Night Music: Of Montreal, “The Past Is a Grotesque Animal”

I had a very brief career as a civilian rock critic for New York magazine.

A couple or few times I was sent a bunch of CDs. I was to write 75 words about each from my personal un-music-critical perspective. They created a grid of my comments along with five other civilian critics (identified as Greenwich Village preschool teacher, or Upper West Side socialist, you get the idea) writing about those discs.

One of the disks was one of Beyonce’s which I think we must have all hated so much they didn’t include it. Another was the album this cut is from, by a band I hadn’t heard of called Of Montreal.

In my review I said that this song was great, but the album sucked. That the guy seemed too obsessed by Norse mythology and his own personal mythology, and it was all terrible, misogynist, pretentious, awful, except for this rather long fantastic song which I still really like even though especially because it is pretentious.

Some time after my “review” ran, New York profiled Of Montreal’s lead guy, Kevin Barnes (accompanied by a photo of Barnes with the notorious Solange Knowles). Turns out he’s a single, not a band, with hired players, and he has a backstory that either means our past is meaningless or that we are prisoners of our destiny. He was also married, with kids, in Georgia, though he’d moved to Norway for a time, if I’m getting this right. An original story, kind of surprising.

I like this overly long song a lot.

Better than Green Day.

And then, if you care, there is this, which is kind of amazing, at least for a few minutes. Singer songwriter version.

One thought on “Night Music: Of Montreal, “The Past Is a Grotesque Animal”

  1. Hmm. Not bad. I hear a lot of bands I like in this, especially Roxy. Wouldn’t a Ferry cover of this be great? I have to laugh at the youtube comments, raving about the best lyrics ever. Huh?

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