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Bitter Melon Farm



The second in the compilation series of compilation, singles, and tape-only efforts by John Darnielle and associated others, Bitter Melon Farm is a dream of a release, like its predecessor, Protein Source of the Future, almost effortlessly showing Darnielle's talent and his songs' worth. As with the first, the liner notes are as entertaining and thoughtful as the tunes themselves (his Spandau Ballet fetish continues, said band being mentioned not once but twice, the second time being his thought that the Transmissions to Horace tape should have just been a dubbed copy of True). Darnielle and acoustic guitar once more dominate the proceedings, and his ear for finding many attractive variations on that approach remains clear; consider the near-whine over the brisk run of "Against Agamemnon" versus the reflective, soft melancholy and remembrance of "Snow Song" and the soaring chorus on "Pure Intentions." Transmissions to Horace itself takes up ten songs out of 27 on the collection, and while Darnielle is a bit embarrassed over the praise that tape has received, it is a fine listen, topped off with a warm, lovely cover of the Commodores' "Sail On." Another cover concludes Bitter Melon Farm, a revamp of Ace of Base's early-'90s confection "The Sign" that helps demonstrate once again that those who scoff at songs for succeeding commercially could easily miss out on some beautiful art. More winners from the liner notes: talking about his first single, "Songs for Petronius": "I am aware of a few people who think this is as close to perfection as I've come. These are the same people who think that Suede was possibly the greatest band in the world when they were just playing in small clubs around London but became the worst band in the world as soon as they released their first single." ~ Ned Raggett
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Noche del Guajolote The Mountain Goats 2:3
  3. 2 Going to Bangor The Mountain Goats 1:37
  4. 3 Against Agamemnon The Mountain Goats 2:10
  5. 4 Going to Cleveland The Mountain Goats 3:7
  6. 5 Early Spring The Mountain Goats 2:21
  7. 6 Historiography The Mountain Goats 2:53
  8. 7 No, I Can't The Mountain Goats 3:25
  9. 8 Alpha Desperation March The Mountain Goats 2:52
  10. 9 Going to Monaco The Mountain Goats 2:40
  11. 10 Star Dusting The Mountain Goats 2:15
  12. 11 Teenage World The Mountain Goats 2:27
  13. 12 Going to Santiago The Mountain Goats 2:27
  14. 13 Sail On The Mountain Goats 2:57
  15. 14 Black Molly The Mountain Goats 2:24
  16. 15 Rain Song The Mountain Goats 1:54
  17. 16 The Bad Doctor The Mountain Goats 3:39
  18. 17 Alpha Double Negative: Going to Catalina The Mountain Goats 2:43
  19. 18 Pure Intentions The Mountain Goats 2:14
  20. 19 The Lady from Shanghai The Mountain Goats 2:10
  21. 20 Pure Love The Mountain Goats 2:19
  22. 21 Song for an Old Friend The Mountain Goats 2:25
  23. 22 Snow Song The Mountain Goats 2:5
  24. 23 Faithless Bacchant Song The Mountain Goats 1:59
  25. 24 Short Song About the 10 Freeway The Mountain Goats 1:47
  26. 25 No, I Can't The Mountain Goats 3:36
  27. 26 Song for Dana Plato The Mountain Goats 1:54
  28. 27 The Sign The Mountain Goats 2:28

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