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The Mountain Goats, The Lonelyhearts (sold out)

  • Majestic 115 King Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)
Photo by Jeremy Lange.

Photo by Jeremy Lange.

It is perhaps one of the highest honors for a band to have its name become shorthand. For 26 years now, singer-songwriter John Darnielle’s primary outlet, The Mountain Goats, has come to be synonymous with melancholy story-songs that are nasally sing-sung, and overflowing with well-observed characters living out compelling vignettes. For every word in the previous sentence describing the group, it’s the band’s ability to pull of “melancholy” so effectively well that always impresses: To be clear, the band doesn’t make sigh-inducing Sebadoh or The Smiths-like fare, but short stories that impressively swirl the way life is with the way we’d like it to be and just happen to be set to catchy music. The band appears here in support of the recently released Goths, a tongue-in-cheek reference both to the band’s antecedents and Darnielle and his bandmates’ affinity for bands like The Cure, Joy Division, the Sisters Of Mercy, and the Cult’s earlier stuff. On Goths, the band is trying to reconcile its conflicting tendencies (brooding melodies made more bizarre by punchlines in the lyrics), but the album still hits the strong points that Mountain Goats records tend to. On songs like “Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back To Leeds,” the band excels, as always, at highlighting the shared experiences of outcasts. —David Wolinsky

Earlier Event: July 8
Ben Silver (free)