Post-Trash Facebook Post-Trash Twitter

Mister Goblin - "White Fuckin Flag" (Dido cover) | Post-Trash Compilation Feature

photo credit: Julia Leiby

photo credit: Julia Leiby

by Tom Alexander (@___alexd)

When the Post-Trash: Volume Four compilation dropped, I quickly scanned through the list of contributors.  What an embarrassment of riches: Miranda Winters! Screaming Females! Renata Zeiguer! Ing! Eerie Wanda! Beige Palace! Blonde Redhead! Shell (of a Shell)! Forty songs, and I wanted to hear them all. The first song I heard – the one that had me liking, subscribing, and smashing that play button – was Mister Goblin’s cover of that one Dido song. Let me tell you why.

Sam Woodring has been releasing consistently great music for some time now, but his latest project, Mister Goblin, only has a single EP to its name. That’s five songs. Five tracks of slanted rhythms, undeniable melodies, and surprising choices; if you tell me you predicted the front-person of Two Inch Astronaut would be jamming out with a drum machine, then you need to stop being such a dang liar. So on one hand, you can throw a Dido cover into that category of “surprising choices,” but on the other hand, his rendition feels like it could have shown up on Final Boy. The original “White Flag” is a perfect pop song, gloriously overproduced and saturated with polish, but Woodring has reduced it all to double-tracked guitars and vocals. Any memory of the original and its video (complete with Dido crushing on a leather-cabby-hat-wearing David Boreanaz) is gone, and in its absence is Mister Goblin, spilling his guts in an empty room.

Spilling his guts is Woodring’s specialty. Because his musical arrangements with Mister Goblin and Two Inch are so distinctive, it’s easy to overlook his lyrics. Often centered around pyrrhic victories, tragedies, dark humor, or some combination of the three, “White Flag” lands somewhere in the overlapping Venn-Diagram for two of these three themes (Dido was not known for her biting sense of comedy). Look, I’m not saying that Mister Goblin was just as much inspired by the D.C. hardcore scene as he was Top 40 R&B. Just kidding, yes I am, and that’s why “White Flag” is less of a snack between meals/albums and more of an appetizer that makes you even hungrier than you were when you first walked into that Chili’s.

I would really appreciate it if somebody would cut together a video of Mister Goblin footage with a lovelorn leather-cabby-hat-wearing David Boreanaz. Thanks.

Mister Goblin’s “White Fuckin Flag (Dido cover)” is on Post-Trash: Volume Four, a compilation to benefit RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services). Final Boy is out now via Exploding In Sound Records.