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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Shitty Cell Phone Photos of: Kurt Vile

I’m out here for the summer on the humid prairie, blown to and fro by the hot moist winds.  Bloomington, Indiana is a theme park town about an hour south of Indianapolis that has all the urban amenities you might want as a student or a visiting scholar- nice restaurants, plenty of bars, cheap drink- with none of that access to the outside world you might be expecting.  It’s really in the middle of nowhere.  It also has a hipster venue where all the traveling acts passing through the midwest stop off to dance their jigs for proud townies and college students alike.

Luckily for me, Kurt Vile came through on the 15th and put on a really excellent show.  He’s got a sound that’s a cross between Deerhunter and Paul Westerberg.

I present to you three shitty cell phone photos of that show, one of which is of in the main boring opener Real Estate.

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