Song of the Day: The Mountain Goats – The Legend of Chavo Guerrero

photo by Lissa Gotwals

photo by Lissa Gotwals

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on The Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero” by The Mountain Goats from the upcoming 2015 album Beat the Champ out April 7th on Merge Records.

The Mountain Goats – The Legend of Chavo Guerrero (MP3)

John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats has never shied away from a theme. Previous albums have covered the songwriter’s childhood, a fictional married couple, and even The Bible (just to name a very few). Their upcoming fifteenth release, Beat the Champ, covers the theme of professional wrestling, which Darnielle explains, “was an avenue of escape for me when I was a kid.”

“Wrestling was low-budget working class entertainment back then, strictly UHF material. It was cheap theater. You had to bring your imagination to the proceedings and you got paid back double,” he explained, via a press release. “I wrote these songs to re-immerse myself in the blood and fire of the visions that spoke to me as a child, and to see what more there might be in them now that I’m grown.” Today’s Song of the Day is “The Legend Of Chavo Guerrero,” an ode to Darnielle’s “childhood hero” (as he puts it), a Heavyweight Champion and son of Gory Guerrero, one of the early pioneers in Mexican lucha libre. In typical Mountain Goats-fashion, Darnielle confesses the new songs are, “really more about death and difficult-to-navigate interior spaces than wrestling.”

Follow John on Twitter and Facebook. Beat the Champ hits stores on April 7th in North America, and the band will perform Friday, May 29th at The Showbox at the Market here in Seattle.

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