Amanda Palmer covered The Mountain Goats’ “The Mess Inside” (listen)
The ongoing “I Only Listen To The Mountain Goats” podcast with bandleader John Darnielle, Joseph Fink, and special guests features a new cover song from All Hail West Texas each episode, and eventually all of those covers will be compiled for a tribute album. The latest is “The Mess Inside” from the great Amanda Palmer. Her take is stripped down, with minimal backing from violin, handclaps, and some backup vocals, and it really puts a unique spin on the song. Here’s what Amanda says:
There’s something weirdly challenging about covering the Mountain Goats because the very hallmark of these songs is how authentically no-frills and lo-fi the original recordings are, and it felt like it would be insulting to overproduce anything. I was walking to town one night in upstate New York with my musician friend Sxip Shirey and we were ticking off the projects we had on our to-do list, and I mentioned this covers project, and by 10 pm that night we were in my kitchen playing ‘The Mess Inside’ together, and by 9 am the next morning I’d roped in my violist friend Rachel who happened to be staying with us, and my two assistants sang back-up and clapped. We didn’t do more than 6 rehearsals in a row before we recorded the song in the backyard, high on the immediacy of it all…that felt like the right way to do it. And you can’t hear it on the recording, but we were also watching Coco Karol, Sxip’s wife, dancing on the lawn with Rachel’s tiny baby in her arms, while we did the recording, because we also made a video of the take. Coco had just come through the darkness of a miscarriage, and as she danced with the tiny baby, ‘The Mess Inside’ took on a whole new meaning for everybody playing and singing. Music is amazing.
Listen to the cover and the latest episode of the podcast, below.