Have you ever been a part of a book club? I don’t mean Oprah’s Book Club where a tyrant tells you a book to read and then they’re the only one to talk. I mean like a real community-style book club where ideas can be shared and talked about over the course of, say, a month. I think it could be fun, but I’m such a slow reader (and always have been) that I think I’d feel bad about holding people back from moving on to the next book while I try to finish. However, if it was a book club where there would be new music from a great songwriter at the end of every month I might be more motivated.
Brothers In Yarn delivers on this splendid idea. Shawn Fogel, singer and songwriter behind Golden Bloom, started the project at the beginning of the year as a way to get over a case of writer’s block. The club began with a timeless classic, Roald Dahl’s “Matilda,” and released the song “A Million Tiny Arms.” The book for February was John Darnielle’s “Wolf In White Van.” The song that resulted from The Mountain Goats frontman’s debut novel is a dark and brooding rocker. The lyrics don’t disappoint, feeling very much in touch with Darnielle’s often morbid words.
I think my favorite line is the one that the title comes from, and also leads the song to its epic finale: “Left with nothing but our own defenses, to make our way across the cruel terrain. Simple math and it’s consequences, frozen bodies on the Kansas plain.” As the last lyric leaves Fogel’s mouth, other voices rise up almost like a church choir. The music in this final passage speaks volumes, and could easily work as it’s own instrumental song.
Yesterday the book for March was announced, and it’s “Confessions Of An Economic Hitman” by John Perkins. Sounds like an interesting read, so if you want to pick up a copy and get involved with discussion about it via the Brothers In Yarn book club you can find it here. If not, you’ll still get to hear a new song by Fogel at the end of March (and every month!).