I know it seems like I’ve been talking about this forever, but cut me some slack: it was only this time last year that the songs even started getting written. And now? Well look at that shit, will you?
Fangio—the album-length sequel to a song I wrote for my Casio-powered solo project, Party of One, in 1987, a song that imagined five-time Formula One World Champion and Argentine folk hero Juan Manuel Fangio piloting a Saab 900 Turbo SPG across the Andes mountains on a covert mission to assassinate Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet—currently sits in pit lane, crew scurrying about, final preparations being made before advancing to the starting grid.
There are ten songs, and their titles are as follows:
01 Operational Detachment Juan Manuel Fangio
02 El Narcoavión
03 My God Is An Angry God (Juan Manuel Fangio Castiga los Pecados del Mundo)
04 La Consciencia Intranquila de Juan Manuel Fangio
05 Edwardian Gray
06 Bebe’s Song
07 El Hombre Mas Macho
08 Compared to Their Predecessors, Today’s Politically Motivated Kidnappers Are Total Dicks
09 Los Viejos
10 Beat Your Halfshafts Into Swords (The Radicalization and Redemption of Juan Manuel Fangio)
That’s too much music to fit on a single LP, so Fayettenam will release the album in two parts: the first two songs as a 7″ single, the rest to follow on a 12″ LP; all of the songs will be available as digital downloads as well. The single and album sleeves will be silkscreened and gorgeous, you have my word.
Also gorgeous? The insanely, pants-shittingly awesome video I just made with former Jalopnik contributor, Bob Mould backup singer, fugitive from Albanian justice, and all around cars-and-music Renaissance man Davey G. Johnson, during the shooting of which the above photo was taken. It’s for “My God Is an Angry God,” and we’ll be putting it up around the same time the single is ready to go (with a sneak preview possible earlier if you’re paying attention here, hint hint).
Target date for all of this ridiculousness: June. Official countdown starts now.
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.