Climb Ev'ry Mountain

B-Sides gets lonely with the Mountain Goats and pays the rent with Pet Shop Boys.

So as far as fashions go, you all started in the '80s, and all of the '80s styles are back. Has that been weird, or is that not happening in Europe right now?

Well, the fashion in London at the moment is very tight jeans, everything is very slim-fit and very rock & roll, whereas the '80s, although we were never part of this really, but the '80s was all about big shoulders, wasn't it? And there isn't a big comeback in those fashion terms at the moment.

You all have been around for a very long time. What do you think has stayed the same about Pet Shop Boys and about you and about songwriting?

The Mountain Goats: "I don't see a need to cover every 
corner of a canvas with paint."
Mark Van S
The Mountain Goats: "I don't see a need to cover every corner of a canvas with paint."
Pet Shop Boys: It's a sin!
Pet Shop Boys: It's a sin!

Well, Pet Shop Boys are about writing songs, so we don't really see ourselves as about any particular time in music or any musical style. We see ourselves as songwriters, and I think that's one of the reasons why we're still doing what we do. [We] try to do things differently from the norm and to avoid cliché at all cost, and that's really our manifesto.

What is your favorite song on your new album?

I really like "I Made My Excuses and Left." It was written in an unusual way, and I think it's a very sad and tragic song — and I tend to like the emotional ones.

It's a pretty big stage show that you do, right?

The whole show is being conceived by this woman called Es Devlin who mainly works designing operas. We know her because she designed the set for our musical, Closer to Heaven. [The concert is] a very clever show, which relies on projections and clever use of light. And there's this structure which sort of folds out like a box of tricks — it's a very visual show. — Alison Sieloff

8 p.m. Tuesday, October 24. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard. $30. 314-726-6161.

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