Music: The Mountain Goats

Jon Wurster is a busy guy. Best known as the drummer with Indie Rock mainstays Superchunk, Wurster is currently in the midst of promoting his other passion as one half of a comedy duo (with Tom Sharpling) who host the cult radio (now podcast) program cal

click to enlarge The Mountain Goats
The Mountain Goats

Jon Wurster is a busy guy. Best known as the drummer with Indie Rock mainstays Superchunk, Wurster is currently in the midst of promoting his other passion as one half of a comedy duo (with Tom Sharpling) who host the cult radio (now podcast) program called The Best Show.

That comes on the heels of extensive touring as the drummer with Bob Mould, whose most recent solo records have clearly been invigorated by Wurster’s presence behind the kit. And now comes a new record and tour with The Mountain Goats — Wurster has been drumming with singer/songwriter John Darnielle’s long-running Indie Rock outfit since 2007. 

The Mountain Goats have dropped 15 albums since 1994, the most recent of which, the just released Beat the Champ, is yet another effort in which Darnielle’s hyper-literate words and modest but expressive voice take center stage. But the music, anchored by Wurster’s rhythm work, might be the most diverse in the band’s already varied discography — songs range from jazzy and guitar-free (“Fire Editorial”) to melancholic, piano-aided Folk (“Unmasked!”) to jaunty and horn-driven (“Foreign Object”). 

Yet the most curious aspect of Beat the Champ is its concept — 13 perhaps unexpectedly poignant songs about small-time wrestling in which Darnielle often focuses his singular lyrical skills on what happens to these battered warriors beyond the ring.

The Mountain Goats play Thursday at Bogart’s. Tickets/more info: bogarts.com.


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