Sports Vs. Sounds: The Staff Of The Classical Runs Down The Best Post-Punk Sports Songs

During my discussion with the fellows behind The Classical, the forthcoming sports site named after the Mark E. Smith composition that reportedly cost the band a recording deal with Motown thanks to the slur about 35 seconds in, I asked why there aren't many punk or post-punk songs about sports. They fired back with an impressive list of songs disproving that premise.

Said Classical member Tim Marchman, who's written about baseball for the Wall Street Journal and the New York Sun (and disdains Yo La Tengo's cover of "Meet the Mets"): "All those guys like Jon Langford, Mark Smith and John Lydon were huge soccer fans. My theory is that they didn't write more about sports because they were obsessed with American culture and didn't know how soccer fit in with that. Meanwhile, the Americans were generally fake Brits. Darby Crash would have written about Arsenal if he had Fox Soccer Channel." More brains on punks on jocks below.

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Hear the Mountain Goats' Score to Sir Arne's Treasure

Sir Arne's Treasure still via sixmartinis and the seventh art
When, in December, Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle announced that he'd be doing a live score for a screening of the silent 1919 Swedish film Sir Arne's Treasure at the San Francisco Film Society, he described his plan like so:

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Merge Takes a Few Hours Off From the Arcade Fire Extravaganza to Sign the Mountain Goats

Farewell, 4AD logo
North Carolina indie titan Merge is having a good week. Two days ago, the long-awaited third Arcade Fire record, The Suburbs, came out to tremendous acclaim, some consternation, and one hell of a New York show last night at MSG. And today, the label announced two new signings: the Mountain Goats, John Darnielle's long-running, completely beloved (by us, anyway) indie-folk outfit; and the Extra Lens, formerly known as the Extra Glenns, Darnielle's side project with the critic and songwriter Franklin Bruno. The latter have a new album, Undercard, on the way; the record's first single, "Only Existing Footage," is available at Pitchfork. There are a lot of convergences at work here: Darnielle lives in the same North Carolina town as Merge's Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance. Those two also perform as Superchunk (along with sometime Mountain Goats drummer Jon Wurster), and Darnielle sings backup on the band's incredible new record. Indie rock is a small town, and these people are all the mayors of it. Plus: one more reason to like the Arcade Fire! [Pitchfork]

The Mountain Goats Will Cure Your Bieber Fever

Completely, utterly, totally self-explanatory. A real fan would've used "Counting Song For Bitter Children" though. [Mountain Goats FTW]

The Mountain Goats Played Late Night With Jimmy Fallon

Well, it wasn't exactly Stephen Colbert handling vocals on "This Year," but anytime you can get John Darnielle and Randy Jackson in the same room, you kind of have to do it, right? The band went with "Genesis 3:23"; the svelte second guitarist looks to be Perry Wright from the band Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers, who was on the most recent Mountain Goats tour that just wrapped up. This Hulu clip doesn't quite capture it but Darnielle et al apparently made a point of saluting the Roots, which surprises me not at all. May those guys still have their jobs in six months. [h/t Stereogum]

Watch the Mountain Goats Live in Paris

You'll have to click the link on the video to get the whole 80 minute set but it's a good one--October solo show, Paris, Point Ephemere. Don't much buy into the messianic stuff that surrounds this guy but check out the weirdly longing upstretched arm of a girl in the front row during Darnielle's "California Song" bow. It's spooky; no wonder this guy is a bit guarded. Anyway, "Raid on Entebbe"--enough said. [Grand Crew, via Pigeons and Planes]

Listen to the Mountain Goats Cover "The Boys Are Back in Town," Shout Out Final Fantasy

The December 2 Bell House sequel to nyctaper's recording of the Mountain Goats' December 1 show at Webster Hall is now up as well--highlights this time around include a Thin Lizzy cover in which Owen Pallett's Final Fantasy somehow makes it into the lyrics. Not the first time Darnielle has done this. This was the last date of the band's Life of the World tour, so things got rowdy. We will now commence talking about something else. [nyctaper]

Download the Mountain Goats' December 1 Webster Hall Set

In what has become a happy ritual for local Mountain Goats fans, the urban bootlegger and all-around live-show ninja nyctaper has posted a high quality version of the band's Webster Hall show on Tuesday, the first of the trio-cum-quartet's two shows in town. (Last night was the Bell House; expect a recording of that one to go live tonight, complete with a "Boys Are Back in Town" cover.) Worth it for the immortal "Going to Port Washington" alone.

What You Didn't See on Last Night's Colbert Report: A Mountain Goats-Colbert Duet

The Mountain Goats - Psalms 40:2

There is more out-of-character Stephen Colbert at the real-time taping of The Colbert Report than one might imagine. At the beginning of the show, before the cameras roll, he emerges--post openly hostile and profane warm-up comic--and takes questions from the audience. You are warned about this in advance: "He will not be in character. You all know it's a character, right?" Like most people who've achieved his level of fame, Colbert has a kind of palpable, physical charisma that he brings to whatever room he happens to be in--this leads inevitably to slightly messianic questions such as, "When you're feeling down, what to do you do to fight through it?"

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Mountain Goats Performance Doc Screens Sunday at Housing Works

The Life of the World to Come, the new and frequently heartbreaking record from the Mountain Goats, is out next Tuesday. Starting tomorrow, the Colbert Report will be streaming the album in advance of John Darnielle's scheduled October 6th appearance on the show. And this Sunday, Housing Works will host Darnielle and Brick director Rian Craig Johnson, who earlier this year shot a video of Darneille performing the entirety of Life of the World in a rented hall at Pomona College. Johnson's a big Mountain Goats fan--he once directed the video to Get Lonely's "Woke Up New," and on his blog he calls Darnielle's newest "beautiful." The idea here was to capture "what's so special about seeing John perform live," Johnson writes:

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