Shaky Knees Death Match: TV On The Radio vs. Death From Above 1979 vs. The Mountain Goats


With the 2015 version of Shaky Knees Festival‘s official schedule being announced, now it’s time to start planning out your own personal schedule. 

For those difficult decisions, we present to you the Shaky Knees Death Match. We will have each band in every time slot pitted against each other. You make the decision on who you must catch. Check back daily as we explore each time slot.

Shaky Knees Friday Day 1, 6:15PM time slot has to be one of the more difficult choices, all great bands with TV On The Radio at the Piedmont Stage, Death From Above 1979 at the Ponce De Leon Stage and The Mountain Goats at the Buford Highway Stage.

TV On The Radio – Piedmont Stage

TV On The Radio1

By Sean Feinerman

How many bands do you know can trace their origins to drunken karaoke nights? Ok, maybe a few. What about promoted their first release by tucking it into furnishings at furniture stores? Then later went on to put David Bowie on an album? Landed a song in Breaking Bad? Eventually became one of the biggest acts in rock music today? TV On The Radio has resonated with listeners & critics alike for more than a decade as one of the most visual & acclaimed bands post-2000, mixing elements of punk, African music, hip-hop, electro-pop and prog rock. They ended a three year album absence in November that seemed way longer and commence their summer touring for Seeds with an appearance at the Piedmont Stage at this year’s Shaky Knees festival.

TVOTR’s live shows swell to an even bigger, more chaotic climax that they do on record. The competition at their time slot on Friday includes the high energy/hard rock of Death From Above 1979 in addition to the folky sounds of The Mountain Goats. If you’re looking for something that’s in between those genres, you are well advised to catch the set from the four-piece Brooklyn band.

Death From Above 1979 – Ponce De Leon Stage

Death From Above 1979

By Kristen Jones

Toronto based duo, Death From Above 1979 will be playing on the Ponce De Leon Stage at 6:15pm on Friday. Jesse Keeler on bass and synths and Sebastien Grainger on vocals and drums makes for an interesting and entertaining dynamic. The absence of guitar would normally have me longing for it…not with these guys. They flawlessly pull off a funky dance beat with post punk style vocals. It’s really a no brainer, this band is a must see.

In 2004, they released You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine… and then they broke up. Regardless of parting ways, their following continued to grow.  They reunited in 2011 and in 2014 released The Physical World which very much picks up where they left off. Some notable songs to check out on both albums: Romantic Rights, Virgins, Trainwreck 1979, Right On, Frankenstein!

Death from Above 1979 has been on my “bands to see” list forever and to be honest, didn’t think it was ever going to happen. Seriously… if they wouldn’t have broken up, I’d bet they would be headlining the festival. Don’t miss your opportunity to check them out!

Trainwreck Live on Letterman

Turn it Out Live at Coachella 2011

Listen.. these dudes are so talented I had to include this acoustic video…bet you’re wondering how they pull off acoustics with bass and drums? Welp.. turns out they are clearly capable of playing just about anything… although I don’t expect you’ll get any of this action at Shaky.. I just had to share because it’s just that good.

Crystal Ball Live Buzz Acoustic Sessions


The Mountain Goats – Buford Highway Stage

mountain goats2

By Zachary Shetler

The Mountain Goats are something else, like you really should take some time to experience these guys. They have been around since the early nineties and haven’t missed a beat. Releasing an album at least every two years The Mountain Goats are nothing if they aren’t consistent. Throughout the nineties they were releasing their work singularly on cassette utilizing the naturally occurring imperfections in this recording method to their artistic advantage. It wasn’t until 2002 that they truly broke from their self set mold to settle down with a recording label and print copies in other formats.

Now they aren’t known for their fantastic “recordings”; when these guys perform live they really PERFORM LIVE. Their music is Lo-Fi and absolutely organic, they are a band to be experienced not listened to. Their music rings true as a successor to the lyrical stylings of Johnny Cash and The Violent Femmes. John Darnielle (lead Singer) isn’t so much a singer as he is a colorful storyteller. His voice is that of crisp toast; satisfying and crunchy, in a good way, and the rest of the ensemble is a perfect serving of jam whipped up to rest atop the whole of his voice just to enhance the Sound.

Their most recent album The Mountain Goats Beat the Champ weaves the tale of … get this … professional wrestlers. Now if you were to look at the cover art for this particular album then you could deduce such. Its just such a silly subject to base an entire album off of, but hey it works. The album has songs about hitting the opponent with chairs, the various movements when in the ring and of course ultimately the legacy of those who “fight” endlessly for our amusement.

I hadn’t heard of these guys before this festival but they certainly caught my attention. In an era dominated by auto tune and heavy over dubbed instruments with lyrics that are either meaningless or heavily repetitive The Mountain Goats provide a nice change of pace. Their music will leave you feeling a new found passion for something, something you may never quite be able to put your finger on but the sensation will be there nonetheless. They are certainly bringing something different to Shaky Knees, and will do it right. Don’t miss these guys you or very well may miss a great opportunity to bare witness to one of the few REAL groups of the century.

Check out these artists on the Shaky Knees Spotify Playlist


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