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Tropical Depression

Title: Tropical Depression 1 2 3 4
Released: 1997
Label: Little Mafia

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Liner notes

Date: 08/01/96
To: Little Mafia Records
From: Joel R. Huschle RE: Furniture Huschle/Mountain Goats Split 7"

A tropical cyclone passes through two stages, tropical depression and tropical storm, before reaching hurricane force. The two stages can be viewed as sides, like sides of a record. Let me take you back to the year 1994. Imagine standing on the mangrove-lined 5 coastline of Belize, 6 your shirt nearly ripped off your body by powerful winds. The rain, driven hard by the hot moist air, tears little holes in your skin. Each little hole, when looked into with a powerful camera, looks like the hole in the middle of a record. You now have that record in your possession. The first side is by Furniture Huschle, presenting two distinct songs, each with its own music and lyrics. The second side is by The Mountain Goats, going the extra mile with three songs (again, these are three distinct songs, each with its own music and lyrics). That's five different songs! All songs were assembled by Bob Durkee, who owns and operates the assembler of the songs. This e.p. was supposed to have come out on a British label in 1994, but that label put out a Merzbow 7 album instead. So open your turntable and get ready to change the weather. You wil no doubt feel the hot moist air weight heavy in your lungs. You will look with a powerful camera into the holes in your skin…

The Mountain Goats half of Tropical Depression was included on the compilation Ghana.

Table of contents

  1. Mercury Bobcat
  2. Unforgivable Stuff
  3. Anti Music Song
  4. Going to Hungary
  5. Earth Air Water Trees

Anti Music Song 8

"Anti Music Song."

I saw you on TV
Doing a bad imitation of Van Morrison 9
And I saw you on TV
Doing a bad imitation of a second-rate songwriter from the eighties named Morrissey 10
I never liked Morrissey
And I don't like you

I saw you on TV
Doing an imitation of an imitation of Jimi Hendrix 11
That's really pathetic
And I saw you on TV
Trying to figure out what Brian Jones 12 would be like if he'd have lived 'til today
I can tell you myself
He'd be like Brian Wilson 13
I don't like Brian Wilson
And I don't like you
I don't like you

Going to Hungary 14 15

We touch down
In Budapest 16
Headed straight for the motel room
We got undressed

We had not slept
For three or four days
We slipped underneath the covers
It felt OK

About twelve hours later
The sun came out to play
I felt it on my eyelids
I pushed your hair away

You put on your old gloves
You put on your new skirt
I put on my cowboy boots
I slipped on my yellow shirt

We headed out, sweat drying on our bodies
And I got all sentimental
We were heading straight to hell
In a Lincoln Continental 17

Earth Air Water Trees

Through the shifting colors in the sky
I heard the wild geese call
And the light was bright and clear and cold
Over eastern Montreal 18
And although I know
You're only toying with me now
And although you hold
Your affection from me like a bone on a string
I love you, I love you because
You gave me sausage and cheese
When I was hungry

But you hold your closed hand out to me
You told me to guess what you had inside
And I had a thousand guesses and some of them were good
But I knew for sure that I was losing my mind
When the scent came rising
Through the spaces between your fingers
When the scent called to me
And I knew we'd last at least 'til the end of December
And I love you, I love you because
You gave me sausage and cheese
When I was hungry

Credits

Thank you, Caliclimber! Your Flickr page continues to amaze me, and I greatly appreciate you letting me use the cover art here.

  1. Tropical Depression, Nall, retrieved May 4, 2014.

Footnotes

  1. In the liner notes to Ghana, John writes:

    I've actually become a belated convert to the Church of the Mozzer, and regret going public with my ignorance of his excellence. Posterity is its own punishment, I suppose. The real loss, though, is that I can't include "Unforgivable Stuff" from the Furniture Huschle side of the record: "Then there's the time I came home drunk / I bit your arm and got a chunk / how was I to know the infection would spread? / the serious doctor said the tissue was dead / but now the stump is healing and it don't look bad / yeah, when the going gets rough / we bring up that unforgivable stuff." Why this single didn't chart in at least fifteen countries remains a mystery to me.

    Mozzer refers to Morrissey, whom John states his distaste for in Anti Music Song.

  2. Tropical Depression is a split EP with labelmate and longtime Inland Empire musician friends Furniture Huschle. Their tracks, Mercury Bobcat and Unforgivable Stuff, are not discussed here.

  3. Due to a misspelling on the cover, a second version of Tropical Depression was released, identical except for the cover image.

  4. As described in the liner notes, a tropical depression is the lowest classification of cyclone, in which wind speeds are lower than 34 knots, no eye is present, and the storm is not well-organized, but a low-pressure system is present.

  5. Mangroves are trees in the family Rhizophoraceae, and especially Rhizophora, although sometimes the term refers to the swampy, saline, coastal biome in which mangrove trees are found.

  6. Belize is a small, coastal country on the east coast of Central America bordered by Mexico and Guatemala.

  7. Merzbow is a prolific Japanese noise musician and author. As far as I can tell, the only British label Merzbow released an album or EP on in 1994 was Ten Bob Swerver, a very minor label with only two releases, neither of them related to the Mountain Goats, so my best guess is that this is just a joke.

  8. John has refused to play this song, saying that he no longer agrees with it. "[Anti Music Song] I no longer agree with the premise… I have grown to love both Morrissey… and Mark Eitzel, and I can't sing that song in good conscience anymore." — American Theater Company, Chicago, May 16, 2010

    I'm not sure which line is directed at Eitzel.

  9. Van Morrison is an acclaimed Northern Irish musician famous for a large body of successful rock and pop work, especial his 1968 and 1970 releases Astral Weeks and Moondance.

    John has stated that this line was directed at Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows, a position which I hope he has recanted similarly to the rest of the song.

    Mountain Goats forums. Anti-Music Song: Naming Names. July 26, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2014.

  10. Morrissey is an English singer and songwriter who rose to fame with alternative, indie pop band The Smiths in the 1980s, and who has since also been successful with his solo efforts.

    John states that he has recanted his position on Morrissey in the liner notes, at shows, and on the forums: "I don't even remember who the Morrissey wannabe was. It should be noted that I saw the light in '95 and would no longer call Moz '2nd-rate.'"

    Mountain Goats forums. Anti-Music Song: Naming Names. July 26, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2014.

  11. Jimi Hendrix was a seminal American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter, revolutionizing rock music and achieving great heights with his band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, before his death in 1970.

  12. Brian Jones was one of the founders of the Rolling Stones, contributing tremendously to the young group before gradually losing a role in the band due to his drug addiction, dying within a month of being asked to leave the band in 1969.

  13. Brian Wilson is an American musician famous for his work with the Beach Boys, where he was the primary songwriter, arranger, and one of the main vocalists.

    This is one line in the song John hasn't repudiated: "no, I still dislike BW's entire body of work pretty intensely".

    Mountain Goats forums. Anti-Music Song: Naming Names. July 26, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2014.

  14. Going to Hungary is part of the Going to … series and the informal series of Biblical references.

  15. Hungary is a central European country bordered by the Balkans to the south, Romania and Ukraine to the east, and Slovakia, Austria, and Slovenia to the northwest.

  16. Budapest is the capital of and largest city in Hungary.

  17. The Lincoln Continental was a luxury car manufactured by Ford through its Lincoln division in three different periods, the late 1930s to 1940s, mid 1950s to 1980s, and from the early 1980s to early 2000s. John F. Kennedy was assassinated in a Lincoln Continental in 1963.

  18. Montreal is the largest city in Quebec, close to the American border with Vermont.