Hear New Wye Oak and Mountain Goats Albums on NPR!

This week’s releases in NPR’s First Listen Series feature two of the most-anticipated (at least for me) albums of the Spring.  First up, Wye Oak’s third album: Civilian (out 3/8).  Add to that The Mountain Goats’ All Eternals Deck (out 3/29), and it’s going to be one heck of a week!  Follow those links to check them out, and don’t forget to listen to R.E.M.’s Collapse Into Now on Tuesday at 2 p.m!

The Mountain Goats Visit Letterman

The Mountain Goats stopped by Letterman, last night, to perform “Birth of Serpents” from the forthcoming All Eternals Deck (3/29).  The song is one of the batch produced by metal-guru Erik Rutan (read more about the making of the album in this Pitchfork interview)…But for all the hoopla surrounding that choice, it’s pure Mountain Goats.  And now, it’s yours:

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First Listen: The Mountain Goats – “Damn These Vampires”

The Mountain Goats’ new album – All Eternals Deck – is out 3/29 on Merge, but today we’ve got the first taste in “Damn These Vampires.”  Merge offers this about the album’s themes and style:

“The songs cluster around themes of hidden things and the dread that hidden things inspire,” says singer/songwriter John Darnielle, “but also the excitement, the attraction, the magnetic draw that scary unknown hidden things exert.” The title refers to an apocryphal tarot deck, though Darnielle explains that the album’s fascination with the occult originates in having run across the word “occult” in a textbook in his nursing-student days. “‘Occult’ just means ‘hidden’ or ‘not immediately obvious’ in medical terminology. There was a nursing directive to be aware of ‘occult blood.’ I thought it was the greatest thing I’d ever heard,” he says.

“Damn These Vampires” has an expansive, epic quality that bodes well for the album as a whole.  There’s a precision in that emotional punctuation that Darnielle uses so effectively elsewhere that leaves me with goosebumps…  So, grab your headphones, press play, and enjoy.

[audio:https://www.shh-listen.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/The-Mountain-Goats-Damn-These-Vampires.mp3|titles=The Mountain Goats – Damn These Vampires]  Download

After that, check out this Pitchfork interview with Darnielle about the making of the album, and then head over to Stereogum to grab the new, twitter-released, non-album track “Tyler Lambert’s Grave.”  Enjoy!

Things I Should’ve Mentioned…

Hey, everyone!  Lots of stuff for you, this week.  As you might have noticed, I’m steadily working my way through the mailbag.  There’s lots more great stuff in there, which I hope you’ll see in the next few days.  The really good, slightly-longer-term news is that my dissertation now has a planned submission date.  So, one day – in the not-too-distant future – I’ll be able to spend lots more time developing some of these tidbits into articles.  But until that day comes, I leave you with the best of this week’s bookmarks…

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News: Mountain Goats Documentary via Pitchfork: TV

Pitchfork: TV is running The Life of the World to Come, a film directed by Rian Johnson (Brick), as part of its One Week Only series.  The film features The Mountain Goats‘ John Darnielle playing the album of the same name in its entirety at Pomona College.  And as you would expect, it’s pure awesome.  Just follow me, and you can see for yourself!

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