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I love music, books, movies, blah, blah, blah! I love people, learning new things, and always progressing to be a better person.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Mountain Goats

There comes a time in your life when you stumble upon something that rings so eerily true to your life it's frightening.
That is how I felt listening to The Mountain Goats for the first time.

The Mountain Goats consists of singer-songwriter John Darnielle, bassist Peter Hughes, and drummer Jon Wurster, with Darnielle acting as lead singer, guitarist, writer, composer, and pianist.

Behind the upbeat tempo and melody lie John Darnielle's hauntingly poetic lyrics, telling stories of love, loss, child abuse, and just getting the Hell out of where you are.

My first experience with The Mountain Goats was the song "No Children," an unflinching narrative on divorce and saying exactly what the couple is feeling.

It was these painfully honest lyrics that drew me to The Mountain Goats, but it's not just the angst ridden songs that kept me interested.

Take these two songs for example...
Song 1

San Bernardino is about a young, unmarried, pregnant couple who delivers their baby in a hotel room off of the interstate. Even though no one believes in them, they believe in each other.

Song 2

Woke Up New is song about overcoming fear and moving on after a separation. In my mind, this song is what the characters from No Children thought the day after the other was gone. (Note: the music video posted above was directed by Rian Johnson of Brick and The Brothers Bloom Fame. Sorry about the bad quality, though...YouTube troubles.)

It is with great respect that I add John Darnielle to the list of people I admire.
It's his ability to take his life experiences and then say more in two minutes than most musicians could say in twenty albums. More than that, he puts on one hell of a live show.

I know this because I saw The Mountain Goats perform last night at The Urban Lounge.
(Note: while The Urban Lounge has great sound and a close proximity to the musicians, there were a SHIT-LOAD of people who thought it would be appropriate to carry on loud conversations throughout The Mountain Goats' set...MAJOR FAUX PAS!)

Erin and I went with our friends Brad, Libby, and Joel (short for Joelbert.)
The show got off to a late start (doors opened at nine...opening band went on at 10:00 P.M.) with the opening band The Beets from Queens, New York. The Beets reminded me of a cross between Ween and Daniel Johnston but with tighter pants and less artistic credibility, but nevertheless they put on a decent show.

After a short break, a sudden blast of Iron Maiden came through the speakers signaling The Mountain Goats to the stage.

Throughout the night they played a wide range of their popular songs as well as some new ones. Sometimes full band, sometimes just John Darnielle, and at one point he even came out into the audience and screamed his lyrics into Joel's, Erin's, and Libby's faces (what showmanship!) Coupled together with the stories shared by Mr. Darnielle, it was a spectacular concert and a great experience to see one of my idols in action.
He explained how he even recorded a song from his recent album in Salt Lake City. He had the idea for it on the tour bus while reading the Bible and watching Italian horror movies simultaneously, and once they pulled into Salt Lake they dropped into a studio and recorded a demo.

At the end of the night he took the time to sign autographs, and I was glad to see how down to Earth he was, especially since he has fans in higher places than Utah.

Namely, Stephen Colbert and his patented Colbert Bump.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
John Darnielle
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFox News
"Is that all you've got old man? As you shake your fist at God."

All-in-all it was a fantastic night filled with music, friends, and autographs...

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