Tuesday, March 25, 2008

we shall all be healed

This always happens to me. Me and Tracy went to see Elliott Smith in Philly a few years back and the show was just awful. He took forever to hit the stage, allowing the crowd precious time to absorb three plays of Rubber Soul over the sound system in a row. And when he finally did, he sucked, with formless solo-acoustic obscurities slurred and moaned, maybe two recognizable, and all disappointing. Not long after, his death and substance abuse problems were public tragedy, and I felt like shit without an encouraging word.

I sincerely hope that John Darnielle gets well soon, as recent news of his medical woes hit I swear, immediately after I turned this piece in to LAS, or else I wouldn't have written the piece. Objective criticism or not, I talk a little about how smug and distracted he came off, and now I feel sorry upon learning his mind truly had a good reason to be elsewhere. I don't know the details of his condition or the severity, but canceling the Goats' Australian dates can't be a good sign.

I just want to underline the fact that I'm still a huge Mountain Goats fan, that of the six enjoyable-to-fantastic records he's released since 2002, three of them would be on my decade's shortlist without a second thought, and one, 4AD debut Tallahassee, could well top it altogether. I loved their jolly, off-the-cuff set at Pitchfork's 2006 Festival and I want this medical business to work itself out immediately so he can go back to wowing anyone with ears. And with all that said, I regret to unleash some tough love and add insult to injury during this already hard time for him. The Webster Hall show had its moments, believe me. I just hold geniuses to high, maybe impossible standards. Get well soon, John. And don't read this.


Blogger Tracy said...

Old news to you probably, but Darnielle tells Pitchfork he'll be fine...


Did you really count how many times they played Rubber Soul? I just remember how ungodly hot it was...

9:44 AM, April 11, 2008  
Blogger kiss out the jams said...

I definitely remember the record looping twice and starting a third, but who knows, maybe it was five. It was ungodly hot.

I'm really glad he's ok, though.

10:25 AM, April 11, 2008  

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