Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle is a lyrical master, able to offer a comparison like, "Our love is like the border between Greece and Albania" and follow it up with a few lines that make the affair feel sad, dangerous, exhilarating, likely doomed, and intensely real. And for a guy who frequently tours without a drummer, he can really fire up a crowd. Just watch him get a room full of people to chant "Hail Satan"--less out of hipster irony or childish contrarianism than out of empathy for a couple of imaginary, mistreated West Texas kids. Similarly, a broken string is an opportunity for an impassioned a capella rendition of "I Will Survive." Hes a rare talent; catch him when you can. With Kaki King. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m., $18 adv, $20 dos. All ages.
Mon., Oct. 20, 8 p.m., 2008