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Lovecraft in Brooklyn

"Lovecraft in Brooklyn" is the eighth track on the Mountain Goats' Heretic Pride album released in 2008 on 4AD.

"Lovecraft in Brooklyn"
Single by The Mountain Goats
from the album Heretic Pride
Released February 18, 2008 United Kingdom
February 19, 2008 United States
Genre Folk rock, Indie rock
Length 3:49
Label 4AD
Songwriter(s) John Darnielle
Producer(s) Scott Solter, John Vanderslice
The Mountain Goats singles chronology
"In the Craters on the Moon"
(2008)
"Lovecraft in Brooklyn"
(2008)
"Tianchi Lake"
(2008)
"In the Craters on the Moon"
(2008)
"Lovecraft in Brooklyn"
(2008)
"Tianchi Lake"
(2008)
Music video
"Lovecraft in Brooklyn" on YouTube

The song describes the xenophobia of horror fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft during his residence in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Contents

LyricsEdit

 
Comic book artist Jeffrey Lewis contributed pre-release promotional material for the album accompanied with John Darnielle's notes.[1]

In an interview with io9's Charlie Jane Anders concerning the song's imagery, songwriter John Darnielle stated "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" "is not really about Lovecraft — it's sung by a guy who's identifying with Lovecraft at his most xenophobic and terrified. Why does that appeal? I think I'm just attracted to hermits in general — to people who don't feel like they're part of the world, who have a hard time feeling like they're really present in the same space as everybody else."[2]

ReceptionEdit

Allmusic's Steve Leggett called "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" "odd, lysergic" and "feels like the screenplay for a campy B movie monster flick given musical form, only, of course, it might be something else entirely."[3] Crawdaddy!'s Jessica Gentile called "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" "muscular, electric, and imbued with paranoia" and "by far, the heaviest song the band’s ever recorded."[4] Pitchfork Media's Zach Baron called "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" (alongside songs "Sax Rohmer #1" and "In the Craters of the Moon") a "seething throwback [...] taut, propulsive, paranoid, furious."[5]

Slant Magazine's Dave Hughes said Heretic Pride was anchored by "surprisingly assertive rock moments" as the "awesomely angular 'Lovecraft in Brooklyn'."[6] Sputnikmusic's Ryan Flatley reviewed "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" as "steers behinds a staccato, yet catchy bass-line and Kayo Dot-esque violins. Darnielle’s eager voice provides an engaging feel leading 'Lovecraft in Brooklyn.'"[7] Tiny Mix Tapes's Judy Berman declared "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" as "fast-paced and guitar-driven, with Darnielle singing breathlessly, as though he’s running from someone with a gun. He shows his talent for subtly coloring his lyrics with the voice of the frightened narrator, in lines like, 'Afraid of my own shadow/ Like, genuinely afraid.'"[8]

Live versionsEdit

For 2013's SF Sketchfest, John Darnielle performed "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" along with "The Best Ever Death Metal Band" for the podcast Judge John Hodgman.[9]

Alternate versionsEdit

American hip hop music artist Aesop Rock remixed the song including additional lyrics. Musician John Darnielle called it a "completely great from-the-ground-up remix."[10][11]

The Morning News's Erik Bryan called the collaboration "strange. Darnielle’s lyrics and vocals make it not the chillest groove, even as Aesop Rock’s mix tries to force it in that direction, which may be precisely akin to the paranoid displacement H.P. Lovecraft felt upon moving to New York."[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Lewis, Jeffrey (2008). "Mountain Goats Press Kit 08". Jeffrey Lewis. thejeffreylewissite.com. Retrieved 2014-10-05. 
  2. ^ Anders, Charlie (27 March 2008). "The Mountain Goats Explain Why Ozzy Osbourne Is A Scifi Visionary". io9. Gawker. Retrieved 2014-09-22. 
  3. ^ Leggett, Steve. "Heretic Pride - The Mountain Goats". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2014-09-22. 
  4. ^ Gentile, Jessica (20 February 2008). "Crawdaddy! - Reviews - Mountain Goats". Crawdaddy!. Archived from the original on 15 August 2007. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  5. ^ Baron, Zach (18 February 2008). "The Mountain Goats: Heretic Pride". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Hughes, Dave (18 February 2008). "The Mountain Goats: Heretic Pride". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  7. ^ Hughes, Dave (17 May 2008). "The Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride (album review )". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Berman, Judy (2008). "The Mountain Goats - Heretic Pride". Tiny Mix Tapes. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  9. ^ MaxFun Intern (20 February 2013). "Judge John Hodgman Episode 98: All Dogs Go To Trial - Live at SF Sketchfest!". Maximum Fun. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  10. ^ Richardson, Mark (8 May 2008). "Video: The Mountain Goats [ft. Aesop Rock]: "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" (Aesop Rock Remix)". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  11. ^ _, Brandon (8 May 2008). "New Mountain Goats Video – "Lovecraft in Brooklyn" (Aesop Rock Remix) - Stereogum". Stereogum. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 
  12. ^ Bryan, Erik (14 May 2008). "Lovecraft in Brooklyn - The Morning News". The Morning News. Retrieved 22 September 2014.