Aesthetics for Birds

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone

Lewis Michael Powell on “The Sunset Tree”


Youtube playlist of The Sunset Tree starting with the first track “You or Your Memory” *

This is entry #21 in our ongoing 100 Philosophers, 100 Artworks, 100 Words Series.

Philosopher: Lewis Michael Powell (SUNY Buffalo)

Artwork: The Sunset Tree by the Mountain Goats (4AD Records, 2005). Folk-rock studio album [39:20].

Words: I’m somewhat surprised to be picking a musical work, as I tend to be most passionate about novels.  But, a year ago, I listened to the Mountain Goats for the first time, and since then I’ve listened to virtually nothing else.  John Darnielle’s music and lyrics are intensely emotional and personal. The Sunset Tree—an autobiographical album about his difficult childhood—kicked off my Mountain Goats obsession.  No other artwork I’ve encountered has even come close to this sort of intense, sustained monopoly on my affections and attention, and there are no signs of me losing interest any time soon.

*The video above is not the original link provided by the author as that video is no longer available on Youtube. The link provided above is a link to the first song in a playlist of the same album.

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