If you are a frequent visitor to this blog you know that I am a huge fan of John Darnielle’s band, The Mountain Goats. His excellent lyrical ability combined with catchy chords and his emotion takes The Mountain Goats’ music to an empyrean level of musical bliss. Today, I found a new way to use one of the Mountain Goats’ song…besides just listening to and enjoying it.
If you have ever seen Darnielle in concert you can vouch for me. He is nuts. The man is incredibly emotional about his trade…and his trade is rocking out on the acoustic guitar. When I saw him in Ithaca he broke a guitar string. I was surprised he did not break any more strings, or the guitar itself. When I sat down on a gym bench today to do a back exercise, “This Year,” off of The Sunset Tree, released in 2005, a song that focuses on Darnielle when he was a 17-year-old struggling to break through the last year of his childhood, came on, on my extensive Ipod Favorites playlist.
The opening repetitive riff leads perfectly into Darnielle’s first verse which immediately pumped me up before I did my set. In the chorus Darnielle sings, “I am going to make it through this year if it kills me,” and, while it is not yelled with a heavy guitar solo and fireworks, it provides just enough passion to hide the weight you are lifting. Not to mention this awesome backing vocals and Darnielle’s amazingly intense voice. As the acoustic was strummed with hard down strokes and Darnielle ended the song, I found myself pretty surprised with the weight I was lifting. I did make it through the set.
Great odd video below: