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MKE Concert Pick: The Mountain Goats, Katy Kirby at Turner Hall

The Mountain Goats (left) and Katy Kirby will play Turner Hall Ballroom on Wednesday, April 10.
Courtesy of the artists
The Mountain Goats (left) and Katy Kirby will play Turner Hall Ballroom on Wednesday, April 10.

Milwaukee’s concert scene has a lot going on, so we look at the shows coming up to find the ones you’ll look back on and be glad you went. Then we add them to our weekly Milwaukee Concert Picks.

In what’s sure to be a groundbreaking revelation, it turns out music and lyrics are both important to a good song. It gets more interesting when you delve into the “what’s more important?” question.

For those who fall into the “lyrics” camp, our featured show happening Wednesday night at Turner Hall is a can’t-miss affair that will welcome two artists who know their way around a turn of phrase.

On one end of the career spectrum, we have headliners The Mountain Goats and their frontman, story-songwriter extraordinaire John Darnielle. The band has more than 20 studio albums under their belts, many of which fall under the “concept album” category by tangling with subjects ranging from wrestling (Beat the Champ) to 1980s action movies (Bleed Out) and abusive stepfathers (The Sunset Tree) to regionally specific societies (All Hail West Texas).

The Goats are ostensibly touring behind the sequel to that last album, Jenny From Thebes, which came out last October. It is, like the rest of their work, packed with engaging characters and even more engaging stories. While you’re likely to hear a fair amount from that newer LP, it’s hard to imagine Darnielle and Co. not injecting items from throughout their 30-plus-year discography.

As if that wasn’t enough on the wordsmithing front, opening the show Wednesday night is Katy Kirby, who’s responsible for one of my favorite albums of this year, Blue Raspberry. Besides finding a plausible way to use the phrase “cubic zirconia” about 37 times, Kirby put together a collection of songs that manages to be funny and sad and analytical while stacking great lyrics on top of each other until the whole thing seems to be on the verge of toppling.

You can catch both of those articulate artists Wednesday at Turner Hall for a show that kicks off at 8 p.m.

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