions from my room into another and then shove them into a closet. People came daily to look at my room, and everything in my room was up for examination or to be moved (and it always was moved). Every time I would leave my room I’d play this song, I was just looking for the cozy home and I had it in my old room but I had it no more. This lasted for a month.
I would alternate between John Darnielle’s version and Laura’s version. Laura’s clear loud voice cuts through me like a knife.
18. BA77 – Onsind
“Sick of ‘borders’, sick of ‘nations’, sick of racist immigration policy
Disregarded pleas for solidarity.”
This song is about Jimmy Mubenga an Angolan immigrant who was murdered by 3 guards from G4S security services while being deported from the UK.
19. New Year’s Eve – Mal Blum
“Hey, did you know you can check the time
Your call reaches the other line?
Hey, did you know that I know you lied?
So board it up and don’t even try”
I mostly understand this lyric but I really like the build up for when they sing these lyrics.
My memory from this song is this song playing on the Northside while I’m wandering around with Big S, and when the build up above happens I can’t help but sing along. Only to ask Big S if they know what that means. Resulting in Big S poking fun at me for being a sucker lyrics based on the way the song builds them up. Yes, that is true.