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The Mountain Goats


For 10 years, John Darnielle recorded his raw, tempestuous folk songs directly to boom-box cassette, the tape heads' grind and hiss the only consistent accompaniment to him and his guitar; but the songs -- vivid, frightening, funny portraits of people caught in different kinds of desperation -- leaped from these conditions like you were being grabbed and hushed. Since 2002's Tallahassee, The Mountain Goats have been a real band, with real microphones and a real rhythm section, including bassist Peter Hughes and (since 2008) drummer Jon Wurster; but their exquisitely recorded folk-rock is still a showcase for Darnielle's stubborn, dignified, doomed characters, and the nervy, nasal yelp with which he inhabits them.
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