Mountain Goats drinking from the Pepsi Blue River March 30, 2011 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Is this Mountain Goats thread Pepsi Blue?

While I think it's a pretty good post, some combination of things about it rub me the wrong way, and I just want to know if I'm crazy or not. First, it's posted on the same day a new Mountain Goats album is out, but makes no reference to it. Second, it's posted by a prolific user (for the last two months anyway), whose handle is the name of a Mountain Goats song.

I actually kinda like the Mountain Goats (as well as the Hold Steady), but the timing of this post and a few other factors made me suspicious and I'd like to hear some other opinions.
posted by antonymous to Etiquette/Policy at 9:12 AM (129 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Terminology question: to be Pepsi Blue, would Lovecraft in Brooklyn have to be a member of the Mountain Goats?
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:14 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would think that a Merge Records employee interested in drumming up interest in the new record would be eligible as well.
posted by antonymous at 9:20 AM on March 30, 2011


I suspect the user in question is a big Mountain Goats fan. I am pretty sure that the user in question is not employed by or in some other ethically troubling way associated with Mountain Goats or John Darnielle. So for what would be I guess the actionable definition of "Pepsi Blue", i.e. some sort of questionable astroturfing activity disguised as a good faith post, I'd say no.

People are allowed to post about things they like. I pretty much never post about anything else. Lots of folks here have differingly strong opinions about the appropriateness or desirability of posts that are about, link to, or could be perceived to have the function of supporting some degree of marketing. It'll probably never be a totally settled argument.

When a post is explicitly weirdly about "go buy this" or lacks merit as a post or there is something else weirdly marketroid or turfy going on, it's a strong candidate for a quick deletion. This doesn't really seem like an example of that to me.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:20 AM on March 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


No. "Pepsi Blue" implies that Lovecraft in Brooklyn was shilling for the producers of the record for the purpose of some personal gain other than the gratification of fan attachment for the band.
posted by crunchland at 9:22 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't it be more Pepsi Blue if Lovecraft in Brooklyn had linked to or referred to the new album? The fact that he didn't makes it seem a lot less like Pepsi Blue.

Plus, Lovecraft in Brooklyn has posted a lot since he registered. Awful lot of effort to go to, just to get MeFites interested in the Mountain Goats (which plenty of us were, anyway, of course).
posted by Infinite Jest at 9:25 AM on March 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


What's funny to me is that the stuff that does get deleted is so bad: no understanding of how Metafilter works, no subtlety, just "go buy this," as cortex said. Do you think that there is a lot of more subtle marketing that never gets caught?
posted by roll truck roll at 9:27 AM on March 30, 2011


Oh for fuck's sake. No, it's not.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 9:27 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Do you think that there is a lot of more subtle marketing that never gets caught?

Absolutely

(now... if I only worked for a certain vodka company I'd go collect my paycheck now)
posted by edgeways at 9:29 AM on March 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


I love the Mountain Goats. I've seen them at least six or seven times. I once destroyed a car's left front speaker with nothing more than a Zopilote Machine CD. I preordered their new record without hearing a single song from it, and despite not liking the last two albums much, because it's the Mountain Goats and because it came with an audiocassette.

But I think that post was a little thin.
posted by theodolite at 9:31 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who the fuck drinks Pepsi? Jesus H. Coke, people!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:33 AM on March 30, 2011


So attempts at marketing need to be more blatant to be deleted? If they had mentioned the new record, would that set off alarm bells? (I'm not being snarky, just asking)

I guess I should've been more clear - I'm not saying this user is "astroturfing" in the sense that we think of the term. I'm pretty sure they're just a big fan, and I have no problem with threads discussing the Mountain Goats. But the combination of username, length of time here on MeFi (and comparatively staggering volume of activity), and timing of a FPP on the Mountain Goats rubbed me the wrong way.
posted by antonymous at 9:39 AM on March 30, 2011


I think we should have a policy that allows anyone from the Hold Steady to self-link. It should be an exception to the rule. This way, even if this is later proven to be invalid it can still stand. Mostly because I think the Hold Steady are cool.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:40 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


So attempts at marketing need to be more blatant to be deleted?

If the poster who made the fpp has no financial stake in the subject of the post, how is that marketing? Or are you defining marketing in such a broad way that a huge percentage of fpps should be deleted because they're "marketing"?
posted by rtha at 9:48 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


So I've never really listened to the Mountain Goats, but they seem like the kind of band I'd like. Where should I start?
posted by dersins at 9:50 AM on March 30, 2011


In the same annoying sense as fans who go around the parking lot during shows, plastering windshields with flyers for the object of the fanhood.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:50 AM on March 30, 2011


Dersins: Find a copy of Sweden. Get broken up with horribly and leave it playing on repeat for 3 weeks. (Some people will suggest Zopilote Machine instead but they are wrong. Not very wrong mind you, but still wrong.)
posted by aspo at 9:56 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


length of time here on MeFi (and comparatively staggering volume of activity)

If it helps in understanding where I come from on this stuff, "they've been really active on the site" is the opposite of a red flag as far as marketing/sketchiness concerns go. It may be a reason to think someone is maybe coming on too strong or overexerting themself on the site in their enthusiasm to jump in the pool, but that's a whole other ball of wax.

Sketchy marketing stuff tends to correlate around here with bare minimum activity, not an abundance of it; setting aside the bottom of the barrel three-comments-one-post brand of spammers, we keep a particular eye out for people suddenly re-delurking, or specifically having a lot of their new activity involve weirdly linkfarming comments or repeated posts to the same website or organization. There's the occasional aggressive shill who makes seven posts over a few months and we end up noticing that four of them had links to the same blog, or that sort of thing. It tends to be conspicuous once we take a close look.

So, there's always the possibility that someone prolific on the site is also secretly a shill, but it doesn't fit the standard profile. We've had that sort of thing come to light now and then over the years, and a few people have been banned after throwing away some established credibility on a weird self-link or some turfing, but it's super rare compared to what we generally have to worry about.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:58 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dersins, instead of Sweden, Zopilote Machine, or even All Hail West Texas I'd argue for either The Sunset Tree or Tallahassee. I love John's older stuff (and really with the older stuff it's just John), but I found it off-putting until I'd really gotten into some of the "newer" stuff.

Oh, and Sunset Tree first if you have Daddy issues, Tallahassee first if you have relationship issues.
posted by togdon at 10:05 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dersins: All Hail West Texas, if you like scratchy low-fi stuff. As togdon posted I was going to suggest Tallahassee as a slightly easier option - I agree that I found AHWT a bit hard to get into, and might not have bothered if I hadn't heard the later stuff already.

Or just hit YouTube and grab some of the greatest hits like No Children, Dance Music, This Year, Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton...
posted by Infinite Jest at 10:07 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


crunchland: "No. "Pepsi Blue" implies that Lovecraft in Brooklyn was shilling for the producers of the record for the purpose of some personal gain other than the gratification of fan attachment for the band."

When did the definition of "Pepsi Blue" become equivalent to "astroturfing"? I thought Pepsi Blue was simply the posting of commercially-related stuff to MetaFilter. Was plinth a shill?
posted by Plutor at 10:07 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


As long as we're complaining about stuff, I wish these sorts of posts had a bit more information in them. There's no context here whatsoever, nothing much to talk about, just a single link to a collaboration between two bands that some MeFites might not have heard of. This is the sort of thread that just winds up being a line of people saying "I love Band X" and "I've seen Band X nine times!!!", enlivened only by the occasional person saying "Band X is dumb and you are dumb."
posted by IjonTichy at 10:12 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


It doesn't need context. Skip the thread if it doesn't interest you.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 10:15 AM on March 30, 2011




It doesn't need context. Skip the thread if it doesn't interest you.


It doesn't need it, but a bit of context might help expand the readership.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:17 AM on March 30, 2011


All I know is that every time I see Lovecraft In Brooklyn's name, I get "Werewolves of London" stuck in my head.

And "Was plinth a shill?" is a surprisingly delicious sentence.
posted by darksasami at 10:17 AM on March 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


Skip the thread if it doesn't interest you.

But it could potentially interest me, and possibly others!
posted by IjonTichy at 10:17 AM on March 30, 2011


It's a bit thin as a post, but it doesn't read to me as Pepsi Blue. It makes me kind of hope we won't see a new MtG post from Lovecraft in Brooklyn every month or so, but that's about it.

Re: context. I think there's enough there to get people interested. What more would you suggest? It clearly identifies it as a post about two people doing a duet, so in that sense it isn't a mystery meat post. It isn't even very insidery given the relatively large followings of the Mountain Goats (especially on MeFi, we have more than one member with a MtG's themed name) and The Hold Steady. I'm not sure posts need to solicit people any more than this one does.
posted by OmieWise at 10:22 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I find it unsurprising that someone with a Mountain Goats reference as a username would a) be a fan and thus know about this and b) find this news interesting enough to want to share it.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:23 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


dersins, passim Is nobody else going to go for "We Shall All Be Healed"? Palmcorder Yajna (another MetaFilter name, I think), Letter from Belgium, Pigs That Ran Straightaway into the Water, Triumph Of and Cotton?

Oh, God. I just confessed to liking the Mountain Goats' equivalent of "Monster", haven't I? Really, though, Cotton.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:26 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think if you think Lovecraft in Brooklyn has been paid by the Mountain Goats to be a prolific user on this site since the first week of February just so Lovecraft in Brooklyn could make this one post and bring a huge new windfall of interest in their band then you need to rethink what it is that you think that you think. How much would that cost anyways?
posted by pwally at 10:27 AM on March 30, 2011


Street teams work for love. Not that I think this is a street team. If it is, it's a very small and sedentary one.

(Incidentally, if I get excited at any point about Half Man Half Biscuit, I'd like to reassure you that I am not involved in the creation of their music in any way. Except the songs with a theremin).
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:31 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cortex - your points actually reinforce why I even made a MeTa post about it. I rarely see the garden-variety spam/promotion on this site (thanks!), but this particular post didn't have the telltale hallmarks of self-promotion. Instead, it has someone whose username and profile indicate they are a huge fan of MG, making a FPP about the band a relative non-issue. The fact that the post DIDN'T mention the new album by the band they love (which was released that same day) just seems out of 'character' (using the loosest definition possible, as I don't even know this person).

And pwally, I didn't claim that, but if I were to approach someone to make a FPP promoting my band, I would certainly consider someone whose username is taken from one of my songs.
posted by antonymous at 10:32 AM on March 30, 2011


Skip the thread if it doesn't interest you.

But it could potentially interest me, and possibly others!

Then take a risk.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:36 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


MetaTalk: you need to rethink what it is that you think that you think
posted by Burhanistan at 10:37 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cortex - your points actually reinforce why I even made a MeTa post about it. I rarely see the garden-variety spam/promotion on this site (thanks!), but this particular post didn't have the telltale hallmarks of self-promotion. Instead, it has someone whose username and profile indicate they are a huge fan of MG, making a FPP about the band a relative non-issue. The fact that the post DIDN'T mention the new album by the band they love (which was released that same day) just seems out of 'character' (using the loosest definition possible, as I don't even know this person).

This doesn't make any sense to me.
posted by rtha at 10:39 AM on March 30, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm with Plutor - when did we redefine "Pepsi Blue" to be equivalent to spam or astroturfing?

Not that I think the post in question is Pepsi Blue, but the term never indicated to me that the poster was being compensated in any way for the post.
posted by muddgirl at 10:41 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, it's always been pretty clear to me that Pepsi Blue posts are OK if they are about Things Mefi Likes, like nerd paraphenalia and indie music.
posted by muddgirl at 10:42 AM on March 30, 2011


The fact that the post DIDN'T mention the new album by the band they love (which was released that same day) just seems out of 'character' (using the loosest definition possible, as I don't even know this person).

Considering that the poster can't change their name or their posting history, exactly what should the poster have made the post in question look like in order for you (not the royal "you", but specifically YOU) to not think "Hmmmm, this post rubs me the wrong way."?
posted by 23skidoo at 10:42 AM on March 30, 2011


running order squabble fest, you hook 'em with Tallahassee/Sunset Tree, then ease them into the rest of the canon with We Shall All Be Healed. By the time you're ready to suggest that it's maybe time to check out All Hail West Texas they're already trolling eBay for Taboo VI: The Homecoming.
posted by togdon at 10:43 AM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


If Lovecraft in Brooklyn says he's not a witch, it's because he's a witch. If he says he is a witch, it's because he's lying and he's actually a goblin. And if he says he's a goblin, it's definitely because he's covering up for the fact that he's the secret 8th member of The Hold Steady.
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:43 AM on March 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


Fanboys gonna fawn.

Instead of being a one-person lovefest, there was some concern that MetaFilter on the whole has been won over by the Mountain Goats ("Is there a mod on metafilter who is married to this fucking Mountain Goats guy?")

There are members of this site who are fans of a product, artistic person/group, poltical movement or whatnot, and such people have been known to 1) choose their usernames after said object of appreciation/desire, and 2) post about said object. Just because this happens from time to time doesn't mean that person is a shill.

The thread in question has a few fans chatting about their experiences with tMG, Lovecraft in Brooklyn included. The one reference to "new album" is not by LiB, but schmod. No sketchy product hyping, IMO.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:43 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The fact that the post DIDN'T mention the new album by the band they love (which was released that same day) just seems out of 'character' (using the loosest definition possible, as I don't even know this person).

Well, I guess I hear you as far as why it caught your attention, but "they failed to effectively push a product" is one of those things that's so hard to find an actual angle on that it gets very Occam's Razor very quickly for me: in the absence of something that actually points to sketchiness, is random act by mefite more likely to be someone being idiomatic or someone playing a long, deep con with reverse-marketing-psychology or what have you.

Ultimately, it comes down to a question of whether something actually problematic happened. I spend a lot of time on the admin side of things squinting suspiciously at the maybes and mights of unusual or troubling user behavior or warning signs, so I very much understand and appreciate the scooby squad motivation; but until something concretely troubling shows up, I pretty much keep it on the down low because if I'm wrong nobody gets mistreated by a false accusation and the only cost is some wasted time and paranoia on my part. I don't mind doing the shadowboxing, it's part of my job, but I feel like it's not something that's a great idea to have happen in public.

So I guess my thesis here is: if something feels weird but it's more in the territory of non-specific feeling than hard an unambiguously sketchy bit of hard evidence, it's better to toss us an email than to frame a metatalk post about it. That way, we're made aware, we can look into it to see if there's anything actually demonstrable weird going on, and no one else has to get caught up in too much of an Is He Or Isn't He sort of dynamic. Fewer torches and pitchforks, fewer potential hurt feelings, and if there is indeed a problem after all it still gets taken care of.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:45 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


And pwally, I didn't claim that, but if I were to approach someone to make a FPP promoting my band, I would certainly consider someone whose username is taken from one of my songs.

The conspiracy deepens! This may go all the way to the sinister svengali, Ron Jacobs of the Shout Network!
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:45 AM on March 30, 2011


If people want to mount goats, it's not our place to stop them.
posted by staggernation at 10:45 AM on March 30, 2011


If people want to mount goats, it's not our place to stop them.

Unless they are your goats.
posted by pwally at 10:48 AM on March 30, 2011


I propose that LiB's original post was sincere, that you work for Merge, and that THIS POST is the shill. Enjoy your banhammer sandwich and chocolate malt, and see you on Mountain Goats/Gaga tour 2012!
posted by mintcake! at 10:50 AM on March 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


And pwally, I didn't claim that, but if I were to approach someone to make a FPP promoting my band, I would certainly consider someone whose username is taken from one of my songs.

Do you think that the Mountain Goats wanted to get a FPP on Metafilter, so they searched song titles until they found a username that matched, then they contacted that person and were all "Hey, can you make a FPP on metafilter about the new record? It would be a help."

That seems really unlikely.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:54 AM on March 30, 2011


It's a cliché to complain about a cliché, but I've been bummed out that so many FPPs have an enthusiastic, passionate poster trying to share something they love and the whole thing is just immediately swallowed by snark. I could post a hundred recent threads of someone just popping in the thread to say they hate it. I try to ignore so much of the negativity and "hating" but it just bums me out sometimes.

tl;dr: your favorite snark sucks.
posted by mattbucher at 10:58 AM on March 30, 2011 [12 favorites]


an enthusiastic, passionate poster trying to share something they love and the whole thing is just immediately swallowed by snark.

This is why I made my one XTC post at 3 AM CST. That, and the goddam insomnia.

Brooklyn's an excitable kid, but he's alright.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:04 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I were to approach someone to make a FPP promoting my band, I would certainly consider someone whose username is taken from one of my songs.

The Mountain Goats guy's wife posts here occasionally; if he wanted to astroturf, it'd probably be easier to do it through her. Or through me, for that matter; I'm active on the forum of his old web-zine/blog thing. Sadly, no one has approached me with cash in hand, appealing to my loose immoral ways.

How can anyone not think The Coroner's Gambit is their best album though, FOR FUCKING SERIOUS people
posted by Greg Nog at 11:07 AM on March 30, 2011 [10 favorites]


Unless they are your goats.

You can't like, own a goat, man.
posted by maqsarian at 11:08 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Brooklyn's an excitable kid, but he's alright.

I...how could you miss...you blew it, man!

Boy! He's an excitable BOY!
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:09 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


> It's a cliché to complain about a cliché, but I've been bummed out that so many FPPs have an enthusiastic, passionate poster trying to share something they love and the whole thing is just immediately swallowed by snark. I could post a hundred recent threads of someone just popping in the thread to say they hate it. I try to ignore so much of the negativity and "hating" but it just bums me out sometimes.

This is the main thing that's decreased my participation in MetaFilter lately. I'm sure the proportion of mindless snarkers has remained more or less constant, but the site has grown so much that there's now a critical mass of them that makes the effect you describe almost inevitable. It's just depressing to watch threads degenerate into snark and petty arguing.

Also, this callout is weird and the poster's continued "I dunno, man, something bothers me about it" attitude is weirder. There is nothing wrong with posting about stuff you're enthusiastic about, for chrissake. It doesn't make you a shill.
posted by languagehat at 11:13 AM on March 30, 2011 [15 favorites]


There is nothing wrong with posting about stuff you're enthusiastic about, for chrissake. It doesn't make you a shill.

The OP never accused LiB of being a shill. That word was only used by people who want to redefine the term Pepsi Blue to be something much less allowable than it currently is.
posted by muddgirl at 11:20 AM on March 30, 2011


On the overloaded meaning of Pepsi Blue, there was some chatter in this Metatalk thread from last August. What it comes down to is people don't really entirely agree what it means, which is no real surprise given that its folk jargon with a hazy eight-years-and-counting history of use.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:26 AM on March 30, 2011


To be fair, from the FAQ:

Pepsi Blue has become a sort of catch-all catcall for something that's a possible shill posting on MetaFilter - that is, an ad or product endorsement for reasons other than just overall consumer joy.

At least according to Hoyle, Pepsi Blue = possible shill.
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:26 AM on March 30, 2011


Hey, I can answer your question about why LiB didn't mention the new album-- THERE WAS ALREADY A POST ABOUT THE NEW ALBUM. Let it go, dude.
posted by leesh at 11:26 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hey, I can answer your question about why LiB didn't mention the new album-- THERE WAS ALREADY A POST ABOUT THE NEW ALBUM. Let it go, dude.

Which you can listen to for free! So pretty ineffective Pepsi Blue.

The Mountain Goats guy's wife posts here occasionally

Furrealz?!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:30 AM on March 30, 2011


Being about something that is commercial can't seriously be a deletion reason. I mean, the front page is full of products/etc (the Artificial Leaf thing is a product from a company called Sun Catalyx, there's a whole thread on a brewery being bought by another brewery, we have threads about Apple products every freaking launch, etc).

It seems band posts bring out the PB calling more than, say, new tech product launches, and I'm not really sure why. Highlighting something interesting that happens to have a commercial aspect doesn't seem like the same thing as being a paid shill. LiB is clearly a "real" member of the community (or an extremely advanced artificial intelligence biding its time before it destroys us all -- in which case we should be nice to it!).
posted by wildcrdj at 11:33 AM on March 30, 2011


On the overloaded meaning of Pepsi Blue, there was some chatter in this Metatalk thread from last August

The first few moderator comments in that thread confirm what I always thought - Pepsi Blue posts are OK if the content is interesting to Mefites. Just like any other post.
posted by muddgirl at 11:33 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


The OP never accused LiB of being a shill. That word was only used by people who want to redefine the term Pepsi Blue to be something much less allowable than it currently is.

The times I've seen people use the phrase in the past, it's been because someone was accused of shilling for the things mentioned in their FPP. Non-rhetorically and speaking (and from a place of earnestly wanting to know how other people use the phrase), what are the other things that "Pepsi Blue" can mean?
posted by 23skidoo at 11:35 AM on March 30, 2011


The original Pepsi Blue thread wasn't even deleted, so it obviously wasn't a shill.
posted by muddgirl at 11:42 AM on March 30, 2011


I apologize if I should've sent an email to the mods rather than create this post - I tried to phrase my question to clearly indicate I wasn't making an accusation in this instance. If I had a stronger indication of sinister wrongdoing on this particular post, I definitely would have sent an email rather than create this thread. I'm more interested in the process/discussion and was interested to see if others noticed this or have opinions on it.
posted by antonymous at 11:48 AM on March 30, 2011


wildcrdj: "Being about something that is commercial can't seriously be a deletion reason. I mean, the front page is full of products/etc (the Artificial Leaf thing is a product from a company called Sun Catalyx, there's a whole thread on a brewery being bought by another brewery, we have threads about Apple products every freaking launch, etc). "

At least half my posts would be deleted if there was a ban was on product posts.

Apropos of nothing, would you like to buy a Bronx Zoo Cobra?

From a professional shill, this most likely isn't an example of shilling. Then again, perhaps I'm not the best judge. Last year I congratulated a spammer via MeMail for making his "first" FPP. :D
posted by zarq at 11:53 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm more interested in the process/discussion and was interested to see if others noticed this or have opinions on it.

I don't really mind if people post neat things that are ultimately sellable.
posted by Greg Nog at 11:57 AM on March 30, 2011


zarq: Apropos of nothing, would you like to buy a Bronx Zoo Cobra?

Who are you to sell a Bronx Zoo Cobra? That cobra don't belong to nobody! NOBODY!
(Has it been found yet?)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:58 AM on March 30, 2011


filthy light thief: " (Has it been found yet?)"

Why no, it ha- ARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHBLLLLPFFFTSSSSSSSSSS. *THUMP*
posted by zarq at 12:00 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


So I've never really listened to the Mountain Goats, but they seem like the kind of band I'd like. Where should I start?

Buy a copy of Tallahassee when you're in a relationship that's not bad but not going to work out. Both of you know it-- you're still a little bit too broken, from both the depression and your last relationship, and he's still as pristine and idealistic as the heroine of a Japanese video game. You're high school sweethearts, for Christ's sake, and everyone knows that never really works out, and you both are uncomfortable with the knowledge that you want different futures. He wants the white picket fence. He has planned out his retirement even though he doesn't know what his career is going to be. You're aimless, planless, and comfortable with that. Listen to it all the time. Sing along sometimes.

Decide No Children is your favorite song. Play it for your significant other because maybe he will appreciate what a great song it is. Unfortunately, he is the type of person who reads a lot into your song choices. He thinks that "Those To Come" by the Shins is your theme song because of your propensity to make tea in your underwear. He once froze when you told him to play "Grounds For Divorce" by Wolf Parade on your iPod, even though you immediately backtracked and said it was not because it was a secret reason. You just like the song. The idea of thinking of bus brakes as whale song appeals to an artistic sensibility in you that you think he would understand.

Tallahassee is, by now, one of your favorite all-time albums. He hates it. It's a beacon of bad things to come to him. He says it is the soundtrack to a breakup, and maybe it is. You never intended it to be, but that album is the beginning of your downfall, of the self-awareness in both of you that it isn't going to work out. There's a grittiness to you, a darkness, that he just doesn't have. The only song by The Mountain Goats that he can stand at this point is The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out Of Denton. He thinks it's funny, and it is, in a way, but you're in love with Tallahassee, with the idea of the fictional Alpha Couple, with their marriage falling apart. He moves to Louisiana and you disagree more on the phone and you feel codependant and wrong and "Southwood Plantation Road" suddenly rings with a fearful sort of trueness. "This house we call Louisiana graveyard, where nothing stays buried." Nothing does, and the one fight, the one major disagreement you've ever had, stays just below the surface, like New Orleans' water table. You're getting closer to people who live near you, and it feels good-- a new kind of relationship. Not an adult kind, but not an adolescent type either.

Break up with him over several days, with the kind of conversations where you're crying on the phone and you feel gross because the phone is all wet and sticky with tears. Buy a copy of Heretic Pride a little later, and spend weeks listening to it. Walk around with Lovecraft in Brooklyn in your head, the drumbeat guiding your steps. You've always been the type that prefers the kind of songs where the protagonist is just barely making it through, and you feel like shit but John Darnielle's voice in your head at least shows you that you're not alone, even if you aren't gonna be okay.
posted by NoraReed at 12:10 PM on March 30, 2011 [36 favorites]


Personally, I would like to see more posts about really ordinary things that no one really cares for, or at best is ambivalent about. Anything else is going to generate profit for someone somewhere. Metafilter: The most mediocre of the web.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:22 PM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


A shill wouldn't make fighty posts about Australian politics, unless they're playing an extremely deep game, scoping out every angle of unfair advantage. lovecraft in brooklyn may be kind of a dork, but he's a sincere one.

Anyway, The Mountain Goats don't need any help with popularity on MeFi.

has tickets for The Mountain Goats this weekend
posted by zamboni at 12:27 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


You can't like, own a goat, man.

I can. But that's because I'm not a penniless hippie.
posted by ego at 12:32 PM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is this something where I would need a fecal transplant to understand ?
posted by y2karl at 12:37 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


" First, it's posted on the same day a new Mountain Goats album is out, but makes no reference to it."

You answered your own question. You can't "obviously shill" for something when it's not at all obvious and you're not at all shilling.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 12:40 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


scoping out every angle of unfair advantage
I see what you did there.
posted by Prince_of_Cups at 12:49 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


It wasn't until antonymous made this post I learned the Mountain Goats have a new album. My conclusion is antonymous is John Darnielle.
posted by yeti at 12:56 PM on March 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


>I...how could you miss...you blew it, man!

Boy! He's an excitable BOY!


You just can't handle my Who-within-Zevon double lyrical reference combo!
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:49 PM on March 30, 2011


Is it possible that antonymous is actually (in a very "meta" act of reverse psyops) the one shilling for the Mountain Goats, and not Lovecraft in Brooklyn? Or that I am actually working for the Mountain Goats, and have been waiting as a silent cell member for instructions to create subterfuge in order to distract readers from the discovery that antonymous AND Lovecraft are BOTH working for the Mountain Goats? Is it possible "Mountain Goats" is a thinly veiled reference to a paramilitary Satanic operation, and that the "Anton" in the antonymous is code for Anton LaVey? Or perhaps Lovecraft is shilling for the Lovecraft estate, or is part of a front promoting Brooklyn tourism? I ask b/c my check from the Wallace Stevens estate depends on it, and my check from "Depends" underwear depends on that sentence. etc.
posted by The Emperor of Ice Cream at 2:03 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Except the songs with a theremin

Fuck me, it's a Look Dad No Tunes reference!
posted by jack_mo at 2:11 PM on March 30, 2011


The Emperor of Ice Cream: Is it possible that ...

I'll get it out of the way. I, filthy light thief, once rented a room to a current staff member at Merge Records (who is in charge of promotions and internet stuff, no less). But I don't really like the Mountain Goats, even though I've seen them live, in a rather pleasant art gallery setting.

I look forward to the Potential Shill Disclosure Form from MetaFilter, in which all members of the site must list who they know, where they work, which bands they enjoy, and which brand of sharp, lively mustard they enjoy. Perhaps Grey Poupon, the Dijon mustard with class? Because with Grey Poupon, you know you're living well.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:24 PM on March 30, 2011


You just can't handle my Who-within-Zevon double lyrical reference combo!

It's true. I can be a fundamentalist sometimes.

Wait, what thread is this?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 2:25 PM on March 30, 2011


I don't think the MG post is Pepsi Blue but there's absolutely no room for argument that this post is Pepsi Blue. The entire post is a link to a movie trailer. Why is this still on the front page?
posted by dobbs at 2:33 PM on March 30, 2011


A shill wouldn't make fighty posts about Australian politics, unless they're playing an extremely deep game, scoping out every angle of unfair advantage.

I actually love the idea of the super-long-con viral marketing guru who spends years cultivating an online persona for the payoff of selling people shoes or concert tickets or whatever. His family thinks he's just an IT consultant, but his heart holds a dark secret: he's spending his days online pretending to be a dedicated Wikipedia admin and avowed libertarian with an answer to every question and no patience for fools. It's like an undercover cop movie with all of the drugs, violence, and drama replaced with consumer goods and banality.

I picture the protagonist of this move spending endless late nights trying to perfect the tone and interests of an insufferable Internet libertarian only to look in the mirror and realize that he IS swizzlestick28@yahoo.com and that he really does like the ShamWows he's been half-heartedly mentioning amidst his talk of the gold standard and Neutral Point of View. He stumbles over to the family computer in the dark, and with bloodshot eyes and trembling fingers, he finally does Google Ron Paul.

[End Credits]
posted by Copronymus at 2:47 PM on March 30, 2011 [7 favorites]


NoraReed is clearly the shill here. Before that comment, I knew of the Mountain Goats in a peripheral "yeah, they're good" way. Now I am crazed to own every single thing they've ever created. Nice job, NoraReed, if that is in fact your real name.
posted by donnagirl at 2:51 PM on March 30, 2011


Is it possible "Mountain Goats" is a thinly veiled reference to a paramilitary Satanic operation

Possible? I'd say it's almost certain, and the veil is pretty thin indeed when you get hundreds of people enthusiastically yelling "Hail Satan" at your concerts.
posted by Copronymus at 2:51 PM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Funny thing is, I skipped the FPP because I'd never heard of Mountain Goats, and now after reading this thread I want to check these goats out. I also didn't know there was a new album until this thread was posted... So, could it be that antonymous is the real shill, cleverly posting under the radar?
posted by Elmore at 2:51 PM on March 30, 2011


Those Mountain Goats ain't got nothin' on these mountain goats.

Ha! Finally a chance to post that picture! All you various music groupie shills, thanks for playing right into my hands!
posted by Quietgal at 3:02 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Actually Lovecraft in Brooklyn and antonymous are both John Darnielle's sockpuppets. I'm Craig Finn.
posted by NoraReed at 3:08 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


And I'm Craig Ferguson. Thanks for all the posts, you guys!
posted by maryr at 3:22 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those Mountain Goats ain't got nothin' on these mountain goats.

Not where you'd want to be a fainting goat.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:27 PM on March 30, 2011


You guys are kinda, sorta right. I joined this forum just to talk about The Hold Steady. Not because I'm associated with the band in any way or because I'm paid. I just really, really, really love that band. Like 'travel interstate to see them' love. Like 'thinking of getting my only tattoo based on one of their songs'. I joined because, after 10 years lurking on this site, NoraReed's Hold Steady post convinced me that I had something to contribute. I posted the link you're all discussing because it combined THS and the Mountain Goats. If you notice, all my other links are about The Hold Steady. I figured it would be a thrill to fans of both bands to see Craig sing on John's most well known song.

As to why I have a Mountain Goats userrname instead of a THS username and why I'm posting about them more? I use that name on the AV Club and it's got a bit more personal resonance to me than the names the Hold Steady use, which are a bit more bound up in their narratives. I'm posting about the Mountain Goats alot now because they've got a new album out. When The Hold Steady's new album drops, I'll try and sneak in a post about that. When Titus Andronicus releases a new album, I'll do the same. Same with a new Micheal Moorcock book. Today I'm thinking of posting about the new paid version of Dino Run.

I like STUFF and THINGS and MUSIC and games and comics and all that stuff. I'll post about them because I love them and because I want other people to love them.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:35 PM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


As for astoturfing and self-linking, I posted a question about that. I'm trying hard to stay on the right side of the line.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:39 PM on March 30, 2011


Lovecraft In Brooklyn, I think you're doing fine, myself. I'm a music... uh... enthusiast... as well, and I totally get your zeal. I was kinda laughing to myself earlier, because if this were 1982, you could swap THS for XTC, and I'da pretty much been you.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:41 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I liked Darnielle on that Aesop Rock song.
posted by box at 3:41 PM on March 30, 2011


I don't think the MG post is Pepsi Blue but there's absolutely no room for argument that this post is Pepsi Blue. The entire post is a link to a movie trailer. Why is this still on the front page?

Huh? It's a documentary about teen magicians, and one that a number of MeFites (including me) seem to be interested in seeing. Are you saying it's Pepsi Blue because the filmmakers will make money if people go see it?

Sounds like Slarty Bartfast was right...
posted by Lexica at 3:45 PM on March 30, 2011


I also liked Christina Carter on that DJ Shadow song.

Somebody should make a website dedicated to chronicling guest appearances. Maybe you could combine it with some kind of six-degrees deal.
posted by box at 3:47 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Somebody should make a website dedicated to chronicling guest appearances. Maybe you could combine it with some kind of six-degrees deal.

That is something I would enjoy. Maybe someone could get the source code from The Covers Project, which does this very thing, but for cover songs.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:52 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, i've got a guest-appearance heavy post I'm thinking of and a site like that would be awesome. there were a few bizzare ones in Sydney recently. Ian Astbury from The Cult with Boredoms, i think. and i've got pictures of Architecture in Helsinki with the Go-Betweens


Lovecraft In Brooklyn, I think you're doing fine, myself. I'm a music... uh... enthusiast... as well, and I totally get your zeal. I was kinda laughing to myself earlier, because if this were 1982, you could swap THS for XTC, and I'da pretty much been you


no need to stop now. it's not like XTC aren't still an amazing pop band

(had my mind blown by Wasp Star when i was a kid)
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:02 PM on March 30, 2011


before it comes up: I'm not Chris Sims. I don't work for Comic Alliance. I don't write or work for the AV Club. I'm not Outlaw Vern or MightyGodKing. I'm not Bob Dylan, Brian Fallon, Dave Hause, Franz Nicolay, Frank Turner, Meat-Loaf or a Drive-By Trucker. I don't program indie games.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:05 PM on March 30, 2011


The Cars have a new album out. The Cars.
posted by fixedgear at 4:16 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


if it's good, post about it
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:20 PM on March 30, 2011


The Cars have a new album out. The Cars.

Any good? (sometimes these old fucks'll suprise you, and they're old stuff was great)
posted by jonmc at 4:37 PM on March 30, 2011


I heard one cut in the car earlier and it was unmistakably The Cars. It was pretty good.
posted by fixedgear at 4:49 PM on March 30, 2011


Lovecraft in Brooklyn is my favorite new member. I'd been wanting to say that in a thread or something, but I figured this would be a good place.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:54 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


box: I liked Darnielle on that Aesop Rock song.

Weird, I thought I've heard Coffee before, but apparently not. (And sure enough, John Darnielle is on the album version, too).

Speaking of odd collaborations, I really like Sage Francis's track with Will Oldham & Saul Williams. (The album version doesn't have Saul's verse, it's only on the single, btw.)
posted by filthy light thief at 4:54 PM on March 30, 2011


thanks, eyeballkid! and i apologize for borrowing your username for some music forum. i think it was the Questionable Content forums agesa go
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:02 PM on March 30, 2011


You know what would make you even more awesome? Using the capital letters and punctuation we all know you're capable of.
posted by gman at 5:05 PM on March 30, 2011


I have this weird association with leaving periods off of the end of multi-sentence posts, because the aforementioned boy for whom I ruined Tallahassee (among other albums, including Stuck Between Stations, because I am the worst girlfriend ever) does that a lot, but he mostly seems to do it when he seems sort of uncertain about the entire thing, like he's letting his voice trail off in case anyone wants to jump in and cut him off.
posted by NoraReed at 5:19 PM on March 30, 2011


yeah that's kinda why i do it. i can write well when I need to but i like that sort of half tossed off, uncertain feel to it.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:24 PM on March 30, 2011


Solipsist!
posted by Burhanistan at 5:29 PM on March 30, 2011


Ian Astbury from The Cult with Boredoms

I bet that was good! Astbury's done great stuff with Boris recently too.

He's pretty much the king of unlikely/ill-advised guest appearances, too: UNKLE, that terrible reincarnation of The Doors, gigs with the remaining members of the MC5, those cringeworthy duets with Debbie Harry.

Boredoms and Boris make much more sense.
posted by jack_mo at 6:02 PM on March 30, 2011


Well. Okay then.

*gets back to work on his own encyclopedic Dr. Seuss post*
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:17 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I bet that was good! Astbury's done great stuff with Boris recently too.

actually, i think it was Boris? yeah, it was Boris. Boredoms were somewhere else. i missed it because of personal stuff
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:21 PM on March 30, 2011


Do you think that the Mountain Goats wanted to get a FPP on Metafilter, so they searched song titles until they found a username that matched, then they contacted that person and were all "Hey, can you make a FPP on metafilter about the new record? It would be a help."

That seems really unlikely.


We're talking about a guy who's new album may be named after an obscure Magic the Gathering reference and who argues about Lord of the Rings on his forum. We live in a world where my Brian Jonestown Massacre review on an obscure Aussie music site can get me yelled at by Anton Newcombe.

Again, that's not what I did, but stranger things have happened.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:25 PM on March 30, 2011


Jesus, now you can't even like things without getting called out for it. Leave Lovecraft alone.

I don't wonder why I dislike coming here lately.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 7:03 PM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


If we're talking about The Hold Steady, I would like to share a relevant tweet
posted by Greg Nog at 7:04 PM on March 30, 2011


thanks!
some guys on the Hold Steady forum briefly suspected me of being @FakeCraigFinn just 'cause when i perform/write poetry its all a Craig Finn imitation. but i'm not @FakeCraigFinn

maybe John Darinelle is?

Leave Lovecraft alone.

i'm actually waiting for the callout on my other namesake. been lots of posts recently
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:49 PM on March 30, 2011


i'm actually waiting for the callout on my other namesake.

Wait, do you mean you're also posting with another account or is that a reference to the borough in NYC?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:54 PM on March 30, 2011


I don't think the original Pepsi Blue article was a self-link. Rather it was just kind of a pointless FPP. Or something.
posted by delmoi at 8:01 PM on March 30, 2011


Somebody should make a website dedicated to chronicling guest appearances. Maybe you could combine it with some kind of six-degrees deal.

filthy light thief: That is something I would enjoy.

And now I realize, I'm a goon. Discogs already does this, to a degree. No "six-degrees deal" built into the site, that's all up to you. But you can chart relationships, like Aesop Rock featured John Darnielle, who is a member of The Mountain Goats, who featured Scott Solter on The Sunset Tree, and Scott released The Brief Light with vocals by Alison Alstrom, who also appeared on Phil Crumar's album So Unique, and Phil had a single that featured scratches by Rob Swift. Ergo, Aesop Rock something something Rob Swift.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:19 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, do you mean you're also posting with another account or is that a reference to the borough in NYC?

nothing so complicated. i mean i'm waiting for a 'wow, there's been almost daily posts about HP Lovecraft' MeTA
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:23 PM on March 30, 2011


You know who else is Pepsi Blue?


YOUR MOM.
posted by special-k at 9:36 PM on March 30, 2011


this is all just a long con by HP Lovecraft's ghost. as long as his name is around in some form or fashion he gains power, and when he gains enough power he'll return to Earth. and as much as we all love the guy's writing you KNOW you don't want to deal with the pissed off ghost of a paranoid weird fiction writer.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:42 PM on March 30, 2011


I think this is all just a shill to get us to ride the Empire Builder.
posted by maxwelton at 3:49 AM on March 31, 2011


Wow, flt, that's an admirably circuitous Aesop Rock-Rob Swift connection.

Another thing I'd like to see a six-degrees kinda site about: book blurbs. I'm holding in my hand Cara Hoffman's So Much Pretty, which has blurbs by Chris Cleave, Lee Martin, Philipp Meyer and Jim Shepard. Has Hoffman blurbed any of those people? Who else have they blurbed? How can I find a list of, say, every author who has received blurbs from both Donald Westlake and Ken Bruen, every blurb that contains the phrase 'roller-coaster ride,' or every book that a blurber compares to Jim Thompson? Who's the most promiscuous blurber in history? (Guess: Stephen King.)
posted by box at 5:56 AM on March 31, 2011


You know one of the best ways to find out if I'm a shill? Ask me.

No, not askme, although I would likely see it and respond to it.

For the record, no, I have never received compensation for promoting Pepsi products (at least not that I'm aware of).

I just thought that choosing a color for a beverage that matched the color they used in diaper commercials was not a wise choice.
posted by plinth at 5:59 AM on March 31, 2011


(Some people will suggest Zopilote Machine instead but they are wrong. Not very wrong mind you, but still wrong.)

I'll go ahead and suggest Nothing for Juice. But I really miss Rachel.

Is nobody else going to go for "We Shall All Be Healed"?

That's my second pick. Palmcorder and Pigs are two of my favorite songs ever.

Protein Source of the Future...Now! + Bitter Melon Farm + Ghana is a pretty solid introduction as well.

All Hail West Texas is obviously excellent too.

I'm with Plutor - when did we redefine "Pepsi Blue" to be equivalent to spam or astroturfing?

Pepsi Blue is not spam or astroturfing, it's posting a trivial link with little conversational or cultural value. I love TMG, and yeah, the post was a little thin, but not that bad compared to a lot of other stuff that sticks around. (Had some supporting articles.)

And "Was plinth a shill?" is a surprisingly delicious sentence.

I find it ridiculously delightful that the original poster of the Pepsi Blue post has joined a metatalk thread about whether a metafilter post was "pepsi blue." It's enough to give the meta giggles.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:28 AM on March 31, 2011


box: Wow, flt, that's an admirably circuitous Aesop Rock-Rob Swift connection.

Best part, it was by pure coincidence. I was at a loss of who to pick from The Sunset Tree for the next jump, and first chose Franklin Bruno, but his associations weren't intriguing enough.

And now this reminds me of a music geek game some college DJ friends and I would play: how many songs would you need to segue from Song A to Song B?
posted by filthy light thief at 10:00 AM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


MetaTalk: So this is what the volume knob is for.
posted by schmod at 1:58 PM on March 31, 2011 [3 favorites]


Who's the most promiscuous blurber in history? (Guess: Stephen King.)

Neil Gaiman?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:49 PM on March 31, 2011


John Darnielle - Craig Finn - Franz Nicolay - Amanda Palmer - Palmer, Gaga, Madonna - Lady Gaga
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:59 PM on March 31, 2011


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