Archive for The Moaners

The Mountain Goats and The Moaners @ Music Hall of Williamsburg. Wednesday March 19th, 2008

Posted in music, shows, Tom with tags , , , , , , on March 25, 2008 by criticalreviews

Ok, so for now there is going to be a barrage of concert reviews from me, but I can’t help it. I have kinda made a pact with myself to review every concert that I attend…so far this has been going really well, and we will see if I can keep up:

Today: Glorytellers at Cake Shop
Wednesday: Apache Beat, Team Robspierre, Health, and Crystal Castles at Mercury Lounge
Saturday: The Convocation of… at Cake Shop (unfortunately canceled)
Monday: Health, Ghengis Tron, and High Places @ Knitting Factory

I guess what I am trying to say is excuse the music heaviness of my posting over the next couple weeks (I will change it up music wise too with a mailorder review and a packaging/record review. I also have a couple restaurant and bar reviews coming as well).

But now back to the Mountain Goats show.

The Moaners have been opening for the Goats on this tour, and they were actually pretty fun to watch. They are a two piece band, with a guitarist and a drummer. These two women have a (at least one) record out on Yep Rock, and played a really nice set. Their music is kinda bluesy, and with a slight nod to Sleater-Kinney. Ok, I know comparing a girl group to Sleater-Kinney is kinda a cop out, but they actually had a couple songs that really reminded me of them (earlier stuff, you know Dig Me Out, ect). I also think they might be better at a smaller show…the singer seemed kinda shy with the large crowd…she was wearing really big sunglasses the whole show. Despite the little bit of shyness The Moaners rocked pretty hard, and although this is another one of those bands that I don’t think I would listen to at home they were a good opening act (which up until recently has been few and far between).

So I bought us tickets to the MHOW show, and I did this mainly because I hate Webster Hall so much. But after a review by the Village Voice blog of the Webster Hall show I know I made the right decision…ok now I don’t put much faith in the Voice, but it was clear by the set that John played at MHOW that he had read it, and wanted to give his fans a different experience.

To our surprise John walked out on stage all by himself. I expected to see Peter Hughes follow, but John just strapped on his guitar and began to play. He proceeded to give the sold out crowd at MHOW an almost 40 min long solo set, and then called for the rest of the band to come out. During this solo set John played from pretty much the entire catologue For this tour the Goats have added a third member, a drummer, Jon Wurster. The Goats have been using a drummer on the records since Tallahassee, and it was interesting to see it live.

Before the show started we (KLK and I) were discussing our history with the Mountain Goats(seeing him at least 10 times in the past five years…all of these shows were in NC, NYC, and SC…including some shows that I booked). I have to say that John has never disappointed me. I will admit that that I have had a little bit of a hard time getting into the past couple albums, but that is not because I don’t like them…it is just because the older four track recordings used to be on my stereo non-stop for so many years (I initally had a hard time getting into everything after All Hail West Texas, but now We Shall All Be Healed ranks in my favorite albums). This show really put John’s full body of work into perspective for me…it tied the older songs that I consider classics in with the newer. This show really impressed me, and any one who has been skeptical of the Goats experimentation should just listen to “Lovecraft in Brooklyn” about ten times in a row and it should click (damn that song is good, and my favorite off the new album).

The full band portion of the set ended up being about 40 minutes as well…and there were even two encores. They only played three or four songs off of Heritic Pride which was pretty surprising, but I’ll take old Mountain Goats anyday. So now I am going to be a hater…the first encore was a cop out where they played “No Children” and “Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton”. I know these are favorites, and I even really like these songs, but just by how John talked about them made me believe that he was really tired of playing them. During “No Children” he didn’t even sing into the microphone, or really at all, he just let the crowd sing. This is sad to me because I can remember the days when we would see him screaming so loud into the mic during this song that I thought his eyes were going to pop out. The passion just doesn’t seem to be there any more…almost like he is just going through the motions. “BEDMBOOD” was a little better, but these didn’t compared to their cover of “House Guest” by Nothing Painted Blue (see the video below…not from this show, but still really good).

This show was really great, and I would love to see them when they come back in May, but I think I am going to need to opt for the No Fun Fest (w/ Thurston Moore and Burning Star Core both playing the same night), and I think John would approve of this decision. I think this show will definitely hold me off on my Mountain Goats fix until next time, and maybe by that time the Goats will be covering High on Fire.

Go Pirates!

Photo of the Mountain Goats at MHOW by Bryan Bruchman

The Moaner’s photo comes from Yep Rocs website