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the Mountain Goats! at the Bottom of the Hill 6/12

Filed under: — adrian @ 10:41 pm

On Monday I saw the Mountain Goats at the Bottom of the Hill.

We got there a few minutes after the posted start time and there was a line around the block. It was a sold out show, but they held 50 tickets at the door for day-of and they hadn’t yet sold those out so there were a lot of people in line that wouldn’t get in.

When we finally got inside, Barbara Morgenstern was just starting her set. Her first song was promising: it was a sort of electro-pop song with nintendo-like stylings, sort of like b. fleischmann’s work and his work with Duo 505, but with female German vocals. After that first song, she continued with this electro-pop, but the rest of her songs didn’t really have the catchy melodic arts of her first song.

Before JD (John Darnielle) came on, I went to check out the merch table and who was there but John Vanderslice. I’m like “Hey JV!” He then goes to say that he loves KZSU and listens online all the time. And that the interview I did with him was the first and best he did after Pixel Revolt and that all the interviews he did later were framed in light of that one. Wow, didn’t I feel pretty good about myself.

JD and Peter Hughes (the MGs) came on to thunderous applause. I hadn’t seen them in probably three or four years. At the time I was familiar with approximately three or five of their songs, none of which were played at that show. At this point, I know three MG’s albums and I am familiar with about another three. Mountain Goats fans tend to be intense, slightly obsessive completists. I felt like I was in the minority in not knowing just about every song that they played. People were singing along to pretty obscure songs.

JD had the audience in the palm of his hand the entire show. It probably helped that everyone was an obsessive fan, but his stage banter and sometimes meandering talking drew people in.

Among the songs he played were “Your Belgian Things” and “Palmcorder Yajna” from We Shall All Be Healed (the latter of which had lead vox by JV who JD called onto the stage), “Broom Broom”, “Love Love Love” and “Dance Music” from the Sunset Tree, some new songs and some covers, most notably “The Sign,” originally by Ace of Base, which had the entire audience singing along.

They kept up a high energy show. I liked it a lot.

Update: They did two nights in SF. This wasn’t from the night I went to, but the second night the whole audience sang “No Children” (mp3) because JD needed to rest his voice. It’s pretty amazing.

3 Responses to “the Mountain Goats! at the Bottom of the Hill 6/12”

  1. Colin Says:

    Peter Hughes … of Nothing Painted Blue fame. I could never get into the Mountain Goats because I found JD’s voice annoying. People have said that about Franklin Bruno, too, but for some reason I don’t object to it that much. He’s a cool guy, too. I hung out with him at a NPB show at the Millvale Industrial Theater back on their “Monte Carlo Method” tour. He signed a promo poster for that album. I think it says something like “Colin- Jefferson *Starship* -Franklin Bruno”. We had been talking about Did You Get Hit By the Door? Jefferson Airplane…

  2. adrian Says:

    You know that Franklin Bruno and JD together recorded and released an album as the “Extra Glenns”? It’s pretty good. Franklin also played on a few Mountain Goats albums, I think. He definitely played on Tallahassee.

  3. Colin Says:

    Yeah, I knew that. I remember seeing pictures from one of the recording sessions. Franklin Bruno was there along with John Vanderslice.

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