The Hold Steady’s Craig Finn and the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle are two of the greatest living lyricists in American music, they both always make amazing faces when they’re performing, and they’ve long been mutual admirers. The two posed together for a New Yorker article in 2005, and Finn joined the Mountain Goats onstage in New York in 2011 to sing “This Year.” My favorite story about those guys: A Mountain Goats show, I forget what year, when Darnielle changed the lyrics to “The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton” on the fly: “The top three contenders, after weeks of debate, were Satan’s Fingers, and the Hold Steady, and the Hospital Bombers.” Anyway, now Finn has given us a full-on cover of a Mountain Goats song, and that’s an awesome thing.
Right now, Darnielle is taking part in the new podcast I Only Listen To The Mountain Goats. With each new episode, Darnielle and host Joseph Fink discuss a single Mountain Goats song in detail, and the episode also features a cover of that song. Right now, they’re going track-by-track through Darnielle’s 2000 lo-fi solo-acoustic masterpiece All Hail West Texas, and we’ve already posted Laura Jane Grace’s version of “The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton” and Loamlands’ take on “The Fall Of The Star High School Running Back.” In the latest episode, Finn joins Darnielle and Fink in conversation, and we also hear his rich, synthy take on the we’re-both-fucked anthem “Fault Lines.” Check it out below.
And here’s the full episode of the podcast: