thankfully, fall out boy found all of kanye's lost swagger, and have no problem taking over as chicago's overly bombastic pop superstars. fuck, the hooks on this album are incredible. there are some missteps in the middle of the album(namely, "the (shipped) gold standard"), but overall this is a natural and seamless progression from their last album, and they've found a new maturity and comfort level, easing from the southern rock stomp of "i don't care" to channeling bowie on "america's suitehearts" with abandon and skill. also, can we take a moment to appreciate how fucking awesome "20 Dollar Nose Bleed" is? fuck, the trumpet licks! the piano part! the weird spoken word part at the end that rips off glassjaw? god. tremendous. don't sleep on this.
this almost makes up for how annoyed i am with '808's and heartbreak'.
i recently got a sansa 4 gig clip mp3 player, and it is charming, and adorable, and makes my walk to work so much better. i spent this afternoon walking around and kicking snow into the nearby man-made freshwater lake(which they stock with fish so people can fish for them), and listening to the "black pear tree" ep from the mountain goats and kaki king. like i've mentioned, i'm slowly falling out of love with that band, as they morph farther and farther away from what attracted me to them in the first place. most of that ep is skippable, if you ask me RIGHT NOW(which, of course, will probably change as i listen to it more), but the last two songs are fucking amazing, and rival anything else john darnielle has done. "roger patterson van" is based on a kaki king guitar piece(apparently originally written for a japanese anime according to a live clip on youtube), with john's lyrics and vocal melody over it. as a result, it has an entirely unique feel in the mountain goats canon, seeming jauntier and more foreign influenced(i hear a lot of french guitar stylings, but maybe that's just me) than most of his work, and as a result, it's insanely catchy, and genuinely feels like a collaboration between the two instead kaki king playing john's guitar parts or john singing ms. king's lyrics. i'm also curious as to which roger patterson john meant. there's roger patterson, the bigfoot enthusiast(which, 'heritic pride' was an album about monsters), or roger patterson, the bass player for atheist, who was tragically killed in a car accident. the van leads me to believe it's a reference to the bass player, but i like the double possibilities of musician and monster-hunter.(edit: upon further reflection, the lyrics about two young men clearing out the wreck seems to point to the member of atheist. ah well, it was an interesting idea while it lasted.) the last song is written from the point of view of toad, from super mario brothers, and is a painful ode to his savior who only comes after seasons of trembling and hiding in the corners of basements while "guys dressed up like sorcerers" patrol the halls of the castle. it's a touching reminder that you can add depth and beauty to even the most simple of narratives. (which is one of the reasons i fell in love with the mountain goats to begin with.)
hey, here's one of the best songs released in 2008(though this version is from 2007):