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It was song number 3 on John's last CD. "I'm gonna make it through this year if it kills me". And it almost killed me.
March 29, 2011 8:17 PM   Subscribe

Craig Finn from The Hold Steady joins The Mountain Goats on stage to sing 'This Year'.

Rolling Stone link with better audio. New Yorker article exploring the relationship between the two bands. Hold Steady b-side that references This Year. Bonus duet: Craig and Frightened Rabbit sing 'Don't Go Breaking My Heart.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn (58 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Is there a mod on metafilter who is married to this fucking Mountain Goats guy?
posted by gcbv at 8:20 PM on March 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yeah. John Darnielle reads her Lovecraft stories as she plays Minecraft and listens to Lady Gaga.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:23 PM on March 29, 2011 [20 favorites]


I saw this this morning linked from tMG's Twitter and got all show jealous. I'm gonna miss 'em when they come through Atlanta next week cos I'll be out west and this just makes me feel worse for not being able to go. I don't think I've missed a Mountain Goats show in my town since he toured behind Tallahassee.

I was also really happy to see a guy I know in that first vid--the handsome be-stubbled dude jumping up and down, singing along and throwing metal. Which is exactly what I'd be doing too.
posted by Maaik at 8:33 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hate all you want, but there is something about this MG song in particular just screaming for the Hold Steady treatment. Of course, I did not realize this fact until Lovecraft linked to it, but still. Flag if you must, as for me, I will enjoy it. Thank you.
posted by joe lisboa at 8:36 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


And props for the post title, too.

MeTa & AskMeFi: Twin high-maintenance machines.

posted by joe lisboa at 8:39 PM on March 29, 2011 [11 favorites]


OH DAMN, they encored with a Silkworm cover? Shit, now I'm kind of upset I can't make it to the show. Damn damn damn.

tMG and Finn go back further than the Hold Steady. In his Last Plane to Jakarta 'zine, he championed Lifter Puller's Fiestas + Fiascoes album (which, if ya don't have that, you really really should), and I have a recording somewhere of a couple songs from a show the Goats did with a reunited Lftr Pllr where John got Lifter's drummer to improvise along to "See America Right" and "The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out Of Denton," I believe. I'll see if I can track those down.
posted by Maaik at 8:43 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a speech Craig gives at the end of (almost) all Hold Steady shows. "I say this every night, but it's only because its true. There is SO! MUCH! JOY! in what we do here".
The only other person who embodies that SO MUCH JOY aesthetic is John Darnielle, and I wonder to what extent they've influenced each other. I saw The Hold Steady three times this month - I traveled interstate to see them. And I've seen The Mountain Goats 3 times. Both frontmen are so dorky and unselfconcious and earnest, and their audience is included in that. There's a cultish, rapturous, glowing feel about them.

I wonder why they don't work together more. I've got a recording of John doing THS' "Positive Jam", but that's mostly it. Maybe because each singer has their own hermetic worlds, with their own set of symbolism and repeated tropes. Craig is all about the down to earth, the observed details of shows. There's religious symbolism there but the transcendence that comes to easily to Mountain Goats characters takes entire albums for Craig's to reach. Holly only finds out 'How A Resurrection Really Feels' after an album whereas a Mountain Goats character usually reaches some terrible sublime moment once per song.

Still, I'd love for them to do an album together, or maybe 'trade off' their signiture characters and themes. Might break them each out of the 'they're great, but they tend to right about the same things' rut they seem to be getting into late.

Still, Craig and John are probably two of the greatest songwriters and performers of this century and my heart swells just thinking about them.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:46 PM on March 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


And props for the post title, too.

fanboy note: THS has done 'Girls Like Status' on this tour, and he's changed the lyric to 'It was song number 3 on The Sunset Tree'. Which still scans.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:48 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


A number of years ago I went to a Mountain Goats show in my old college town. I'd been out of school a few years, and John Darnielle had actually lived in that town while I was in school, although I hardly ever ran into him. I saw his wife play a show once, at someone's place that doubled as a venue.

Those are all side notes. I was twitchier than I'd ever been during this show. I was going to it with a friend. We knew another female friend would be there, and her friends. I had quite the crush on her at the time, and it was getting obvious. Unfortunately, my ex-girlfriend was also at the show, and I knew (and she did, obviously) that I'd been feeling down and had hooked up with her the previous week in a depressive bout. It'd happened a couple times that week.

So the show goes reasonably well, with some visible tension as I'm reacting well to the music and edging closer to the girl of my desires as the ex kind of awkwardly exists in my evening. I'd say she injected herself, but I'd kind of opened the door, right? The show was about to end and I was to stay in town with my friend and the cute girl and.... oh hell, the ex has asked my friend nicely if he'd give her a ride back later, as she'd like to stay.

So we all had a drink at the bar. I feel like I acquitted myself well as a person who gets along with an ex, when in fact I'm juggling my emotions and the situation and feeling about three hands short. The evening ended up oddly over a railroad bridge on the west side of town, where we could dangle our feet over the bridge and feel a train rushing by. I could feel the wind and I knew I was at the least five feet away, but it felt like inches, and with the present company, my friend and these two women, it felt like less than inches...

And now I'm older but not much wiser and have seen the Mountain Goats and the Hold Steady live more than a few times.
posted by mikeh at 8:48 PM on March 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


That song is 100% awesome, thanks for the link! In the spirit of sharing live Mountain Goats I must offer forth this soul-rending version of No Children (direct link mp3 from archive.org)
posted by Dr. Christ at 8:49 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I met John, I had the presence of mind to talk about videogames and Lovecraft (apparently you can't play DS on tour 'cause it messes up your guitar playing). When I ran into Craig all I could say was 'IFOLLOWEDYOUTOMELBOURNEYOU'RESOAWESOME'.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:51 PM on March 29, 2011


Oh, and the highlight (down point?) of said evening was the ex-girlfriend loudly singing along to No Children, about a foot away from me. I doubled on the chorus.
posted by mikeh at 8:51 PM on March 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


Been coaching a friend all day on subway vs parking for the Bowery Ballroom. This is what they were coming in for. I guess that's last night's show.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:52 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


First time I saw The Mountain Goats a girl just kissed me out of the blue at the end of the show. It was bizarre. Something similar happened at my second Hold Steady show.
I wish the Hold Steady got more love though. I'm completely in thrall to them. They're why I joined this site.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:53 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out Of Denton," is the only song out of a handful that makes me shed a few tears of defiant joy at its apex. Make of this what you will. Okay, please do not.

Hail, Satan!
posted by joe lisboa at 8:54 PM on March 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


The Mountain Goats are one of those bands that you'd never expect to be able to completely rock out, but totally can. This is a great example of that (along with the OP's eponymous song, and this one off of their new album)

Those are definitely the best concerts.

And there's a reason why you don't see bands like The Mountain Goats or Mumford & Sons on games like Guitar Hero or Rock Band – it's not because they're bad music or unpopular -- it's because they'd be damned near impossible to play.
posted by schmod at 8:57 PM on March 29, 2011


Oh man, John was pretty sick last time they played Atlanta, so he had the audience--the entire crowd at the Variety Playhouse, this giant theater--sing the song for him. That was great.

My favorite show of his that I saw was hands down October 2004 at the EARL. Touring with John Vanderslice right before recording the Sunset Tree, he played some of the new stuff and rebuffed requests, talked about Jandek, taught Peter how to play a song right in front of us and brought Vanderslice's band back out for the most incandescent encores I've ever seen. Seriously, listen to the last five songs of that set and tell me this guy couldn't raise entire buildings off the ground.

God, I love the Mountain Goats.
posted by Maaik at 9:06 PM on March 29, 2011


Oh, and HAIL SATAN
posted by Maaik at 9:15 PM on March 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


The last time I saw them John was really sick too, but yet stayed to do a really late 2nd (might even have been a 3rd) encore even though half of the audience had already left. A then he stayed to talk and offer fist-bumps to the remaining crowd after that. (I talked with him a little about poetry and David Foster Wallace.) The Mountain Goats are really one of the best acts to see live, simply for John's sheer generosity and cathartic joy he brings to the stage.
posted by troubles at 9:18 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Everyone who loves the Mountain Goats should probably check out The Hold Steady too, but it really depends on the crowd. Their Sydney show fell flat 'cause the crowd wasn't as into it but the Melbourne one was utterly nuts.
There's also some really close audience identification. John and Craig look like us, you know? Not rock stars, just dudes. Dudes who are more well-read and smarter than the average bear but dudes.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:20 PM on March 29, 2011


Rolling Stone video player doesn't really work. Much like the magazine since like 1983.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:36 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is nothing I don't like about this.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:10 PM on March 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there a mod on metafilter who is married to this fucking Mountain Goats guy?

I would have no problem with mountaingoats.metafilter.com.
posted by reductiondesign at 10:12 PM on March 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fuck Yeah The Mountain Goats should tide you over in the meantime
should start one for THS
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:20 PM on March 29, 2011


Okay, how 'bout John Darnielle with the Weakerthans? Have I blown your mind yet? (Cause I know my mind got a little blown when I saw it.), It's a bit fuzzy, but I love it when John gets into my favorite lines, clapping like a madman while John K.Samson sings, and then stepping up to belt out:
Got an armchair from your family home.
Got your P.G. Wodehouse novels and your telephone,
Got your plates and stainless steel,
Got that way of never saying what you really feel.

posted by redsparkler at 12:06 AM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Mountain Goats are one of those bands that you'd never expect to be able to completely rock out

What a strange thing to say -- I feel like their career has been almost entirely devoted to the proposition that a dude alone in a room with an acoustic guitar and a tape deck is capable of rocking out, harder than most full bands with amps and smoke machines.
posted by escabeche at 4:59 AM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'd say that's right.
posted by OmieWise at 5:08 AM on March 30, 2011


[frightened rabbit-related derail]
Has anyone else realized exactly how much "Backwards Walk" sounds exactly like Glenn Hansard's "Say It To Me Now"?
[/derail]
posted by pxe2000 at 5:44 AM on March 30, 2011


For the unenlightened, what, besides badly phone-cammed live music, is this post about?
posted by Severian at 6:47 AM on March 30, 2011


It's about the intersections between musicians. There was an unexpected (to the audience) moment in which two artists joined forces. A bit of background was given on their history which has been bolstered in this thread.

This makes me happy because it represents a sense that duets and collaboration and unpredictability has not been entirely purged from rock music. And that there are still artists that find joy in the work of others and occasionally will call upon their idols to help them melt some faces.
posted by Maaik at 7:16 AM on March 30, 2011


I swear my Google Reader feeds always duplicate themselves 24 hours later on metafilter.
posted by Theta States at 7:31 AM on March 30, 2011


I got no problem with the Mountain Goats, and I love me some Lifter Puller, but posting this on the same day that a new Mountain Goats record comes out makes me thirsty for some Pepsi Blue. Especially for an OP whose handle is a Mountain Goats song title, and whose account is apparently less than two months old.

(sorry for the derail)
posted by antonymous at 8:46 AM on March 30, 2011


I should have just bought tickets to the Boston show instead of waiting to find someone to go with. This is a show I could have rocked on my own. Sold out now. Damn. (You know what would kick ass? If he covered THS's "For Boston". I love any song that makes fun of BU chicks.)

All Hail West Texas is one of my favorite albums. At Metafilter's best, it reminds me of "Color In Your Cheeks".
posted by maryr at 8:48 AM on March 30, 2011


antonymous - Lovecraft has 721 comments in that 2 months. Gonna go out on a limb and say he's not astroturfing.
posted by maryr at 8:50 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had the pleasure of seeing Darnielle and Vanderslice together in a very small room a few months ago. Darnielle closed with a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Memories," descending the tiny steps into the audience, grasping an audience member by the head, and maniacally singing a few inches from his face, "I said 'won't you let me see / your naked body?'"
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 9:06 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really enjoy how getting all into singing a Mountain Goats song turns just about everyone into a spastic jumpy teenager just getting excited about music. (I mean this in the nicest way possible. You should see my drunken version of Going to Georgia.)
posted by troublewithwolves at 9:19 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Minecraft, you say?
posted by Mister_A at 10:49 AM on March 30, 2011


My first thought was "who's that nerdy guy spazzing out? he can't possibly be a lead singer, can he..." (I'm familiar with the Hold Steady but not really a fan.)

... the definitive Mountain Goats fan site, themountaingoats.net already has all the tabs for All Eternals Deck (but hasn't added the songs/lyrics to the full list yet ...)

I would post a link to the All Survivors Pack but I believe that is frowned upon. (search for "TMG_ASP.zip" or "survivors.zip" or just "all survivors pack 2011")

I feel like their career has been almost entirely devoted to the proposition that a dude alone in a room with an acoustic guitar and a tape deck is capable of rocking out, harder than most full bands with amps and smoke machines.

I can't be the only person who misses the dude alone in a room with an acoustic guitar and a tape deck? At least just a little bit? (or just with Rachel Ware ...)
posted by mrgrimm at 12:04 PM on March 30, 2011


Frightened Rabbit!

That is all.
posted by serazin at 12:06 PM on March 30, 2011


I miss him a lot. There was such urgency to those songs, sung that way. I love some of the newer stuff, and I appreciate the added complexity, but they don't often feel as immediate to me.
posted by OmieWise at 12:06 PM on March 30, 2011


I accompanied him on it last night. Well, me and the whole rest of the Bowery Ballroom.
posted by whuppy at 12:15 PM on March 30, 2011


Seconding maryr, LiB is having a fantastic rookie season.
posted by whuppy at 12:25 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


oops. that was supposed to be the "dude in a room all alone" (even though he's singing with Rachel again) link
posted by mrgrimm at 1:29 PM on March 30, 2011


"The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton" makes it onto nearly every mix CD that I make. (Along with the Dolly Parton cover of "Stairway to Heaven".) And I love, love, LOVE "No Children," which was my introduction to the band, and "Jenny" is the song that would have been my wedding processional if I'd had a really different wedding.

But my absolute favorite MG song, for the way it so perfectly encapsulates that moment where you realize that you're headed towards absolute self-destruction and you make the decision to get there as fast as goddamn possible is "Dilaudid." It's barely even a song, more like a snarl over a bass line. I'm happily married with two children and a cat and a house in the suburbs now, and sometimes I wonder if my life is a little too boring, but then I listen to "Dilaudid" and remember that there are worse things than boring.
posted by KathrynT at 1:41 PM on March 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


So Kathryn... wanna send me a mix tape?
posted by maryr at 3:22 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't be the only person who misses the dude alone in a room with an acoustic guitar and a tape deck?

Oh, sure -- I will always go see him when he plays here but, a few songs excepted, the new stuff doesn't strike to my heart the way Zopilote Machine etc. do. But I was aiming to not be That Guy On The Thread Who Prefers The Earlier Stuff.

Oh well.

Anyway, you can't blame the guy for not wanting to work within the same sonic constraints for twenty years.
posted by escabeche at 3:24 PM on March 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


I really enjoy how getting all into singing a Mountain Goats song turns just about everyone into a spastic jumpy teenager just getting excited about music.

Craig is like this whenever he sings. It's part of why I love him.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:47 PM on March 30, 2011


This makes me happy because it represents a sense that duets and collaboration and unpredictability has not been entirely purged from rock music. And that there are still artists that find joy in the work of others and occasionally will call upon their idols to help them melt some faces.

the last Titus Andronicus album has Craig Finn narrating a song as Walt Whitman. the new Mountain Goats is produced by actual death metal dudes
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:49 PM on March 30, 2011


You know what I friggin love both these bands, but I'm pissed at John, he had to cancel his show in St Augustine in 2009 due to illness, and he said he would make it up, but he hasn't been back since then. Way to keep your promises.
posted by nulledge at 4:48 PM on March 30, 2011


Oh, and Harvest of Hope doesn't count.
posted by nulledge at 4:52 PM on March 30, 2011


maryr, right now my energies are neatly divided between trying to take care of my kids and recovering from pneumonia! but drop me a line and tell me what you like and I'll put something together when I'm better.
posted by KathrynT at 6:10 PM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know what I friggin love both these bands, but I'm pissed at John, he had to cancel his show in St Augustine in 2009 due to illness, and he said he would make it up, but he hasn't been back since then. Way to keep your promises.

maybe a polite reminder? he should be pretty easy to reach online

i'm not sure why he loves Australia so much, but i'm not complaining.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:51 PM on March 30, 2011


John covered "Positive Jam" as his encore for his most recent show in Minneapolis - the crowd was absolutely insane. He intro'd it with something like "This is a song by a band that means a lot to people around here..." I was expecting either THS or the Replacements. It was an incredible experience.
posted by Judith Butlerian Jihad at 8:02 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


That story just makes me realize how much I'd like to hear him do "Purple Rain."
posted by escabeche at 9:45 PM on March 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I must offer forth this soul-rending version of No Children (direct link mp3 from archive.org)"

I've had this on repeat for the past 45 minutes.
posted by stratastar at 1:08 AM on March 31, 2011


you can't blame the guy for not wanting to work within the same sonic constraints for twenty years.

Amen, and that's why I try not to be That Guy either.

In the spirit of sharing live Mountain Goats I must offer forth this soul-rending version of No Children (direct link mp3 from archive.org)

Tallahassee and No Children in particular were a shark-jumping moment for me. I love WSABH, but the rest of the post-All Hail West Texas period is a bit of a blur. And it's much less fun to see a show when you're like what the hell is this song? And then you start to think "oh it sounds all a little Adult Contemporary now, doesn't it? ..." ;)

More Cubs in Five and My Favorite Things hell, how about Going to Georgia. Less AC stuff I can't remember. That's all. (From what I can tell, JD certainly still indulges fans like me at his shows.)

("all my songs used to end like this, with my hand just going ... " ^_^)

(also, has anyone ever seen/heard "i know you've come to take my toys away" live? for I would like to see that.)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:04 AM on March 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


He played "Going to Georgia" during the second? third? encore in DC last week. It was wonderful. There was a great little rant about people shouting for songs too. (Seriously, what is with people and "Cubs in Five"? I love it too, but geeze.)

Then I saw them the next night in York, PA, and a song off of The Life of the World to Come had me sitting there with tears streaming down my face, which hasn't ever happened in the ~10 times I've seen them live, OR the two times earlier that same day I heard that exact same song in the car. I can't wait to see them play again in Pittsburgh in a week or so.

For me, seeing John play live is something akin to grabbing hold of a live electrical current. I always find myself grinning like crazy as he belts out his lines, because of that aura of pure joy that rolls off of him when he's really into a song.
posted by MsMolly at 12:09 PM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was a great little rant about people shouting for songs too. (Seriously, what is with people and "Cubs in Five"? I love it too, but geeze.)

in Sydney he played 'Has Thou Considered the Tetrapod' for somebody because they shouted it out so accurately
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:53 PM on April 3, 2011


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