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.