Sunday, October 01, 2006

Goats on the Bowery

You might remember me going on at length about the Mountain Goats a while back. There are very few bands/singers that I like a great deal who I haven't seen live, and after tonight, there's even one fewer. Saw the Goats tonight at the Bowery Ballroom, my favorite venue in the city.

This picture taken with my phone makes it seem like we were far(-ish) from the band, but we weren't. We were very close. It's just that camera phones, while pretty great, also kind of suck.

As you can gather from the band's discography, there isn't really a dearth of material from which to choose when they're on stage. But the set focused mostly on newer stuff, including a few songs from the very recently released (and very quiet) Get Lonely. Luckily, the crowd was respectful. You could hear a pin drop most of the night, which was necessary, because a few numbers were significantly quieter than a pin hitting the floor would have been. It's not a carpeted floor.

The band is mostly one guy, John Darnielle, and he's both a dynamic performer and a complete goofball. As Wikipedia puts it: "Since starting the band in 1991, (Darnielle) has gained a cult following despite the initial low quality of his recordings, his nasal voice, and primitive guitar playing. His popularity is often attributed to his prolific output and literary lyrics that many believe are matched by few other songwriters."

Those lyrics -- which are pretty impressive, by and large -- are held dear by the fans. The encore included "No Children," and with Darnielle's urging, everyone sang along. It wasn't quite as lopsided in the crowd's favor as this recent rendition in San Francisco, when Darnielle was running a fever and basically strummed the guitar while everyone else carried the song home, but it was fun to play our part.

And before I'm too hard on the phone camera, here's a shot I like more, taken outside the club right after the show:



Anonymous PWW said...

All I can say is....bring back the 70's.
or better yet, the Beatles. Good grief!

10:43 AM  

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