The Mountain Goats
Wonder Ballroom; Portland, OR
In the past, I’ve used this live blog to air personal grievances. Whether or not it was proper, it was nonetheless publishable. So with apologies to Merge (who got me into the show for free) and Loamlands (who seem like lovely people and who play lovely music) and The Mountain Goats (who, no offense, put on a really tepid and somewhat patronizing show last night) and the many people who were clearly enjoying themselves (I don’t begrudge you), I would like to hone my focus entirely on the strange couple who stood in front of me:
Hi, couple. It wasn’t that you pushed through the already-existing, awkwardly partitioned, and funny-smelling crowd to stand directly in front of me. I’ve dealt with that at virtually every show I’ve attended since I started going to shows. It is — and was — a minor annoyance. But your positioning didn’t help. Between my eyes and the stage, you — the two of you — took up most of my field of vision, so I had to watch you, together, foremost. Every song was interpreted through — and worse — by you. “High Hawk Season” and “Black Molly” were alright — a few small pecks, some gentle PDA. “Old College Try” was a little more risqué (mostly light groping), but manageable. But what the fuck happened during the rest of the set?
It began with heavy groping and swaying to the beat of “Twin Human Highway Flares.” It morphed into making out, in starts and stops, to the pace of “San Bernardino.” It continued through “Linda Blaire Was Born Innocent,” and coalesced during “Tallahassee,” in a bizarre blur of ugly and spit and hands. All of this, during the same “Tallahassee” that sings prayers to summon the destroying angel. Listen, I’m no prude. I understand love and its physicality. But love and exhibitionism are not the same thing; the latter is a display of insecurity, and, yeah, it’s unfair to force others to watch. In the future, and in the spirit of infamous mistakes, would you please relegate your interpretive dance to the venue’s dark corners? The rest of us really would appreciate it.
Otherwise, like I implied above, the show was alright, I guess.