Mountain Goats

Published on June 26th, 2013

Mountain Goats

Back to Basics: Back in the mid to late ‘90s – it’s hard to pinpoint an exact time with John Darnielleís unreleased songs, because he has more obscure outtakes than many acts have album tracks – he wrote a song for the Mountain Goats called “Going to Dade County.” Like a lot of old Mountain Goats cuts, he doesn’t perform it much anymore; it’s a spotted owl tune, rarely emerging into public view. In the song, Darnielle’s protagonist is having a fever dream at 6:31 some Saturday morning in Northern Florida, and he imagines his complicated paramour turning into a housecat. Then he hears the caterwauls of a thousand other housecats, and decides the best course of action would be to go to Dade County.
Darnielle doesn’t write songs like that anymore, and he certainly never comes to Dade County, or the South Florida tri-county area at all for that matter. This has left his cultish SoFla fans no other choice but to schlep to Orlando, Gainesville or St. Augustine during each tour or one-off appearance. Lo and behold, Darnielle made a concerted decision this time around to visit a handful of godforsaken locales, Fort Lauderdale being one of them. Correct me if I’m wrong, but his appearance June 24 will be his first Mountain Goats show in South Florida, at least since the new millennium. It will be an “old school” Mountain Goats show, meaning just Darnielle and bassist Peter Hughes, hopefully rambling about inside jokes and Swedish black metal bands, breaking strings and struggling through obscure audience requests that would never make it into a full-band show.

There is something to be said for those loud, raucous Goats gigs supported by Jon Wursterís expert drumming or Franklin Brunoís multi-instrumental contributions – for the energy in the room whenever they launched into a barn-burner like “Psalms 40:2” or “Lovecraft in Brooklyn.” But true Mountain Goats fans know that the fewer musicians onstage, the more set-list possibilities, and the more exciting and unpredictable the show. He’s promised us “Fall of the Star High School Running Back,” and at a recent show, he played “The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton” on piano. Who knows? Maybe we’ll even get “Going to Dade County,” which would never find a more appropriate home. Get your recorders ready.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. June 24 at Culture Room, and tickets cost $20 at Ticketmaster. Call 954-564-1074. ~ John Thomason

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