Song of the Day #2,485: ‘This Year’ – The Mountain Goats

mountain_goatsIndie band The Mountain Goats are from California by way of North Carolina, which sounds like a nifty combination. I learned about them from a Rolling Stone article that listed Stephen Colbert and author John Green as huge fans.

I figured they were newcomers but was surprised to learn they’ve been around for 21 years and just released their 15th studio album, titled Beat the Champ.

Upon learning that, two thoughts go through my head. First, what if these guys are amazing — another Ben Folds-like discovery. That would mean I had 15 albums of wonderful new music to discover.

The other thought is that I don’t have the kind of time I’d need to learn 15 new albums. So I almost hope they’re not very good.

Of course, a third, more sane, thought drifts in the background: Even if they are amazing, that doesn’t mean you have to gobble up everything they’ve ever recorded. Maybe one album and a few singles are all you’ll ever need to hear.

But that thought is smothered in its bed by my more prevalent completist impulses.

And what about the music? Well, it ain’t Ben Folds. But I do kind of love this song. It reminds me very much of something but I can’t put my finger on what.

I won’t be buying 15 Mountain Goats albums, but I’ll browse YouTube for a few more tracks.

I broke free on a Saturday morning
I put the pedal to the floor
Headed north on Mills Avenue
And listened to the engine roar

My broken house behind me and good things ahead
A girl named Cathy wants a little of my time
Six cylinders underneath the hood crashing and kicking
Ahh, listen to the engine whine

I am going to make it through this year
If it kills me
I am going to make it through this year
If it kills me

I played video games in a drunken haze
I was 17 years young
Hurt my knuckles punching the machines
The taste of scotch rich on my tongue

And then Cathy showed up and we hung out
Trading swigs from a bottle, all bitter and clean
Locking eyes, holding hands
Twin high maintenance machines

I am going to make it through this year
If it kills me
I am going to make it through this year
If it kills me

I drove home in the California dusk
I could feel the alcohol inside of me hum
Pictured the look on my stepfather’s face
Ready for the bad things to come

I down-shifted as I pulled into the driveway
The motor screaming out, stuck in second gear
The scene ends badly, as you might imagine
In a cavalcade of anger and fear
There will be feasting and dancing in Jerusalem next year

I am going to make it through this year
If it kills me
I am going to make it through this year
If it kills me


3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,485: ‘This Year’ – The Mountain Goats

  1. Dana says:

    They have a good sound. I’d be curious to hear more as well.

  2. pegclifton says:

    Nice sound, and they remind me of someone too??

  3. Maddie says:

    It’s funny because I had a very similar experience with The Mountain Goats after they came to my attention through John Green. I really loved this song, but I was not really inspired to buy/listen to everything else they have. I do tend to enjoy what I have heard though. They were recently performing in Boston, and I sort of wish I had gone to that concert because I would bet they have a great energy about them live. It isn’t surprising that this song is one of their most popular ones though, and I’ll keep an ear out for more that they release like it.

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