Sunday: The Mountain Goats

Sept. 18

Back in 2008, The Mountain Goats put out "Heretic Pride" and around the same time, Houston rapper Scarface released "Made," and both records just kind of wrecked me. And they had more in common than just emotional honesty ("I am coming home to you, with my own blood in my mouth/ If it’s the last thing that I do," Mountain Goats main man John Darnielle bleats on 'Sax Rohmer #1' off "Heretic Pride"): both are lyrics-first records from terse poets of the underdogs and the under class. In a way, I'm saying John Darnielle is kind of like a rapper—you get all caught up in these stories that the music becomes secondary and you feel like you're living the characters' lives for them.  Darnielle has continued to put out great work—most recently, "Beat The Champ," a gut-wrenching record about the rough life of a professional wrestler—and in 2014, "Wolf In White Van," a book I said "takes seriously things most authors don't take very seriously here: fantasy novels, heavy metal, and the fragile psyches of teens killed by adult complacency long before they attempt to kill themselves." Mountain Goats shows, by the way, are big cathartic gatherings full of sing-alongs and occasionally out-there covers and you should absolutely go, especially if you're new to the band. 8 p.m., Rams Head Live, 20 Market Place, (410) 244-1131,, $20-$22. (Brandon Soderberg)

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