Posts Tagged ‘Durham’

John Darnielle has written almost 600 songs now, and some of them are very sad, dealing with hard drugs and tragic ends, hurting yourself and others, sicknesses of both body and brain, off-brand alcohols. They are told in beautiful, unnerving, specific detail because he is a very good writer, and also some of them are just true stories about his own life.

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The Mountain Goats have digitally released their “Welcome to Passaic 7″ which has “Passaic 1975″ from this year’s In League With Dragons on the A-side and the awesomely-titled “Get High and Listen to The Cure” — an unreleased song from the sessions for 2017’s Goths — on the flip

The Mountain Goats new release “In League With Dragons”. Singer-songwriter, author, and podcaster John Darnielle started The Mountain Goats in the ‘90s with just an acoustic guitar and a boombox, but over the years he expanded the band’s sound and lineup, and now — backed by Peter Hughes, Jon Wurster, and Matt Douglas — he’s supporting this new album which is a far cry from his earliest material.

In League With Dragons, a Dungeons & Dragons-inspired record featuring fantasy settings and characters. It’s also an album, according to a conversation on the I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats podcast, about getting older.

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Released April 26th, 2019

The Band:
Jon Wurster – drums & percussion
Peter Hughes – bass
Matt Douglas – woodwinds, guitars, vocals
John Darnielle – guitars, vocals
Thom Gill – guitars
Johnny Spence – organ, Memorymoog, piano, Wurlitzer, synth
Bram Gielen – guitars, piano, synth
Owen Pallett – piano, organ, guitar

Dan Dugmore – pedal steel on “In League with Dragons”

Vocal arrangements on “Younger,” “In League with Dragons,” “Waylon Jennings Live!” and “Cadaver Sniffing Dog” by Robert Bailey, performed by Robert Bailey, Everett Drake, Jason Eskridge, and Michael Mishaw

Strings arranged by Owen Pallett,

Martha album cover

After sharing the excellent, “Heart Is Healing” back in the middle of the musical dead-space that is December, we kind of knew those loveable Durham scamps Martha were up to something exciting. This week the quartet have confirmed the April release of their third album, “Love Keeps Kicking”, as well as sharing the title track from it. The record will be their first on their new musical home, Big Scary Monsters.

Accompanied by a sci-fi alien invation pastiche video, a metaphor for the War Of The Roses or athlete foot depending on how you look at it, Love Keeps Kicking, is a tale of the universality of heartache, as Martha put it, “what better metaphor is there for the inevitability of a broken heart than the swift kick of a giant disembodied foot?” Musically, it continues the subtle evolution showcased on Heart Is Healing, the anthemic-punk they do so well, given a poppy, almost country twist courtesy of prominent bassy-pulse and occasionally fabulously bombastic guitar-soloing. Sure, heartbreak could be lurking round any corner, yet with Martha’s break-up album to guide you through,

Our third album, also entitled ‘Love Keeps Kicking’ is released April 1st via Big Scary Monsters and Dirtnap Records (US).

‘Love Keeps Kicking’ is Martha’s new single, out 28th January 2019. Available everywhere digitally via Big Scary Monsters / Dirtnap Records.

John Darnielle has written almost 600 songs now, and some of them are very sad, dealing with hard drugs and tragic ends, hurting yourself and others, sicknesses of both body and brain, off-brand alcohols. They are told in beautiful, unnerving, specific detail because he is a very good writer, and also some of them are just true stories about his own life. The mountain goats are John Darnielle, Peter Hughes, Jon Wurster, and Matt Douglas.

They have been making music together as a quartet for several years. three of them live in North Carolina and one has moved back to Rochester. their songs often seek out dark lairs within which terrible monsters dwell, but their mission is to retrieve the treasure from the dark lair & persuade the terrible monsters inside to seek out the path of redemption. as Axl Rose once memorably asked, in the song “Terrible Monster”: “what’s so terrible about monsters, anyway?” this is the question the Mountain Goats have been doggedly pursuing since 1991. they will never leave off this quest until every option has been exhausted. thank you. vinyl cut at half-speed mastering. album recorded at Blackbird Studio in Nashville tn & produced by Owen Pallett.

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Releases April 26th, 2019

Jon Wurster – drums & percussion
Peter Hughes – bass
Matt Douglas – woodwinds, guitars, vocals
John Darnielle – guitars, vocals
Thom Gill – guitars
Johnny Spence – organ, Memorymoog, piano, Wurlitzer, synth
Bram Gielen – guitars, piano, synth
Owen Pallett – piano, organ, guitar

Dan Dugmore – pedal steel on “In League with Dragons”

Vocal arrangements on “Younger,” “In League with Dragons,” “Waylon Jennings Live!” and “Cadaver Sniffing Dog” by Robert Bailey, performed by Robert Bailey, Everett Drake, Jason Eskridge, and Michael Mishaw

When Beat the Champ came out, a wrestler named Sasha Banks tweeted at me: “Where’s my song, @mountain_goats?” As a territories guy I had to learn her story. I said I’d finish the song by the end of the tour; it took a little longer than that.

Last night Sasha Banks wrestled for the Money in the Bank title, and while she didn’t take it home this time, I’ve learned enough about where she came from and how she got to where she is now to say with confidence: the sky is the limit for you. Your walk is just beginning and the day will come when all your setbacks look like steps on a ladder.

Jon Wurster and I recorded this song at Chris Stamey’s place last week — that’s Chris on bass; I last worked with Chris on the Moon Colony Bloodbath DP. Thanks to Chris for making this happen and to the Boss, Sasha Banks herself, for inspiring us all – to learn about you and to write this song was a real honor for me.

Dedicated of course to Sasha and to everybody who’s even had a hint of what it looks like when your dreams start pushing their elbows through the gauze into the real world of blood & sweat & bone.

The MGs always take care of their fans, they don’t have to do a ot of the things they do and they always do it with quality writing and craftsmanship.
Released June 18th, 2018
John Darnielle – Guitar, keys, vocals
Jon Wurster – Drums and Percussion
Chris Stamey – Bass

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Since 2016, Durham, England’s Pale Kids have carved out a place of their very own in the punk scene. While they may draw comparisons to Martha—the fact Pale Kids recorded an EP in Martha’s house cements it—but, across their assortment of splits and EPs, Pale Kids have built a space for their own voice. Since the beginning, the band’s been vocal champions of their queer identities, while wrapping their pop hooks in short, bombastic punk songs. With the release of Hesitater, a new three-song EP coming March 23rd on Father/Daughter Records, the band takes another step forward, writing the strongest melodies of their short career, while still crafting lyrics that pack a meaningful punch.

While Hesitater is the latest offering from Pale Kids, it also features one of the band’s earliest songs in “Gloom.” The track is about fighting against the despair that filters into one’s daily life, using a bouncing backbeat as a means of shaking off the doldrums. Closing out Hesitater is “Samson,” which examines a past relationship with a softer, tempered outlook. It begs the question, can you make something work if you forgive and forget, or is such a thing even possible? Taken as a whole, Hesitater proves that Pale Kids are finding their own space in their scene, and creating whip-smart punk at a time when it’s needed most.

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John Darnielle has written almost 600 songs now, and some of them are very sad, dealing with hard drugs and tragic ends,hurting yourself and others, sicknesses of both body and brain, off-brand alcohols. They are told in beautiful, unnerving, specific detail because he is a very good writer, and also some of them are just true stories about his own life.

Last month, my cover of “Riches and Wonders” with Jherek Bischoff was unleashed on the world via the podcast “I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats”. It’s receiving a lot of praise from Mountain Goats fans, which means a lot to me. Jherek and I churned out both the arrangement and recording in only a few days last summer, then recorded the podcast with John Darnielle and Joseph Fink a few days later. It’s been hard to keep the project a secret for all these months! Such a fun gig! And an honor. 

You can listen to the song Here I am going to be extremely “tacky” and suggest that if you like the song enough that you think you’ll listen to it more than once, Please download it – Jherek and I receive a portion of the royalties, and I personally am insanely broke finishing up my epic music video and covers album without the help of a day job . Buying the song also supports the podcast. We are all busting our asses to make things, and I can speak for all of us when I say we appreciate your support.

Meanwhile, my covers album is taking forever , Although it’s Very close to completion – two more songs need a bit more mixing, and one of those songs is giving us a lot of hell, as it’s a pile of just Eliza voices, I’m open to input. I’m all ears – no pun intended). As a result, I’ve decided to release a song or two from the project as singles prior to completion and release of the album as a whole. Because not getting content out into the world regularly is making me feel completely insane. So keep your eyes’ n’ ears peeled for the first single, a cover of Rufus Wainwright’s “The Art Teacher”, another epic collaboration with Jherek Bischoff

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When you listen to Sylvan Esso singer and lyricist Amelia Meath talk about the band’s new album, “What Now”, you quickly learn how profoundly she’s motivated by love. There’s the love of magical sounds and the euphoria she feels when music “lifts you off the earth.” There’s the love for the audience, of connecting with and freeing them through song. And, especially for Meath, there’s the love of dance and of feeling the body (literally) become the music.

The release of What Now, we asked Meath to share some of the stories behind the new songs. She revealed a lot about what went into each track, but also reflected on the kinds of things that can keep her up at night, like whether being in a band matters when there’s more important work to do, how she’s sometimes sad when everything is awesome and how flagrant sexism in the music industry can ruin everything.

“Lyrically, this is mostly me talking to myself. Hilariously enough this song is on the radio now, but at the time I was feeling an immense amount of pressure to write new songs for What Now even though we were still mid-cycle on our first record. Most of the song is spent accusing myself of trying to become a successful musician when there are so many other important things to be doing other than sucking up to the man, trying to get America to think you are cool. Also — getting on mainstream radio is like trying to join a secret society, particularly if you are female. Stations have literally come back to us saying that they already have ‘a female vocal’ in their playlist.

5. Kick Jump Twist

“This is about jumping through hoops trying to get people to love you. Be it practicing your dance moves and sexy face in the mirror, or prepping your audition for RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s a song about how we perform our lives — and also, about being in a band and touring forever.”

6. Song

“My favorite manifestation of heartache is wanting to be a piece of music. As in, actually being so filled with emotion and energy that you leave your human body and transcend into pure melody. For real. That is what this tune is about, as well as the reality of being in love versus what love songs and rom-coms tell us love is like — how sometimes a song can make you feel more in love than the real thing. Or at least it gives you a moment to completely feel it, without distraction.”

7. Just Dancing

“I wanted to talk about how Tinder has made it possible to only go on first dates forever. How all of the sudden it is completely possible to be in control of how potential romantic partners see you. How if you wanted to, you could be your own most ideal version of yourself. But you would have to keep on changing who you were dating to keep that beginning of a relationship feeling. How you could live in this false image of yourself, reflected through your partners’ eyes, never landing.”

8. Signal

“It’s about life mimicking technology and technology mimicking life. Searching for truth and honesty in a sea of noise. How, despite all the changes to the ways we go about it, we all still want the same thing any human has ever wanted: to be, connect with other humans and feel understood.

9. Slack Jaw

“Everything is awesome — and I am still sad.”

10. Rewind

“This is about me watching scenes from movies over and over again when I was a kid, learning turns of phrases and dance moves, and how to be a person. The chorus is about repeated viewings on VHS — how when you are rewinding something the picture dims and when you press ‘play,’ the room floods with light again. It is about building your personality from media, and then slowly dismantling it to become an honest human and an amalgamation of your influences from family, friends, movies, music and idols.”

Let’s start with this. The Mountain Goats who are releasing a new album. 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.  Ever-wonderful Mountain Goats return with a new album Goths, due out on 19th May .

It is a particularly appropriate/nostalgic title for those of us of a certain age who were in the thick of the original Goth movement, all black with purple hints, eyeliner and gloom all pervading and its capital in the heart of the north of England remembering bands like the Mission and Sisters Of Mercy.

It is summed up perfectly by the first single Andrew Eldritch Is Moving Back To Leeds, of which John Darnielle has to say of the undisputed godfather of Goth, “In the lyric, I imagine one of my teenage heroes, Andrew Eldritch, returning to the town where the band worked and played when they were young. His friends give him a hard time about ending up back where he started, but not because they’re mad: it’s good to see an old friend wearing the marks of time on his hands and face like well-loved tattoos. So shall it be in these times: your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions, and Andrew Eldritch, whose music has reached spirits in every corner of the globe, will move back to Leeds.”

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John Darnielle: vocals, piano, Fender Rhodes
Peter Hughes: bass, vocals
Matt Douglas: woodwinds, vocals, additional keys
Jon Wurster: drums and percussion

Let’s hear it for part-time punks: the musicians who go to work by day so they can get to work at night, and who give the man 40 hours a week rather than let him dictate the terms of their art. It’s a sacrifice most of us won’t make to pursue our passions, especially when it’s so much easier to consume than create.

Martha is one such band trying to balance the desire to keep it DIY with the demands of increased popularity. The British pop-punk group — Nathan Stephens Griffin on drums, Naomi Griffin on bass, J. Cairns and Daniel Ellis on guitars — released one of the best guitar albums of 2014 in Courting Strong, and has spent the two years since touring the U.K. while holding down day jobs and school obligations. It’s been exhausting but necessary for a band determined to operate outside the traditional music industry.

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Martha are from a small, former mining village in this case, sentimental anarchists Martha, from a town in Durham that is literally called “Pity Me,” write from a working class experience that often gets sidelined by London-centric politics. Whether it’s falling in love with someone at the supermarket after seeing them “getting bollocked” by their supervisor, forging passion “under a four pound box of wine,” or something as simple as name-dropping Countdown or saying “mam” instead of “mum,” Martha’s punk-laced pop singalongs are both playful and devastating depending on how long ago your last breakup was.  At the heart of it, Martha are as lovesick as the rest of us. They just know how to express it in ways that make you want to drink some unfavorably cheap booze and have a dance.

 Martha’s new album, Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart, doesn’t disappoint in that respect. Protagonists range from twentysomethings stuck in “neoliberal precarious employment” (“Precarious [Supermarket Song]”), 20th-century anarchist Emma Goldman (“Goldman’s Detective Agency”), envious outcasts (“The Awkward Ones”) and Catholic-school queers (“St. Pauls [Westerberg Comprehensive]”). And, thankfully, Cairns and Ellis haven’t outgrown the cathartic three-chord punk burners that made Courting Strong so much fun (“Christine,” “Chekhov’s Hangnail”), either.