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Bitter Melon Farm

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This is the second of a three-volume set that pulls together singles, cassette releases, and compilation tracks that never made it to a proper Mountain Goats album. (The other two sets are Protein Source of the Future…Now! and Ghana.) These collections represent some of John Darnielle's most unusual work alongside some lost gems. Many songs here are from the cassette-only release Transmissions to Horace and the vinyl EPs Songs for Petronius and Songs for Peter Hughes. Included are covers of "The Sign" by Ace of Base and "Sail On" by The Commodores, as well as several tracks from Darnielle's continuous "Going To" series, with Bangor, Cleveland, Monaco, and Santiago touched on here. "Early Spring" is an excellent example of the magic Darnielle can create with just his voice and a hastily strummed guitar. He gets up early for a 9:34 a.m. recording of "No, I Can't" (which also appears in a full-band version later in the collection) just before the touching "Song for Dana Plato," about the Diff'rent Strokes teen actress who later died from a prescription-drug overdose.

Customer Reviews

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im pretty sure that the mountain goats are legit the best band ever. summed up in one word: chill


Pretty cool. Not as good as tallahassee


Formed: 1991 in Claremont, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Mountain Goats are, for all practical purposes, the endlessly clever and prolific John Darnielle and whatever musicians he surrounds himself with, which means that while the soundscape may change from project to project, the overall tone and feel of Darnielle's work remains remarkably consistent. At his best, he writes finely observed, slightly surreal, impressionistic vignettes that manage to mix life as we live it with life as we wish we could live it, and as such he has more in common with...
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