There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.

This is John Darnielle’s chance to get away from himself. The mythology of the Mountain Goats frontman—former drug fiend, former abused stepson, and current acoustic-guitar throttler—has dominated his band’s material for much of the past decade, but on its current tour, those tales might take a backseat. The group, beloved by people who cried at the end of Moby-Dick, has seen its lineup swell since Darnielle’s autobiographical 2005 release The Sunset Tree, but this time it’s just Darnielle and longtime bassist Peter Hughes. This pared-down ensemble could mean a return to the hard-luck characters Darnielle and Hughes invented back when they traded cassette tapes in the mail. Expect songs about meth heads, ill-advised trips abroad, violent couples who should just break up already—and if we’re lucky, a few of those old, down-on-his-luck yarns.

The Mountain Goats perform with The Baptist Generals at 7 p.m. at 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $25. (202) 265-0930. 930.com.