Tag Archives: John Darnielle

The Mountain Goats – All Eternals Deck – Track Reviews

1 Apr

An album featuring multi-faceted music that explores the elaborate construction of lyric and sound and makes the complex sound simple, melancholic, and eerily sweet. That is my one sentence review of the new Mountain Goats‘ release All Eternals Deck, which dropped two days ago. When I went to pick up the album at Barnes and Nobles, the salesman asked me how are the Mountain Goats. I have wrote so many gushing reviews of the band on this blog, that I attempted to prevent myself from overwhelming him. I told him, if you like great lyric, passion and folk, then you will enjoy John Darnielle and the Mountain Goats. All Eternals Deck is a classic recent Mountain Goats album mixed with some more complex instrumentation, vocalization and skill. Darnielle’s studio work has morphed to match his elaborate lexicon and syntax. I cannot keep my review to one sentence. So, instead, I am going to profile the music and lyric of some of my favorite songs on the album. Enjoy and go listen to the new album, NOW!

Music: The album opens with “Damn These Vampires,” a track that moves like a typical Mountain Goats release. The song is led by Darnielle’s voice. It features short chords from both the keyboard and acoustic, as well as a defined bass guitar that adds a deep element to the song. The best display of musicality in this song comes during the chorus, where the guitar and keyboard follow Darnielle’s progression with supporting notes. You can feel the band’s presence in this moment.

Lyrics: Darnielle often has small gems in his songs, lines that blend in and taste good. In “Damn These Vampires,” Darnielle sings, “Saphire trans-am, highbeams in vain. Drive wild broncos, down the plain.” His lyric paints pictures, and this advanced imagery proves his literary prowess.

Music: “High Hawk Season” is unconventional for the Mountain Goats. Darnielle adds this gloomy barbershop quartet sound that carries the song beautifully. The call-back with the line “rise if your sleeping stay awake” is spine-tingling. The song is carried by Darnielle’s acoustic and the backing vocals

Lyric: “Spray our dreams on any surface where the paint will stick, Try to time the rhythm, listen for the click.” The lyric is as saturnine as the dark backing vocals. This is where Darnielle seems most comfortable.

Music: “For Charles Bronson” is being quickly touted as the song’s best album. I can understand the praise. While it may not be my favorite – which is reserved for the two above – this song has the classic Mountain Goats charm. It is led by Darnielle’s great voice, a solid chord progression and a solid drum beat. The haunting keyboard is a great addition.

Lyric: I just want to leave you with the last verse/chorus of the song profiling Charles Bronson.

“Let the frame find you when the cameraman’s ready
Work until I drop drift from place to place
Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, scratched into my face
Set your sights on good fortune, concentrate
Pull back the hammer, try to hold the gun straight
Try to hold the gun straight”

New Mountain Goats Drops Tomorrow – Radiohead Selling CD’s – Final Four Update

28 Mar

All Eternal’s Deck Released Tomorrow

The new Mountain Goat’s album drops tomorrow, and I will most certainly be picking it up prior to seeing them this Saturday in Ithaca. Yes, call me a traditionalist, but with artists like The Mountain Goats, I like to listen to the album in full by way of hard copy. It’s just one of my many archaic idiosyncrasies. But, that does not mean reviews have not been written of the album yet (by way of advanced copy or NPR first listen – which was published in late February).

The reviews are positive. Like expected, Darnielle excellent bare singer/songwriter style is bathed lightly with some new studio effects (a trend that has been duplicated on recent albums). The lyrics are hard hitting, though, and while there is no over-arching theme linking songs, each does have a wondrous effect (the Mountain Goat’s effect). I suggest you go out and purchase this album, but if you want some proof, here is two reviews (one written and one YouTubed).

AP Review – http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110328/ap_en_mu/us_music_review_the_mountain_goats

YouTube-

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Radiohead Selling Well
King of Limbs was released digitally back in February. The ending track, “Separator” has spawned some thought that the digital album was only part of a larger release that would be sent out with their “magazine” release of the album in May.

Read about that here: https://musiccourt.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/radiohead-ahead-of-the-music-business/

The tangible album is being shipped out today and the band created such a draw with their rapid digital release, that the physical copy was #2 on the Amazon pre-sale list. And so continues the genius of Thom Yorke. Do you want to sell an album? Hire him to do your marketing.

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UPDATE ON 1967 March Madness Tournament

The men’s college basketball March Madness tournament has reached its Final Four and it is jam-packed with Cinderellas. The Music Court’s 1967 Album March Madness tournament – which is looking for votes on the best album released in 1967 – may go pretty chalk. Here is an update and where you can vote. Remember voting ends this Friday

 

The #3 seed: Are You Experienced by The Jimi Hendrix Experience is currently beating the #6 seed: Strange Days by The Doors 5-1.

The #2 seed: The Doors by The Doors is currently avenging its sister’s demise by beating up on the #10 seed: Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane 6-1.

Vote on these two matches here: https://musiccourt.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/the-elite-1967-album-eight-second-half/

 

The #1 seed: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles is not surprisingly beating the #9 seed John Wesley Harding by Bob Dylan 8-2

In the closest match-up (and potential upset) the #4 seed: Magical Mystery Tour by The BeatlesĀ  is losing to the #5 seed: Disraeli Gears by The Cream 6-4

Vote on these two matches here: https://musiccourt.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/the-elite-1967-album-eight-voting-begins/

 

Let your voices be heard. Don’t let your favorite album lose!

Tours and New Albums and Tours: Bob Seger, Bright Eyes, The Mountain Goats

31 Jan

Bob Seger Turns the Page Quickly

Back Touring

In a Rolling Stone exclusive, writer Andy Greene outlines the process of Bob Seger’s decision to tour this Spring. Last year his staff quietly scheduled 40-50 concerts which Seger declined initially. But, he turned the page on the book of no and randomly alerted his staff this month that he actually wants to tour. Seger put his staff in a large predicament. It takes months to schedule a U.S. wide tour. To say they have scrambled to get everything together is an understatement.

But it has been announced that Seger will embark on a two-and-a-half month tour beginning in March, so I guess they did a good job. A few dates will be announced next week as the staff continues to iron out the tour details.

The tour will be classic Seger mixed with some new tracks off of his upcoming 17th studio album set to be released sometime this summer, according to Seger.

I saw Bob Seger back in 2006/2007 when he toured last. He rocked MSG to the tune of a packed crowd. I expect the very same this time around.

Article: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/exclusive-bob-seger-tour-details-20110128

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Bright Eyes’ Bright New Album

Bright Eyes has released several albums displaying their indie/folk style and lead singer/songwriter Conor Oberst’s melancholic and fluid lyric. In an exclusive NPR first listen, writer Robin Hilton boldly declares that their new album The People’s Key is the zenith of Bright Eyes’ success. Keep in mind Bright Eyes released I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning which is widely regarded as one of the best album’s of the last decade.

In the review, Hilton describes Oberst as, “older and wiser and more sure of himself. His voice is stronger, the sonic palette is richer and the poetry is more compelling.”

And on first listen I actually agree. Oberst and Bright Eyes explore a wide spectrum of music on this album. They move from straight folk into odd experimental tracks. There is no better example than the first track “Firewall” (below) which features Oberst’s friend Denny Brewer, who is the guitarist for the band Refried Icecream, talk about his esoteric views on existence. Esoteric because I don’t want to call them utterly nonsensical and chimerical. The song that follows continues in that vein both musically and lyrically. The album is a huge success and is available for listening on NPR through the link provided. The album comes out for purchase on Feb. 15.

Exclusive First Listen: http://www.npr.org/2011/01/30/133278431/first-listen-bright-eyes-the-peoples-key

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All Eternals Deck Continues Mountain Goats’ Awesomeness

I have posted so many pictures of this band on the blog I am running out of picture choices.

The Mountain Goats are coming back to the Eastern United States to promote their new album All Eternals Deck, which is set to be released March 29. How do I respond to this news?

YES!!!!!!!!!

That is somewhat suitable. They are coming to Ithaca on April 2 and I am going to see them for my second time. I just bought tickets. The Mountain Goats are one of my favorite bands and John Darnielle is a lyrical deity.

The new album will most likely be fantastic. I will lean on the first song leaked from the album entitled “Damn Those Vampires.” Take a listen.

Below is the track list from the album and the concert schedule.

All Eternals Deck tracklist:
1. Damn These Vampires
2. Birth of Serpents
3. Estate Sale Sign
4. Age of Kings
5. The Autopsy Garland
6. Beautiful Gas Mask
7. High Hawk Season
8. Prowl Great Cain
9. Sourdoire Valley Song
10. Outer Scorpion Squadron
11. For Charles Bronson
12. Never Quite Free
13. Liza Forever Minnelli

The Mountain Goats – 2011 Tour Dates
3/24 Richmond, VA @ The National
3/25 Washington DC @ 930 Club
3/26 York, PA @ Strand-Capitol PAC
3/28 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
3/29 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
4/01 Boston, MA @ Paradise
4/02 Ithaca, NY @ Castaways
4/03 Toronto, ON @ Opera House
4/05 Chicago, IL @ The Vic
4/06 Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
4/07 Atlanta GA @ Variety Playhouse
4/08 Chapel Hill, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
4/10 Asheville, NC @ The Grey Eagle
4/11 Columbus, OH @ Wexner Center
4/12 Pittsburgh PA @ Mr Smalls
4/15 Philadelphia PA@ Theater of Living Arts

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