Three Reasons to Like the Mountain Goats

First, the liner notes to Tallahassee include a quotation taken from A.W. Brian Simpson’s Cannibalism and the Common Law.

Second, John Darnielle is an insane genius of a lyricist in, loosely, the Bob Dylan or Stephin Merritt mode: able to wring pathos from the most unlikely of conceits. He’s particularly good at writing demented love songs. The chorus to “No Children” is “I hope you die / I hope we both die.” And yet it works.

Third, John is cool with fans taping his shows and sharing the recordings. That’s why I’m able to point you to a live version of “No Children.” If you like what you hear, you can check out the set that hooked me enough to buy an album … thereby exposing me to the liner notes, and completing the cycle.

This is a model that can work. A good sharing policy helps new people find out about your music. Good music makes fans out of them. And good packaging gives your new fans a reason to buy your actual albums.

I don’t know how media will work when the copyright convulsions have worked themselves out, but this particular experience encourages my hope that things may work out well.