#19 on the 2012 Musical Bacon Calendar
Transcendental Youth by The Mountain Goats
There seem to be less new artists on this year’s Calendar. I haven’t done a true comparison from year to year, but it feels as if I’m writing more “this new album from one of my favorite bands…” statements than ever before. And here’s another one, this time from long-time faves The Mountain Goats.
John Darnielle, the sole source behind all Mountain Goats music (but not always the only performer on the songs), is one of the most prolific musicians around. He has released 9 full-length records in the last 11 years, and is showing no sign of slowing down. Not all of them have stuck with me, but each of them are worthy of repetitive listens to determine if it should remain in the permanent playlist. My favorites have been Tallahassee and All Hail West Texas (both from 2002), We Shall All Be Healed (2004), Heretic Pride (2007). And all signs are now pointing to the new album, Transcendental Youth, becoming the 5th in the Top 5 Mountain Goats albums.
The Mountain Goats have changed over the years, from solo singer/songwriter songs recorded directly into a boom box tape recorder 15 years ago, to the nicely-produced albums of today. But the death, despair, and all-around general malaise Darnielle sings about, all with a wry smile, have remained pleasingly consistent. The new album is no different, with song titles like “Harlem Roulette,” “Counterfeit Florida Plates,” and “In Memory of Satan” bringing the dark humor.
If you like your acoustic-guitar folk rock with a bite, then you should definitely check out the Mountain Goats. But be warned: Darnielle has a massive, rabid following, that will sing along with every single song he performs, regardless of how old it is. They all seem to know all the words to all the songs. I guess he just knows how to bring out the crazy.
20. A Church That Fits Our Needs by Lost In The Trees
21. Hospitality by Hospitality
22. Free Dimensional by Diamond Rings
23. History Speaks by Deep Sea Diver
24. A Different Ship by Here We Go Magic
25. Negotiations by the Helio Sequence
26. Moms by Menomena
27. The Sound of the Life of the Mind by Ben Folds Five
28. Shields by Grizzly Bear
29. Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun by The Wooden Sky
30. Fragrant World by Yeasayer
31. Reign of Terror by Sleigh Bells