This is a space for reflection.
Image courtesy of Dig Boston
I’ve seen the Mountain Goats twice now and have only ever actually seen one member: John Darnielle. I suppose that’s not a bad deal, really. There’s something insanely intimate about solo acoustic shows in old theaters. The last time I saw Darnielle was in his home town of Durham, NC at Duke University with a quartet of female vocalists who brought some of his then-new material to life thanks to stunning arrangements from Owen Pallett. This time around John was really on his own with the exception of a guest appearance by opener Erin McKeown. Both performers are personable, chatty and warm. While McKeown’s act felt slightly more rehearsed than Darnielle’s, her performance never felt stilted. Her lyrics and music reflected a mixture of sincerity and intelligence guided by a dominant vision of life as a communal process. She was also funny as hell, at one point interrupting a story to sass an audience member for talking while she was trying to tell her damn story. Continue reading
To begin, there was a mountain. But you probably already knew that. Still, it was the only thing I was aware of going into it. If you use the internet and have a pulse, it’s been pretty hard to avoid Kanye West-related news recently. And by recently I mean for the better part of the past decade. Naturally things reached a freakish fervor when he dropped Yeezus on the world with a lack of ceremony fitting the raw beatscape and nightmarish imagery it contains. Things went real apocalyptic when tour dates were announced. The tour was promoted as Kanye’s first solo tour in five years. The last one was the Glow In The Dark Tour for the critically undervalued 808s and Heartbreak (2008), the undeniable black sheep of West’s prolific output. I regrettably missed those performances and abstained from the Watch The Throne tour a few years later. Somewhere along the way in the mid-2000s, while I was still in high school, West was supposed to play a show in Gilford, NH which he cancelled because, well, it was in New Hampshire. Nobody was terribly surprised. Continue reading