Track of the Week: “Harlem Roulette” by The Mountain Goats


The Mountain Goats are an American folk band that was created by John Darnielle in his small studio apartment with nothing more than his poetry, a dual-cassette recorder, and a guitar that he got for a couple dollars up the street. He went on to share his poems with his friend Rachel who just happened to play the bass. They went on to tour the US and Europe, along with the Midwest and San Francisco. Then in 2001, when asked if he’d like to make records, John called his friend Peter and the two went on to make Tallahassee, We Shall All Be Healed, The Sunset Tree, Get Lonely from 2002 to 2007. All the while having different drummers play with them until the day they met Jon Wurster. They enjoyed him so much that the trio later went on to make Heretic Pride in 2008, and in early 2009, The Life of the World to Come.

This song, to me, is so full of upbeat feelings and sweet lyrics that it’s hard to not want to sing along or tap my foot. Despite the sad subject matter- Frankie Lymon’s drug-induced death- the phrase that stuck out was “Every dream is a good dream, even awful dreams are good dreams, if you’re doing it right.” Something about it just makes me want to keep scrolling through their playlist and especially check them out this Friday since they’ll be here in Iowa City at Blue Moose!

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