• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

Yes, the new Mountain Goats revolves around Bible verses, and no, you don't need to run away. The Mountain Goats remain the Mountain Goats. Main mountaineer John Darnielle apparently bought an Amy Grant box set, which freaked out his friends. It freaks me out because I can't find any trace on Amazon of an Amy Grant box set. That's something else we have to take on faith.

You may not believe Scripture could inspire, say, a song about desecrating churches and anything else near with spray paint, about driving all night and all day feeling no purpose, no destiny, only this compulsion, only this release. Darnielle isn't for the doctrinaire but then the doctrinaire probably won't get past the Amy Grant box set –- which, if it exists, I'm sure holds its own pleasures and its own holiness. To find holiness beneath the surface of its seeming opposites, to find the Almighty in energy, in passion, even the passion of that man Andre Dubus observed outside church screaming "Fuck God!" -- that takes cognition. And while many don't like to bring it up, God, assuming S/he/it exists as God, gave us that, too.

Matthew 25:21 tells us: "His lord said unto him, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.’" But Darnielle's "Matthew 25:21" shows someone loved by the servant, someone getting left behind. The narrator knows his loved one is terminally ill, seeks refuge in various wild internal metaphors rendered in stark poetry, and finds himself helpless, defenseless, collapsed, when the anticipated moment loses its anticipation. I don't read the Good Book. But I remember good books were once this good.

  • Album: The Life of the World to Come (2009)
  • Artist: The Mountain Goats
  • Label: 4AD Records
  • Songs: (1) 1 Samuel 15:23 (2) Psalms 40:2 (3) Genesis 3:23 (4) Philippians 3:20-21 (5) Hebrews 11:40 (6) Genesis 30:3 (7) Romans 10:9 (8) 1 John 4:16 (9) Matthew 25:21 (10) Deuteronomy 2:10 (11) Isaiah 45:23 (12) Ezekiel 7 and the Permanent Efficacy of Grace
  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it


Russ Lewis March 10, 2010 @ 4:44 p.m.

You got something against Amy Grant?!?


Andrew Hamlin March 12, 2010 @ 7:15 p.m.

How can anyone have anything against Amy Grant? I just can't find any trace of the box set...


Sign in to comment

Win a pair of VIP tickets to
Reader Tacotopia!

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!