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March 15, 2011 Sending This One Out to Japan


The Mountain Goats would like to step into the pulpit for a second here and say that if there actually were a devil, his name would be Compassion Fatigue. We must resist the devil, even though 1) there is no devil and 2) the devil is all kinds of cool. Wherefore, tomorrow, as soon as I get the link myself, hoping to increase compassion and show love to Japan, I'm going to put up a link to an auction that the good people at Tannis Root are running with a bunch of artists whose online stores they host.

I always try when asked for an auction donation to come up with something special. My donation for Japan is a tape I found in a box today. The tape is dated 5/27/01, and is labeled "FRENETIQUES demos" on the spine, but that plural is deceptive: it has only one song on it. The song's called "Eugene Sue." I spent today trying to figure out why it's called that, but no luck. Quick math tells me that this is the tape I had planned on making the next work-tape before I decided to write Tallahassee instead. I'm not going to make a copy of it for myself; whoever wins it will have something that nobody else has, including me. There is one in the world, and this one's it. If you want to digitize it and give it away to everybody, that is fine with me, and if you don't, that's fine with me too, and probably even more fine with some of the French continental theorist types I adore.

The song itself is completely inappropriate to the occasion at hand; in it, a man washes up on shore and calls down curses on himself & the entire world. He sees a guy with a gun. He foretells trouble for everybody. He whistles. What can I say: it's a Mountain Goats song; some degree of doom and paranoia goes with the territory. Still, it seems hopeful in its peril-ridden way. Happy doomed guy singing. Painting smiley faces on the walls of his open prison. And a spoken intro that indicates that I'd been watching the Cubs play the Reds into extra innings.

It looks like this, and I hope you feel called to bid with both hands when I put up the link tomorrow. My goal in putting up something irreplaceable is to raise as much as I can for people who need our help right now. See you here tomorrow when the link goes live.