Tag Archives: The Mountain Goats

American High Revisits The Millennium In Album U.N. Article 14

25 Jan

American High epitomizes everything I ever wanted in a band growing up in California walking alongside the boardwalks of Malibu. In my dreams, I always wished that the above was true and American High teleports me to that parallel universe fantasy. U.N. Article 14 carries just the right amount of punk angst, the mystery tones of 90s music, and the beach rock vibes of the guitar and drums. Listeners will find similarities in their sound with The Mountain Goats, Wavves, and the early sounds of The Flaming Lips. The wonderful combination of those familiar bands within the genre of alternative Indie Rock add to the exemplary sound of American High. With lyrics from the song Test Pilot such as “so I’ve got to leave you, tonight away from everything and everyone’s face again”, the tone of angst is present with beautiful lyrical metaphors intertwined throughout. Overall, from start to finish American High fulfills their audience’s need for a revival of the 90s music standard that makes us all want to jump around like we are attending our first house show and start moshing around to that first beat of the drumsticks and the strums of the guitar strings.

For more listening:

Isolated Thunderstorms Stuns With Jared Weiss’s Intense Storytelling Craft

31 Jul

Upon listening to Isolated Thunderstorms, one can appreciate the mixture of pop, rock, and heartbreak anthems within this album. Between the lyrical metaphors of the transformation one goes through during a breakup to the unique way of storytelling through Isolated Thunderstorms, listeners are hooked since the first track. Weiss refers to the person of interest, as an isolated thunderstorm that keeps everyone out. While all of the tracks are musically strong and carry heavy lyrical weight, the songs Julia and Reni are key players on the album. Weiss’s voice sounds very similar to that of John Darnielle from The Mountain Goats. The right mixture of emotions, heartbreak, and storytelling balance out the roller coaster of memories. Anyone wanting to listen to a standout artist that not only has a strong musical talent, but has a way with words that connect to audiences and emotions they may have experienced deserves a call-out to nothing short of musical brilliance.

For more listening:

My Autumn Amor Stirs That Love Feeling In Letters To Brie

14 Jul

The vocal talents of Thomas Monroe will mesmerize you within this album Letters To Brie with a combination of anthems, dreams, and heartbreak. When listening to Monroe’s voice, you can draw similarities between John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, Conor Oberst of The Bright Eyes, and subtle hints of Nate Ruess from fun. To hear a woman vocalist sing about heartbreak is one thing and it can be raw, angsty, and fill you up with emotion. On the other hand, a man’s point of view is refreshing and gives a different perspective. The narrative qualities combined with real conversations and a twist of a love song all make everything work on Letters To Brie.The combination of minimal musical instruments with the right balance of rock guitar and percussion work well with the impeccable sound mastering quality to make it more than just a broken heart waiting to be mended.


For more listening:

The Mountain Goats Talk Growing Up in “Cry for Judas”

29 Aug

Transcendental Youth

John Darnielle and his band of Mountain Goats will release their 14th studio album, Transcendental Youth, on October 2. I know I mentioned this before on the Music Court, but I feel like I have a duty to mention it again. The album is sure to be awesome – like all of Darnielle releases – and it would surely be a shame if you missed out.

As a commenter on Darnielle’s tunes said recently, “nobody is better than Darnielle at writing such happy songs about utter hopelessness.” I agree and disagree. You see, this comment is true a lot of the time. Heck, if there is any hope in “No Children,” well, I haven’t found it yet. Still looking, though! But in Transcendental Youth, at least in the first song released from the album, there is a subtle hint of growth under the lyric. Darnielle paints a messy portrait of an adolescent teen struggling with growing up in the society he is surrounded by, a candid autobiographical depiction of Darnielle. And, to assist in my description of the song, here is a segment from The Mountain Goats’ website about the song – in Darnielle’s words.

“Cry for Judas,” it is about survival but that’s kind of an oversimplification, it’s also about building a vehicle from the defeated pieces of the thing you survived and piloting that vehicle through the cosmos, it’s kind of complicated but people who know what I’m talking about will kind of intuitively get the idea and the rest of you will I hope be able to get a sense of it through the song.

When people talk about surviving adolescence, they are not joking. There is innate passion, awkwardness, struggle, all inherent in the process of growing. And in the end you are you, and you survived as you. Time to pilot the vehicle. The lyric repeats the couplet (Long black night, morning frost, I’m still here, but all is lost). The important part is our protagonist is still there. It was a long black night, but despite the feeling that all is lost I can’t help but thinking that the character is just growing up. Look at the album title.

The Mountain Goats are also growing, somehow still maturing and falling into new sounds. The horns give the acoustic guitar a full sound, and then there is the bass guitar which provides an almost funky rhythm. The song itself is excellent. But, I mean, I wasn’t expecting any different.

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


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


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?


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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