But I’m talking about the Satan who drives you to do things that are bad that you don’t feel proud about, that you spend some dark times with yourself going ‘well, right now I seem to kind of be worshipping the devil,” right. And you don’t realize it at first, it’s after you’ve been living four or five months in your condition when you say ‘oh, I’m really not in the best shape I’ve ever been in my whole life, I’m kind of wrapped up in shame and guilt but this seems to be how I live now’ and you make a little pact with the darkness inside of you and you say ‘if I can, if I can be with you this long, can I leave at some point?’ And then when you do, you remember it with fear and trembling.
— John Darnielle w/r/t In Memory of Satan (via vizwrtsic)
Back in 2006 when we shot the Woke Up New music video for the Mountain Goats, I wanted to also make something for my favorite song on the album, “Wild Sage.” So I shot John Darnielle singing the song in front of a black background, turned the footage black and white and high contrast, and printed out every frame of it on 8x10 paper. I then took these stacks of paper to Cape Cod and began to animate them as stills, shooting with my Canon 5D. It took much longer than I thought, and my vacation was over before the video was shot, so I took them back to NYC intending to finish the video there. I never did. So this is all there is.
The printouts somehow ended up in my cousin Nathan’s possession, and seven years later he found them stacked in a box and asked me what these thousands of bizarre photos of John Darnielle’s face were for.
And I said “oh yeah, that thing. I should upload it to Vimeo or something.”
John Darnielle has written a boatload of amazing songs over the course of his 14-album career in The Mountain Goats, but few are held in higher esteem than “This Year.” Watch Darnielle and his band perform it live with brass accompaniment for opbmusic in Portland.