DURHAM, N.C. – John Darnielle, lead singer of The Mountain Goats, revealed the academic syllabus for the band’s new album “Jenny From Thebes,” leaving many fans feeling nervous about the upcoming release.
“If you do the readings, you have nothing to worry about,” Darnielle said while grading papers in the greenroom. “I don’t think I’m asking too much here. It’s just a few chapters on the archaic and classical periods of Thebes. Then we’ll get into Zeus, Dionysius, Apollo, and all those guys. Also, it’s important to have a topographical understanding of West Texas, or the B-side isn’t gonna make much sense. Textbooks are available at the merch stand. I’m warning everyone now: if I see any peeking at Genius lyrics during the show, it’s an automatic zero.”
One concertgoer was seen cramming for the concert while waiting outside the venue.
“Shit. Shit, dude, I didn’t study at all. I’m so fucked,” said longtime fan Alex Rosenberg, frantically scrolling through The Mountain Goats online wiki. “I’ve been on the verge of failing ever since I wrote that awful essay on Chavo Guerro. If I do bad here, I’ll have to go back to liking Neutral Milk Hotel. I can’t do that to myself again. Do you know if he’s playing ‘No Children’ tonight? I haven’t had a chance to brush up on Florida divorce law. Oh, god, I’m gonna look like a total asshole out there. Why does John do this?”
Peter Hughes, bassist and teaching assistant for the band, elaborated on Darnielle’s pedagogical methods.
“He’s tough but fair,” Hughes shrugged. “Be ready during the solo set, because he likes to call on people. John can tell who hasn’t been doing the readings. A lot of fans will tell you they only like the early stuff–that’s because they couldn’t keep up with the coursework. One time after the show, a fan came up to him asking for extra credit, and John looked him straight in the eyes and grilled him on Chino, California. It wasn’t pretty.”
At press time, Darnielle excitedly announced the album’s liner notes would be in ancient Greek.