The Mountain Goats

29th May 2011

Location: King Tuts Wah Wah Hut

Tickets: £17.75

The Mountain Goats began life in a Norwalk employee-housing studio apartment that had awesome deco tiling on the bathroom floor but little more to recommend the place as a living space.  In this room, equipped with a dual-cassette recorder, John D. started setting some of his poetry to music, using a guitar he’d gotten for a few bucks at a nearby strip mall music store.

After a while the songs became more like songs than poems set to music, and John started playing them for his friend Rachel, who as it turned out, played bass.  John and Rachel toured the eastern U.S. & Europe once, the midwest twice (if “Chicago, Columbus and Madison” count as “the midwest”), and played San Francisco a few times, and they recorded two albums and a couple of EPs.  Then John graduated from college and moved to Chicago, and for many years, the sole member of The Mountain Goats was Darnielle himself, except for a couple of European tours where John’s friend Peter Hughes played bass.

Throughout the ’90s, The Mountain Goats were known for producing “militantly lo-fi” home recordings (most famously, on a boom box) and releasing recordings in cassette or vinyl 7″ formats.  In 2001, though, 4AD called up and asked if the Mountain Goats wouldn’t like to make records with them.

John called Peter, and as a duo, the two toured at a pace that can fairly be called “relentless” from 2002 until 2007.  Since 2002, the Mountains Goats have transitioned to a more polished approach, recording studio albums with a full band.

They made a bunch of records including ‘Tallahassee’, ‘We Shall All Be Healed’, ‘The Sunset Tree’, ‘Get Lonely’.  They met Jon Wurster, and the three took to the road in support of Get Lonely.  They enjoyed playing together so much that when it came time to get back into the studio again, all three went together.  In 2008, the three recorded ‘Heretic Pride’, and in early 2009, ‘The Life of the World to Come’.

Their new album, ‘All Eternals Deck’, is due for release on the 29th March 2011.

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