bradley's almanac - a boston-based music blog
navigate the 'nac
almanac mp3 archives almanac shared mp3 archive
live show photo archive boston-area live shots on flickr
'my life or some dream'
original mp3 compilation

free mp3 compilation on club fub
bands i've been in bands i've played drums in
the 'nac faq & contact info
contact info and more
the 'nac on the 'net
the almanac rss feed
subscribe to my rss feed
follow me on twitter the almanac twitter account
become a fan on facebook the 'nac on facebook
the almanac tumblr page bradley's tumblanac
hype machine 'nac page the almanac hype machine page
the almanac soundcloud page the almanac shuffler page
the 'nac songkick gig page the almanac songkick gig page
almanac events on sponty the almanac sponty events page
the almanac page the almanac page
listen to 'nac mp3s on shuffler the almanac shuffler page

the almanac archives

search the 'nac

recommended boston area events

tuesday, december 4th

kelly hogan

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 6th

conor oberst

@ converse hall, tremont st.

thursday, december 6th

jason isbell &

the 400 unit

@ the sinclair

friday, december 7th

the weisstronauts 14th

annual holiday jubilee

with guests tsunami of sound

preacher jack, & the derangers

@ the midway cafe, jp

friday, december 7th


moving mountains


@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

patrick watson

@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

the faint perform

"danse macabre"


icky blossoms

@ the paradise

sunday, december 9th

band of horses

@ house of blues

sunday, december 9th



@ the paradise

wednesday, december 12th

concrete blonde

jim bianco

@ the sinclair

thursday, december 13th

annual boston christmas cavalcade

benefit for the homeless

featuring tons of artists

(see fb event for details)

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 13th

nada surf

eternal summers

@ the paradise

thursday, december 13th

mates of state

in the valley below

@ brighton music hall

friday, december 14th

forgetters (blake from

jawbreaker's band)

& more tba

@ democracy center, harvard square

sunday, december 30th

sufjan stevens

sheila saputo

@ the royale

monday, december 31st

my morning jacket

@ agganis arena

monday, december 31st

deer tick

two gallants

@ the sinclair

monday, january 7th


@ the paradise

tuesday, january 8th


@ great scott

saturday, january 19th

mission of burma

@ the sinclair

sunday, january 20th

camper van beethoven


@ the middle east down

sunday, january 20th


@ the orpheum

sunday, january 20th

ra ra riot

@ the paradise

sunday, january 27th


@ great scott

tuesday, january 29th

kathleen edwards

sera cahoone

@ brighton music hall

wednesday, february 13th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

saturday, march 2nd

unknown mortal orchestra

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 12th

tame impala

@ house of blues

thursday, march 14th

jukebox the ghost

matt pond pa

lighthouse and the whaler

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 26th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

wednesday & thursday

april 3rd & 4th

they might be giants

@ the paradise

visit tourfilter for more shows

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Live Mp3s: Mountain Goats (John Darnielle) in Somerville, MA

One of the most rewarding results of recording the shows I go to is when I'm able to capture the exact moment when I completely fall for an artist. It happens rarely, since I'm most often well enough in love with a band before I see them on stage... but I felt it again two weeks back, just a few songs into John Darnielle's solo set at the Somerville Theatre.

As a casual Mountain Goats follower for many years, one who's hardly heard a Darnielle-penned song he didn't like, I for some reason never quite crossed over into full-on fan. Can't say why, really... many friends have long been converted, ones I trust implicitly, but it took me ages to pick up one of his/their many full-lengthers. Maybe that was part of the problem - as the type of fan who has completist tendencies, becoming an MG devotee was a daunting prospect. Still, last year's "Heretic Pride", while atypical of John's lower-fi, less produced output, nudged me closer, and as soon as I found out about his "Gone Primitive" solo tour with John Vanderslice, a 3rd row seat was mine. And my conversion was inevitable.

His performance was a wonder - captivating, sincere, and totally charming. From the songs themselves to the candid between-song banter, I was utterly spellbound. Frequent goosebumps, I tell you. I've seen many shows at that theatre, and never had it felt as intimate as it was that night. The audience played a big part of that - the love they gave him and the appreciation he gave back, the silence as he played contrasted with the overwhelming applause as each song finished - just magical. I frankly felt lucky to be there, especially on a night when John tried out a couple new ideas - 1) play mostly songs he really wants to play and 2) call on specific audience members for requests in order to quiet the song-shouters (in vain, though that was). Doing so gave us a setlist of relative rarities, one that to my ears never lulled.

Let's all be grateful that John is avidly pro-taper, and that I'm able to share up this set... it really is something special. I spent a ridiculous amount of time editing and mastering this thing, and I hope you'll be able to tell... the sheer volume of the applause and the occasional delicacy of John's playing made the post-production a serious challenge, but it was worth it.

As you'll hear, John Vanderslice (whose set I will be sharing soon) joined JD back on stage for a few new songs near the end of the main set - JD's "Emerging" (I'm only guessing that's the title), "Surrounded", and the JV-fronted "Steps Columns Pillars", all three of which can be found on a brand-spankin' new split tour EP titled "Moon Colony Bloodbath" (beautifully designed by Horse & Buggy Press - front cover / back cover). Unfortunately, production delays kept them from selling it on most of the tour (which happens to finish up tonight in Bloomington), so only those at the last few dates have been able to grab one of these 7-song, vinyl treasures. While JV sent out a Twitter message that a batch of the limited-to-1000 EPs would be available via mailorder soon (ixnay on the ebay!), I've got a hankering for one of the first 200 (green vinyl!), so this is where I ask a fellow fan to pick one up for me. I will, rest assured, reciprocate the kindness in some way.

Back to the details then straight to the tracks - JV also sings a bit of backup on "No Children" before the encore, and returns to share the stage for a fantastic show-closing version of "This Year". A ninety-minute trip that was over too soon...

The Mountain Goats
a solo set by John Darnielle, with guest John Vanderslice

Live at the Somerville Theatre
in Somerville, MA
on Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

01. intro
02. I Love You, Let's Light Ourselves on Fire
03. Woke Up New
04. banter
05. Un Reve Plus Long Que La Nuit (November Love Song)
06. Cobscook Bay
07. You or Your Memory
08. Sign of the Crow 2
09. banter
10. Black Pear Tree
11. Elijah
12. Blueberry Frost
13. So Desperate
14. Marduk T-Shirt Men's Room Incident
15. Island Garden Song
16. Going to Alaska
17. Beach House
18. banter
19. The Sign (Ace of Base cover)
20. Emerging (new)
21. Surrounded (new)
22. Steps Columns Pillars (new - JV sings, JD sings backup)
23. No Children (JV sings backup)
24. See America Right

25. encore break / banter
26. Commandante
27. Alibi
28. The Day the Aliens Came (or: Hawaiian Feeling)
29. This Year

Some Mountain Goats linkage...
  • The official site, MySpace page, Wikipedia entry, and 4AD label page.

  • Additional Audio: It's out there, everywhere. Try the Live Music Archive for some great sets, hit up my compadre NYCTaper for last week's NYC show. John has an Mp3 from each of his recent albums on his discography page. I've been listening to The Wave Pictures lately (thanks to Jonathan), and happened upon an Mp3 of this song, which features Mr. Darnielle as a guest...

  • For the curious, the tracklist for the just-released "Moon Colony Bloodbath" tour EP with John Vanderslice is - 1. Surrounded (JD), 2. Lucifer Rising (JV), 3. Satori in Denver (JD), 4. Scorpio Rising (JV), 5. Sudden Oak Death (JD), 6. Columns Pillars Steps (JV), 7. Emerging (JD). I'll probably Twitter something when/if I find one via mail order.

  • Video: John has a few shared on his site, and of course a Mountain Goats YouTube search turns up a ton of live clips.

  • Photos: My shots from the show are here. Check out a Mountain Goats and/or John Darnielle Flickr search.

  • Upcoming tourdates:
    Tonight! In Bloomington, Indiana at the Chumley Theatre. After that? Who knows? Guy deserves a rest, that's for sure.
  • Stream any and all 'Nac-hosted Mp3s at the Hype Machine.

  • a bit o' fine print... Live sets recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps Mp3s. Files are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.


    featured mp3 download
    neil halstead
    live in cambridge, ma
    on november 14th, 2008
    previously: joy formidable - boston 2011

    recent posts on the 'nac...

    on the nightstand

    boston-area music bloggers

    boston music media

    I Buy Music

    This page is powered by Blogger Pro.