OK so earlier on Twitter I mentioned that I ran across a CD marked “New ‘02” while “cleaning the office.”* It consists, on auditing, of a bunch of songs that were new in 2002. Plenty of them got recorded at Bear Creek for We Shall All Be Healed; some didn’t. This one seemed worth letting out of its lonely cage. It audibly doesn’t really belong with the songs from We Shall All Be Healed: it shares some themes (meth, tawdry motels) but is formally in a pretty different ballpark and it’s also not very personal, whereas the songs that did end up making We Shall All Be Healed marked my first steps toward writing from direct experience.
There’s no tip jar but I have linked to the preorder of All Hail West Texas from the “buy” link - this song isn’t on All Hail West Texas, obviously. If you were thinking about buying All Hail and me cleaning out a drawer in my office and finding an old song and giving it away inspires you, please go preorder a copy. Or a whole bunch of copies. My dream of an all-boombox album of Mountain Goats songs entering the charts at number one has never been nearer. #2, Jay-Z, Magna Carta…Holy Grail. #1, the Mountain Goats, All Hail West Texas. Visualize it with me. This would also mark the first time a singer-songwriter album urging the listener to hail Satan has entered the charts at the top, so you know, bonus.
*”cleaning the office” requires scarequotes because few if any people familiar with the concepts of “clean” and “unclean” would distinguish between the pre- and post- states in my office