The Mountain Goats Announce Their 17th Album In League with Dragons with Live Video Stream

Music News
photo by Jeremy Lange

They spotlighted an adolescence listening to depressing music with their 2017 LP Goths and delved into the world of professional wrestling with 2015's Beat the Champ; now, and in 2019, the Mountain Goats will transport listeners to olden days with their sci-fi/fantasy-inspired album In League With Dragons, out April 26th via Merge Records. And at 1 PM PST/4 PM EST, founder and frontman John Darnielle will perform a special solo set from Wizards of the Coast, the Renton, WA-based game company behind nerd-faves Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering. Watch that below, and hear the first single "Younger."

Via a press release, Darnielle tells us more about the new LP:

This album began life as a rock opera about a besieged seaside community called Riversend ruled by a benevolent wizard, for which some five to seven songs were written. When I'm focusing on a project, I always distract myself from the through-line with multiple byways, which are kind of like mini-games within the broader architecture of a long video game. As I worked on the Riversend stuff, weird noir visions started creeping in, probably under the influence of Leonardo Sciascia (a Sicilian author, he wrote mysteries) and Ross MacDonald's The Zebra-Striped Hearse, which a friend from Port Washington gave me while I was in the thick of the writing. I thought these moods helped complicate the wizards and dragons a little, and, as I thought about my wizard, his health failing, the invasion by sea almost certain to wipe out half his people, I thought about what such a person might look like in the real world: watching a country show at a midwestern casino, or tryout pitching for an American League team years after having lit up the marquees. Finally, I wrote the title track, which felt like a drawing-together of the themes in play: rebellion against irresistible tides, the lush vistas of decay, necessary alliances. I am earnestly hoping that a new genre called "dragon noir" will spring from the forehead of nearly two years' work on these songs, but, if not, I am content for this to be the sole example of the style.

In League With Dragons was engineered by Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, Jason Isbell, John Prine) and recorded by The Mountain Goats themselves – that's Darnielle, drummer Jon Wurster, bassist Peter Hughes, and multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas  – at Blackbird Studios in Nashville, TN. Robert Bailey contributed additional vocal arrangements and strings performed by the Macedonian Radio Symphonic Orchestra. 

The Mountain Goats recently announced a nearly 40-date tour that launches on album release day and arrives in Seattle for two nights, Wednesday, September 4th at the Showbox and Thursday, September 5th at Neumos. 

Tracklist for In League With Dragons

1. Done Bleeding
2. Younger
3. Passaic 1975
4. Clemency for the Wizard King
5. Possum by Night
6. In League with Dragons
7. Doc Gooden
8. Going Invisible 2
9. Waylon Jennings Live!
10. Cadaver Sniffing Dog
11. An Antidote for Strychnine
12. Sicilian Crest


4/26 - 9:30 - Washington, D.C.
4/27 - Dogfish Head - Milton, DE
4/28 - The Wilbur Theater - Boston, MA
4/30 - Brooklyn Steel - Brooklyn, NY
5/1 - White Eagle Hall - Jersey City, NJ
5/3 - L’Astral - Montreal, QB
5/4 - Bronson Centre - Ottawa, ON
5/5 - Phoenix - Toronto, ON
5/7 - Mr Smalls - Pittsburgh, PA
5/8 - Mr Smalls - Pittsburgh, PA
5/9 - Woodward Theater - Cincinnati, OH
5/10 - Cannery - Nashville, TN
5/11 – 1884 Lounge - Memphis, TN
5/13 - Buskirk Chumley - Bloomington, IN
5/14 - Majestic Theatre - Madison, WI
5/15 - Thalia Hall - Chicago, IL
5/16 - Thalia Hall - Chicago, IL
5/17 - First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN
8/28 - Metro Music Hall - Salt Lake City, UT
8/29 - Pink Garter - Jackson, WY
8/30 - Pub Station - Billings, MT
8/31 - Top Hat Lounge - Missoula, MT
9/1 - The Bing Crosby Theater - Spokane, WA
9/4 - The Showbox -Seattle, WA
9/5 - Neumos - Seattle, WA
9/6 - Imperial Vancouver - Vancouver, BC
9/7 - McDonald Theatre - Eugene, OR
9/9 - Crystal Ballroom - Portland, OR
9/10 - Aladdin - Portland, OR
9/12 - The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
9/13 - The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA
9/14 - Belasco Theater - Los Angeles, CA
9/16 - House of Blues - Anaheim, CA
9/17 - House of Blues - San Diego, CA
9/18 - Brooklyn Bowl - Las Vegas, NV

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