it's not you, it's the anxiety talking

John Darnielle to your left, Sufjan Stevens to your right. I have nothing clever to say.

With my immediate living situation (etc) still unclear, I had myself a nice freak-out/borderline anxiety attack Monday morning. Delightful. Hopefully I'll be able to work through it to take some small-yet-important steps this week. While the shrink upped my meds, I'm not optimistic it will help.

MP3 The Mountain Goats - "This Year"
Today brings the release of The Sunset Tree, the latest offering from the Mountain Goats and the follow-up to 2004's We Shall All Be Healed LP. With quality production work from John Vanderslice, the new disc may sport a cleaner sound than many devotees of the typically lo-fi Goats are used to, but since I'm not a purist, I don't mind it at all. The Sunset Tree spins many autobiographical tales of acclaimed songwriter John Darnielle, including this song's clear reference to his abusive stepfather. Given my own frustrating internal struggle to deal with all my self-inflicted nonsense, I am drawn to the defiant & bold-yet-ironic chorus of "I am gonna make it through this year, if it kills me." I suppose it's a rallying cry of sorts. I hope I make it.

MP3 Sufjan Stevens - "Chicago"
This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but was delayed a bit when Keith TTIKTDA beat me to the punch with a track from the forthcoming (and now leaked) Sufjan Stevens album Illinois, which will drop on July 5th according to Pitchfork. Illinois is the second entry in the Brooklyn-based Sufjan's 50 States project, which began with the 2003 tribute to his homestate, Greetings From Michigan: The Great Lakes State. While the album does have its dark moments ("John Wayne Gacy, Jr" duh), Illinois gets a livelier treatment, of which the best example is the joyous "Come On! Feel the Illinoise!" that I nearly posted, which is a far cry from the sparsely arranged & hushed tones of last year's more spiritual Seven Swans LP. While "The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts" stands out due its almost jarring introduction of heavy guitars, I chose to go with this track, whose opening (for whatever reason) makes me feel as if I'm driving into the city on the Loop, as I have many times when roadtripping down to see my buddy Marc. Sufjan's lyrics about impermanence ("all things go") and repeated refrain of "I made a lot of mistakes" also seem kinda fitting (and maybe even a little comforting) for my current state-of-mind/predicament.

I'll leave you with a small collage of pix from my recent trip to Naples, FL, where my dad, my brother Alan & I stayed at my folks' place for a long weekend. Al & I watched the season finale of Arrested Development while we were there, and that's him trying to mimic G.O.B.'s chicken dance. My dad likes his long walks on the beach & doesn't watch much television.
| omg these people are f**king crazy »
| it's like a bad day that never ends »
| here are your marching orders »
| catching up with the brain drain »
| where did he go? where did he go? »
| let's not bring ink & paper into this »
| i'm just as boring as everyone else »
| look at you with your mind reeling »
| listening w/loot i ain't got (pt 2) »

Blogger James H. @ 4/26/2005 01:35:00 PM:

Wow, wow, wow! Two great tunes and a hilarious picture of the chicken dance, I'm in heaven!

I must admit I heard "This Year" already when I bought the digital EP off of the 4AD website. Well worth the few bucks I spent.

Is anyone else thinking this Sufan Stevens album may just be top 10 from the few songs they've heard?    

Anonymous Anonymous @ 4/26/2005 05:07:00 PM:

Wellbutrin made me manic as hell. Maybe you need something to take immediately when you feel a panic attack coming on, like Ativan. The stuff is great.

Regardless, I hope you start feeling better soon.    

Blogger mr gilbert @ 4/26/2005 05:15:00 PM:

thanks, anonymous (if that is yr real name).

i don't wanna spend a lot of time on what pills i'm taking, but i will say that i've been on wellbutrin before & it had marginal (if any) effect, so i'm not worried about going manic or anything. and i don't really have panic attacks (i'm pretty sure), so i doubt the ativan is necessary (though i'm glad it works for you).

james, i've been really impressed w/illinois so far.

and my brother & i were doing the various bluth chicken dances the whole damn weekend. my dad must've thought we were nuts (or just plain silly, which is true).    

Anonymous Anonymous @ 4/28/2005 09:30:00 AM:

you may want to inquire about a mood stabilizer such as valproate

enjoy the site!
be well!    

Blogger mr gilbert @ 4/28/2005 10:45:00 AM:

thanks for the input, anonymous.

enough about meds, though. if you've got a suggestion (which i welcome), please hit me with an email off-blog.    

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