The McGarrigle Sisters Go Beyond Cozy Love Songs

A reissue of their album “Pronto Monto” showcases the duo’s sensitive—and edgy—side.


Kate & Anna McGarrigle
Pronto Monto
Omnivore

Courtesy of Omnivore Recordings

The third longplayer from Canadian folkies Kate and Anna McGarrigle, 1978’s Pronto Monto found the sisters poised to enter the mainstream after two critically acclaimed, underexposed albums. With Anna’s composition “Heart Like a Wheel” about to become a success for Linda Ronstadt, the McGarrigles enlisted producer David Nichtern, who’d previously penned “Midnight at the Oasis,” a left-field hit for Maria Muldaur, in hopes of broadening their appeal. While Nichtern and a host of ace studio players muted the siblings’ eccentricities slightly to create a somewhat more mainstream product, a commercial breakthrough didn’t follow, alas. Regardless, Pronto Monto is an engaging and stirring work that gives full play to their thoughtful songs and tender, playful voices. But don’t be fooled into thinking that the McGarrigles are just sensitive softies. After savoring the cozy love song “Stella by Artois,” check out the caustic “Dead Weight,” which observes, “Your charm’s wearing thin and your voice rings like tin,” among other insults. Wicked!

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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