Mountain Goats – ‘Palmcorder Yajna’

Mountain Goats – ‘Palmcorder Yajna’

(4AD)
RELEASE DATE: 8th December 2003

“Palmcorder Yajna” is the first single to be taken from the Mountain Goats’ new album, “We Shall All Be Healed”, which will be released in February 2004.

Read On… Whereas most Mountain Goats records – like Tallahassee, released at the beginning of 2003 – are entirely fictional, all of the songs on We Shall All Be Healed are based on people that songwriter John Darnielle used to know. Most of them are probably dead or in jail by now.

Five of them once set up temporary camp in his studio apartment in Portland, Oregon, sketching out plans for their weekend and openly discussing how much they could make if they stole and sold his stereo. One of these people, responding either to the Muse or to the staggering quantities of methamphetamine in her bloodstream, sat down at John’s desk and wrote a bad poem in praise of a speed-metal band called Mercyful Fate. She pressed her ball-point pen so hard against the paper as she wrote that the words are still visible on the walnut desktop today. “Palmcorder Yajna” does not tell this story, but it comes from the same moment in time.

“We Shall All Be Healed” was recorded at Bear Creek Studios in Washington State, where John was joined by Peter Hughes (bass, backing vocals), Franklin Bruno (keyboards), Christopher McGuire (drums), Nora Danielson (violin) and John Vanderslice (producer). There are no love songs on the album. But as “Palmcorder Yajna” effortlessly proves, John Darnielle remains one of the finest songwriters of his generation.

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