It's a Bi-Fi World

Notes on the American Mountain Goat

We lean back and we clink our glasses
Raise the drinks to our thirsty mouths
And thick as molasses ice cold vodka
eases in as
The low pressure system brings the
breezes in

Darnielle's songwriting has vision, too. Over several records he's included two song series. One, the "Alpha" series just mentioned, tracks a couple headed inexorably toward divorce. In the end, she runs away. The other is a recurring series of songs ("Going to Kansas," "Going to Lebanon," and so on) that Darnielle says began as a reaction to suburban friends who always talked about but never acted on travel plans. Somewhere along the way, the songs took a more serious look at the move to move. "Gradually, as my own urge to go away sorta took over, I found some interesting things in the urge to flee. I think it's one of the basic American urges. Americans won't sit still," he says.

And Rocky Mountain goats, too. According to our regional biologist, once an area is saturated with the species, mountain goats begin pioneering into adjacent habitats. Which probably means something to Darnielle and his theories about songwriting, but he'll want you to figure it out for yourself.

The Mountain Goats play Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St.; call 621-4455. Also Friday, Sept. 20, at Aquarius Records, 1055 Valencia; call 647-2272.

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