The Mountain Goats return to Australia and New Zealand in April, and to celebrate I’ve posted some pics from our last trip to the southern hemisphere. The one where we had to get up at six o’clock every morning. Oh man that sucked. See you soon!
Some might attribute yesterday’s miraculous eleventh-hour rescue of Saab from the jaws of oblivion to divine intervention, some to the remarkable worldwide demonstrations of customer loyalty over the past month, some to the Swedish government’s finally stepping in to back up the loan money, some to the indefatigable efforts of Spyker chief—that “tall, Dutch optimist,” in the words of a friend—Victor Muller in closing the deal. I prefer to think it was the “Save Saab” sticker affixed to my bass last week on national network television that clinched it.
Big news: Fangio has a home. Look for vinyl and online releases forthcoming from Fayettenam Records this spring. Totally stoked about this. More details soon.
This has been up for a little while now, but here’s an interview I did with our old friend Anisse Gross where I’m asked about Facebook, Auto-Tune, and what kind of car I want to be when I grow up.
Speaking of the last, my Saab and I got briefly famous on the internets a couple weeks ago when we went to Detroit to participate in this. Full report over on Firebird Man, or watch me try to sell you a 22-year-old car over at Autoweek.
In Mountain Goats news, the Cemetery Gates session we did at the end of the last tour is up now and it looks and sounds kind of amazingly great.
Finally, if you’re up late tonight and you have a TV (or if you have the internet any time for the rest of eternity after that), we’re gonna be playing on Jimmy Fallon. If you miss it and you don’t have the internet, don’t worry: I’m pretty sure my mom will be taping it.
Except mine is twelve. And I don’t even claim that they’re the best, necessarily. In fact, I’m fairly certain that I haven’t even heard a lot of the best music that was created in the last ten years at this point. But these are the albums that got under my skin the most, the ones to which I’ve found myself returning again and again, the music that’s become a permanent part of my personal canon. Not counting any of the albums I was personally a part of creating in the last decade—all of which are surpassingly brilliant and together comprise their own ten-best list—and in order from most to least obvious…
Attention New Yorkers: if you didn’t get enough of me last week with the Mountain Goats, you can come to the Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night where I’ll be playing with Franklin Bruno, opening for the Fiery Furnaces. I’m told that we go on at nine. We’ll be doing a bunch of the songs we recorded last summer for Franklin’s next full-length and an oldie or two, should be fun. See you there?
Massive new photodiary from last year’s Mountain Goats tour with Kaki King now up here, kinda peters out toward the end but for the first two thirds I was feeling it. Does everybody know that we’re on tour again as of tomorrow? Dates over at mountain-goats.com, come on out and say hello. I know I always say that but I mean it!
Just a reminder for those in the NYC area that I’m playing tomorrow at Union Hall. Set times have been shuffled so it looks like I’ll be going on third of four, around ten, and just doing a short set. I promise to bring it, though. And you’ll want to stick around for Franklin, too. Okay, I have to go back to practicing now, and threatening the lives of American Express employees.
This was the greatest thing ever.
A phrase from my youth I seem to remember only being used paradoxically; being sent home from school with one invariably indicated a lack of progress, and usually meant you were in trouble. I report to you now with a similar sheepishness, having promised more frequent updates than have been forthcoming, but whatever: this is NOT that kind of progress report! There is progress!
Most importantly: the Fangio album is finished. More on this soon. For now, check out the fucking awesome Ratti goggles I scored on eBay.
Second most importantly: I’m playing a show during CMJ, October 21 at Union Hall. I’m first of four; Franklin Bruno is headlining and celebrating the official release of Local Currency, and I’ll be playing with him, too. Action starts at 7, so get there early.
Tons of Mountain Goats stuff going on, too, obviously: new album is out Tuesday and we’re performing on The Colbert Report to mark the occasion (!). You can preview the album on the Colbert site, too. Full band U.S. tour to follow in November so come out and say hello if you can.
Finally, lots of how-I-spent-my-summer-vacation type stuff over on Firebird Man, the one place I have been updating somewhat regularly over the past several months. Check it out if you share my fascination with awesome old race cars, gawdawful customs, and unlikely third world treasures.
Jonathan Lee Riches, who for the past four years has conducted from various federal prison cells one of the greatest sustained performances of legal theater the world has ever witnessed, announced in a recent filing that he is considering retiring, at least temporarily, from writing lawsuits in order to, in his words, “give my fingers rehabiliation.”
This latest suit names the Guinness Book of World Records alongside Granger’s Index to Poetry and Fear Factor as defendants, and charges them with, among other things, invading his privacy and hurting his feelings by awarding him such sobriquets as “Jonny Sue-nami” and “The Patrick Ewing of Suing.” The slights seem to have occasioned an unprecedented burst of self-reflection, as Riches contemplates the toll the four thousand lawsuits he claims to have filed worldwide have taken: “I’ve filed so many lawsuits with my pen and right hand that I got arthritis in my fingers, numbness in my wrists, crooked fingers, I got bags under my eyes for sleepless nights suing the world…. I eat, sleep, and think lawsuits. I flush out more suits than a sewer. I’ve sacrificed my time, dignity, and prison trust account filing lawsuits.”
Such is the plight of the greatest American poet this young century has produced. For the reference to Granger’s is not accidental: however delusional he appears, Riches is keenly aware of his rightful place in our literary firmament and the ultimate nature of his larger project. His lawsuits are merely a springboard into the kaleidoscopic miasma of global pop culture, celebrity worship, infotainment, and current events delivered via perpetual CNN news ticker that makes up the divorced-from-reality reality we daily navigate. Riches is one part Whitman, one part Burroughs, and several parts French postmodern critical theorist of your choosing, only he’s doing time for identity theft. It makes perfect sense then that he would object that “The Guinness Book of World Records have no right to publish my work, my legal masterpieces. The defendants sent me threatening letters because I sued ‘Riches v. Black History Month’ in Iowa, and President Adminadinejad of Iran filed a[n] amicus in that case, [I] also got screamed at for filing ‘Riches v. I can’t believe it’s not butter’ and ‘Riches v. convicted child molesters,’ I’m in danger, and I seek a restraining order against the publication of my name. I pray for relief.”
Jonathan Lee Riches, we pray with you.