The Mountain Goats: Live on “Dinner with the Band”

Most of the time, I’m inclined to say: “Ugh! These cooking shows are getting out hand!”  I’m also fond of saying: “Goats are the worst topic for a podcast ever!  Listen to this…”  So, imagine my chagrin when The Mountain Goats and a cooking show teamed up for something awesome!  Such is IFC’s “Dinner with the Band.” The basic conceit is this: A band arrives to play some tracks in-studio (surrounded by, I’m guessing, some of the most awkward/lucky people the producers could find), and is served food by chef/host Sam Mason.  And for something that screams vanity project, we get some pretty intimate performances from bands that seem a little bit disarmed by the whole thing.

The Mountain Goats ate a vegetarian meal of Death Metal Steaks (cauliflower steaks), Cotton Puree (cauliflower puree), Sunset Fries (chickpea fries), and Moon Over Sazerac cocktails.  They performed  The Life Of The World to Come’s “Isaiah 45:23,” We Shall All Be Healed’s “Cotton,” The Sunset Tree’s “Love Love Love,” and The Life of the World to Come’s “Psalms 40:2.” Follow the link to see video of the first three.

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Other Stuff You Might Like: NPR Music

Chances are, you’ve already met NPR Music on your travels.  From their excellent programs like All Songs Considered to their wonderful First Listen series, NPR Music is an amazing repository of live, archived, and upcoming music. You can find weeks’ worth of live concerts, in-studio recordings, music previews, and more.   And best of all, it’s free.  At least, to listen.  You all know the deal: Public Radio is funded by listeners like you, and, in today’s corporate-dominated environment, independent music is an even more precious commodity than it used to be.

Of course, I’m not here to tell you what to spend your money on… oh, wait, that’s exactly what I’m here for.  But I’ll tell you what: I think that NPR Music is quite possibly the most important music program in the industry.  Yeah, there, I said it.  Without it, I would have never met Joanna Newsom, The Mountain Goats, or even Vic Chesnutt.  So, for me, it’s special.  I’d like to show you around some of my favorite bits of the site, and invite you to head on over and become a part of all the wonderful things they do.  Follow me!

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Other Stuff You Might Like: Live Performances from KEXP

It’s easy, sometimes, to think of radio as a dead medium.  The sort of thing that can get you through a visit to the dentist, or an elevator ride, but not much else.  In a post-Buggles world, what good can radio really bring us?  Well, of course, there’s rather a lot of good to be had out there.  I’ve looked at, and featured, NPR’s excellent All Songs Considered on this site before.  But there’s so much more to be found in local stations across America (and the globe) – perhaps none so striking as Seattle’s KEXP.  The site features an enormous amount of live, in-studio recordings and interviews, as well as news and video (they’ve even got a nifty iPhone app).  As someone who lost faith in radio during the ClearChannel consolidation years, I find it very reassuring to know that stations like this have managed to survive.

You really should take some time to rummage around their site.  After the cut, I’ll highlight some of my favorite live recordings, and give you a few tips from their upcoming performances list.  Hint: Jónsi tomorrow!

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