Shitty Cell Phone Photos of Mountain Goats

Meany Hall Auditorium, University of Washington, 2/15/11

I had the pleasure of seeing John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats play a solo show at the Meany Hall Auditorium at the University of Washington in Seattle this past Tuesday, and aside from the warm memories of his always entertaining and eloquent between-song banter and the soulful renditions of his wonderfully-written songs, all I have to show for it are these shitty cell phone photos.  Again, I forget to bring my real camera to a show.  Playing a somewhat emotionally heavier than usual set, he thanked the audience repeatedly for our silently rapt attention to his renditions of songs he played in dedication to a friend of his he had just lost to cancer.  The Mountain Goats aren’t theater, they’re poetry—a real attempt by a human being to communicate with others.

His opener was a young woman with whom I am entirely unfamiliar, one Jesy Fortino, AKA Seattle’s  Tiny Vipers.  She does chilling, quiet, long-form meditations on nothingness all alone up on stage with her acoustic guitar and her looping pedal.  She sounds like Nico from the velvet underground singing Bradford Cox-produced variations on Cat Power’s “Crossbones Syle”.  Somehow she loops the resonant sound from the notes she plucks from her guitar while managing to not actually record the pluck itself.  The result is layered beauty, and the effect is soporific.  And man, what a voice.

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