Miscellaneous online releases

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With enough frequency that these songs deserve their own category, John sometimes offers music through the Mountain Goats forums, Twitter, William Caxton Fan Club, and other similar locations. Songs for whom this was the primary vehicle of release and which were not released as part of a collection are found here and listed chronologically; songs released in collections can be found at their respective pages, namely, Seven for Australia, Three for Mike G, and Hospicio de Huerfanos.

Multiple demos have been released online, namely, Daniel 12:8 (third), Michael Myers Resplendent, No Children, Surrounded, and Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back to Leeds. Additionally, the demo for Emerging appeared online without known origin (please email me if you know). Similarly, several live tracks have been given out online, including Down to the Ark, The Smokey Life (a Leonard Cohen cover), and others. Information about these tracks are in the pages dedicated to their corresponding releases or on the unreleased page. This page is just for tracks which have studio, boombox, or other definitive recordings released online. The preorder demos from Heretic Pride, along with the online demo for Michael Myers Resplendent, are often referred to collectively as Songs for Vamsidasa Babaji, due to their album tags. This is discussed further within Heretic Pride.

Often these have been offered with a request that the downloader contribute to a charity. This website similarly requests that if you obtain a copy of these songs, or enjoy these annotations, donate. They're good causes.

Table of contents

All Devils Here Now 1

On humid evenings you have heard
Your neighbors making noises that you
Wonder for a while about and then
Put off investigating
Shrieks and squeals and high-pitched whines
And we
We are your neighbors

In hazy afternoons you've watched your
Neighbors come and go and maybe
Stay away a day or two
And then return appearing worse for wear
Scratched up and hollow-eyed
You tried
Your best to ignore us

You see us at the grocery store
You wonder what we're shopping for
We lean against the Thermador 2
Eyes fixed firmly on the floor
Pomona's 3 big as all outdoors
And we
We are your neighbors

The Big Unit 4 5

I sunk all of my money into Swiss gold 6
And I watched the market slide
And I stood on the edge of the Pacific and watched the
Hypodermic needles coming in with the tide
There are two guys just outside of Chicago
Looking for me tonight
But Randy Johnson throws a baseball 97 miles an hour 5
And I'm gonna be all right

I had a fully loaded junk bond portfolio 7 that
Didn't work out like it was supposed to
There's a mountain of money in the bond market
That I can't seem to get close to
I've been headed down the road to ruin
The end is nowhere in sight
But Randy Johnson throws a baseball 97 miles an hour
And I'm gonna be all right

Bride 8 9 10

"One, two, three, and."

Designed for one another
We lie tied our slabs
While the same electricity that gave us life
Crackles through the lab

And I am too dumb
To tell you how I feel
Who will know, who will tell anyone
That what we had was real

We belong dead 11
We belong dead

So I try and try to focus
To say what I want to say
But it's such hard work
And we don't have all day

Our efforts won't add up
To any great amount
Get one chance to make your gesture down here
I want to make mine count

We belong dead
We belong dead
We belong dead
We belong dead

Counting Song for Bitter Children 12

"Mmkay, let's try this."

One, two
I don't love you
Three, four

One, three
Stay away from me
Five, seven
Good children get nothing

Na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na

One, two, two and a half
Stick around here, don't make me laugh
Two and half, three, four point five
A new day's dawning and my hour's arrived

One, two
I got things to do
One, three 13
I got people to see, I got people that want to see me

Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na

Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na

For the Krishnacore Bands 14 15 16 17

"This is, uh, For the Krishnacore Bands. One, two, three, and."

You stuck by the scene, but did the scene stick by you
In a few cases, yes
Maybe in one or two

But you routinely got called out
By Maximum Rocknroll 18
And you weren't ever gonna fit in
At the Fireside Bowl 19

And back in the day, punks
Practically declaring war
As if there were anything
More orthodox than hardcore 20
As if there were anything more orthodox than hardcore

You stuck to your guns when you were running out of ammo
Even on packaged tours 21
Supporting metalcore 22 guys in camo

You find more common threads than you'd expect to in these places
Always see the holy name
Light up a few new faces

And back in the day, punks
Still with plenty of shit to say
Covertly cashing in
On dead stock of your early demos on eBay

But where were they on the night you first shaved your head
Drinking beer in a field someplace with all creation overhead
And where were they when the locals were ganging up on you
Lining up to join some nearly identical crew

You stuck it out for several years or maybe you moved on
Nobody's really sure
Where Jayadvaita's 23 gone

Some say he's a stoner now
Creeper Dave swears that's true 24
But when you point one finger at the Krishna punks
I've got two fingers up for you 25

And back in the day, punks
Singing the same old song
About the kids who brought the banquet to the matinee
But preached just a little too long
Yeah, they preached just a little too long

From TG&Y 26 27 28

"But — let me know when to go." "It's rolling." "OK."

Out behind the Safeway
Just before the flood
Huffed 29 some cans of spray paint
And began to vomit blood

One more night in this town's
Gonna break me I just know
Hang on to your dreams
'Til someone makes you let them go

Stumble on down Indian Hill 30
Tail between my legs
Sick taste in my mouth
Folgers crystals 31 and hard-boiled eggs

If I can't run away tonight
I don't know what I'll do
Hang on to your dreams
'Til someone beats them out of you

Do what
You have to do
Go where you have to go
When the time comes to loosen up your grip
You'll know

Called my friend in New York
Three thousand miles away 32
Halfway through her metamorphosis
Nothing I could say

Hoard my small resentments
Like rare and priceless gems
Hang on to your dreams
Until there's nothing left of them

Going Back to California 33 34 35

"Two, three, and."

Parked by a mansion with an airstrip
Sun rising up so crisp and bright
Old dudes holed up in their bunkers
Chasing down the light

Faster than a speeding bullet
Smart as a whip
Dead in a parking lot in Leesburg 36
This is it

Going back to California 37
Going back to California

Burned up jewelry at the inquest
Cold now to the touch 38
Last time I ever saw him
He told me how I drink too much 39

Feel like I'm gonna crumble
What will become of us
Take two weeks to think about it
Get right back on the bus 40

Feel so mad, so afraid
Of the road up ahead
Going back to California
Going back to California

Power in a Union 41 42 43

There is power in a factory
There is power in the land
There is power in the hand of the worker
But it all amounts to nothing
If together we don't stand
Though there is power in a union

Now the lessons of the past
Were all learned with workers' blood
The mistakes of the bosses we must pay for
From the cities and the farmlands
To the factories full of mud
War has always been the bosses' way, sir

The union forever
Defending our rights
Down with the black leg
All workers unite
With our brothers and our sisters
From many far-off lands
Oh, there is power in a union

Now I long for the morning
When they all realize
Brutality and unjust laws cannot defeat us
But who'll defend the worker
Who cannot organize
When the bosses send their lackeys, sir, to cheat us

Money speaks for money
The devil for his own
Who'll come to speak for
The skin and the bone
What a comfort to the widow and a light to the child
Oh, there is power in a union

The union forever
Defending our rights
Down with the black leg
All workers unite
With our brothers and our sisters
Together we all stand
Oh, there is power in a union

"Stay strong, Wisconsin, the Mountain Goats and every musician I know are with you."

Short Song for Justin Bieber and His Paparazzi 44 45

Now on the one hand, it's hard to feel sorry for the very rich
You could record an album of Mountain Goats covers and torpedo your career overnight
You chose this life

But on the other hand, even a rich guy needs some space
And should be able to get to his car without people all up in his face
And getting on his case

You don't have to leave Justin alone
You don't have to leave Justin alone
But don't be an asshole

Are there bigger problems in the world, yes
Abortion's legal, but not everybody has access
Try not to be an asshole
Try not to be an asshole

Sign of the Crow 2 46 47 48

These roses are the pleasures of the flesh
These ones here they are the pleasures of the spirit
And tucked behind a pornographic picture in a frame
The troops found the pierced heart and they all gathered near it 48

And the dust clouds bloomed in the dark
And the face gazed up from the frame
Room full of French troops in a Franciscan abbey 49
History does not recall their names

Of the several things that you have to do today
You're gonna regret one
This generation asks for a sign
It isn't gonna get one 50

Well, Berthe 48 took the pictures to the priest
The priest fell on his face upon the floor
And the story lived on for a decade or two
But no one really knows it anymore

But the Blessed Heart is seen in the airbrush
And the Blessed Heart is beating on the wind
And the bodies of the faithful stacked by dozens by the roadsides
Stripped and scourged and skinned

Of the several things that you have to do today
You're gonna regret one
This generation asks for a sign
It isn't gonna get one

Song for Sasha Banks 51 52

We don't get cable in Belle Plaine 53
But on Thursday night there's matches on TV
Get kicked out of the living room for watching
My brother and me
My brother and me

Keep watching with the lights out back in his room
Chris Jericho 54 starts tearing up the set
I want to do right by my brother 55
I want to do right by this feeling in my gut

Everybody's got
Their own spot
Find mine
In 64 point type atop the top line
Up on the top line

Head off to camp in Boston
Come up through the independence
Those who would stand between me and my final destination
Get torched inside the fire of my transcendence

California, Minnesota, Massachusetts
They can tell I'm coming up by the expression on my face
I'm gonna make a lot of money
Everyone I love is gonna have their own safe place

Everybody's got
Their own spot
Find mine
In 64 point type atop the top line
Up on the top line

Thucydides II – 58 56 57

One, two, three, and

Red face at noon
Strip naked we can't get free
And doubling over in the street
Dozens just like me 58

Spreading like a rumor
Spreading like a rumor

And the doctors come traveling house to house
And they visit the sick each day
Sit with them there until they're gone
Die quicker that way 59
Save who they can save
On their way down to the grave

Spreading like a rumor
Spreading like a rumor

Run to the altars, beg for shade 60
Take to the high sea thousand strong 61
Hang on to your goodness while you can 60
Sweat it out all night long
And listen to the old melody
As it comes to me on a high wind down from Ethiopia 62
On a high wind down from Ethiopia
On a high wind down from Ethiopia
On a high wind down from Ethiopia

Tyler Lambert's Grave 63 64 65

"Another take of that."

Steal last across the country
Under moonlight soft and wet
And let the dead of night hide you
From things you can't forget
Spend daylight in dark tunnels
Where the demons rave
One day closer every day
To Tyler Lambert's grave

Shoplift when you have to
Keep your visor low 66
If your hunger shames you
Never let them know 67
Feel your sadness lifting
Ride it like a wave
It sets you gently down beside
Tyler Lambert's grave

Fall into a pattern
Never get unstuck
Anyone you can't relate
Should thank God for his luck

Young man in a yellow tie
Hair gel in his hair
No context for the picture
Just kind of standing there 68
Try to step outside the shadow
Of your great catastrophe
Dream all night of freedom
Never wake up free

The Ultimate Jedi Who Wastes All the Other Jedi and Eats Their Bones 69

"Well, this here is The Ultimate Jedi Who Wastes All the Other Jedi and Eats Their Bones."
"Yes. By the Mountain Goats. It's from Star Wars, the new one, it's not in theaters yet. Two, three, four."

Stay true to the path, young Jedi 70
Cleave to the precepts you've been given
Remember those who went before and cleared a way for you
Let your deeds give hope and comfort to the living
Let your deeds give hope and comfort to the living

Do your best in city or in swampland
Peace over anger, honor over hate
At the end of all your days, one Jedi waits for you
With the dust of Jedi bones piled high like parsnips on his plate
With the dust of Jedi bones piled up like parsnips on his plate

Specifically just their bones
All the soft parts you can keep
It's the bones that have the calcium, so he says
The long feast will be filmed for mass consumption
The cameras Rian's 71 got these days are unimaginably high-res

Despair not for the end that waits for you
Fear not the fire in which your flesh must burn
All the Jedi from all the planets in this putrid universe
Get eaten by this last one, and now it's your turn
They get eaten by this last one, and now it's your turn

Bones, bones, bones, bones, bones 72
Bones, bones, bones, bones, bones
The ultimate Jedi who wastes all the other Jedi has eaten up all their bones
All their bones, bones, bones, bones, bones

Who You Are 73 74

I know your world is full
Of people who have nothing
Who have nothing to give
Who have nothing to give

I know everyone's
Trying to sell you the illusion
That keeps them in hell
That keeps them down in hell

I'm stuck in my confusion
But I know that you'll go far
You're chased by the horizon
Because you know who you are

Hope you remember who you are
Remember who you are

I know they only see you
As someone they can use
As someone they can pick or choose
And then blame you when they lose

I don't want to be a mistake
That only falls off of your radar
You can't afford a mistake
Because you know who you are

Hope you remember who you are
Remember who you are

All I can give you
Is one of my stupid songs
and I know it's not the real thing
Wish I could give you the real thing

I'm lost in the sky 75
But I would bet upon your star
You're alone in this life
Unless you know who you are

I hope you remember who you are
You gotta remember who you are
Remember who you are

With Their Flesh, He'll Create 76 77 78

"One, two. One, two, three, and."

God itself, for him has always been
A stupid, grotesque person worthless to believe in
With the help of his sick morbidous studies
He denied God's existence with demented theories

Well, he could revive, immortalize
The coldest flesh now dead for a while
Limbs of those forgotten structures his creation
Which now awaits the omnious resurrection

With their flesh, he'll create
Yeah, with their flesh, he'll create

The light of life, which through his syringe glows
Soon, in the veins the soul will flow
Injections in a body once deceased, reanimates
The flesh-made puzzle soon will start to breathe, regenerate

Removing stiffness in every limb
Metabolism of life has started from within
And terrified, he beholds the rise of his creation
Guided by an artificial soul, zombified, uncontrolled

'Cause with their flesh, he'll create
Yeah, with their flesh, he'll create 79

You & Me & a High Balcony 80 81

"Two, three, four."

Clean slate
Warm weather
They should tie
Our ankles both together

Seagulls calling
To one another
If a stranger should ask you
You can tell him I'm your brother

Lean into me, press real hard
I got no good reasons left
Not to let down my guard
I love your kiss
But it's going to come
Down to this

You and me and a high balcony
And professional wrestling on pay-per-view 82
Windows and light
And the radio blaring all night
And the truth slowing dawning
On me and then on you

Let's pretend
We're all alone
Let's unplug the

Our scale
Doesn't slide
Here comes tonight
Hey, open wide

Don't blink
Don't try too hard not too
Just rehearse the alibis
Your father taught you
See the plastic coating on the windows blister
Anybody asks you, tell 'em you're my sister, yeah
You and me and a table set for three
Just in case our assassin should finally come through
Anhydrous and matches, 83 why don't we
Cook up two more batches
With the time closing in
On me and then on you


  1. Released by John on Twitter on the occasion of reaching 40,000 followers:

    "1/3 OK well I hit 40 thousand followers a few weeks back but I was on tour & busy with stuff so this had to wait

    "2/3 this is from a while back: it shares psychic & geographic space with all the other stuff I was writing about in 2002 & 2003

    "3/3 so yeah, here's an old demo. the bugs you hear are actual Iowa bugs outside the window where I was recording.Enjoy! mountain-goats.com/songs/alldevil..."

    Mountain Goats Twitter, (1), (2), (3), July 5, 2012, retrieved December 7, 2013.

    My best guess is that this song falls into similar cycles as those in We Shall All Be Healed, however, without more information, I hesistate to call it an outtake.

    John encoded the metadata to read "Estimated Quantity of Devils" for the album and identified the genre as "Spirituality". 

  2. Thermador is a brand of home appliances, particularly ranges and refrigerators. 

  3. Pomona is a city in Los Angeles County near where John grew up. Pomona is also the name of one of the Claremont Colleges; John attended Pitzer, one member of the consortium. 

  4. Released by John to support p:ear, a Portland-based organization dedicated to providing art education to homeless youth. John asked for a donation to download the song; please donate to p:ear before downloading this song. As he posted on the forums (and there is a longer story):

    well, here's the deal. even though I got all kinds of news coming up and should probably focus on that, I got an entreaty today from p:ear, and it moved me in my spirit. some of you know that when I lived in portland I hung with the street kids. now there is an organization that helps out the kids who were my people back then & who will always be my people in my heart. I have more love for this organization than I can even tell you.

    they need to raise a bunch of money & I would like you to give them some. I am here linking one old song. I am requesting that everybody who grabs it give p:ear some money. five bucks, ten bucks, twenty bucks, whatever. as much as you can. I had a much bigger post here but now it's smaller! long story. anyway.

    Mountain Goats forums, let's try that again, September 8, 2009, retrieved December 7, 2013.

    The album is tagged as "realness 4-pak". 

  5. Randy Johnson, nicknamed "The Big Unit" due to his immense height, was a five-time Cy Young Award winning Major League Baseball pitcher famous for his domineering fastballs that could exceed 100 miles per hour.  2

  6. As a consequence of strong banking secrecy laws, Swiss banking has become notorious as a site for international investment to avoid taxation or launder money

  7. A junk bond is a poorly-rated type of debt, paying out at a higher rate but with an increased risk of default. 

  8. John describes this as being an outtake from The Life of the World to Come, although it shares much more thematically with All Eternals Deck. He offered it on the forums because he enjoyed it and wanted it to be heard:

    Yeah all right you guys here is the deal. Next album is nearly done but I wrote this one song today that won't really fit on it - why that's so will be clear when the next album comes out. (Sometime in the fall, we think.) Thought it was a pretty decent song, a really minor half-done demo but I really like the overall feeling, so I figured I'd just let you have it. It's about the Bride of Frankenstein. If you haven't seen it, don't be boring and look it up on Wikipedia or whatever, just get it & see it, it's one of the all-timers anyway and you will love it.

    New people are advised that acceptance of free stuff from me means you swear, to God & on your family and/or your best friend's health & safety, not to later on be the sort of insufferable blowhard who runs around insisting that the demos that didn't make the album were better than the songs that did. Because: no, they weren't. Saying stuff like that seems to be a good way to score scene points, but if you accept this song, you sacrifice your claim to those particular type of scene points. These conditions apply whether you grab the file from this board or wherever else so don't even try to duck me, because you cannot duck me, the ring only has four corners and I will find you in one of them.

    Mountain Goats forums, new song, May 25, 2009, retrieved December 7, 2013.

    "This — I always liked this song, so I put it on the internet once and then forgot about it. It's about the Bride of Frankenstein." — Kaufman Center Ecstatic Music Fest, New York, March 24, 2012 

  9. Bride is part of the informal series of outtakes

  10. Bride of Frankenstein is the 1935 sequel to the 1931 film adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein. In the film, Henry Frankenstein attempts to improve upon his creation, making a second monster to be a partner to the first. Upon ressurection, the Bride rejects the Monster. Devastated, the Monster orders Frankenstein to leave, killing himself, the Bride, Dr. Pretorius, and destroying the laboratory once they flee. 

  11. These are the Monster's exact words to Frankenstein before killing himself and the Bride by destroying the laboratory. 

  12. Released on the forums during a long, excited discussion about the best Mountain Goats lines. Stingray recalled the opening lines from the fragment played on the 1998 Blackwatch Pub bootleg and a discussion about the song ensued. John jumped in, trying to remember the rest of the song, and ended up recording the song again and posting the track:

    ok this was such an interesting exercise in experimenting with completely-vanished memory that I went ahead and spent twenty hard-concentrating minutes trying to remember the song (it doesn't hurt that it contains its own mnemonics) and I got all the lines - the only one I'm not entirley confident about are the last two numbers sung, I feel like they were maybe "five/nine" or something but I can't find anything that quite rings right. The rest of them I'm quite certain are the lyrics to this lost song which when I first wrote it I was gonna put as the lead song on a 7" but I just never got around to it. So anyway here is "Counting Song for Bitter Children"

    Song is circa '94 I think. Maybe earlier. This recording is circa half an hour ago.

    when the link expires it's somebody else's job to reup it not mine, I hereby wash my hands of it

    Mountain Goats forums, most unforgettable forgotten tmg phrases (page 4), October 28, 2007, retrieved December 7, 2013.

    The song's album is tagged as "Synaptic Circuits De-luxe". 

  13. John clarifies later in the thread that this should actually go "One, two / I got things to do / Three fours / I got people to see, I got people that want to see me". Mountain Goats forums, most unforgettable forgotten tmg phrases (page 5), October 30, 2007, retrieved December 7, 2013. 

  14. Released on the Mountain Goats mailing list, the Mountain Goats Almanac and Star Chart, on July 24, 2017, in its inaugural posting. The newsletter otherwise mostly discussed the recent tour and upcoming shows.

    Welcome intrepid travelers all to the Mountain Goats Almanac and Star Chart, formerly dba Psychic Surgery Methods & Practices Monthly. The terms of the settlement stipulate that we desist entirely, their words not mine, from our tradition of spotlighting the best & brightest among the new crop of psychic surgeons, so if you hear anything about Dr. Peter McGrath – who, as seen in grainy footage uploaded anonymously to YouTube, removed an entire live chicken from a patient's abdomen last month, thereby calling into question the entire mechanistic basis of modern science – well, you didn't hear it from us. And now: the forecast!

    The Present.

    THANK YOU, ALL OF YOU, FOR MAKING THE FIRST HALF OF OUR YEAR SO MUCH FUN. We went back to Australia; we toured from Texas to the West Coast, ending in Seattle; we then went out with Jason Isbell and played some big rooms from New York to Austin, including one venue that shared a parking lot with both a casino and a water park. (The casino had no craps tables, so John was mad that day.) Along the way we did a few headlining shows in Providence & Madison & Des Moines & Bloomington, Illinois. During our opening set every night, it was clear that a number of our own people had come out every night to cheer us on, and that made us feel like a million bucks; I want to show special love to the Mountain Goats Massive of Austin, whose numbers were so hardcore & indeed that hardcore that Jason mentioned it when we were saying our goodbyes out on Willie's Porch at ACL. Opening tours can be a little rough, because, as the opener, you're the last thing standing in between a lot of the crowd & the band they came to see; we felt so proud & honored to see y'all turning up in big numbers, and it made us play better, jump higher, and helped me condense my usually-lengthy song intros into hyperspeed hermetic poems.

    WE ARE HOME FOR NOW. I'm always working on new stuff, most of which is, of course, a more closely guarded secret than the location of the Prophecy Hammer, about which I have already said too much. I did try to write a song in 5/8 during the Isbell tour. Let me tell you right now that it's very hard to lock into the vibe of 5/8, but efforts persist. I still owe y'all the Marsh Witch Visions tracks, and they'll be uploaded somewhere fairly soon, hopefully during this brief home-time. Much of that home-time, however, will be spend marveling at the deeply esoteric Gown Control mixes [The Gown Control Mixes] and sitting down with Joseph Fink to work on I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats, which is the new podcast from Night Vale Presents. It will involve a whole host of other artists covering our songs & I'll be talking with Joseph about the songs & albums, disinterring old notebooks to see which terrible lines got swapped out for better ones, getting distracted by things on my bookshelves and talking about those instead, etc. We're taping stuff about All Hail West Texas this week; the premiere of said podcast will be sometime in in the rather near but not immediate time known generally as...

    The Future.

    We're heading back out on tour! Most of you probably already know this, but if you don't, tickets are on sale now. Matt Douglas and I are working hard to put together our first duo tour of England (along with dates in Holland, Sweden, Denmark & Norway) - you can get a preliminary idea of how those shows will look & sound like here and here and here or even here, I have to say I am super psyched about what Matt & I do as a duo - it's a fairly new look and there's so much to explore.

    Beyond all this there's a bunch of other stuff that hasn't been announced yet, because "swim, shark, or float" remains my motto day & night, and I'd get a tattoo of it if I could only settle on which kind of shark. This newsletter is long; we appreciate your time & by way of thanking you all for the fantastic spring & early summer you gave us, here's a personal favorite song I wrote earlier this year, exclusive to subscribers of this newsletter until some joker uploads it to YouTube but y'all get it first – who knows if or when it'll ever see daylight in any other form. It furthers my recent interest in bridges that modulates and I think also features one of the kids chiming in at some point. See you all soon! P.S. I should say for the record that there is no Dr. McGrath, he's a fictional conceit, any resemblance to persons living or dead etc., y'all know the drill about the persons living or dead to whom any resemblances are strictly coincidental.

    Mountain Goats Almanac and Star Chart, July 24, 2017. 

  15. John edited the song's metadata to have the genre "Hardcore" and be from the album "new songs 2017"; surprisingly straightforward for an online Mountain Goats release. The .m4a file contained cover art for the song, which was a PNG image of the Krishnacore band Shelter. Shelter, founded in 1989 by frontman Ray Cappo (previously of straight edge punk band Youth of Today), is widely considered to be the genre's pre-eminent band. As of September 14, 2017, the image used as the cover art is the band's profile photo on their MySpace page. I'm not sure where the photo originates — if you know, please email me

  16. For the Krishnacore Bands is part of the Song for ... series

  17. Krishnacore is a subgenre of hardcore punk which expounds on the Hare Krishna tradition. Formally under the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, Hare Krishna practitioners form the largest portion of Gaudiya Vaishnava Hinduism. Devotees practice bhakti yoga dedicated to Krishna, and abstain from eating meat or eggs, non-procreative sex, intoxicants, and gambling. They are known for chanting the Maha Mantra:

    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
    Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Hare Rama Hare Rama
    Rama Rama Hare Hare

    from which their colloquial name arises, and for publicly preaching, often with shaved heads and saffron robes.

    Krishnacore itself is related to the non-religious straight edge punk movement. Straight edge punks abstain from alcohol, drugs, promiscuous sex, and are generally vegan or vegetarian. The band Shelter is often considered to have founded the genre when they began playing hardcore punk infused with Krishna consciousness in 1989. Frontman and founder Ray Cappo along with other members became renunciant monks, living on a Hare Krishna farm. Other Krishnacore bands include the Cro-Mags, Fed Up!, and 108. The term Krishnacore was applied retrospectively, with few bands referring to themselves in that manner.

    Dines M (2014). The sacralization of straightedge punk: bhakti-yoga, nada brahma and the divine received: embodiment of Krishnacore. Musicological Annual, 50(2): 147 – 156.

    Ediriwira, A (2015). Hare Krishnacore — An introduction to the most improbable punk subculture ever. The Vinyl Factory. Retrieved September 14, 2017. 

  18. Maximum Rocknroll is a prominent San Francisco punk rock zine continuously in press since 1982. Throughout its life, it has promoted the DIY punk culture, hardcore punk, and covers politics from an anti-authoritarian punk perspective, frequently aligning with anarchism. The zine originated from a punk radio show which aired under the same name on KPFA in Berkeley in the 1970s. It remains volunteer-run and independent.

    The zine is known for taking hard lines on controversial issues, and in its December 1989 issue featured an interview with Shelter's Ray Cappo alongside an article titled Inside Ray Cappo and the Krishnas attacking Shelter and other bands with Hare Krishna influence. Their criticism included a rejection of their conservative anti-homosexuality and anti-abortion positions. Later zines over the years continued their disdain for the movement. During that time period, Maximum Rocknroll would not accept advertisements from Equal Vision Records, the label started by Cappo.

    Inside Ray Cappo and the Krishnas. Maximum Rocknroll #79, 1989.

    Davis, Erik (1995). Hare Krishna Hard Core. Spin, 11(5): 68 – 73.

    O'Connor, Alan (2008). Punk Record Labels and the Struggle for Autonomy: The Emergence of DIY. Plymouth: Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0-7391-2659-2

    Abbey, Eric James and Helb, Colin (2014). Hardcore, Punk, and Other Junk: Aggressive Sounds in Contemporary Music. Plymouth: Lexington Books. ISBN 978-0-7391-7605-4 

  19. The Fireside Bowl is a live music venue and bowling alley in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. Through the early 2000s, the Fireside was a major part of the underground punk scene. A series of live albums titled Live at the Fireside Bowl have been released by numerous punk bands, including the Casualties, Against All Authority, Anti-Flag, and others. 

  20. Hardcore punk is a subgenre of punk dating to the original 1970s origin of punk music, featuring fast, aggressive music frequently with political content. The genre's aesthetics generally include independent, non-commercial, DIY releases, anti-authoritarianism, and radically left-wing or anarchist politics. 

  21. A package tour is a pre-planned, cookie-cutter tour bought from a tour guide, rather than being created by the traveler. 

  22. Metalcore is a musical genre fusing heavy metal and hardcore punk. The genre typically includes heavy guitarlines, slow, aggressive breakdowns, death growls, double bass drumming, and lyrics focusing on personal pain. 

  23. Jayadvaita Swami is a sannyasa and significant member of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and one of the direct students of AC Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, the movement's founder. He teaches internationally and has written several major Krishna consciousness. 

  24. I've done my best to figure out if this references a particular person and haven't found one. If you know, please let me know

  25. One finger is clearly a reference to the middle finger, the obscene hand gesture. Two fingers could mean several things. One is the sign of the horns, often used in heavy metal, and another is the V sign, either forwards as a sign for peace or backwards as the two-fingered salute, an obscene hand gesture in Europe. A specific hand sign related to the Hare Krishnas is the mrigashirsha hasta gesture, looking similar to a shaka sign with the index, middle, and ring fingers partially extended. This gesture is related to Krishna's use of the flute. Finally, Hare Krishnas chant with beads between their thumb and middle finger, leaving the index and little fingers extended. I'm not sure which if any of these is being referenced. 

  26. Released on the forums after John recorded it without finding an album to release it on. He has also referred to the song with the title "For TG&Y" (see below), but From TG&Y seems to now have stuck. John describes:

    So, yeah, made a new album and this song had no place on it, but I listened to it the other day and thought "that version we recorded at Electrical is kinda nice," and besides, I never end up recording songs that're old; either I'm gonna give it away or it's just going to sit in the box doin' nothing" - maybe it'd end up as a bonus track or something, but even then, I like bonus tracks to be from the same group of songs or from some wholly different world (see: the Get Lonley Japanese edition bonus tracks). So I'm handing it over to y'all but please read the disclaimer which is binding!

    DEAR JOHN D., I want a copy of the version of "From TG&Y" (which you have also called "For TG&Y" at various points, omg which one is correct) that you and Peter recorded at Electrical with John Congleton last fall. I understand that by accepting this file, I agree not to be El Gran Senor Intenet Douchebag, saying on various forums or lj comments threads how this song ought to have been on the next album instead of whatever other song I have blindfoldedly singled out, it being quite clear that this song's theme is rather more in line with the Sunset Tree. I understand that you would not be the guy to just shove a Sunset Tree style song onto another album, since that would be so lame. I agree that the terms of this agreement are reasonable and awesome, and that they apply to me whether I grabbed the song directly from these forums or from some other source, and hereby state that I agree to them whether I have read them or not. Yours most sincerely [signature of recipient]

    leave signature on thread, click link, enjoy! jd

    Mountain Goats forums, From TG&Y, September 17, 2007, retrieved December 7, 2013. 

  27. "This is another song about child abuse." — Zoop II, Farm Sanctuary, New York, June 13, 2009

    "This is a song about how you cope with what you got to cope with when you're 16 years old and you're not an abuse survivor yet because you're in the middle of surviving it." — Rock for Roe, Pinhook, Durham, January 20, 2013

    "This is one of [two songs that never got released]. And the reason we didn't release it is like, it's sort of a supplement to the Sunset Tree, and I felt after we'd done the Sunset Tree that it would be a little unseemly to keep writing about that period in my life, because I thought I had done that, and I think that songwriters who keep milking the same region are lazy fucks, and that you have to move on, you have to grow. I know that your audience will tell you you were better when you were doing the same thing over and over, but that's not true and besides that, how will you sleep with yourself... So I did this one song, and then I bade goodbye to those years." — American Theater Company, Chicago, May 16, 2010

    "This was the one that sort of opened up stuff for the Sunset Tree for me. It refers to a drug store called TG&Y. This is a true story." — Letters to Santa, Chicago, December 7, 2011

    Listen also to the amazing banter from the December 16, 2011 Troubadour show for a story about John's love for TG&Y and the graffiti behind the Claremont store. 

  28. TG&Y was a dollar store chain throughout the United States named for its founders, Tomlinson, Gosselin, and Young. The last TG&Y closed its doors in 2001. 

  29. A wide variety of household compounds can be dangerously inhaled to produce a high, called "huffing". Huffing solvents of any kind, including paint, is highly risky. The high is produced by inhaling the fumes after spraying the aerosol and paint into a bag. 

  30. Given the Sunset Tree context, I think this most likely refers to Indian Hill Boulevard, a major road through Claremont and Pomona. Indian Hill also appears in Hye Kye. John sings this line as "Indian Hill Boulevard" on occasion, confirming this hypothesis (see for example the American Theater Company, Chicago, May 16, 2010 show). 

  31. Folgers is an American brand of cheap coffee. 

  32. Sometimes sung with the alternate couplet, "Called my friend at Barnard / Two thousand miles away" (see for example at Zoop II, Farm Sanctuary, June 13, 2009, or at the American Theater Company in Chicago, May 16, 2010). Barnard is a private women's university associated with Columbia in Manhattan, making these lyrics consistent with the original. 

  33. Released on Twitter and Tumblr for John's birthday (March 16) and to support the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon, in which John had previously bowled with the Reproductive Justice League team. The funds go to support the Carolina Abortion Fund, which provides funding for women who need or want abortions but can't afford them. Originally, he was going to release an a cappella song titled Wizard Level, but then released Going Back to California:

    if you feel like doing something for my birthday please support my bowling team. bowlathon.nnaf.org/teampage.asp?f... @NCAbortionFund every bit helps!

    ok I got a birthday deal for you here. here's screenshot of an idea I was working on I think last summer. <screenshot of two files titled "wizard level series" and "Wizard Level verse 1 & chorus">

    it's an acapella song. the idea here was an acapella-with-harmonies album. but practical concerns interfere when you get an idea like that

    (practical concerns like "how will I adequately thank the 75 people who are stoked for the acapella album?")

    but it's a nice lyric and a nice melody. it's sad and lonesome Mountain Goats, not yelling Mountain Goats.

    so here's my offer. get my bowling team to 4k today, my birthday, and I'll track the song today and give it away for free.

    that bowling team page again: http://bowlathon.nnaf.org/teampage.asp?f...

    I'll be doing all the harmonies myself, so it won't be as good as it would if @djperry1973 would just move to Durham already

    ok well yall are incredible. thank you. we are now down in the basement prepared to record this jam <photo of John and Roman about to record>

    1) multitracking vocals w/o instrumental cues is a bear 2) wine technically not good for voice, however 3) birthday <photo of John with a wine glass>

    GarageBand doing that thing where you track the harmony in time and then on playback it's completely off by, like, a quarter note

    had to scrap entire first vocal take and now the children are awake from their naps so it may be night before I get this done

    song update: I am gonna have to do this after the children go to bed, or tomorrow morning. THANK YOU ALL for your amazing support today!

    gonna up the ante for you rad ppl. in rehearsals today & tomorrow so let me breathe but it's more than one song now
    <with quote of Kelly Wooten Voted: Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of @mountain_goats fans, Repro Justice League is #2 in the NATION. bowlathon.nnaf.org/kwoo>

    ok I have a song I tracked last year that's an additional thank you. yall ok w/zippyshare? when I soundcloud it maxes out too quick.

    short version: here is a song you've never heard you wonderful people www119.zippyshare.com/v/yUwnRRW7/fil...

    long version on Tumblr. be advised the download is 80 MB, it's a wav, I'll get an AAC up when I get another minute http://johndarnielle.tumblr.com/post/141225133...

    The link to the AAC is now added to the end of the Tumblr post fyi!

    Providing additional context on William Caxton Fan Club, John elaborated:

    Hey everybody, yesterday one of my teammates from the Reproductive Justice League emailed to see if I'd RT some stuff about the Bowl-a-Thon to raise awareness and funds. I can't bowl this year I don't think, my spring schedule is super hectic and I can't keep track of where I'm supposed to be from one day to the next, but I wanted to help, so I told Twitter I'd finish this acapella tune I wrote last year and give it away for free if we could get the team up to four thousand dollars.

    People responded by making our league the #6 fundraisers in the nation, and our team the #1 team on the leaderboard as of this writing. I am immensely grateful. The National Network of Abortion Funds helps people pay for abortions they need but can't afford. This is important work, in my view. This means a lot to me.

    I didn't get a chance to track the song today — the Mountain Goats, all four us us, were in the basement rehearsing from 10:30 'til 4:15, we have a tour coming up, gotta get up to speed. But I wrote to Scott Solter and I said, hey man, remember those songs about Ozzy and Black Sabbath we recorded last year, is it cool with you if I give one away? Because I have a whole crop of new songs now, the album of songs about Ozzy is probably gonna cobweb on my hard drive for a while. Scott said "sure" so here — link is in the song title, go ahead and click now — "Going Back to California," a song about the plane crash that killed Randy Rhoads, which happened right in the middle of a tour.

    I used Zippyshare to upload. I know nothing about this program except that a lot of people seem to use it to get songs out there, so there it is.

    I'm very fond of these sad songs about Ozzy which will probably never see formal release, and am so happy to give this one a home in the world — I hope you enjoy it; the other song, the acapella-harmonies one, I hope to track on Saturday, but I am a dad to two kids, Saturday mornings can be hard times to get work done so it might be next week. Meanwhile, enjoy!

    Credits: guitar and vocals by John Darnielle

    driven into tape by Scott Solter

    (I uploaded it as a wav, by the way — it's 80 MB. when I get another minute I'll convert it to AAC or something and update this post with the link.)

    (edit: here's the AAC version, a scant 5.1 MB!)

    At the time of this writing, Wizard Level is still to come, but John posted again on William Caxton Fan Club promising that it'll come out sometime. He has played it live once, in New Haven, April 2, 2016.

    Going Back to California is tagged as being from the album "Marsh Witch Visions" and the genre "Personal Journals".

    Mountain Goats Twitter, (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16), (17), (18), William Caxton Fan Club, Hey everybody, yesterday one of my teammates from..., When you shared "Going Back to California" with us... retrieved December 17, 2016. 

  34. Going Back to California is part of the Going to ... series and the informal series of Black Sabbath references

  35. As John explains above, Going Back to California is about the death of Randy Rhoads, the guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne. He died in 1982 in Leesburg, Florida, between shows in Knoxville and Orlando during the Diary of a Madman Tour. Their tour bus driver, Andrew Aycock, was also a private pilot. On the drive, they stopped at an airstrip, and he took Rhoads and makeup artist Rachel Youngblood flying. They did not have permission to fly the plane, and Aycock was posthumously found to have been high on cocaine. On their third low pass, Aycock went to buzz the bus, but clipped it instead, killing Aycock, Rhoades, and Youngblood. Their bodies were ejected from the burning plane, and they were discovered by Osbourne and the other sleeping band members, family, and friends, damaged beyond ability to identify them. 

  36. Leesburg is a small city in central Florida. 

  37. Rhoads was born in Santa Monica, southern California, and would be buried shortly after his death in San Bernardino, California. After his death, the band returned to Los Angeles for a week and a half to recuperate, find a new guitarist to continue the tour, and attend the memorials for Rhoades and Youngblood.

    DiVita, Joe (2016). Rudy Sarzo 'Left Ozzy Because it Was Too Painful' Without Randy Rhoads. Loudwire. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 

  38. Rhoads' body was burned and mangled so completely that he was identified by burnt jewelry he was wearing and dental records.

    Gibson (2011). This Day in Music Spotlight: The Final Flight of Randy Rhoads. March 19, 2011; retrieved December 17, 2016. 

  39. As Ozzy Osbourne was sleeping in the bus during the plane crash, his last words with Rhoads were on the drive as Rhoads admonished him for his heavy drinking after Ozzy made fun of him for wanting to go to college. The last thing Rhoads said to Osbourne was "You'll kill yourself, y'know? One of these days."

    Given the first person statement here, this song is clearly from the perspective of Osbourne.

    Osbourne, Ozzy (2009). I Am Ozzy. New York: Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 978-0-446-56990-3 

  40. The band took only a very short reprieve after Rhoads' death. Bassist Rudy Sarzo recollects only taking ten days off before continuing the tour, at least partially as a way to keep everyone — and especially Ozzy, who was hit very hard by Rhoads' death — occupied so they wouldn't get even more deeply depressed.

    Teitelman, Bram (2012). Rudy Sarzo: "In Order To Keep Ozzy Alive We Kept Him Occupied". Metal Insider. Retrieved December 18, 2016. 

  41. Released on Twitter and Vimeo in 2011 to support protesting Wisconsin labor supporters, who were fighting against a bill by Governor Walker to remove collective bargaining from public employees:

    "Enjoy what will be the most comprehensive recall effort in the history of American politics, Wisconsin GOP! #sorrytoswearbut #assholes

    "If you like overtime after 40 hours and that they can't just tell you to work 12 hours 6 days a week or go piss up a rope...thank the unions

    "If you get health care through your job, you know how you got that? Collective bargaining

    "Before I go to bed I wanna challenge musicians to record some old union tunes tomorrow. Who among us doesn't owe our teachers big?

    "Got nervous & sang "factories" for "trenches"! Apologies to Joe Hill! Sharing anyway to say WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE! http://vimeo.com/20862183"

    On this video's description, John continues:

    "Everybody knows I don't generally do the acoustic guitar guy rocking political jams deal but as a former member of SEIU 660 & the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians & a kid who benefitted from great teachers I wanted to spend tonight saying WE ARE ON YOUR SIDE xo jd"

    Several days later, Peter Hughes released a cover in support as well: "In case you missed it, Peter Peter Hughes's cover of the Minutemen's "Themselves" for Wisconsin = 100% awesome http://bit.ly/ieKpm9"

    Mountain Goats Twitter, (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6); Mountain Goats Vimeo, Power in a Union, March 9 – 12, 2011, retrieved December 8, 2013. 

  42. Power in a Union is part of the informal series of cover songs and informal series of Biblical references

  43. There Is Power in a Union was originally written by Joe Hill, an Industrial Workers of the World labor activist, in 1913. An identically-titled song by Billy Bragg, an English songwriter and activist, with different lyrics and arrangements, was recorded in 1986. John covers the Bragg version of the song. 

  44. Released on March 9, 2013 on Vimeo and Twitter as John's 10,000th Twitter post, shortly after Bieber threatened to attack some paparazzi as they stood between him and his car:

    "Intrade offering a 67.7% chance that my 10,000th tweet will be about the Biebs

    "Did I really spent half my lunch hour writing a song called "Short Song for Justin Bieber's Paparazzi"? As of this tweet you cannot prove it

    "Sorry for false yfrog starts this is actually just a small thing. Short Song For Justin Bieber and His Paparazzi: https://vimeo.com/61443080"

    Mountain Goats Twitter, (1) (2) (3); Mountain Goats Vimeo, IMG 3646, March 9, 2013, retrieved February 16, 2014. 

  45. Short Song for Justin Bieber and His Paparazzi is part of the Song for ... series

  46. Released as an apology to those who preordered Heretic Pride, which wasn't shipped on time due to a computer glitch. As discussed further here, the song is about one of the myths surrounding Berthe Petit, a Franciscan nun:

    To those of you who were kind enough to preorder the album but who didn't get it due to some sort of glitch thing about which I know everybody at 4AD feels as "d'oh!" as I do -

    here for you is a song I wrote yesterday afternoon. As a demo it's not even done, there's a prepositional phrase I stumble over toward the end (I think I need an "in" instead of a "by" in the line that I flub) and it's pretty funny but on the whole I'm pretty fond of the jam and plus if I know my people you will enjoy the extra rawness.

    The subject of the song is the origin of this image, which is a rad story I will tell you more about someday but meanwhile there's plenty of info in the jam itself. Here is the song, written and demo'd 20 February 2008 in Anchorage, AK. It's an AAC and somebody else is gonna have to do the mp3 conversion for people who don't use iTunes.

    It would be cool if people didn't immediately run off to other forums to share this, it's not really for every random schmoe on the planet but is a gift to the preordering people. Yes; that would cool. I don't have any illusions, I am just trying to make dudes who're already gonna do this feel a little guilty about it, because that is how us Catholics roll.

    Mountain Goats forums, The Thread in which to vent about Dean Bein, September 17, 2007, retrieved February 17, 2014.

    Sign of the Crow 2's genre is tagged as "music, probably". 

  47. Sign of the Crow 2 is part of the informal series of Biblical references

  48. Berthe Petit was a Franciscan nun who reported having multiple spiritual visions throughout her life. In one such story, Petit discovered an image of Mother Mary hidden behind a piece of pornography in her school. This image, known as Our Lady of Ollignies or The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, is the one John refers to in this song.

    Describing the cover photo of the 28th edition of The Secret of the Rosary, which features this image, the editors write:

    "The front cover of the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary: This picture, somewhat mysterious in its origin, was discovered at the time of the 1918 armistice in the cellar of the boarding school where Berthe Petit, a humble Franciscan Tertiary, had been educated. After the troops had departed, one of the Bernardine nuns in putting things in order found a piece of cardboard on which was pasted a pornographic picture and she tore it off to consign it to flames. To her astonishment she found that it covered this beautiful representation of the Blessed Virgin! It seems to combine the art of both the Eastern and the Western Rites. The facial features resemble those of the well known Pieta. Prayer before this picture has brought signal favors." de Montfort, Saint Louis Mary (1995). The Secret of the Rosary (28th ed.). Mary Barbour, translator. Bay Shore, New York: Montfort Publications.  2 3

  49. Presumably located in Ollignies, Belgium. Petit herself was born in Enghien, Belgium. 

  50. A reference to the Sign of Jonah. Jonah was swallowed by a great whale, in whose belly he lived for three days and three nights. Jesus referred to this as a sign for his resurrection, which similarly took three days and nights.

    "But sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, 'Why does this generation demand a sign? I assure you: No sign will be given to this generation!'"

    "But He answered them, 'An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at Jonah's proclamation; and look — something greater than Jonah is here!'"

    Holman Christian Standard Bible, Mark 8:12, Matthew 12:39 – 41, retrieved February 17, 2014. 

  51. Released on June 18, 2018 on Bandcamp, with this post from the Mountain Goats blog and sent out in email:

    When Beat the Champ came out, a wrestler named Sasha Banks tweeted at me: "Where's my song, @mountain_goats?" As a territories guy I had to learn her story. I said I'd finish the song by the end of the tour; it took a little longer than that.

    Last night Sasha Banks wrestled for the Money in the Bank title, and while she didn't take it home this time, I've learned enough about where she came from and how she got to where she is now to say with confidence: the sky is the limit for you. Your walk is just beginning and the day will come when all your setbacks look like steps on a ladder.

    Jon Wurster and I recorded this song at Chris Stamey's place last week — that's Chris on bass; I last worked with Chris on the Moon Colony Bloodbath DP. Thanks to Chris for making this happen and to the Boss, Sasha Banks herself, for inspiring us all – to learn about you and to write this song was a real honor for me.

    Dedicated of course to Sasha and to everybody who's even had a hint of what it looks like when your dreams start pushing their elbows through the gauze into the real world of blood & sweat & bone.

    Money in the Bank is a WWE pay-per-view ladder match (where the prize is hung above the ring and competitors must climb a ladder to retrieve it), existing on its own separate from WrestleMania since 2010. The prize is a briefcase holding a championship match contract.

    Back in 2015, shortly after the release of Beat the Champ, Sasha tweeted:

    $asha: Where's my song @mountain_goats ?

    John: @SashaBanksWWE album is all old territories days but I accept this challenge. Song for Sasha Banks will be written before end of tour

    and then in the summer of 2018:

    $asha: @mountain_goats still waiting for that song <emojis>

    John: You are 100% going to get that song, I overextended myself that year but I’m back on my grind

    $asha: <hand clapping emojis>

    John: @SashaBanksWWE progress report: we have a first draft <photo>

    $asha: I'm so excited

    .@mountain_goats just made my this week even more special <clapping emoji>

    Finally, before release:

    John: been writing a lot of new ones and one of them finally broke the lock on the basement door last night ICYMI bit.ly/2JYmn4F

    "Song for Sasha Banks" was produced by Chris Stamey who also played bass. Chris produced the Moon Colony Bloodbath EP 10 years back and it was a blast to work with him again

    We here in the @mountain_goats acknowledge @SashaBanksWWE as the Boss and we know no road worth traveling doesn't have some bumps and we promised her this song several years back and I wrote it last week and here it is themountaingoats.bandcamp.com

    $asha: This is so special to me thank you @mountain_goats <heart emojis>

    John: thank YOU for making it happen, you're a true inspiration!!

    Mountain Goats news. Song for Sasha Banks. June 18, 2018, retrieved June 29, 2018.

    Sasha Banks and Mountain Goats Twitter, (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8). May 3, 2015; June 1 – 2, 2018; June 15, 2018; June 18, 2018; June 23, 2018. Retrieved June 29, 2018. 

  52. Sasha Banks is a professional wrestler from California who made her way up to WWE after years of wrestling on the independent circuit. She has been the first of many key events in women's professional wrestling, with several of her matches being named Match of the Year, and has won many awards in professional wrestling. As referenced in the song, she traveled extensively around the United States as her family searched for medical treatment and education for her autistic brother.

    Also related to the Mountain Goats, her favorite wrestler is Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero's uncle.

    Chris Jericho (2015). Talk Is Jericho — Episode 168: Sasha Banks. Retrieved June 29, 2018.

    Varble, Aaron (2017). Sasha Banks On Her WWE Fandom, Brother's Autism, Her Father Being Snoop Dogg's Uncle. Retrieved June 29, 2018. 

  53. Belle Plaine is a small city in Minnesota. I was surprised that I couldn't find any information linking Sasha to Belle Plaine, but I presume this is one of the towns she lived in as a youth in Minnesota. Maybe I misheard it? If you figured this out, please email me

  54. Chris Jericho is a prominent Canadian professional wrestler now predominantly working for New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He was in his prime during Sasha's burgeoning interest in professional wrestling.

    He has an interview with Sasha Banks on his podcast, Talk Is Jericho, where she talks about her early life and wrestling career.

    Chris Jericho (2015). Talk Is Jericho — Episode 168: Sasha Banks. Retrieved June 29, 2018. 

  55. As mentioned above, Sasha's brother is autistic, and much of her youth was shaped by her relationship to him and her family's efforts to help him. 

  56. Released on Twitter after John reached 25,000 followers:

    "So I looked over toward the right and see that I crested 25k followers recently. This calls for an unreleased song giveaway in my opinion

    "This song was what we call a 'false start,' I had a whole concept for a project I'll be announcing soon but it went in another direction

    "First explicitly ancient-world-related song in some time by my count. Here you go everybody! mountain-goats.com/songs/thucydid..."

    Mountain Goats Twitter, (1) (2) (3), (4), November 3, 2011, retrieved February 16, 2014.

    Thucydides II – 58's album is tagged as "Temporary Hellenism", and the genre as "plaguecore". Hellenism refers to the study of ancient Greece, spanning the classical period. Technically, this period is slightly later than the period described in this song, which occurs in the middle of 4th century BC. 

  57. Thucydides was a 5th century Greek general whose book, History of the Peloponnesian War, became a classic reference for the period. This song refers to several sections of the text which discuss the Plague of Athens, a tremendous wave of sickness which originated in Ethiopia and spread, killing tens of thousands of people and leading to the cessation of Sparta's invasion due to fear of the disease.

    Book II, chapter 58, reads:

    "The same summer Agnon the son of Nicias and Cleopompus the son of Clinias, who were joint commanders with Pericles with that army which he had employed before, went presently and made war upon the Chalcideans of Thrace and against Potidaea which was yet besieged. Arriving, they presently applied engines and tried all means possible to take it, but neither the taking of the city nor anything else succeeded worthy so great preparation. For the sickness coming amongst them afflicted them mightily indeed and even devoured the army. And the Athenian soldiers which were there before and in health catched the sickness from those that came with Agnon. As for Phormio and his sixteen hundred, they were not now amongst the Chalcideans. And Agnon therefore came back with his fleet, having of four thousand men in less than forty days lost one thousand and fifty of the plague. But the soldiers that were there before stayed upon the place and continued the siege of Potidaea."

    Thucydides (1843). History of the Peloponnesian War. Thomas Hobbes, translator. London: J. Bohn. Perseus Digital Library, retrieved February 17, 2014. 

  58. Among the symptoms reported by Thucydides were red skin, a deep fever resulting in an inability to tolerate even light clothing, and vomiting:

    "... they were taken first with an extreme ache in their heads, redness and inflammation of the eyes; and then inwardly, their throats and tongues grew presently bloody and their breath noisome and unsavoury. Upon this followed a sneezing and hoarseness, and not long after the pain, together with a mighty cough, came down into the breast. And when once it was settled in the stomach, it caused vomit; and with great torment came up all manner of bilious purgation that physicians ever named. Most of them had also the hickyexe which brought with it a strong convulsion, and in some ceased quickly but in others was long before it gave over. Their bodies outwardly to the touch were neither very hot nor pale but reddish, livid, and beflowered with little pimples and whelks, but so burned inwardly as not to endure any the lightest clothes or linen garment to be upon them nor anything but mere nakedness, but rather most willingly to have cast themselves into the cold water. And many of them that were not looked to, possessed with insatiate thirst, ran unto the wells, and to drink much or little was indifferent, being still from ease and power to sleep as far as ever. As long as the disease was at its height, their bodies wasted not but resisted the torment beyond all expectation; insomuch as the most of them either died of their inward burning in nine or seven days whilst they had yet strength, or, if they escaped that, then the disease falling down into their bellies and causing there great exulcerations and immoderate looseness, they died many of them afterwards through weakness. For the disease, which took first the head, began above and came down and passed through the whole body; and he that overcame the worst of it was yet marked with the loss of his extreme parts; for breaking out both at their privy members and at their fingers and toes, many with the loss of these escaped; there were also some that lost their eyes. And many that presently upon their recovery were taken with such an oblivion of all things whatsoever, as they neither knew themselves nor their acquaintance."

    Thucydides (1843). History of the Peloponnesian War. Thomas Hobbes, translator. London: J. Bohn. Perseus Digital Library, retrieved February 17, 2014. 

  59. Thucydides reports that physicians died more quickly than others due to their frequent encounters with the sick:

    "For at first neither were the physicians able to cure it through ignorance of what it was but died fastest themselves, as being the men that most approached the sick, nor any other art of man availed whatsoever."

    Thucydides (1843). History of the Peloponnesian War. Thomas Hobbes, translator. London: J. Bohn. Perseus Digital Library, retrieved February 17, 2014. 

  60. Thucydides describes both the futility of prayer and the loss of moral codes in response to the disease:

    II.47: "All supplications to the gods and enquiries of oracles and whatsoever other means they used of that kind proved all unprofitable; insomuch as subdued with the greatness of the evil, they gave them all over."

    II.53: "And the great licentiousness, which also in other kinds was used in the city, began at first from this disease. For that which a man before would dissemble and not acknowledge to be done for voluptuousness, he durst now do freely, seeing before his eyes such quick revolution, of the rich dying and men worth nothing inheriting their estates. Insomuch as they justified a speedy fruition of their goods even for their pleasure, as men that thought they held their lives but by the day. As for pains, no man was forward in any action of honour to take any because they thought it uncertain whether they should die or not before they achieved it. But what any man knew to be delightful and to be profitable to pleasure, that was made both profitable and honourable. Neither the fear of the gods nor laws of men awed any man, not the former because they concluded it was alike to worship or not worship from seeing that alike they all perished, nor the latter because no man expected that lives would last till he received punishment of his crimes by judgment. But they thought there was now over their heads some far greater judgment decreed against them before which fell, they thought to enjoy some little part of their lives."

    Thucydides (1843). History of the Peloponnesian War. Thomas Hobbes, translator. London: J. Bohn. Perseus Digital Library, retrieved February 17, 2014.  2

  61. During the Plague, a hundred and fifty ships with several thousand men were loosed with the intent of razing Spartan cities.

    "Whilst they were yet in the plain and before they entered into the maritime country, he furnished a hundred galleys to go about Peloponnesus and, as soon as they were ready, put to sea. In these galleys he had four thousand men of arms, and in vessels then purposely first made to carry horses, three hundred horsemen. The Chians and Lesbians joined likewise with him with fifty galleys. This fleet of the Athenians, when it set forth, left the Peloponnesians still in Paralia; and coming before Epidaurus, a city of Peloponnesus, they wasted much of the country thereabout and assaulting the city had a hope to take it, though it succeeded not. Leaving Epidaurus, they wasted the territories about of Troezene, Halias, and Hermione, places all on the seacoast of Peloponnesus. Putting off from hence, they came to Prasiae, a small maritime city of Laconia, and both wasted the territory about it and took and razed the town itself."

    Thucydides (1843). History of the Peloponnesian War. Thomas Hobbes, translator. London: J. Bohn. Perseus Digital Library, retrieved February 17, 2014. 

  62. As mentioned above, the Plague was believed to originate from Ethiopia. 

  63. Released on Twitter when John reached 5,000 followers:

    "5000 followers? This 100% arbitrary mark calls for something. Why don't we do something ridiculous about it and give away a non-album song

    "This song was written last summer, I recorded piano and voice and then sent it to the amazing Leanne Zacharias for strings.

    "I am super fond of it but it does not really fit into the All Eternals Deck. Just a much different mood. Enjoy! http://bit.ly/g2dCwC

    "Rehosted by the way in case you missed it! ok I gotta get back to work! http://www.mediafire.com/?hvb6nzj24u3d8pc"

    See also the related Mountain Goats song Song for Dana Plato.

    Mountain Goats Twitter, (1), (2), (3), (4), December 13, 2010, retrieved February 15, 2014. 

  64. "There's the sort of fever that I have and then there's the one that chases you to the grave, and this is a song about a young man whose mother killed herself when he was very young, and she had been a child star, and he couldn't get out from under that. I wrote a song about her when she was — before she died a long, long time ago when she was just robbing Vegas drug stores, and — I know, because it was funny, it was like former child star does what former child stars do and rob stuff — and then she died in a trailer in Oklahoma and it was tragic and twenty years later her son followed her and this is called Tyler Lambert's Grave." — Soho Restaurant, Santa Barbara, June 24, 2011

    "In 1993 or '94, I wrote a song about Dana Plato, who was then a former child star on a downward slide; her story seemed so sad to me. She died young, a few years later, leaving a son behind. His name was Tyler Lambert, and he took his life last year, and the news stories I read ran a picture of this young man looking like young men often look: full of hope and promise, at the beginning of life. My heart broke for all the pain in that family, and I wrote the song... The song is about how sometimes we're walking around with scars that seem so deep that it feels like they'll never heal, and how hard it can be to believe that they'll ever stop bleeding, and how sometimes we see somebody who doesn't make it and we feel a kinship with that person, a shared grief. That feeling of horror and sadness when somebody doesn't make it, that sadness over wishing someone could have helped. The way you sometimes see your own face in the image of somebody who never quite got free of his demons." Williams, Joe (2011). Tell Me About That Song: John Darnielle, Frontman of the Mountain Goats. Seattle Weekly.

    The composer is tagged as "John 'the Bloomington Bruiser' Darnielle", the genre as "Self-Help", and the album as "Twitter Reward Bonus". An additional comment is added, being, "Strings arranged & played by Leanne Zacharias who is awesome." 

  65. Tyler Lambert was the son of Dana Plato, a former child star famous for playing Kimberley Drummond on the American sitcom Diff'rent Strokes. Plato was let go from the show when she became pregnant with Lambert. Struggling with drug abuse and poverty, she committed suicide on May 8, 1999, overdosing on carisoprodol and alcohol in her trailer. Lambert committed suicide by shooting himself in the head on May 6, 2010, 25 years old. 

  66. John reports this couplet as being his favorite lines in the song. As mentioned in the above banter, Tyler Lambert's mother, Dana Plato, was arrested for robbing a video store in Las Vegas with a pellet gun for less than $200.

    Williams, Joe (2011). Tell Me About That Song: John Darnielle, Frontman of the Mountain Goats. Seattle Weekly.

    Sporkin, Elizabeth (1991). Diff'rent Strokes, Fallen Stars. People Magazine. 

  67. Dana Plato and Tyler Lambert spent many years living in abject poverty, with Plato working in a dry cleaner and struggling with drug abuse. Lambert was born while Plato lived in a trailer park.

    Gliatto, Tom (1999). Little Girl Lost. People Magazine. 

  68. This photograph was associated with many reports of Lambert's death (see for example this report and served as the inspiration for the song.

    Williams, Joe (2011). Tell Me About That Song: John Darnielle, Frontman of the Mountain Goats. Seattle Weekly. 

  69. Released on January 30, 2017, on the Soundcloud of Rian Johnson. Rian is a film writer and director, with works including the acclaimed television program Breaking Bad, the neo-noir film Brick, and many other films, including the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the second film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. The song was written and developed after a joking Twitter exchange between John and Rian after Rian annouced the title for Star Wars VIII (Rian's first post included a photo with the title screen and a link to a brief teaser article about the film):

    Rian: Excited (and relieved) to finally share this! https://t.co/QKzA21tuog

    John: my five-year campaign to sell Rian on the title "The Ultimate Jedi Who Wastes All the Other Jedi And Eats Their Bones" has come up short

    Rian: @mountain_goats WRITE THIS SONG

    John: @rianjohnson for you, how could I not? watch this space, I'll get started this afternoon

    Rian: @mountain_goats HOLY CRAP. I did not expect that to work.

    John: @rianjohnson Rian I'm a man who likes to spend his daylight hours working https://t.co/YhsuMjHAgu

    The final post in that exchange featured a photo of John's table — with a copy of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Fiend Folio nearby — with a page of draft lyrics.

    Several days later, Rian posted:

    So @mountain_goats and I were joking around, one thing led to another, he recorded this song and now it's canon. https://t.co/0vCdZTO6iO

    with a link to the song on Soundcloud. John explained further:

    all right so I see that while I was doing a phone interview some of you noticed this already but you may remember on Friday...

    ...I was joking around with @rianjohnson about his big Star Wars news, and the joke was "have you then rejected my song?"...

    ...whose title, at that point just an of-the-moment joke, was "The Ultimate Jedi Who Wastes All the Other Jedi and Eats Their Bones." ...

    ...@rianjohnson responded, right here on twitter dot com: PLEASE WRITE THIS. Who am I to turn down the guy who directed "Ozymandias"?...

    ...not me, not this guy. I set to work immediately. It is important that the world learn the truth of this Jedi. But where to host?...

    ...I don't know if y'all know this but a lot of people are into Star Wars. So I wrote to @rianjohnson, and I'm like, here's the tune, right.

    ...and he's like "Should I put it on my Soundcloud?" and I'm like "rest up, do that on Monday!"...

    ...so here's the song. Enjoy! https://t.co/jFxOLKh0SQ

    if you enjoyed me & Rian goofing around pls 1) go see the Star Wars movie in December and 2) get my book, a novel about grief, next week

    The song was later announced on the Mountain Goats blog:

    I was joking around with Rian Johnson on Twitter and I was saying how there's an urgent need to speak out about the many deeds of the ultimate Jedi who wastes all the other Jedi and eats their bones. Rian agreed, and told me to get to work, that the story must be told! So I wrote the song and recorded it with a little help from my kids, who you'll hear excitedly jumping in and out of the room while I work. Enjoy!

    Mountain Goats Twitter, (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12); Rian Johnson Twitter, (1), (2), (3), (4); January 27 – 30, 2017; retrieved February 2, 2017.

    Mountain Goats news. The Ultimate Jedi Who Wastes All the Other Jedi and Eats Their Bones, January 30, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 

  70. In the Star Wars world, Jedi are a major force for good in the galaxy. The monastic religion requires long training to master the Force, a field that permeates all things and which is generated by the life-force of all beings in the galaxy. The are known for their wisdom and for fighting against evil, with their signature weapon being the lightsaber, a sword made of light which is capable of cutting through nearly any substance. 

  71. Refers to Rian Johnson, writer and director of Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi, and whose conversation with John prompted the creation of this song — see above

  72. One of John's sons seems to speak here (as in the spoken opening of the song). I can't make out what he says, other than opening with "Right here". If you can, let me know

  73. Who You Are was released for free on Google Play on July 7, 2014, as part of the Merge 25 collection, a group of 25 songs by Merge artists covering other Merge artists to celebrate their 25th anniversary. A day later, John posted the following on William Caxton Fan Club:

    Back when I was just getting started in music people would see me and say "your performance reminds me of Mark Eitzel, you're intense like he is!" and man oh man did I ever resent being compared to anybody, this is one of the many symptoms of Young Songwriter's Disease, not everybody gets it but pig-headed dudes like me have to learn to accept kind comparisons with grace and gratitude instead of as an indictment of their originality or whatever. So I didn't really get into Mark's work until much later, but after I'd moved to North Carolina and made friends with people at Merge, I got handed a promo of their 2008 album The Golden Age, which leads off with a devastating song called "All My Love" and has one of the best mid-album triple-punch runs of the century so far: "All the Lost Souls Welcome You To San Francisco" followed by "Who You Are" and resolving on "The Windows on the World." And I fell in love with Mark's songs, and went back through the catalog, and sure enough, everybody'd been right all along, he walks with the giants. Merge is giving away a bunch of Merge artists covering other Merge artists for their 25th anniversary and when they asked us I knew "Who You Are" was the one for me. It is a song that I have turned to for comfort many times since I first heard it six years ago.

    Later, Who You Are was also released on the Merge Records subscription-based box set compilation Or Thousands of Prizes on a bonus 45 rpm 12".

    Who You Are, Google Play, retrieved July 7, 2014.

    This right here is Mark Eitzel, William Caxton Fan Club, retrieved July 8, 2014. 

  74. Who You Are is a cover of American Music Club, who originally released the song in 2008. 

  75. Sung in the American Music Club original as "I don't trust the sky". 

  76. Released in the Mountain Goats Almanac and Star Chart, the band's email newsletter, on May 10, 2018:

    Let me be candid with you: I have about seven ideas floating around, and I'm not going to be able to get to them all, but summer's coming: ever since I started writing songs, summer's been a productive time, and it's looking like I'll have a lot of non-album byways hanging around the hard drive in folders marked "Nine Biographies of Judy Garland" or "Slow Death." One such byway from a few years back is attached to this newsletter: it's my arrangement of Gorguts's "With Their Flesh, He'll Create," which I performed at Hopscotch on a grand piano with vocal arrangements by Dan Perry.

    Our set was all piano covers of metal tunes, and it was some of the most fun I've ever had onstage. I am really fond of how this came out, and have wanted to share it with y'all for a long time so enjoy — if you do, and you want to give something back, please consider a donation the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights, who are doing vital, important work in these times. Even if you can't donate, please read about their work and spread the word; I tend to avoid casting people as heroes or villains, because practically everybody is a little of both, but, to put in wrestling terms, in a world full of heels, the Young Center are babyfaces par excellence.

    I now return to my rhododendron bed — the camera crew will be here shortly, I'll be pruning all day. See you in Chicago, or points further afield in the early fall!

    Download: the Mountain Goats - With Their Flesh, He'll Create

    The referenced Hopscotch metal covers set was on September 7, 2012, at the Fletcher Opera Theater in Raleigh. Another song in the set that eventually were recorded was his cover of Ozzy Osborne's Shot in the Dark, released on Merge Records' Or Thousands of Prizes compilation. 

  77. With Their Flesh, He'll Create is part of the informal series of covers songs and informal series of Biblical references

  78. The song, as stated above, is originally by extreme metal band Gorguts. The song was originally recorded and released on their album The Erosion of Sanity

  79. The original song includes one final verse:

    Remnants of the dead
    Structured his creation
    Which has failed
    The omnious resurrection

    underscoring the protagonist's lack of success. 

  80. Released on Twitter and Tumblr when he ran into a CD containing it at his home:

    "ha wow ok NO recollection of this song. office cleaning wins again

    "Why the hell not? Song I ran across on a CD while cleaning the office: johndarnielle.tumblr.com/post/557984027...

    "song appears to be about two meth cooks about to run out of luck, possible a brother-sister duo

    "there's no name on the CD, I have no idea what this song was initially called

    "I suspect that's right [that this resembles an Extra Glenns song], but thematically it's a [sic] more in tMG territory"

    Remarking further on Tumblr, John wrote:

    "OK so earlier on Twitter I mentioned that I ran across a CD marked 'New '02' while 'cleaning the office.' It consists, on auditing, of a bunch of songs that were new in 2002. Plenty of them got recorded at Bear Creek for We Shall All Be Healed; some didn't. This one seemed worth letting out of its lonely cage. It audibly doesn't really belong with the songs from We Shall All Be Healed: it shares some themes (meth, tawdry motels) but is formally in a pretty different ballpark and it's also not very personal, whereas the songs that did end up making We Shall All Be Healed marked my first steps toward writing from direct experience."

    His additional comment on SoundCloud:

    "lovers rock. not actually on "all west texas" though if you enjoyed this tune and wanna extravagantly express your thanks, please click the "buy" link and buy "all hail west texas." I will see you at the top of the charts"

    Mountain Goats Twitter, (1), (2), (3), (4), (5); William Caxton Fan Club; Mountain Goats SoundCloud, July 18, 2013, retrieved February 17, 2014.

    You & Me & a High Balcony was posted to SoundCloud under the nom de plume of "Office Cleanup Squad". 

  81. You & Me & a High Balcony is part of the informal series of outtakes

  82. Pay-per-view is a type of cable television widely used for films and sports in which the viewer pays for a single view of a scheduled event, as opposed to paying for a channel subscription or for on-demand content. 

  83. Anhydrous ammonia and red phosphorous are essential components of two major synthetic pathways for manufacturing methamphetamine. The former uses a dissolving metal reduction, usually with ammonia and lithium, often stolen from batteries, to remove the alcohol from ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, forming methamphetamine (while this reaction is often called the Birch reduction method, it differs from the canonical Birch reduction in that it does not reduce the benzene ring to a 1,4-cyclohexadiene). The latter uses red phosphorus (often obtained from match heads) in hydroiodic acid to initially form iodoephedrine from ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, which is then reduced to methamphetamine. The initial amounts of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are generally obtained from over-the-counter medications.

    Weisheit R (2008). Making methamphetamine. Southern Rural Sociology, 23(2), 78 – 107.

    Small GH, Minnella AE, Hall SS (1975). Lithium-ammonia reduction of benzyl alcohols to aromatic hydrocarbons. An improved procedure. Journal of Organic Chemistry, 40(21), 3151 – 3152.

    Skinner HF (1990). Methamphetamine synthesis via hydriodic acid/red phosphorus reduction of ephedrine. Forensic Science International, 48(2), 123 – 134.