• Listening through the Mountain Goats (2003–2011)

    8 May 2011, 02:32 by nigelewan

    This is part two of my journaling through The Mountain Goats' magnificent and enormous body of work. You can read part one in a separate entry.

    2003 (posted 7 may)
    Wow. Where to begin? Things change so much this year. I know I probably sound absurdly hyperbolic at this point, but this period of tMG history (2002–04) is my absolute favorite.

    What a superb album. The title track is deceptively simple. The more I listen to it, the more I enjoy it. Also, there is some cool spookiness surrounding very quiet words in the background of the song, so that is fun. I never get tired of the segue from the end of Tallahassee into First Few Desperate Hours... and the rest of First Few Desperate Hours. This is definitely my favorite song on the album.

    I still remember the first time I heard No Children. It was in the best possible way, in context of the album as a whole. After the album was finished, I remember thinking "that one song with the piano was very memorable". …
  • The Mountain Goats - The Life of the World to Come (DVD)

    30 Apr 2010, 22:57 by clivestaples2

    The musical world of John Darnielle is vast, which is why it's consoling to take in The Mountain Goats in very particular doses. One dose that is unmatched in its presentation is the DVD version of The Life of the World to Come. Some friends and I had seen it at a screening in a not-quiet-enough restaurant, but the home viewing opened up the work in a new way.

    Even though I mention small doses, this collection of songs comes in at least three forms: the regular album, The Life of the World In Flux, and the DVD that shares the name of the album. Add in live versions of songs and you have potentially four ways to experience these stories. Fortunately for us, each Mountain Goats song is a microcosm that begs to be paid attention to, whether you've heard it before or not. The Life of the World to Come, come to life on film, is a bare exposure of what these songs are about.

    The only two performers are John Darnielle and his grade school friend, Rachel. …