I was in Fort Worth last weekend and went to a little shop called Doc’s Records & Vintage. What a trip! I finally found a spot in DFW with an amazing selection of obscure 7-inch singles at great prices! I picked up a number of things, including a few unicorns. One amazing find was this rare 7-inch single called Tropical Depression EP featuring 2 songs by Furniture Huschle on the A-side and 3 by Mountain Goats on the B-side.
I talk a little bit about the find in my YouTube Video Coverage here:
Tropical Depression EP Vinyl Variations
As noted above, the single includes five tracks:
- Furniture Huschle – Bobcat Mercury (A1)
- Furniture Huschle – Unforgivable Stuff (A2)
- Mountain Goats – Anti Music Song (B1)
- Mountain Goats – Going to Hungary (B2)
- Mountain Goats – Earth Air Water Trees (B3)
There are two variants with different artwork, and this copy is the standard pressing. Discogs commenter impedance notes: “I think there were copies with the misspelling “Moutain” released and Jon got all upset about it, then they fixed the spelling before selling more copies.”
Sure enough, if you look at that variant, you can see the misspelling on the cover. Only 17 people have it in their collection. Then again, only 96 (myself included) have the updated version.
As of this post, only one copy is available for sale and it’s in Australia for A$120 with A$22 for shipping. After adding tax, the conversion would be a little over $100 USD, and I picked up my copy for just $30!
The Furniture Huschle Side
The A-side features two tracks from Furniture Huschle, which is the project of Joel Huschle. He made music under the moniker between 1994 and 2013, so this single from 1996 comes on the earlier end of this tenure. Predominantly lo-fi, you’ll find a large chunk of the band’s releases on cassette only, with a handful of vinyl and CD releases out there as well.
I was unfamiliar with Furniture Huschle prior to digging up this EP.
The first track, “Mercury Bobcat,” is a bit out there. To the extent I had difficulty determining if it was to be played at 33.3 or 45 RPM. (The single plays at 33.3.) But I quite enjoyed “Unforgivable Stuff,” the second track.
Mountain Goats: Anti Music Song
I quite enjoy the three tracks Mountain Goats included here, which are “Anti Music Song,” “Going to Hungary,” and “Earth Air Water Trees.” They are quintessential lo-fi acoustic folk, and standard John Darnielle / Mountain Goats from the mid 1990s.
All three can be found on the Ghana compilation CD.
Of note is “Anti Music Song.”
A fun fact about “Anti Music Song” is that the bad impression of Van Morrison called out early in the song’s lyrics is a reference to Adam Duritz, frontman of Counting Crows. Darnielle made light of this in a now-archived Mountain Goats forum comment in 2007.
It’s also said that he stated, “The problem with ‘Anti-Music Song’ is that like both people I was calling out in that song I now love totally,” during a 2011 concert in Bloomington, Indiana. However, aside from being referenced on the Mountain Goats fandom page for the song, a direct citation is unsubstantiated.
It’s unknown who the other person or people are in the song that he references.
“Going to Hungary” & “Earth Air Water Trees”
Alright. I’m really liking “Going to Hungary.” It’s even more lo-fi than the opener, but the simple chord progression on acoustic guitar is solid, and I love the lyrics. Give the song a listen below, and let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Finally, there’s “Earth Air Water Trees” which is a lovely, emotive folk ballad. It’s not as powerful as “Going to Hungary” or “Anti Music Song” but it’s still a rock solid piece.
It’s a Wrap
When I got back from my trip out, I was a bit surprised to find Tropical Depression EP among the 20 or so 7-inch singles I picked up. I had forgotten it was in the pile, and I’m now quite glad!
It’s valuable. You just don’t see it out there, and that’s something I mentioned early on in this post. But even better, it’s really quite good! I’m loving four out of the five songs on the single, and it was a gamble to drop the amount of money I did for something I might not enjoy.
But that’s how I collect. It comes down to two things. First, if I am a fan of the band, or have a good feeling that I’ll enjoy it. That’s where I begin. Next, I’ll do a quick check against popular vinyl marketplaces like Discogs to ensure I’m not overpaying (or, better yet, paying a more than fair price). Those two things confirmed, I can feel confident that if I don’t like it, I can at least sell it and make my money back or even turn a small profit.
In this case, I’m happy to say that I’m keeping the single.