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Jam Eater Blues

Title: Jam Eater Blues 1
Released: 2001
Label: Sub Pop

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Liner notes

(none)

Table of contents

  1. Jam Eater Blues
  2. Store
  3. Straight Six

Jam Eater Blues 2

Life is too short to refrain from eating jam out of the jar
Life is too short to refrain from eating jam out of the jar
Life is too short to wait around
For you to come home tonight
Life it too short, too short to do that

Life is too short to leave the windows open all winter long
Life is too short to leave the windows open all winter long
I'm gonna lock 'em up tight
And eat jam out of the jar all night
'Cause life is too short to make toast or use spoons or napkins

Life is too short to spend the rest of it down here in Tampa 3
Life is too short to spend the rest of it down here in Tampa
Yeah, life is too short to let it go to waste like this
But I never tasted jam before that tastes like this
And life is too short to refrain from eating jam out of the jar

Store 4 5

In the five-minutes-worth of lost time that I had
When I was passed out on the supermarket floor
I saw you at the head of the heavenly chorus 6
And I heard your song ringing all through the store

In the five minutes when my broadcast got preempted
I saw you touch down, you were no longer dead
I was happy to see you, I had lots of questions
And I put my hand to the wound in your head

Ah, the blood
All of that blood
All of that warm blood
Flowing freely from you

In the five minutes when I was dead to the world
In a place far away from my friends and my home
I saw you with a smile on your radiant face
Amidst all of the cans and the glass and the chrome

And in those five minutes my signal was jammed
The frequencies that I received were so pure
That I almost believed that the sight of the hole
In your skull was a thing that my heart could endure

Ah, the blood
All of that blood
All of that warm blood
Flowing freely from you

Straight Six 7

Dull powder-blue paint job, Earl Scheib special 8
Dashboard full of talismans to try and push fate
Rabbit skull hanging from the rearview
Six kicking cylinders lined up straight

And I ride
And I glide down the streets of this city
All night, up tight
Jenny's 9 on the cellular high as a kite

There's a crack in the windshield eighteen inches long
Evaporating snow forming crystals on the chrome
Brand new battery I shoplifted from the Pep Boys 10
Cold cranking power to bring me on home

And I ride
And I glide down the streets of this city
All night, up tight
Jenny's on the cellular high as a kite

Sometimes
The moon shines
Like a beacon to the weary and sick in spirit
And sometimes, sometimes it's dark

  1. Sub-Pop Singles Collection 7", Nall, accessed April 27, 2014.

Credits

Have I mentioned that Caliclimber is amazing and that his Flickr page provided the album art? Thanks also to Thomas Fidler (Drumhax on the forums) for correcting the lyrics in Store.

Footnotes

  1. From 1988 to 1993, and then again from 1998 to 2002, the Seattle-based Sub Pop label operated the Sub Pop Singles Club, a subscription-based vinyl collection club in which members would receive monthly limited-press 7" 45 RPM singles. The Mountain Goats participated in November 2001. The single is officially unnamed, and so goes by the names Sub Pop Singles Collection V2 #44, its catalog number SP581, its description as Jam Eater Blues b/w Store/Straight Six, or by the drawing on the cover and title of the first song, Jam Eater Blues, as has been done here.

    Pette, John. The Mountain Goats - Jam Eater Blues. Retrieved April 27, 2014.

    Sub Pop Records. Singles Club V.2 is Dead 2002. Archived on January 10, 2007. Retrieved April 27, 2014.

  2. "I'm very pleased with the title of this one, 'cause it's not every day you come up with the title of a blues song that you're pretty sure hasn't been used." — Crossing Border, Amsterdam, October 9, 1999

  3. Tampa is a major city on the west coast of Florida.

  4. Also called Aisle.

    "I think I wrote this while I was working on The Coroner's Gambit stuff and thinking a lot about dead friends… This is a song that I believe is called Aisle, but I always want to call it Store, but I could have that backwards… It's a terribly gory song, and it's kind of disturbing to me to think about this guy having this anti-epiphany walking up and down the aisles of the Hy-Vee in Iowa, all brightly lit in the middle of the afternoon." — Zoop, Farm Sanctuary, New York, June 17, 2007

    "This is from a series of songs that I'm writing that I will probably never do anything with, I'm just writing them to be writing them, about a guy in Athens on his way through town to catch a plane out of town, he remembers a friend who died, and he has a vision, and it affects his day in a significant way, and so, so far I've got about six songs… Anyway, it's called Aisle, it takes place in a grocery store." — Olde Club, Swarthmore, April 21, 2001

  5. Store is part of the informal series of Biblical references.

  6. In the hierarchy of angels described by theologian Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite and later criticised or incorporated into the theology of many other Christian theorists, a choir is a division of angels corresponding to a particular rank (for example, archangels are in a higher choir than angels, as are seraphim). This can also refer to a literal choir, such as the angels who sung at the birth of Jesus:

    Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

    Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and peace on earth to people He favors!

    The head of the heavenly chorus could thus refer to the highest ranking angel or to the leader of a literal choir of angels. Both of these could describe Lucifer, who often considered to be the highest angel prior to his rebellion, and is also sometimes interpreted to have lead the angels in song. However, this allusion could be unintended, and the narrator sees his friend not as Satanic, but as the leader of a beautiful, angelic choir.

    Luke 2:13 – 14, Holman Christian Standard Bible, retrieved April 27, 2014.

  7. A straight six engine is a car engine in which six cylinders are aligned in a single row driving a single crankshaft, as opposed to a V6 engine, in which the six cylinders are in two rows of three. The main advantage of this design is reduced engine vibration compared to a V6, however, the reduced space requirements of the V6 has led to its widespread adoption over the straight six. This implies that the narrator is either driving an older car, one of a few pickup, or one of even fewer modern cars.

  8. Earl Scheib was an automobile paint and repair company with locations throughout the United States before closing down in 2010.

  9. Potentially the same Jenny in the song Jenny and Night Light, among maybe other songs. John has stated that Jenny appears in multiple songs, however, he has not definitively stated that this is one of them.

    Swiatecki, Chad (2012). Mountain Goats' John Darnielle Discusses the 'Satan Record'. Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 27, 2014.

  10. Pep Boys is an American automobile service chain.