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Friday, October 07, 2005

The Goats & Mr. Sellers

I've come to know the Mountain Goats in what I believe to be a very strange manner. I first became familiar with John Darnielle through his wonderful bloglike website Last Plane to Jakarta. Soon there after I mistook many of his tunes for that of the political activist folk singer David Rovics. It may seem odd that I thought he was the "musical version of Democracy Now," but they both share a low-fi sound and a knife-like nasaly voice spewing strongly held visions for the future and solemn memories of days past.

After a few listens to Tallahassee, however, I started to understand his gut-level honesty. His penchant for round about stream of thought storytelling explored the world of a broken marriage and the couple's desperate attempts at fixing it. Hopeless saps are not new song characters, but what I found so intriguing was how demanding these tracks were of my attention. I establish connections with the characters and was caught up in their tumultuous life. And that was it; no turning back. I've counted myself as a follower and have been awaiting an opportunity to see the Mountain Goats on tour.

We'll the wait's over. The Goats are currently touring in support of their 9th disc, The Sunset Tree (released last April), with The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers. I bought The Prayers & Tears' The Mother of Love Emulates the Shapes of Cynthia earlier this year and have greatly enjoyed it (Like Pedro the Lion or Sufjan Stevens, Wright's music has a solemn, prayerful aura and an oblique religious bent - Pitchfork). I do have to admit, however, my original interest was in part due to The Big Lebowski reference.

For those of us in VT, the three best opportunities to see this double bill are:

I for one will be traveling to Hanover. Not only is it the closest venue, but the show is FREE.

Here's a couple tracks for your listening pleasure:


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