The Mountain Goats :: "The Sign" [Live]

For the past month we've been on the road and today we return home. Many thanks to those of you who put us up and put up with our antics; we are eternally grateful. Thanks to the publicists and bands who hooked up our shows. Thanks to America for being so incredibly enormous, unflaggingly weird and famously awesome.

Of course, the end of such an journey brings about the essence of its start. In some small way, I am reminded of John Darnielle's live cover of Ace Of Base's seminal hit, "The Sign." He finds at the end of the first chorus that too few audience members sang the words. In what is certainly a thesis statement, Darnielle breaks into a faux-tirade about how he knows these people know the song, knows these people know the words to this song and knows they secretly want to sing this song. He rails at their insecurities, their fears of looking uncool, their fears of dancing and singing, finally settling on the blithy put, "well, no one's gonna tell and there's no film in that camera!" Of course, this is all preserved through the wonders of concert recording, but in the last chorus, the crowd screams the lyrics with exactly the abandon that Darnielle suggested was possible.

Not everyone gets it. The recording is shitty and it is, after all, a cover of a Swedish dance hit from the 1990s. But the underlying message is about finding truth in the moments of letting go. Without of shred of grandiosity, Darnielle's words are more true than ever, even if someone told and there was film in the camera.

Listen :: The Mountain Goats - "The Sign" [Live Ace of Base Cover]

1 comment:

noah said...

From this position, that car looks impossibly small.
Welcome back. It's like you never left.