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Friday Night Music Fight - Life's Fleeting Nature

Dear reader(s), my output has dropped of late. I haven't been able to summon the energy to write while dealing with a loss in the family. A very sweet light went dark too soon, leaving my family to pick up the pieces. Days are growing shorter, the dark and cold are rapidly encroaching on our fair burg, and I have been ruminating on loss. This is nothing new, nor especially profound. Hobbes wrote that life was "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short" more than 350 years ago, and Palahniuk mused on the topic, "On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero".

First up we have MMS favorite Laura Gibson with the title track from last year's exquisite Goners. Like so many of her songs, this one is more abstrusely personal than broadly philosophical, filtered through her famously wry sense of humor. She sings "Here comes the end/of the future/if we're already goners" over the gentle swelling of horns, a future as lovely as it is bleak. No stranger to exorcising her personal demons through song, "Goners" feels like a spiritual successor to the equally lovely "Empire Builder", another lyric video about relationships in uncertain states. I've described Ms. Gibson as the musical laureate of the deeply introverted, her songs like Mary Oliver poems backed by instruments.


Next up wt have the stunningly animated "Ends of the Earth" from Lord Huron. This is the leadoff track from Lonesome Dreams, the first of a pair of perfect bookends of soaring high lonesome Western folk from these Michiganders turned Angelenos. Like the video, the song has an almost mythic quality to it, as our protagonist sets out to find the destination of a "river that winds on forever", scale a "mountain that no man has mounted", and plant his flag in "a land that time don't command". The entirety of the song is a plea to our singer's love interest to join him on his quest, asking her "To the ends of the earth, would you follow me?".  As lovely as this song is, it doesn't end happily for our hero, as proceeds down that river alone.



Finally we have of Montreal's "Wraith Pinned to the Mist", a standout track from their 2005 album The Sunlandic Twins. While it's probably better known in its Outback Steakhouse incarnation, this has all the hallmarks of bandleader (and only permanent member) Kevin Barnes' lyrics—his fondness for mythology and wordplay, interspersed with the elegiac. He pines for a future where he'll live forever, growing ever younger with the object of his affections. When the tragedy of that overtakes him, he resorts to playful nihilism with "Let's pretend we don't exist, let's pretend we're in Antarctica".


Who wins this #FNMF? We all win, at least until we lose. Keep listening to the music you love, and keep telling the people about whom you care how you feel about them.  "Do not go gentle into that good night".

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