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    35. The Mountain Goats

    Years active: 1991 - present Influenced: Folk rock, story-telling in indie rock Hometown: Claremont, California Jam: "This Year." An unabashed declaration to survive through the juvenile nightmares and grown-up fears.

    John Darnielle has been chronicling the human experience through folk music under the moniker The Mountain Goats since 1991, and doing a pretty fucking phenomenal job. His confessional, lo-fi music superseded the typical acoustic jams of the nineties through their uncommon specificity and cutting metaphors. More of a writer turned musician than anything else, Darnielle brings literary skill to his songwriting, sweeping through topics like political boundaries and true love with a fresh perspective and a rare, dry humor.