MRG30 | The Mountain Goats & Hiss Golden Messenger
Durham’s own Merge Records is celebrating 30 years of independent music in 2019. Every five years, Merge Records celebrates its birthday with a multi-day music festival, and this summer’s event—which has been dubbed MRG30—is shaping up to be one of the best ever! On July 24, Duke Performances and the Carolina Theatre will present a very special evening of music with the Mountain Goats, Hiss Golden Messenger, and special guest H.C. McEntire to kick off the MRG30 celebration. For music and more information about these artists and the MRG30 festival, visit mergerecords.com.
Tickets to MRG30 Music Festival at the Carolina Theatre on July 24 go on sale Friday, February 22 at 10 a.m. at the venue's box office and Ticketmaster.com
Note: MRG30 passes include a ticket for this performance and guarantee entry.
The Mountain Goats
THE MOUNTAIN GOATS ARE JOHN DARNIELLE, PETER HUGHES, JON WURSTER, AND MATT DOUGLAS. THEY HAVE BEEN MAKING MUSIC TOGETHER AS A QUARTET FOR SEVERAL YEARS. THREE OF THEM LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA AND ONE HAS MOVED BACK TO ROCHESTER. THEIR SONGS OFTEN SEEK OUT DARK LAIRS WITHIN WHICH TERRIBLE MONSTERS DWELL, BUT THEIR MISSION IS TO RETRIEVE THE TREASURE FROM THE DARK LAIR & PERSUADE THE TERRIBLE MONSTERS INSIDE TO SEEK OUT THE PATH OF REDEMPTION. AS AXL ROSE ONCE MEMORABLY ASKED, IN THE SONG “TERRIBLE MONSTER”: “WHAT’S SO TERRIBLE ABOUT MONSTERS, ANYWAY?” THIS IS THE QUESTION THE MOUNTAIN GOATS HAVE BEEN DOGGEDLY PURSUING SINCE 1991. THEY WILL NEVER LEAVE OFF THIS QUEST UNTIL EVERY OPTION HAS BEEN EXHAUSTED. THANK YOU.
Hiss Golden Messenger
Hallelujah Anyhow is the latest studio album from Hiss Golden Messenger. Its ten songs, penned by HGM principal M.C. Taylor, were recorded with Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Chris Boerner, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Scott Hirsch. Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White provided vocal harmonies.
“I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow.” —M.C. Taylor
In 2018, H.C. McEntire, frontwoman of Mount Moriah, struck out on her own with her debut solo album LIONHEART, a collection of songs inspired by the American South and a desire to reclaim “country” music from the hetero-normative, homogenous schtick of tailgates and six-packs and men chasing women. Stereogum describes her voice as “weary, wise, and bright as morning sunshine all at once,” and that sunshine glows throughout the triumphant LIONHEART.
For the album, McEntire collaborated with many of her favorite musicians, including Kathleen Hanna, Angel Olsen, Amy Ray, Tift Merritt, William Tyler, Mary Lattimore, and Phil Cook, while remaining bravely devoted to her most authentic self throughout the process. LIONHEART was recorded during the first few months of 2017 with additional recording and mixing taking place on the run as McEntire toured the world as a member of Angel Olsen’s band.
"I came from people with machine grease on their hands. Dirt under their nails. The Bible by their bedsides. Cornmeal and buttermilk. People who need a porch to think, a red dirt row to get lost in, a revival to hunger for. But there are things that even a long, soft drawl can’t cover up. There are things you keep from even yourself.
In music, there are no rules. You make your own language. You can be both the Southern rock outlier and the twangy gospel conduit. You can be both the cherubic, honey-tongued innocent and the ardent punk. To get here—to find my lion heart—I had to become them all.
So I sank my teeth into Appalachia. I twisted toward the sky and let the sun blind me. I bought saltines from the dollar store. I shook dust off the hymnal. I set the silo on fire. I hemmed my lover’s dress. I pried white quartz from river banks and ridges. Wheeled them up the hill, barrow after barrow, in a fever. I had to mine for the truth.
LIONHEART was largely recorded in my living room, and it was mixed in the control room next to my bedroom by my best friend. If you listen close enough, you can probably hear some hound howls, some creaky wooden floors, some trains running their routes. All that’s in there. Some big grins, too, and high fives. A few tears, but the good kind—the kind that let you know you’re doing something hard. Something good and right, even if it’s swallowed you up so deep you forget what you’re making. Some days I felt so small, like the lizard on the front porch. Even smaller, like the spider in the lizard’s sight. But I kept on. I left some holes, too. Asked some friends to help fill them with whatever they were feeling—from Ojai to Atlanta, Lisbon to L.A. It was a joint effort: the yellow roses, the lamb, the dove, the wild dogs, the prickly pear.
I want this record to be, for you, whatever it needs to be. Over time, it’ll all change, come to mean something else. And that’s fine, too. Just know that it was born from a good shaking (thanks, Kathleen) and a little farmhouse at the end of a long, winding gravel road in the woods, where I gave in to the unknown, the written script, the blues, the joy—to the wild, wild world."
No Outside Food or Drink
No Video Recording Devices