John Darnielle and the Mountain Goats hit Denver’s Bluebird Theater tonight with Kaki King, in a show billed as “The Last Happy Night of Your Life.” That sounds promising. I am truly madly deeply looking forward to seeing Darnielle if I manage to get the U-Haul truck loaded in my driveway in time (it’s moving weekend!). I hope to not miss it.
Darnielle is one of the most piercing lyricists of our generation, writing songs that combine hyperliterate mythical/biblical imagery with eviscerating emotional honesty. He has a way of writing a lyric that hones in on exactly the way a situation feels, and even though you’d never thought to express it in those words yourself, it feels like he’s coalescing a truth inside you that you’ve known all your life.
Take a listen to these alternate versions of songs from the limited-edition vinyl Come, Come To The Sunset Tree. According to the cover, “this vinyl edition of the sunset tree consists of songs recorded at home in north carolina.”
There’s also a great interview with Darnielle on the Denver Post’s site right now, where Darnielle reveals a recent obsession with Amy Grant (oh John, the songs I could sing) and talks about the catharsis of this amazing song live in concert:
[from this set from Noise Pop in San Francisco; still one of the best live recordings I’ve heard from TMG]