[Nov 14, 2015] The Mountain Goats (Whelan's) (1 Viewer)

pete

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Aiken Promotions present
The Mountain Goats
Whelan’s
Saturday November 14th

Tickets priced €20 (incl booking) from www.whelanslive.com, www.ticketmaster.ie& outlets nationwide on sale Friday April 17th @9am

In 2014, John Darnielle's novel Wolf in White Van spent several weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List and was nominated for the National Book Award.

On April 7 in the US and April 13 2015 in Europe, Darnielle and his band The MountainGoats return with Beat the Champ, a collection of songs about professional wrestling.

“I wrote these songs to re-immerse myself in the blood and fire of the visions that spoke to me as a child, and to see what more there might be in them now that I’m grown,” Darniellesays of Beat the Champ's 12 songs.

In addition, Joseph Fink of Welcome to Night Vale wrote a few words about the album.


Joseph Fink on Beat the Champ:

"I have been asked to write a bit about the upcoming album by the Mountain Goats called Beat the Champ. There is little I would love to do more. Unfortunately I am a fiction writer, which is to say I am a liar. As a result, there are a number of lies below. Sorry about that. I’ve done my best to point out which parts are true. Let’s start with this. The Mountain Goats are releasing a new album. The name of this album is Beat the Champ. It is, as any fan of the band will expect, a heartbreaking and heart-reviving album about imperfect people described perfectly, with melodies that will stay with you for days. There are also things about it that even long-time fans will not expect.

That’s all true. The Mountain Goats, if you are not a long-time fan, is an itinerant, pseudomystical motorcycle cult that raises money through a regional chain of discount furniture outlets and the occasional musical release in order to fund their mysterious rituals and sacrifices enacted upon the highways and back-roads of America. That’s true as well. The songs in Beat the Champ are about the simple and beautiful stories of professional wrestling as seen by fans who need something simple in their messy lives. The songs are also about the complicated and beautiful lives of the people who work in professional wrestling, who do their best to entertain, to leave a mark, and, when all else fails, to survive.

It is an album about, as the chorus of one of its tracks puts it, “nameless bodies in unremembered rooms.” I think that the entire career of the Mountain Goats has been about giving names to nameless bodies, and remembering unremembered rooms. I can’t think of a more worthy cause. The most famous wrestling match of all time was, of course, the Dunkirk Lion versus Hunk the Monk in their 1977 flaming cage match at Apocalypse Rumble: Pittsburgh. The match was to be held over an open spike pit and was to feature heavy mallets swinging wildly from wires. The match was so outrageously dangerous that both wrestlers refused to participate, and the resulting fan riot levelled the city, allowing for construction of the new Pittsburgh that stands today. The least famous wrestling match of all time was between Shannon Kim and Maggie Lucero, in Maggie’s backyard in Moorpark, CA, their faces pushed into the wet grass, neither quite sure how wrestling worked, but both feeling the joy of seeing what bodies are capable of, neither able to do much but shove the other and slip on the damp ground, just a few minutes of half-hearted wrestling and then they biked down to the weed-filled canyon out behind their housing development and dared each other to climb to the top of a cinderblock retaining wall. Beat the Champ is a gorgeous album that sees the Mountain Goats expand themselves musically, in startling and exciting ways. Here is a jazz chord progression over brushed cymbals. Here is a track that spirals out from verse and chorus into a slow, hazy piano solo.

Here are pounding drums straight from a metal record. And here, as always, are songs like no one else can write them. Like no one else does write them. Everything I’ve said so far is true. So is this: When my father was dying, literally was on his deathbed, although we did not know it, he and I sang songs by the Mountain Goats together. After finishing singing one of the songs, my father leaned his head back, looked over to a beam of sun coming in from a window with a gorgeous view of the Hollywood Hills that he could not see from his bed, and said: “What an optimistic man.” He died two days later. Nameless bodies in unremembered rooms. What an optimistic man. What an album. What a goddamn album.”
 

Unknown Convict

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Anyone read his novel?
i have it but i haven't read it. two reasons: i need glasses and i ordered and paid for hardcover but got paperback so i'm arguing for a refund. i'm gonna hold out for hardcover. and glasses.

it seems pretty highly regarded - nominated for a u.s. national book award, glowing kirkus review, etc.
 

pavlos

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Cheers folks, he's been checking toutless for the last while, there seems to be a lot of people looking for them. I'd say he'll turn up and hover around outside and see what he can pick up.
 

Duncan_Thaw

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I got Wolf In White Van last Christmas. I tried to read it imagining what I would think of it if it wasn't John Darnielle who had written it. Very difficult to do. I really liked it, but it was difficult to form an objective opinion.

I also tried to avoid looking at recent setlists before going to this gig but I cracked the other night and had a look. He'll probably mix it up a bit for the European leg anyway. Would dearly love Source Decay or Distant Stations to be played
 

Unknown Convict

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gig in button factory on october 8th. apparently it'll be a duo set with just darnielle and matt douglas, the horn player. from reports of u.s. dates they played, there's way more freedom in the setlists but it does seem odd to bump them to a bigger venue but bring a more intimate version of the live show, especially as peter hughes has never sounded better than on the new album (which is currently winging its way to me from merge) The Mountain Goats - Goths
 

Duncan_Thaw

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Another Button Factory gig - Nov 20th 2019.

I saw them in Whelans in 2011 & 2015. Even though I had a far better spot at the 2015 gig, I found it a bit underwhelming because a) For his solo acoustic bit mid set he played the exact same "songs for the hardcore fans" as he did in 2011 and b) He played "The Boys Are Back In Town" *again* as he had done in 2011 at the end of the set... just seemed like a wasted opportunity with lots of the same songs played again, especially given the size of The Mountain Goats' back catalogue.

So I decided to give the 2017 Button Factory gig a miss. Then I saw he played 'Store' and 'Masher' in the solo acoustic bit... gah! Played The Young Thousands elsewhere that night too.

So I'm torn as to whether to go to this latest one. Would involve me driving for 4+ hours.

Did anyone go to The Button Factory 2017 gig? How'd it compare to the Whelan's ones? Because I think this new gig is the same setup as 2017 (a duo)
 

pavlos

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Another Button Factory gig - Nov 20th 2019.

I saw them in Whelans in 2011 & 2015. Even though I had a far better spot at the 2015 gig, I found it a bit underwhelming because a) For his solo acoustic bit mid set he played the exact same "songs for the hardcore fans" as he did in 2011 and b) He played "The Boys Are Back In Town" *again* as he had done in 2011 at the end of the set... just seemed like a wasted opportunity with lots of the same songs played again, especially given the size of The Mountain Goats' back catalogue.

So I decided to give the 2017 Button Factory gig a miss. Then I saw he played 'Store' and 'Masher' in the solo acoustic bit... gah! Played The Young Thousands elsewhere that night too.

So I'm torn as to whether to go to this latest one. Would involve me driving for 4+ hours.

Did anyone go to The Button Factory 2017 gig? How'd it compare to the Whelan's ones? Because I think this new gig is the same setup as 2017 (a duo)

The version of "No Children" he did at the end of the 2017 show was worth the price of admission alone, striding about the place like he owned it, great to see him enjoying himself so much.

I was at the 2015 Whelans show (which was great, but then I wasn't at the 2011 one) and the Button Factory one, despite really disliking that Goths album (I still haven't changed my mind on that one). It was a great show though.

I'd definitely go, I know I'll be at it anyway. I'm off to listen to the Mountain Goats now.
 

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