This is the quirky neo-folkie gig of the week, matching a pair of fascinating, eccentric outfits. Around since the early '90s, the Mountain Goats are essentially ace songwriter John Darnielle and a constantly shifting roster of collaborators. Assertively indie for most of his career, Darnielle preferred to record on his boombox, shouting torrents of literate lyrics over his fiercely strummed acoustic guitar. The Goats last album, Get Lonely (4AD), was a marked evolution, however, and far more quiet, if no less emotionally naked. A stark, sometimes spectral account of a breakup and its aftermath, Lonely features Darnielle's languid delivery in a jazz-inflected chamber-folk context, often aglow in the woody warmth of Erik Friedlander's cello. The North Carolina trio Bowerbirds, meanwhile, play a sparse, haunting brand of country-folk sporting Phillip Moore's deliberately paced rural tales over a rustic mix of acoustic guitar plucking, Beth Tacular's accordion, and Mark Paulson's skittish fiddle.
Wed., Oct. 31, 7 p.m., 2007