The Mountain Goats - John Darnielle, Peter Hughes, Jon Wurster, December 2010.
Though they haven’t issued an album since 2012’s Transcendental Youth, The Mountain Goats have had plenty to bleat about lately—like the high-profile placement of their song “Up the Wolves” during a pivotal, fiery scene in The Walking Dead, a song that showrunner Scott Gimple had been listening to when he wrote the episode. Or the news that main Mountain man John Darnielle inked a deal to publish his first novel, Wolf in White Van (don’t worry, not everything with these guys is canine-focused), in September, described as being about “contingency, solitude, and the dangerous boundaries between fantasy and reality.” Or the recently reissued and remastered All Hail West Texas, the last of Darnielle’s home recordings, made in 2001 with just his voice, his acoustic guitar, and his Panasonic boombox. Or, lastly, the band’s upcoming West Coast performances as a duo—their first since 2007, with Darnielle alongside multi-instrumentalist Peter Hughes. “We get around to a bunch of songs that’ve been lurking in shadowy corners for ages,” Darnielle wrote about the impetus for the dates, “waiting for the bright fuel of the footlights.” In July, the full band will perform at Merge Records’ 25th-birthday bash. With Loamlands. The Showbox. 9 p.m. $22.50 adv./$25 DOS. DAVE LAKE