of Montreal, Mothers | Lincoln Theatre | Clubs & Concerts | Indy Week
This is a past event.

of Montreal, Mothers 

When: Tue., Aug. 25, 8:30 p.m. 2015
Price: $15-$18



LINCOLN THEATRE, RALEIGH—There are confessional songwriters, and then there's Kevin Barnes. Abstract emotional exhibitionist? Of Montreal's last four records have detailed a marital disintegration, with Barnes cryptically or explicitly rehashing petty disputes and putting his ugliest sentiments under the spotlight. Wringing turmoil from his interior life, he's the Karl Ove Knausgaard of American indie. When the lights come up, and the orgy's over, you're left with a daunting cleanup.  

Watching Barnes blossom from twee miniaturist to hook-slinging pop pro to Dionysian funk hedonist was one of the stranger, more compelling journeys in '00s rock 'n' roll. At the tail end of a long glide from the creative and commercial peak of 2007's Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, Barnes is now underrated. He was sexually frank in a sexless era of indie, a bold glam god in a sea of fussy Sufjans. He was years ahead of alternative takes on R&B. Barnes remains a maximalist, piling ten-dollar words and grotesque imagery on top of already overstuffed music. 2008's Skeletal Lamping, for instance, was the height of his ultra-confident prog bloat. It was a thrilling overreach, the manic swing presaging a depressive lull, the fun before the shit hits.

This year's Aureate Gloom is much thinner than Skeletal, with Barnes working proto-, post- and regular old punk into his rotating influences. His last few records have flipped from Prince struts to Dylan strums, though he's remained the same sour type, stuck in his own head. "I think that I almost always would choose art over human relationships," he says during the intimate documentary The Past Is A Grotesque Animal. "Which, you know, might be a terrible thing to say, to admit, but I think it's true, if I'm being true to myself." You can't deny his self-awareness, nodding even as you inch slowly toward the door. With Mothers. 8:30 p.m., $15–$18, 126 E. Cabarrus St., Raleigh, 919-821-4111, www.lincolntheatre.com—Jeff Klingman



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