THE MOUNTAIN GOATS, LOAMLANDS
Despite the longevity of his musical career, John Darnielle remains a perennially young songwriter. Darnielle began making his first solo cassette recordings as the Mountain Goats in 1991, disguising folk music as teenage conniptions, before eventually moving on to more polished albums with a full band. But over the course of 14 albums and countless more cassettes, EPs, and singles, Darnielle has never stopped tapping into adolescent themes. Darnielle sings in great lyrical detail about young, weird, tormented people, whose environments often deprive them of a life worth living. Among his most memorable characters, there's the teenage death-metal band stuck in a small-minded town, the deeply-in-love young couple that has to rent a motel room for the birth of their child, and Darnielle himself, when he sings about his own childhood abuse and adolescent drug addiction. Not all of his songs have a happy ending, but Darnielle sings in a thoughtful and resounding way about the importance of surviving. For many Mountain Goats fans, young and old, that are struggling to outlast their personal demons, John Darnielle is one of the most important voices in the world. Showbox at the Market, 9 pm, $22.50 adv/$25 DOS.
And with that final blurb, my time in the Underage column is over. I wish I had a better excuse for leaving this position, other than feeling like the older I get, the less I'm able to speak to/for the Underage audience. (We can't all be John Darnielle, I guess.) Everyone at The Stranger made me feel welcome during my tenure as a columnist, but I need to give a special shout-out, obviously, to the music section, including Emily Nokes, Dave Segal, and Brittnie Fuller, the last of whom has been extremely gracious in sharing this column. I also have to acknowledge Megan Seling and former music editor Grant Brissey for first giving me the opportunity to cover the vibrant all-ages music action in this city.
Finally, I want to thank you all for reading. Music saved my life, and for better or for worse, I'll carry that weight around until my last day on earth. It's been an honor to try to express this feeling every other week in The Stranger, and if I helped you see just one transcendent show in the last two years, then I think I did an okay job.
[Eds. note: Jackson Hathorn has done more than an okay job, he has done an excellent job, and may be the only human in the history of The Stranger's music section to not only meet deadlines, but to turn things in early. Thank you, Jackson!]