The Mountain Goats, Friday 5.11.07
Sound Fix Records, Brooklyn

The Mountain Goats

Is there anything better than a free Mountain Goats show at a great independent record store? If there is, it can’t be legal.

John Darnielle turned up last Friday to celebrate the re-opening of Sound Fix’s Fix Cafe and Lounge. The renovated bar and performance space looked fantastic, and crowds swarmed. An hour before the scheduled show time, the place was already packed, with fans spilling out into the street, hoping to at least hear Darnielle’s set. Some friends and I cleverly parked ourselves in front of the one window that offered a clear (albeit side) view of the stage.

Darnielle told the audience that he was going to play some very obscure stuff, and he definitely delivered on the promise. We got tons of cassette-only material, including one song that The Mountain Goats recorded for a tape Darnielle’s friend released in the mid-’90s as an attack on Lollapalooza. A catchy and promising new song, called “Lovecraft in Brooklyn” chronicled H.P. Lovecraft’s move to Red Hook. Darnielle confessed that he was nervous about that song, as everyone wants to “rep Brooklyn” these days. Hopefully the crowd’s positive response was enough to convince him to hang onto it. Though I knew that the set would be devoted largely to rarities, I held out hope of hearing “Palmcorder Yajna.” Maybe all of my good karma added up, because my favorite Mountain Goats song managed to make its way onto the setlist.

When Frank Bruno joined Darnielle onstage for a super-rare performance by the duo’s side project, Extra Glenns, I thought that the hardcore fans in the audience were going to explode.

And of course, the first encore ended with a hearty singalong to “No Children,” which Darnielle flubbed at first and then had to start over.

Despite his complaints about the heat in the room (I was in there for a few minutes and had to leave–too many people, yech), Darnielle soldiered on through almost an hour and a half of material. Police and fire trucks circled the block multiple times, and though I was afraid they were about to shut us down for blocking the sidewalk and violating fire codes, the show proceeded. It was a perfect spring evening, with an ice cream truck hovering at the corner of the block and Mountain Goats fans (an almost eerily sweet group of people) sitting on trash can lids, drinking bottles of beer out of paper bags.

Setlist (stolen from The Mountain Goats forum)
the mountain goats:

some swedish trees
snow crush killing song
going to queens
the day the aliens came
going to bolivia
going to maine
lovecraft in brooklyn (new song)
the recognition scene
cold milk bottle
going to port washington
palmcorder yajna

the extra glenns:

the river song
program cell death (or programmed cell death?) – new extra glenns song!

the irony engine
going to marrakesh
carmen cicero
the badger song

-first encore:
no children (aborted piano-only version)
no children (guitar and piano version)

-second encore: