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IMPORTANT (Please read to avoid confusion):
Some items below may be tagged with a bold, red, all-caps "out of print/unavailable" notice. This does NOT mean that all other items not so tagged are, in fact, in stock -- or for that matter, in print and available, though there's a good chance they are. Some folks get confused on this point, and we can see why, so please read this for further clarification and other important before-you-order information. Unlike some mailorder websites, we don't have an electronic inventory system linked to our site, so you can't be sure of what we actually have or don't have in stock at any given moment without asking us -- please email our mailorder department for availability status -- or better yet, just go ahead and place your order using our shopping cart function and we'll get back to you with the status of each item. If you have general non-mailorder questions, email the store.


album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE All Eternals Deck (Merge) lp 21.00
It's easy to imagine Mountain Goats mainman (and in the beginning, ONLY man), John Darnielle, reaching a sort of crossroads in life. Having to decide between two callings, music, or writing. One likes to think that had Darnielle chosen writing, he would have taken his knack for hooks and melody, as well as his nerd worthy obsession with bands and records (death metal in particular) along with him, but lucky for the legions of MG fans, he instead chose music, but seemingly could never really make peace with that decision, which ended up being fine, as Darnielle is an unparalleled rock lyricist, pithy, clever, funny, heartfelt, approaching songs like novellas, each track elaborate in its story, whether ultra personal and intimate, or emblematic and rabble rousing. Folks like the Decemberists' Colin Meloy get lots of critical acclaim for they wordy, lit heavy lyrics, but few can hold a candle to Darnielle, besides like the best lyricists he's not just an intellectual, he's as deft as getting a laugh as he is at getting the listener to choke up.
Much gets written about Darnielle's lyrics, but none of that would mean shit if he didn't have the music to back it up, and in the early days, that music consisted of nothing but a beat up old acoustic guitar, strummed wildly while Darnielle belted out those lyrics in a super distinctive nasal yelp, all captured on a creepy old boom box. He helped define the whole Inland Empire / Shrimper sound of the nineties. And demonstrated even back then his knack for popsmithery.
And back then, as much as we loved the MG's, we could hardly predict the sort of trajectory Darnielle's career would take, ditching the acoustic guitar and boombox for a full band and a real studio, signing to 4AD, then Merge, performing on Letterman and Colbert, and essentially, becoming a real band, and a real popular one at that.
All Eternals Deck is the Mountain Goats' latest, and while Darnielle's vocals have definitely gotten more controlled over the years, it's still that same distinctive voice, and those incredible lyrics, and the music, well, anyone who has been listening these last few years, the music is a whole new ballgame, about as far from lo-fi as you can get, fantastic, BIG production, layered guitars, piano, great drumming (courtesy of Jon from Superchunk), all woven into epic strummy folky indie pop, a sound that's definitely on the commercial side, but then it's a logical progression for sure, and while some folks will continue to lament the loss of those super raw early MG recordings, it's been long enough that maybe it's best to consider that a whole other thing, MG mach I, meanwhile everyone else can dig into All Eternals Deck, yet another batch of killer Mountain Goats jams.
Also, we were lucky enough to get a small handful of the VERY limited, originally mailorder only, demo cassette, All Survivors Pack, featuring demo versions of songs from the album, as well as a handful of unreleased track! Plus each tape was hand colored by Mr. Darnielle himself. We got so few though, we're having a raffle, which you will be automatically entered in, by purchasing this, the new record, on either lp or cd. We'll pick the winners next week. Good luck!
MPEG Stream: "Damn These Vampires"
MPEG Stream: "Birth Of Serpents"
MPEG Stream: "Beautiful Gas Mask"
MPEG Stream: "Outer Scorpion Squadron"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE All Hail West Texas (Emperor Jones) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
The most lo-fi of John Darnielle's recent albums is paradoxically also one of his best. He spends much of the liner notes explaining how the recording was mostly made on a battered, thought-to-be-broken Panasonic 4-track, resulting in a sound quality that's intimate and warmly fuzzy, and awfully well-suited to his sound. And the songs? While the tried and true prolific Mountain Goats *musical* formula pretty much remains the same with each record (furiously melancholy strummed acoustic guitar, half spoken / half sung vocals), it's Darnielle's lyrics that color each album differently, thus keeping 'em interesting while adding more facets to the expanding Mountain Goats oeuvre. (Yes, I said oeuvre! In the case of John Darnielle this is appropriate.) Interestingly, this album has none of the series songs (Alpha, Going to...) that've been appearing on his albums since the beginning.
So, I'd say if you're already a Mountain Goats fan and you like the stark lo-fi warmth of his sound, get this album. If you like John's collaborations with others, which involve a more fleshed out sound, then you may want to pick up the recent Extra Glenns record. And if you're not already a fan, this is a fine place to start.
RealAudio clip: "Fall of the Star High School Running Back"
RealAudio clip: "Fault Lines"
RealAudio clip: "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE All Hail West Texas (Merge) cd 14.98
Originally released way back in 2001, now available again, with a clutch of killer bonus tracks, as well as new liner notes from Mr. Mountain Goat himself, John Darnielle. Here's an updated version of our original review of AHWT, which was of course his last record before moving to 4AD, and before the MG sound changed dramatically...
The most lo-fi of John Darnielle's recent albums is paradoxically also one of his best. He spends much of the liner notes explaining how the recording was mostly made on a battered, thought-to-be-broken Panasonic 4-track, the self same 4 track that much of the older MG records were recorded on, and this here record was that machine's swansong, before finally giving up the ghost, resulting in a sound quality that's intimate and warmly fuzzy, and awfully well-suited to his sound. And the songs? While the tried and true prolific Mountain Goats *musical* formula pretty much remains the same with each record (furiously melancholy strummed acoustic guitar, half spoken / half sung vocals), it's Darnielle's lyrics that color each album differently, thus keeping 'em interesting while adding more facets to the expanding Mountain Goats oeuvre. (Yes, we said oeuvre! In the case of John Darnielle this is more than appropriate.) Interestingly, this album has none of the series songs (Alpha, Going To...) that've appeared on his albums since the beginning. Well worth it just for "The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton", which might be our favorite track here, but that one's definitely got lots of competition, nearly every song a potential MG classic, all woven together into one of Darnielle's strongest albums...
So, for fans of the old Mountain Goats sound, the gloriously intimate and stark lo-fi warmth and warble here will absolutely hit the spot. For fans of more recent, full band MG records, at first this might not seem like your cup of tea, but give it a chance, the new songs are really essentially just old songs all fancied up, and hearing them stripped down and raw, definitely reveals the true strength of Darnielle's idiosyncratic songcraft.
MPEG Stream: "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton"
MPEG Stream: "Fall of the Star High School Running Back"
MPEG Stream: "Fault Lines"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE All Hail West Texas (Merge) lp 17.98
Originally released way back in 2001, now available again, with a clutch of killer bonus tracks, as well as new liner notes from Mr. Mountain Goat himself, John Darnielle. Here's an updated version of our original review of AHWT, which was of course his last record before moving to 4AD, and before the MG sound changed dramatically...
The most lo-fi of John Darnielle's recent albums is paradoxically also one of his best. He spends much of the liner notes explaining how the recording was mostly made on a battered, thought-to-be-broken Panasonic 4-track, the self same 4 track that much of the older MG records were recorded on, and this here record was that machine's swansong, before finally giving up the ghost, resulting in a sound quality that's intimate and warmly fuzzy, and awfully well-suited to his sound. And the songs? While the tried and true prolific Mountain Goats *musical* formula pretty much remains the same with each record (furiously melancholy strummed acoustic guitar, half spoken / half sung vocals), it's Darnielle's lyrics that color each album differently, thus keeping 'em interesting while adding more facets to the expanding Mountain Goats oeuvre. (Yes, we said oeuvre! In the case of John Darnielle this is more than appropriate.) Interestingly, this album has none of the series songs (Alpha, Going To...) that've appeared on his albums since the beginning. Well worth it just for "The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton", which might be our favorite track here, but that one's definitely got lots of competition, nearly every song a potential MG classic, all woven together into one of Darnielle's strongest albums...
So, for fans of the old Mountain Goats sound, the gloriously intimate and stark lo-fi warmth and warble here will absolutely hit the spot. For fans of more recent, full band MG records, at first this might not seem like your cup of tea, but give it a chance, the new songs are really essentially just old songs all fancied up, and hearing them stripped down and raw, definitely reveals the true strength of Darnielle's idiosyncratic songcraft.
MPEG Stream: "The Best Ever Death Metal Band in Denton"
MPEG Stream: "Fall of the Star High School Running Back"
MPEG Stream: "Fault Lines"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Babylon Springs (4AD) cdep 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Babylon Springs is a short five song follow-up to John Darnielle's achingly beautiful Mountain Goats album The Sunset Tree. From the sounds of this EP Darnielle's on a roll, continuing his trademark deeply personal storytelling that lays bare his heart and his scars in an increasingly polished and produced setting. A definite highlight is the fourth song "Sometimes I Still Feel The Bruise" which could easily appeal to a much broader audience. Really really good!
MPEG Stream: "Ox Baker Triumphant"
MPEG Stream: "Sometimes I Still Feel The Bruise"

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Beautiful Rat Sunset (Shrimper) cd 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Bitter Melon Farm (Ajax) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
John Darnielle's early Mountain Goats work is compiled here, in this second compilation (after "Protein Source for the Future") of rarities and out of print tracks. Contains the entirety of the amazing first 7" and also the infamous covers of "Sail On" and "The Sign". Stark solo guitar work with wry and literate lyrics and hooks that you'd love if you knew what was good for you. Recommended!

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Devil In The Shortwave (Yo Yo) 12" 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Third and final limited edition 12" from The Mountain Goats, available thru YoYo mailorder and us! Five more stripped down, melodic songs from the master, plus a cover of "Dirty Old Town". Vinyl only. Side B is again an etching by Nikki McClure (which is very YoYo-ish and childlike, but not very Mountain Goatsy). Get 'em while you can.

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Full Force Galesburg (Emperor Jones) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
John Darnielle with the added talents of New Zealander Alastair Galbraith on violin. One of the few artists we can think of who keeps putting out records that top his previous output.

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Full Force Galesburg (Emperor Jones) lp 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
John Darnielle with the added talents of New Zealander Alastair Galbraith on violin. One of the few artists we can think of who keeps putting out records that top his previous output.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Ghana (3 Beads of Sweat) cd 14.98
The third and final compilation, after Protein Source for the Future and Bitter Melon Farm, that collects all the stray songs from various sources that you may or may not have heard on one handy cd. And there's one song that's never been released before! John Darnielle wrote liner notes for each and every song.
For all of us die hard completists, here are the original sources from which the 31 songs on Ghana came from:
Object Lessons (the Beerframe compilation)
Songs About Fire 7"
the Wedding Record 7" (wedding invitation)
Orange Raja, Blood Royal 7" with kiwi experimental fiddler Alastair Galbraith
Cool Beans #4 zine comp
Taking the Dative cassette
Back to the Egg, Asshole tape comp
a live comp from KSPC
Corkscrewed, a British cassette comp
tje Tropical Depression split single with Furniture Huschle
the Goar 7" comp from Germany
Hard Core Acoustic tape comp
the Fast Forward 2 double cd comp from Holland
the Cyanide Guilt Trip 7" comp
and finally, the Hey Dan K. comp that was never released.
RealAudio clip: "Golden Boy"
RealAudio clip: "Leaving Home"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Heretic Pride (4AD) cd 13.98
It's been said before but we will say it again, there might not be a better story teller around then John Darnielle. He has this uncanny ability to bring you right into a moment, evoking some of the simples memories that hold in them the deepest impact. Over the years he's transformed The Mountain Goats from an uber-lo-fi cassette only underground secret to a full fledged indie rock ensemble with lush production, soaring strings, moody keys, sold out live shows, etc, without losing one bit of integrity or passion along the way.
At the core of The Mountain Goats still remains a chilling honesty that gives each song an ability to give the listener goosebumps or bring grown men to tears, often both at the same time. Heretic Pride finds Darnielle and company in extra fine form. While the last couple outings were devastating and sorrowful and ultra personal, Heretic Pride is a little more upbeat and rocking with the gaze turning more outward, yet the songs are still filled with fire and immediacy. This is grabbing us right away on our first few listens and we're sure this will turn into another Mountain Goats record that we end up spending lots quality time with. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "San Bernardino"
MPEG Stream: "Heretic Pride"
MPEG Stream: "Marduk T-Shirt Men's Room Incident"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Heretic Pride (4AD) lp 14.98
Now available on vinyl!!
It's been said before but we will say it again, there might not be a better story teller around then John Darnielle. He has this uncanny ability to bring you right into a moment, evoking some of the simples memories that hold in them the deepest impact. Over the years he's transformed The Mountain Goats from an uber-lo-fi cassette only underground secret to a full fledged indie rock ensemble with lush production, soaring strings, moody keys, sold out live shows, etc, without losing one bit of integrity or passion along the way.
At the core of The Mountain Goats still remains a chilling honesty that gives each song an ability to give the listener goosebumps or bring grown men to tears, often both at the same time. Heretic Pride finds Darnielle and company in extra fine form. While the last couple outings were devastating and sorrowful and ultra personal, Heretic Pride is a little more upbeat and rocking with the gaze turning more outward, yet the songs are still filled with fire and immediacy. This is grabbing us right away on our first few listens and we're sure this will turn into another Mountain Goats record that we end up spending lots quality time with. Highly recommended!
MPEG Stream: "San Bernardino"
MPEG Stream: "Heretic Pride"
MPEG Stream: "Marduk T-Shirt Men's Room Incident"

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Isopanisad Radio Hour (Yoyo) 12" 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Mountain Goats fans already familiar with John Darnielle's signature combination of smart, stark vocals with intensely strummed guitar and angular melodies will find this record does not disappoint. It is a collection of 6 songs, softer and more gentle than other Mountain Goats song cycles but no less emotional or intense for its rounded edges. With Lalitree Darnielle guesting on banjo!
This is the second in a reported series of three 12" releases by The Mountain Goats on Yoyo Recordings. Vinyl only. Side B is an etching by Nikki McClure. This is mainly available thru Yoyo mailorder, but we're happy to be carrying several copies.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Letter From Belgium (4AD) 7" 3.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Well well well, here's the new single from Mountain Goats' latest full length treasure We Shall All Be Healed. Yes, "Letter From Belgium" is its title and for those keepin' track, it is the fourth song on the album. This rollicking number, definitely an album highlight, is joined by the comparatively spartan, low key "Nova Scotia". The cd version of this ep also includes a rousing singalong called "Attention All Pickpockets". Both songs were recorded in France with a little help from some "cheap but delicious red wine" (according to the liner notes). Yum, red wine! Yay, John Darnielle!
MPEG Stream: "Nova Scotia"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Letter From Belgium (4AD) cd single 3.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Well well well, here's the new single from Mountain Goats' latest full length treasure We Shall All Be Healed. Yes, "Letter From Belgium" is its title and for those keepin' track, it is the fourth song on the album. This rollicking number, definitely an album highlight, is joined by the comparatively spartan, low key "Nova Scotia" and the cd version of this EP also includes a rousing singalong called "Attention All Pickpockets". Both songs were recorded in France with a little help from some "cheap but delicious red wine" (according to the liner notes). Yum, red wine! Yay, John Darnielle!
MPEG Stream: "Nova Scotia"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Life Of The World To Come (4AD) cd 13.98
Sometimes it really is strange to contrast the Mountain Goats of today with the Mountain Goats of old. It's not really that strange for bands to develop and grow, to explore and expand their sonic palette, but for YEARS, the Mountain Goats WAS John Darnielle, a super aggressively strummed acoustic guitar, and his nasally whine, belted out at full volume, but it wasn't that simple, the songs, as bare bones as they may have appeared on the surface, were incredible, catchy and deep, melodic and super rocking (for an acoustic guitars), and the lyrics, by turns clever and bitter and funny and literate, all still totally punk rock, recorded on boomboxes, released on lo-fi mainstay Shrimper. Never in a million years would we have expected Darnielle and his Mountain Goats to end up on 4AD, nor would we have imagined the sound of the Mountain Goats could change so dramatically. But it did, and we've made our peace with it, those lo-fi days are long gone, which in some ways, makes us a little sad, but we would never have glimpsed this other side of Darnielle, which would have been a damn shame, as he's proven himself to be quite a songwriter and arranger, the NEW Mountain Goats, a whole new proposition, still with brief glimpses of the MG's of old, but for the most part, a proper band, sometimes rocking, other times brooding, always a little dark, the lyrics still awesome, so much so you sometimes wonder how Darnielle became a musician and not a writer, but the combination of super literate lyrics and more traditional rock arrangements still hits the spot.
Life Of The World To Come is a dark record, even by MG's standards, every track named for a verse of the Bible, although the lyrical content is not explicitly connected to said verses, at least not on the surface. The sound is lovely, lush and moody and dark and a bit mournful, the opening track is hushed and intimate, Darnielle's vocals restrained, the guitars muted, muffled percussion, everything murky and mysterious. The second track is much more 'rocking', with Darnielle slipping into his old vocal style, which is a good match for the chugging riffs, and pounding drums.
The record explores lots of stylistic territory, but the finest moments (much of the record in fact) find Darnielle abandoning the guitar for piano, the dark chords ominous and lush, backed by strings sometimes, getting a little chamber, which sounds fantastic, it's deeply moving, haunting and emotional. A couple of the more rocking numbers are a bit lite, and sound a tad mainstream, but invariably, they lead right back to something much darker, and ominously lovely.
Available both on cd and super deluxe double black vinyl. There were some purple copies, but those colored vinyl versions are long gone... plus black vinyl does sound better anyway!
MPEG Stream: "1 Samuel 15:23"
MPEG Stream: "Psalms 40:2"
MPEG Stream: "Genesis 3:23"
MPEG Stream: "Ezekiel 7 And The Permanent Efficacy Of Grace"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Life Of The World To Come (black vinyl) (4AD) 2lp 17.98
Purple vinyl all gone... but we still do have black vinyl of this!
Sometimes it really is strange to contrast the Mountain Goats of today with the Mountain Goats of old. It's not really that strange for bands to develop and grow, to explore and expand their sonic palette, but for YEARS, the Mountain Goats WAS John Darnielle, a super aggressively strummed acoustic guitar, and his nasally whine, belted out at full volume, but it wasn't that simple, the songs, as bare bones as they may have appeared on the surface, were incredible, catchy and deep, melodic and super rocking (for an acoustic guitars), and the lyrics, by turns clever and bitter and funny and literate, all still totally punk rock, recorded on boomboxes, released on lo-fi mainstay Shrimper. Never in a million years would we have expected Darnielle and his Mountain Goats to end up on 4AD, nor would we have imagined the sound of the Mountain Goats could change so dramatically. But it did, and we've made our peace with it, those lo-fi days are long gone, which in some ways, makes us a little sad, but we would never have glimpsed this other side of Darnielle, which would have been a damn shame, as he's proven himself to be quite a songwriter and arranger, the NEW Mountain Goats, a whole new proposition, still with brief glimpses of the MG's of old, but for the most part, a proper band, sometimes rocking, other times brooding, always a little dark, the lyrics still awesome, so much so you sometimes wonder how Darnielle became a musician and not a writer, but the combination of super literate lyrics and more traditional rock arrangements still hits the spot.
Life Of The World To Come is a dark record, even by MG's standards, every track named for a verse of the Bible, although the lyrical content is not explicitly connected to said verses, at least not on the surface. The sound is lovely, lush and moody and dark and a bit mournful, the opening track is hushed and intimate, Darnielle's vocals restrained, the guitars muted, muffled percussion, everything murky and mysterious. The second track is much more 'rocking', with Darnielle slipping into his old vocal style, which is a good match for the chugging riffs, and pounding drums.
The record explores lots of stylistic territory, but the finest moments (much of the record in fact) find Darnielle abandoning the guitar for piano, the dark chords ominous and lush, backed by strings sometimes, getting a little chamber, which sounds fantastic, it's deeply moving, haunting and emotional. A couple of the more rocking numbers are a bit lite, and sound a tad mainstream, but invariably, they lead right back to something much darker, and ominously lovely.
Available both on cd and super deluxe double black vinyl. There were some purple copies, but those colored vinyl versions are long gone... plus black vinyl does sound better anyway!
MPEG Stream: "1 Samuel 15:23"
MPEG Stream: "Psalms 40:2"
MPEG Stream: "Genesis 3:23"
MPEG Stream: "Ezekiel 7 And The Permanent Efficacy Of Grace"

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Nine Black Poppies (Emperor Jones) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Despite John Darnielle's propensity for calling cds "those miserable silver things", this new album is available on disc only. MG this time is John and Rachel (playing bass and harmonizing). I find this combination somewhat diluted, but if he's happy then perhaps we should all be happy for him. The last song features the gloriously sexy Allen Callaci of Refrigerator on phoned-in vocals (a là Daniel Johnston and Yo La Tengo on the famed "Speeding Motorcycle" recording) to the radio station in Chicago where the rest of MG played along.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Nothing For Juice (3 Beads of Sweat) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Aloha Mountain Goats fans! Some of your oldest and dearest faves have finally been reissued on cd and lp! This one, their first studio recorded album Nothing For Juice (originally released back in 1996), has been out of print for years, so it's definitely time to do a little celebratory hollerin' from the hilltops. Now, we all know that Mr. Darnielle is one darn tireless artist and this jam-packed early album bears the bountiful fruits of his and his singing partner in crime Rachel Ware's labors. They do a couple covers (including a super hushed one of Robert Johnson's "Hellhound on My Trail"!) revisits a older MG fave "Alpha Double Negative: Going to Catalina" and even fits in a trio of collaborations he did with Graeme Jefferies (of The Cakekitchen and This Kind Of Punishment). Almost without exception, each Mountain Goats song is imbued with a comforting old friend presence, well-worn and dearly heartfelt. And we welcome these ones back with open arms and ears!
MPEG Stream: "Hellhound On My Trail"
MPEG Stream: "Going To Scotland"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Palmcorder Yajna (4AD) cd ep 3.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Yes, we've said it before, but since Mountain Goats have settled into their new home on the 4AD label, it seems they've certainly made the most of the access to greater recording resources. Everything sounds so crisp without sacrificing any of the Goats' trademark raw immediacy. This 3-song ep is no exception, three fine gems that are somewhat more barebones than the songs on their latest full length (Tallahassee - their debut on 4AD), but are unmistakably from the empassioned songwriting pen of Mr. John Darnielle. It stirs us to say, "more, please!" And y'know what? There has indeed been a new album completed and ready for release in the new year. Hurrah!
MPEG Stream: "Butter Teeth"

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Protein Source of the Future... Now! (Ajax) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Long awaited singles and rarities comp that includes material originally heard on: Yam, the King of Crops tape, Chile de Arbol 7", Philyra 7", Why You All So Thief? split 7", and the following compilations: Our Salvation is in Hand, The Long Secret, and Abridged Perversion.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Sweden (Shrimper) cd 14.98
Simply stated, if you're looking for an essential Mountain Goats album, 1995's Sweden is one of the first that you should check out! Back in those days John Darnielle was a staunch lo-fi artist (unlike his more recent, considerably more grandly productions for 4AD), but that didn't prevent his fantastic, heartbaring songwriting from shining through!
MPEG Stream: "Downtown Seoul"
MPEG Stream: "Flashing Lights"

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Sweden (Shrimper) lp 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Better than Nine Black Poppies. Kind of essential.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Tallahassee (4AD) cd 14.98
Same ol' dependable John Darnielle making some of the most witty yet heartfelt singer songwriter material to tickle our fancy here at AQ. While he has forged a completely unique style all his own that is consistently evident here, this album is also a slight departure of sorts. It's on respected British label 4AD which means Vaughan Oliver (that M Oliver has designed one of his album covers sends Darnielle into paroxysms of ecstasy). Being on 4AD also afforded John the opportunity to go to England to record the album with Tony Doogan, who has worked with Belle & Sebastian. Thus the album has a more produced feel, but that's not bad. It's simply a long way from Darnielle's singing into a boombox days. There are unusual, for Mountain Goats, touches such as shimmering cymbals and (what sound like) occasional doubletracked vocals. We weren't disappointed, however, and neither will you be. Very nice.
RealAudio clip: "First Few Desperate Hours"
RealAudio clip: "See America Right"

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE The Coroner's Gambit (Absolutely Kosher) cd 12.98
Wonderful new album from John Darnielle who is otherwise known as The Mountain Goats. John's made several albums, all of which are wonderful, and this may be one of his strongest yet. If you've never heard him before, know that he's a singer songwriter with a iconoclastic style imitated by some but exceeded by none: urgent acoustic guitar strumming coupled with hook-filled melodies and a stark literary way of phrasing his singular lyrics. (GREAT lyrics like "Death came calling today / Heard the gentle grace of his cadences / Couldn't say no") Gentle-hearted yet pointedly intense. Note: the limited vinyl version comes in a custom-printed paper bag as an extra, outer sleeve. Very, very nice.
RealAudio clip: "Jaipur"
RealAudio clip: "The Coroner's Gambit"

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE The Coroner's Gambit (Absolutely Kosher) lp 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Wonderful new album from John Darnielle who is otherwise known as The Mountain Goats. John's made several albums, all of which are wonderful, and this may be one of his strongest yet. If you've never heard him before, know that he's a singer songwriter with a iconoclastic style imitated by some but exceeded by none: urgent acoustic guitar strumming coupled with hook-filled melodies and a stark literary way of phrasing his singular lyrics. (GREAT lyrics like "Death came calling today / Heard the gentle grace of his cadences / Couldn't say no") Gentle-hearted yet pointedly intense. Note: the limited vinyl version comes in a custom-printed paper bag as an extra, outer sleeve. Very, very nice.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE The Hound Chronicles & Hot Garden Stomp (Shrimper) 2cd 15.98
A long time ago we discovered this little label based out of Upland, California, and became a bit obsessed by all the cool weird bands whose records they released. Via Shrimper we discovered Amps For Christ, Refrigerator, Bugskull, Simon Joyner, Wckr Spgt, Nothing Painted Blue, Diskothi-Q and tons more. But most notably, was a group called The Mountain Goats, which was in fact not a group, just a guy and his acoustic guitar, which sounded pretty unremarkable, until we heard John Darnielle, and his strangely idiosyncratic songsmithery, urgently, almost violently strummed guitar and a high keening voice belting out smart, funny, sad, heartbreaking, hyperliterate lyrics, sometimes almost shouting, the result was pretty fantastic, and the Mountain Goats became one of our favorite Shrimper 'bands'. Back then we never would have imagined that the Mountain Goats would become a real band, record in a real studio, tour for thousands of people, play on the Colbert Report, and be HUGE, back then it was just a guy and his guitar, and it was the age of tape trading and zines, and it sounded like Darnielle's music was being played just for us, and his strange tales of love and loss and traveling TO places (a series of songs which continues today), they spoke to something in all of us, and it seemed remarkable that this nerdy guy with a guitar and a boombox, was responsible for such amazing, moving, emotionally complicated music, that now twenty years on still sounds so good.
Recent converts to the Mountain Goats might be shocked and how raw and primitive these recordings are, recorded live in many cases, songs followed by a smattering of applause, in lots of recordings you can hear a TV in the other room, or the whir of the recording, female background vocals pop up here and there, as do shitty Casio beats, but really, it's all about the voice, and the songs, which are incredible.
This double disc gathers up two of the earliest MG tapes, The Hound Chronicles from 1992, and Hot Garden Stomp from 1993, we presume they've been remastered, but really, it hardly matters, the tape hiss, and weird glitches, and all the other random sonic detritus are as much a part of the sound as the music is. For some us, this is an awesome nostalgic sonic time capsule, for others it will be a discovery, maybe even a revelation, but it's definitely cool to hear where it all began, and an argument could be made, that these are the most pure Mountain Goats recordings there are. Includes new liner notes from John Darnielle as well as some reproduced ephemera from the time.
MPEG Stream: "The Garden Song"
MPEG Stream: "Going To Wisconsin"
MPEG Stream: "Spilling Toward Alpha"
MPEG Stream: "Alpha Negative"
MPEG Stream: "The Torch Song"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE The Life Of The World To Come (4AD) dvd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE The Sunset Tree (4AD) cd 13.98
Dear Mr. John Darnielle, thank you for this album of heartcrushing beauty! The Sunset Tree has perhaps one of his most frank and deeply personal narrative threads to date, focusing on the trauma of the childhood abuse he suffered at the hand of his stepfather (who passed away last year and to whom this album is dedicated). Nearly all lyrical metaphors and disguises stripped away, this is Darnielle at his most direct yet no less poetic. On the stunning, achingly precise ninth song "Hast Thou Considered The Tetrapod" he sings about his fears of waking the patriarch "sleeping off [his] demons" and hiding out in his bedroom, seeking some temporary escape to "rise above [his] station" by way of his imagination. Although the arrangements on this 13-song album are some of his most pared down of his 4AD releases, there is an increasing prominence of strings (courtesy of cellist Erik Friedlander) underlying the core vocals, piano and guitar which add looming shadows to the already stormy proceedings. As is the case with most every Mountain Goats album, when the final notes fade at the album's close ("Pale Green Things") you're left with a heavy ache in your chest, and as you muster a deep sigh, you reach over and press 'play' once more. Not an easy listen, but definitely an immensely moving and empowering one. Very recommended!
Please note: Darnielle recorded this cd version of The Sunset Tree album at Prairie Sun Studios in Cotati, CA, and he also recorded an 11-song vinyl version called Come Come To The Sunset Tree at his home in North Carolina. There are some differences in song selection and running order, and of course, in the production scale as well. The bare bones intimacy of the latter brings back fond memories of his early recordings. If you're a serious Mountain Goats fan, you'll no doubt need both versions!
MPEG Stream: "Hast Thou Considered The Tetrapod"
MPEG Stream: "Pale Green Things"

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Transcendental Youth (Merge) cd 14.98

MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Transcendental Youth (Merge) lp 17.98

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE We Shall All Be Healed (4AD) cd 13.98
Another beautiful, deeply moving album from longtime AQ faves Mountain Goats! Sounds like it was a pretty intense recording session -- Mr. John Darnielle along with Franklin Bruno (piano and organ), Peter Hughes (bass), Nora Danielson (violins), Christopher McGuire (drums) holed up in the studio for just ten days! -- resulting in sixteen completed songs, thirteen of which make up We Shall All Be Healed. Whew! By the way, has anyone else noticed that Mr. Darnielle's singing voice is sounding more and more like that of Daniel Bejar (of Destroyer and New Pornographers)? It used to seem the other way around, but perhaps it's simply the works of two kindred spirits drawing closer (although we've heard that Mr. Bejar has taken Destroyer in a radically different direction with his forthcoming album). There's certainly an affinity between the two fellows' songwriting -- poetic, earnest, and at once both starkly observative and richly imaginative. There's so many fine moments on this album, many of which glow even brighter with the pianowork of his Extra Glenns' partner in crime Mr. Bruno. Check out "Home Again Garden Grove" and "The Young Thousands". Seems like Mountain Goats have found a well-suited middle ground between his beloved bare bones early recordings and those that make up their more recent higher-fi 4AD releases. Wonderful! Produced by John Vanderslice (who also has a dandy new album out now!). Very recommended!
MPEG Stream: "The Young Thousands"
MPEG Stream: "Home Again Garden Grove"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE We Shall All Be Healed (4AD) lp 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another beautiful, deeply moving album from longtime AQ faves Mountain Goats! Sounds like it was a pretty intense recording session -- Mr. John Darnielle along with Franklin Bruno (piano and organ), Peter Hughes (bass), Nora Danielson (violins), Christopher McGuire (drums) holed up in the studio for just ten days! -- resulting in sixteen completed songs, thirteen of which make up We Shall All Be Healed. Whew! By the way, has anyone else noticed that Mr. Darnielle's singing voice is sounding more and more like that of Daniel Bejar (of Destroyer and New Pornographers)? It used to seem the other way around, but perhaps it's simply the works of two kindred spirits drawing closer (although we've heard that Mr. Bejar has taken Destroyer in a radically different direction with his forthcoming album). There's certainly an affinity between the two fellows' songwriting -- poetic, earnest, and at once both starkly observative and richly imaginative. There's so many fine moments on this album, many of which glow even brighter with the pianowork of his Extra Glenns' partner in crime Mr. Bruno. Check out "Home Again Garden Grove" and "The Young Thousands". Seems like Mountain Goats have found a well-suited middle ground between his beloved bare bones early recordings and those that make up their more recent higher-fi 4AD releases. Wonderful! Produced by John Vanderslice (who also has a dandy new album out now!). Very recommended!
MPEG Stream: "The Young Thousands"
MPEG Stream: "Home Again Garden Grove"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Zopilote Machine (3 Beads of Sweat) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Aloha Mountain Goats fans! Some of your oldest and dearest faves have finally been reissued on cd and lp!
Perhaps most notable is the re-release of 1994's Zopilote Machine. It holds particular historical significance in that it marked John Darnielle's first step into the realm of the LP. Yep, up until Zopilote Machine his Mountain Goats music was only available on cassette and 7" singles. Generous and prolific soul that he is, he took full advantage of the 'long' in long-player, packing it with a whopping nineteen of his trademark homespun, storytellin' songs. These intimate lo-fi bedroom-style recordings stand in stark contrast to his recent studio works -- super casual, somewhat muffled and murky with just him singing his heart out and furious strumming his acoustic guitar -- but regardless of how high or low tech he goes, Darnielle never fails to hit your heart's bullseye. Wonderfully genuine and genuinely wonderful.
MPEG Stream: "The Black Ice Cream Song"
MPEG Stream: "Going To Georgia"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE Zopilote Machine (3 Beads of Sweat) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Aloha Mountain Goats fans! Some of your oldest and dearest faves have finally been reissued on cd and lp!
Perhaps most notable is the re-release of 1994's Zopilote Machine. It holds particular historical significance in that it marked John Darnielle's first step into the realm of the LP. Yep, up until Zopilote Machine his Mountain Goats music was only available on cassette and 7" singles. Generous and prolific soul that he is, he took full advantage of the 'long' in long-player, packing it with a whopping nineteen of his trademark homespun, storytellin' songs. These intimate lo-fi bedroom-style recordings stand in stark contrast to his recent studio works -- super casual, somewhat muffled and murky with just him singing his heart out and furious strumming his acoustic guitar -- but regardless of how high or low tech he goes, Darnielle never fails to hit your heart's bullseye. Wonderfully genuine and genuinely wonderful.
MPEG Stream: "The Black Ice Cream Song"
MPEG Stream: "Going To Georgia"

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE & JOHN VANDERSLICE Moon Colony Bloodbath (self-released) 12" 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Managed to get a handful more of these from the Mountain Goats, good chance these will be the last copies we see, so act fast!!!
Another super limited vinyl only Mountain Goats record, this one a collaboration concept record with SF power popper John Vanderslice. The Mountain Goats (aka John Darnielle) and Vanderslice toured together earlier this year, and took the opportunity to make a record together, but not just any record, a CONCEPT record. And not just any concept record, no, this one tells the story of organ harvesting colonies on the moon, and the employees of said colonies, who spend their non work time living in luxurious seclusion throughout America. Wow.
The record itself isn't like a typical rock opera, it's loosely related to the concept, so it plays just fine simply as a gorgeous pop record, and a gorgeous pop record it is. Lush and well produced, with lots of instruments, guitars and organs and cellos and harmonicas and even handclaps (we know, not actually an instrument)! Darnielle and Vanderslice trade off songs, each writes and sings his own, but both contribute to all of them. Plus the record was produced by Chris Stamey, of pop legends the dB's, he also plays on a bunch of the songs.
Darnielle's instantly recognizable, slightly nasal croon plays nicely with Vanderslice's more traditional power pop vocals, lots of lovely harmonies, woven into the gorgeous instrumentation, plenty of hooks, catchy melodies, moody and melancholy mostly, but with moments of joyous exuberance, fans of both the Mountain Goats and Vanderslice should dig this a lot. We definitely do.
This is super limited, and not a lot of places are selling it. We got a bunch direct from the band, and these are most likely all we'll be able to get. Pressed on good old heavy black wax, and housed in thick full color sleeves. While they last, VERY recommended.

album cover MOUNTAIN GOATS, THE & KAKI KING Black Pear Tree (self-released) 12" 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Another awesome, and limited self released lp from Mountain Goats HQ, another collaboration in fact. We listed Moon Colony Bloodbath a while back (and again elsewhere on this list, got a few more copies in!), which found the MGs' John Darnielle teaming up with pop songsmith John Vanderslice, Black Pear Tree pairs Darnielle with folk rocker Kaki King, who we have to admit we had heard very little from before this, but based on her contributions here, we definitely need to hear more.
An ep, but each song here is surprisingly lush and expansive, long long gone are the days of lo-fi boombox recordings, the opening track alone is one of the most beautifully produced songs we've heard from Darnielle, who plays piano, while King vocalizes in a childlike croon, the sound so hushed and the production so intimate you can hear the pedals of the piano being depressed, while all around strange electronics and effects swirl and skitter, but in a way that doesn't at all take away from the song, but instead merely adds texture and mystery.
The rest of the record is a bit More Mountain Goats sounding, Darnielle handling the lion's share of the vocals, but here and there the two harmonize, and King's voice is a nice match for Darnielle's, and then there's some of the guitar playing, King's we presume (since she IS credited with 'greater guitars', where as Darnielle is credited with 'lesser guitars'), dense tangles of minor key rapid fire fingerpicking that smoothly slips into languid drift, or more MG-like heavy strum. And Darnielle demonstrates over and over his always evolving and improving vocals, even slipping into a gorgeous falsetto on one track. And of course the songs are gorgeous, dark, and moody, and subtly catchy, the lyrics simple and intimate, a really lovely record.
We got a whole bunch of these direct from Darnielle, he's heading out on tour, so when we run out of these, it may take a while for us to get more (if we even CAN get more), so as always, best to grab one while you can. Pressed on thick vinyl, and housed in a simple, pretty, printed sleeve.

album cover MOUNTAIN HOME s/t (Language Of Stone) cd 14.98
We meant to list this awhile back, but at the time it seemed we had so many Espers related projects on the list, between Meg Baird's solo record, the Fern Knight record, the last Bonnie Prince Billy ep, and the Valerie Project, that listing the debut release on Espers' new record label, Language of Stone, then might have been unfair to the band Mountain Home. Comprised of Joshua Blatchley and Kristin Sherer, the music of Mountain Home fits into the same narcotic acid folk niche of current bands like Espers, Bright Black Morning Light, and Marissa Nadler, yet leaning on the traditional British folk side of things. They even cover "Nottamun Town". Not the biggest surprise coming from the Espers' camp, but a nice release all the same.
MPEG Stream: "The Sparrow"
MPEG Stream: "Comes, The Winter"

album cover MOUNTAIN MAN Sun Dog (Underwater Peoples) 10" 14.98
For some reason, the name Mountain Man had us imagining some sort of big guy bearded heaviness, a la Tad, big crushing riffs, pounding drums, bellowed vox, but this Mountain Man is actually three ladies, and the sound, is anything but burly and heavy, instead it's lovely and heartfelt, a gorgeous dreamlike Appalachia, a sunshiney country folk. The instrumentation is super minimal, usually just acoustic guitar, cuz it's all about the vocals, which are incredible, lush and lustrous, and emotional, the harmonies incredible, powerful and devotional, evoking classic old time country, Sacred Harp music, the Carter Family, the recordings of Alan Lomax, if it wasn't for the incredible and crystalline production, these songs could be from anywhere, and anytime, the sound most definitely timeless, less a basement show in 2010, and more a rickety porch in rural Alabama in 1950. But somehow equally both.
Totally stunning, and not at all what we were expecting from the kick ass Underwater Peoples label, who in the past have brought us records by Ducktails, Julian Lynch, Real Estate and others...
Pressed on swirled marbled turquoise/blue vinyl!

album cover MOUNTAINEER When The Air Is Bright (Type) cd 15.98
Sigh. This is such the ideal album for drifting along in a rowboat on an ultra calm lake or floating along in a giant hot air balloon across a cloudless blue sky. Even if you don't find yourself in either of those scenarios, German combo Mountaineer may help you find your own sweet and peaceful place.
Their third album When The Air Is Bright is a little folksy, a little bossanova-y. So very nice! Frontman Henning Wandhoff's vocals are low, mellow and smooth. and they're complimented beautifully by Anna Bertermann's backing vocals. The central instrumentation of gently picked and strummed acoustic and electric guitars and understated percussion is occasionally embellished by delicate horn, organ, harmonica and xylophone. This fits perfectly on the Type label alongside rostermates Ryan Teague, Khonnor, Julian Neto and Helios. It'll also fit perfectly in your music library alongside pastel hued day dreamers Jose Gonzalez, Kings Of Convenience and Juana Molina.
MPEG Stream: "A Line For Every Letter"
MPEG Stream: "You Pay No Mind"

album cover MOUNTAINS Air Museum (Thrill Jockey) cd 14.98
Latest disc of pastoral dreamlike synthdrone ambience from this East coast duo, whose past records have been unanimous aQ faves, as this one is fast becoming as well. Every track here is a mini epic of slow building drones and lushly layered textures, the sound rich and full, strings buzzing, synths shimmering, sometimes stretched out for ages, but often blossoming into sun dappled Technicolor bursts of sweet sonic radiance, sparkling and glimmering, just as often wrangled into pulses, and crafted into weirdly sc-fi synthscapes, borrowing a page from the book of all the Carpenter/Goblin worshippers out there, but instead of creating some futuristically retro Euro disco, those pulses are blurred and layered, and turned into something more along the lines of Tangerine Dream, hazy and gauzy and deeply melodic and almost new agey.
Elsewhere the duo wreath their hushed high end drift in thick swaths of hiss and hum, creating Tim Hecker like landscapes of bleary eared ambience, all pixelated and indistinct, a soft focus shimmer, but Mountains add streaks of synths, again making it sound more like classic new age/krautrock than modern experimentation.
The second half of the record is heavy on the pulsing synths, simple lilting melodies, repeated, looped, layered, conjuring up mesmerizing chunks of electronic minimalism, that definitely look to Reich, and Riley, as well as Fripp and Eno, but in the hands of Mountains, at times much noisier, the sound more dense, but that warm glowing melodic sense always shining through. The record closes with a thick swath of warm whirring buzz, tangled melodies beneath think swirls of whir and thrum, crumbling synths, which fade out during the last few seconds, to reveal a guitar, which may very well have been in there all along.
MPEG Stream: "January 17"
MPEG Stream: "Thousand Square"
MPEG Stream: "Newsprint"

album cover MOUNTAINS Air Museum (Thrill Jockey) lp 15.98
Latest disc of pastoral dreamlike synthdrone ambience from this East coast duo, whose past records have been unanimous aQ faves, as this one is fast becoming as well. Every track here is a mini epic of slow building drones and lushly layered textures, the sound rich and full, strings buzzing, synths shimmering, sometimes stretched out for ages, but often blossoming into sun dappled Technicolor bursts of sweet sonic radiance, sparkling and glimmering, just as often wrangled into pulses, and crafted into weirdly sc-fi synthscapes, borrowing a page from the book of all the Carpenter/Goblin worshippers out there, but instead of creating some futuristically retro Euro disco, those pulses are blurred and layered, and turned into something more along the lines of Tangerine Dream, hazy and gauzy and deeply melodic and almost new agey.
Elsewhere the duo wreath their hushed high end drift in thick swaths of hiss and hum, creating Tim Hecker like landscapes of bleary eared ambience, all pixelated and indistinct, a soft focus shimmer, but Mountains add streaks of synths, again making it sound more like classic new age/krautrock than modern experimentation.
The second half of the record is heavy on the pulsing synths, simple lilting melodies, repeated, looped, layered, conjuring up mesmerizing chunks of electronic minimalism, that definitely look to Reich, and Riley, as well as Fripp and Eno, but in the hands of Mountains, at times much noisier, the sound more dense, but that warm glowing melodic sense always shining through. The record closes with a thick swath of warm whirring buzz, tangled melodies beneath think swirls of whir and thrum, crumbling synths, which fade out during the last few seconds, to reveal a guitar, which may very well have been in there all along.
MPEG Stream: "January 17"
MPEG Stream: "Thousand Square"
MPEG Stream: "Newsprint"

album cover MOUNTAINS Centralia (Thrill Jockey) cd 15.98
Latest from this aQ beloved duo, made up of Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, aka Mountains, and once again, they've crafted a supremely dreamlike songsuite, that finds them conjuring up billowing clouds of blurred synth drifts and soft focus drones, weaving all of their disparate sound sources, electronics, synths, cellos, organs and more into something that sounds surprisingly organic, a glimmering, glistening kosmische new age drift. All of Mountains' records are sort of ethereal and blissed out, but this one might be the most pastoral and meditative of the bunch. Mixing a sort of modern minimalism, with classic ragas and drones, Centralia finds the group crafting a sonic analogue to Stars Of The Lid in a way, with Mountains being the light to Stars' darkness. If we were to create a diurnal soundtrack, Mountains would handle sunrise, and would paint the sky and the landscape in warm, glowing colors, until dusk, where they would hand it off to Stars Of The Lid, who would fill the night sky with streaks of black and glimmering fields of starlight, before dawn rolled around again, and Mountains once again took over.
In fact, the sound of Mountains on Centralia is almost like dawn expanded to fill the whole day, and the whole record, a timelapse recording of this music unfurling and blossoming prismatically into a wide open stretch of softly undulating layers, of muted buzzing shimmers, laced with all manner of slow shifting textures and singing strings. A few of the tracks find the duo adding acoustic guitar to the mix, the vibe more psych folky, but still wreathed in swaths of gauze-y thrum. But it's the long tracks here, that truly let us get lost, epic expanses of hazy, blurred ambience, pixelated fuzz spread into a thin patina, all of the sounds glowing from within, on "Propeller", that sound is briefly infused with a dark tension, a sonic shadow that adds some dark and dreamy pathos, before fading into yet another glorious stretch of glistening, glimmering sun dappled shimmer.
MPEG Stream: "Sand"
MPEG Stream: "Identical Ship"
MPEG Stream: "Circular C"

album cover MOUNTAINS Centralia (Thrill Jockey) lp 21.00
Latest from this aQ beloved duo, made up of Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, aka Mountains, and once again, they've crafted a supremely dreamlike songsuite, that finds them conjuring up billowing clouds of blurred synth drifts and soft focus drones, weaving all of their disparate sound sources, electronics, synths, cellos, organs and more into something that sounds surprisingly organic, a glimmering, glistening kosmische new age drift. All of Mountains' records are sort of ethereal and blissed out, but this one might be the most pastoral and meditative of the bunch. Mixing a sort of modern minimalism, with classic ragas and drones, Centralia finds the group crafting a sonic analogue to Stars Of The Lid in a way, with Mountains being the light to Stars' darkness. If we were to create a diurnal soundtrack, Mountains would handle sunrise, and would paint the sky and the landscape in warm, glowing colors, until dusk, where they would hand it off to Stars Of The Lid, who would fill the night sky with streaks of black and glimmering fields of starlight, before dawn rolled around again, and Mountains once again took over.
In fact, the sound of Mountains on Centralia is almost like dawn expanded to fill the whole day, and the whole record, a timelapse recording of this music unfurling and blossoming prismatically into a wide open stretch of softly undulating layers, of muted buzzing shimmers, laced with all manner of slow shifting textures and singing strings. A few of the tracks find the duo adding acoustic guitar to the mix, the vibe more psych folky, but still wreathed in swaths of gauze-y thrum. But it's the long tracks here, that truly let us get lost, epic expanses of hazy, blurred ambience, pixelated fuzz spread into a thin patina, all of the sounds glowing from within, on "Propeller", that sound is briefly infused with a dark tension, a sonic shadow that adds some dark and dreamy pathos, before fading into yet another glorious stretch of glistening, glimmering sun dappled shimmer.
MPEG Stream: "Sand"
MPEG Stream: "Identical Ship"
MPEG Stream: "Circular C"

album cover MOUNTAINS Choral (Thrill Jockey) cd 14.98
Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp are the men behind these Mountains. The two met in Chicago in 1999 and now live in Brooklyn; yet despite their urban living, Mountains long for the great outdoors. The big sky of Montana. The thunderclouds of the Arizona high desert. The forests of upstate New York. In their effortless blur of elliptically strummed acoustic guitars and elegantly sculpted ambience, Mountains celebrate the natural world, as leaves, rain, dirt, and snow all seem to speak through their beautifully monochromatic compositions.
Choral happens to be Mountains third full album and their first for Thrill Jockey. It also stands as their best album to date and even surpasses the almost universally beloved Field Rituals solo album by Holtkamp on Type. The brightly rendered guitar which gilded Holtkamp's solo record features prominently in the mix for Choral, but it has been tempered with gaseous effects and post-shoegazing processes that swaddle the guitar chords with equally rich drones and electrified mist. Melodica, analog synth, piano, hand bells, something that sounds like a hurdy gurdy, even more guitar, and found object scrabbing a la Jewelled Antler make their way through the soft focus blur of the digital treatments, which give evidence for comparisons in equal measure to Fennesz and Cluster. As the shimmering tones of finger-picked guitars trickle out of the slow pulsing drone of the title track, Mountains conjure images of the bright orange sunlight saturating wind-blown leaves at sunset. Halos of light burst around each glistening layer of sound, but there is a bittersweet aura to many of the melodies that slip beyond their transcendent ambience, as if the summer sun they portray in their songs is soon to be lost to the blustery winds of Autumn and the cold nights of Winter. The maudlin atmospheres continue on the insistent acoustic guitar chords of "Telescope," a near perfect bliss-out instrumental, on through the broken-hearted bells and deep tonal flutter of "Melodica."
If there's any justice, this will be universally hailed as one of the best records of 2009. And for vinyl freeks: the lp version of Choral enjoys two additional tracks not found on the cd!
MPEG Stream: "Choral"
MPEG Stream: "Map Table "
MPEG Stream: "Melodica"

album cover MOUNTAINS Choral (Thrill Jockey) 2lp 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp are the men behind these Mountains. The two met in Chicago in 1999 and now live in Brooklyn; yet despite their urban living, Mountains long for the great outdoors. The big sky of Montana. The thunderclouds of the Arizona high desert. The forests of upstate New York. In their effortless blur of elliptically strummed acoustic guitars and elegantly sculpted ambience, Mountains celebrate the natural world, as leaves, rain, dirt, and snow all seem to speak through their beautifully monochromatic compositions.
Choral happens to be Mountains third full album and their first for Thrill Jockey. It also stands as their best album to date and even surpasses the almost universally beloved Field Rituals solo album by Holtkamp on Type. The brightly rendered guitar which gilded Holtkamp's solo record features prominently in the mix for Choral, but it has been tempered with gaseous effects and post-shoegazing processes that swaddle the guitar chords with equally rich drones and electrified mist. Melodica, analog synth, piano, hand bells, something that sounds like a hurdy gurdy, even more guitar, and found object scrabbing a la Jewelled Antler make their way through the soft focus blur of the digital treatments, which give evidence for comparisons in equal measure to Fennesz and Cluster. As the shimmering tones of finger-picked guitars trickle out of the slow pulsing drone of the title track, Mountains conjure images of the bright orange sunlight saturating wind-blown leaves at sunset. Halos of light burst around each glistening layer of sound, but there is a bittersweet aura to many of the melodies that slip beyond their transcendent ambience, as if the summer sun they portray in their songs is soon to be lost to the blustery winds of Autumn and the cold nights of Winter. The maudlin atmospheres continue on the insistent acoustic guitar chords of "Telescope," a near perfect bliss-out instrumental, on through the broken-hearted bells and deep tonal flutter of "Melodica."
If there's any justice, this will be universally hailed as one of the best records of 2009. And for vinyl freeks: the lp version of Choral enjoys two additional tracks not found on the cd!
MPEG Stream: "Choral"
MPEG Stream: "Map Table "
MPEG Stream: "Melodica"

album cover MOUNTAINS Etching (Thrill Jockey) lp 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
Earlier this year, Mountains released Choral, an album that is for sure to be on many of our yearend favorite lists. It found the duo truly coming into their own to create a multilayered shoegaze tinged dreamdrift masterpiece. This new lp finds the group in its best long form state of mind with one epic sprawl of daydream bliss-out spread across both sides of this 12". While Mountains have always had their head in the clouds, Etching finds them floating even further out, conjuring up a gorgeous hazy drift of shimmering and crystallized sounds that makes us want to float heavenward right beside them. While we were really impressed with Mountains' ability to craft 'proper' songs on Choral, it's also nice to see them let one of their songs, blossom and expand and unfurl into a long droning and atmospheric bed of sound, that finds them exploring the same sort of territory as folks like William Basinski and Philip Jeck. The mixture of field recordings and their own music is so seamless, creating a soundscape that seems lost in a faded memory. So lovely.
The record comes with a digital download as well in case you don't want to have to get up and flip sides, perhaps interrupting the perfect soundtrack to a late afternoon daydream.
MPEG Stream: "Etching"

album cover MOUNTAINS Mountains Mountains (Catsup Plate Records) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
This 4 track ep is unfortunately out of print, just a few weeks after getting released into the world. While this will undoubtedly cause consternation for many, the few who will be fortunate enough to grab this record will have a treasure in their hands. Mountains are the NYC duo of Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, both of whom have a couple of solo recordings with Holtkamp's Field Studies album on Type being the most recent. The A side tracks most clearly reflect where Holtkamp took his solo work, with shimmering acoustic guitars spiralling in tricked out electronics that buzz, sing, chime, and fizzle into a minimalist patter of hallowed drone set against their elliptical finger picking. Very nice. But the B side pieces are where Mountains really shine. These two tracks had originally appeared on some micro-edition 3" cd-r thing that probably even disappeared even faster than this 12" will. Here, their guitars slowburn with the constant roar of post-shoegazing luminescence, set languid with a melachonic air. Belong would be a close reference, but there's a lot more sun-flecked shimmer than you get from Belong's narcotic wash. It's beautiful stuff, no matter how you look at it. Limited to 500, but these are the last copies we'll ever get...

album cover MOUNTAINS Mountains Mountains (Thrill Jockey) lp 17.98
Finally reissued and available again! Here's our review of Mountains Mountains when we listed the Catsup Plate version back in 2008:
Mountains are the NYC duo of Brendon Anderegg and Koen Holtkamp, both of whom have a couple of solo recordings including Holtkamp's fantastic Field Studies album on Type. The A side tracks here most clearly reflect where Holtkamp took his solo work, with shimmering acoustic guitars spiraling in tricked out electronics that buzz, sing, chime, and fizzle into a minimalist patter of hallowed drone set against their elliptical finger picking. Very nice. But the B side pieces are where Mountains really shine. These two tracks had originally appeared on some micro-edition 3" cd-r thing that disappeared even faster than this 12" the first time around. Here, their guitars slowburn with the constant roar of post-shoegazing luminescence, set languid with a melancholic air. Belong would be a close reference, but there's a lot more sun-flecked shimmer than you get from Belong's narcotic wash. It's beautiful stuff, no matter how you look at it....

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