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June 19, 2012 11:28 AM   Subscribe

Modest Mouse: The Lonesome Crowded West. A documentary about the recording of Modest Mouse's masterpiece. posted by eyeballkid (96 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

 
“A documentary about the recording of Modest Mouse's masterpiece.”

Huh, it's weird that they didn't call it The Moon And Antarctica then. Seems a little confusing, but I am looking forward to watching this anyway.
posted by koeselitz at 11:37 AM on June 19, 2012 [20 favorites]


Relatedly
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:38 AM on June 19, 2012


Hooray! Pitchfork making-of specials are usually great (particularly). However, it is really hard to find an optimal speaker volume for watching this oneespecially at work - headphones are pretty much out of the question. And on preview, what koeselitz said. They've only gotten better...
posted by obscurator at 11:38 AM on June 19, 2012


This guy is totally gonna watch this when he gets home!

[4 bar guitar wailing]
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:39 AM on June 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm so excited to watch this when I get home - this album was one of my absolute favorites when I was in high school. There are plenty of tales out there of the rampant drug/alcohol abuse from Isaac Brock, and I'm interested to see how/if that's portrayed here.

Now that I think about it, the first time I went to see them live was also the first time I got so drunk that I threw up (I didn't have a fake ID and it was an 18+ show, so we slammed screwdrivers and Bud Ice before the door opened at 6 p.m.). I barely remember any of MM's set, but I remember the Murder City Devils dimmed the lights and lit their drumkit on fire, which was pretty awesome.
posted by antonymous at 11:40 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wasn't a huge fan of The Lonesome Crowded West when it first came out, but it has had incredible staying power. I still listen to it pretty regularly. Those last three tracks... what a way to close an album.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:41 AM on June 19, 2012


This is awesome. All the talk about OK Computer keeps reminding me of the albums that resonated with me so much more at the time and that still hold more meaning to me personally than Radiohead's masterpiece did.

The Lonesome Crowded West is one of those. Another is Head Trip In Every Key, which I still contend is the best album released during that period by any band.
posted by The World Famous at 11:47 AM on June 19, 2012


Q, circa 1993: "What do you think of Modest Mouse?"
Calvin Johnson: "Very talented young boys. Stick with it, they could go somewhere. It's true... How 'bout you, what do you think? They've got somethin' goin' on, that's for sure."

THIS IS AWESOME
posted by koeselitz at 11:47 AM on June 19, 2012


Huh, it's weird that they didn't call it The Moon And Antarctica then.

I totally remember that first song! :D
posted by eyeballkid at 11:48 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


It was the first two songs, and you're actually thinking of Good News For People Who Love Bad News.
posted by koeselitz at 11:52 AM on June 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


One reason I love this album so much is that I saw them play a tiny club shortly after it came out and they won me over. Near the beginning of the set, Brock broke a string on his pointy Jackson guitar with the Floyd Rose. I was right in the front row and had to bite my tongue to resist the urge to clue him in that he didn't need to spend fifteen minutes getting a new string, clipping it to the right length, and fumbling with his guitar to get it put on, but that he could just loosen it up at the headstock and use the extra slack to stick the broken end back into the bridge clamp. I couldn't believe that a professional who played a guitar with that bridge every night for a living didn't know that trick.

So when they finally got that taken care of and started playing again, I was predisposed to at least be annoyed by them. By the end of the set, they had completely won me over in every respect. It was really brilliant.
posted by The World Famous at 11:52 AM on June 19, 2012


Johnny Marr, what a *whore*.

I'm sorry, I haven't gotten over that yet.
posted by Decani at 12:00 PM on June 19, 2012


I watched this yesterday morning and was immediately transported back to the turn of the millennium when Modest Mouse was my favorite band. I didn't realize at the time how young those guys were when they made Lonesome Crowded West. Isaac Brock was only 22. Makes the album that much more amazing to me considering the songwriting and lyrical chops that are displayed.

Head Trip In Every Key, which I still contend is the best album released during that period by any band.

Woah man, that is a bold statement. But . . . respectable. I don't think many people paid attention to that album at all.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 12:06 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Those last three tracks... what a way to close an album.

As far away as I ever get from my previousily heavy MM rotation, I will never, ever stop listening to 'Bankrupt on Selling.'
posted by shakespeherian at 12:07 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


About The Moon & Antarctica v. The Lonesome Crowded West (not that there's some kind of competition between the two), I've always been more of a fan of West and its wild, erratic ride over Moon's tendencies to meander. Also, holy fuck do I love "Polar Opposites."
posted by eyeballkid at 12:12 PM on June 19, 2012


Yes but on the other hand LCW doesn't have 'Tiny Cities Made of Ashes.'
posted by shakespeherian at 12:13 PM on June 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think I really hated Modest Mouse the first time I picked up a CDR out of my little brother's stack and played it. years passed.. I'm not sure I remember how I got back on to them. it was after Moon & Antarctica. might have even been Float On (gasp). but all of the sudden they were the only band that mattered to me.

the thing is, that album plays so specifically to this feeling of the wide-open capital-W West. the deserts, the empty roads, Montana, Native Americans, trailer park life, spirituality and god for rural people.

I HATED Cowboy Dan at first.. but I love how they break it up in the middle and introduce this instrumental stretch to it. although Trailer Trash ->Shit Luck I can almost always skip when listening to the album.

Johnny Marr, what a *whore*.

I'm sorry, I haven't gotten over that yet.


I don't care. We Were Dead.. is an amazing album. there are a few wtf tracks (Steam Engenious?!), but Spitting Venom and Parting of the Sensory.. some of their best work to date, period. one of my favorite lines about some simple words he/they lay down can mean so much, existentially:

"So we carried all the groceries in while hauling out the trash
And if this doesn't make us motionless I do not know what can
"

They could have gone off and sold out their soul to sell more records, it happens. but I honestly feel like Isaac/MM have continued to refine themselves and their sound while staying close to what they sounded like on this album.
posted by ninjew at 12:18 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Johnny Marr, what a *whore*.

I'm sorry, I haven't gotten over that yet.


Gotten over what?
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 12:19 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is so fantastic.
posted by saladin at 12:21 PM on June 19, 2012


Huh, it's weird that they didn't call it The Moon And Antarctica then.

Pistols at dawn!

I like M&A, but it never quite gave me the cohesive album feel that West does. But, it took me a while to really assimilate enough to really get West, so maybe I just need to listen to M&A more and it will all become clear.
posted by LionIndex at 12:25 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Johnny Marr, what a *whore*.

I'm sorry, I haven't gotten over that yet.


Gotten over what?


The Smiths breaking up, apparently.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:27 PM on June 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Johnny Marr, what a *whore*.

I'm sorry, I haven't gotten over that yet.

Gotten over what?


I can only assume he's referring to Johnny Marr's use of a capo to play all those Smiths songs that I struggled to learn in the 80s with no access to anything that would have tipped me off that he was cheating like that. The first time I saw him play live and watched him throw a capo on the neck I wanted to jump on stage and punch him in the face.

But he's still a genius. Just no longer my favorite guitarist ever.
posted by The World Famous at 12:28 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I'm trying to drink away the part of the day that I cannot sleep away," should really be on my family crest. Or at least a t-shirt.
posted by Rangeboy at 12:29 PM on June 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


(And apparently this is the thread where the community learns that, on at least two occasions, I have been the guy at the concert distracted by guitar geek technicalities. I will not admit to any other such occasions at this time.)
posted by The World Famous at 12:29 PM on June 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, MM, how I love thee and your ill-fated spin-offs (<3 Ugly Casanova).

Moon & Antarctica will always be their true masterpiece imo, but Lonesome, Crowded West was amazing when it came out. I remember thinking that I was hearing something new and different, and hadn't had a similar thrill since my first listen of Surfer Rosa. Cowboy Dan remains one of my favorite tracks of all time.

I was really into them in the late 90s before they got much of a following, and it wasn't until the early 2000s that I first saw them live (outside) at Stubbs BBQ in Austin. The show was really memorable because they were stamping practically every person's hand as they went through the doors, and when it got to be our turn, we realized that the hand stamps were for underage folks. I felt at least 5 - 10 years older than the rest of the crowd. Anyway, at some point during the show, a woman who was about my age approached my group of friends, looked us up and down, and asked, "what are you doing here?" I didn't have much of any answer for her, but the implication was that we (at age 23 or whatever) were far too old to be listening to this teeny-bopper stuff.

"Opinions were like kittens. I was giving them away."
posted by drklahn at 12:31 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, Holopaw was pretty great.
posted by drklahn at 12:32 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


It was the first two songs, and you're actually thinking of Good News For People Who Love Bad News.

Maybe you meant the second half of Good News, starting with Bukowski?

But they really have put together a remarkable bunch of quality albums even as their style has changed and matured. Anyone who likes LCW should also listen to Ugly Casanova. Sharpen Your Teeth is by far one of my favorite albums from the early 2000s.
posted by stopgap at 12:33 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Full album stream of Lonesome Crowded West

My favorite was always Doin' the Cockroach. By far. What's the word the kids use ... EPIC.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:33 PM on June 19, 2012


Yeah the one time I saw Modest Mouse live-- and this was after liking Fruit that Ate Itself and Lonesome Crowded West and my friend John and I were like 'I hope they play "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes"!' it was on the tour for Good People Who Love Bad News and everyone else there was 16 and they played 'Float On' and then everyone in the crowd wanted them to play 'Float On' again and didn't know any other songs and I finally got that whole 'I liked them before they were big' thing.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:34 PM on June 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Amen on Bankrupt on Selling. That song is ... , yup, it's something.
posted by neuromodulator at 12:37 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I finally got that whole 'I liked them before they were big' thing.

Imagine growing up with "Murmur" and then hearing "Man on the Moon" ... :(. It's like, "yeah, that's OK, but THAT'S NOT THE GOOD STUFF!"
posted by mrgrimm at 12:37 PM on June 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


I remember thinking that I was hearing something new and different

Honestly, the first time I heard Modest Mouse, I was all like "this is just like Built to Spill but drunker."
posted by mrgrimm at 12:39 PM on June 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


I remember the moment I first listened to Modest Mouse. Some friend of mine sent me an mp3 of Dramamine over AOL Instant Messenger or something when I was in (I think) eighth grade. Blew my damn mind. I've never gone back, MM and Radiohead are the only two bands I listened to then that I still really, REALLY listen to.

I hadn't realized I'd never burned my copy of Lonesome Crowded West to my computer until a week ago when I found the CD (a CD-R that another friend had burned for me - the pre-iTunes days were a pretty heady time, man) while packing up my apartment. I've been listening to it since. This documentary couldn't be more well-timed.
posted by dismas at 12:40 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, I haven't gotten over that yet.

No need to apologize, no one cares about your kittens anyway.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:47 PM on June 19, 2012


Yeah, Modest Mouse were my very own first legitimate "when did this become pop music" moment. Home from school, riding somewhere in the car with the parents, and suddenly the Worst And Most Thoroughly Vapid Midwestern Teenager-Oriented Radio Station in the World is playing "Float On". I think I almost passed out in a fit of indignant confusion.

I get it now, but I think that I didn't really know this was a thing that happened before I experienced it.
posted by brennen at 12:55 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Huh, it's weird that they didn't call it The Moon And Antarctica then.

I always thought of that album as the ramp leading to the jumping of the shark.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 1:20 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I always thought of that album as the ramp leading to the jumping of the shark.

You take that back.
posted by brennen at 1:28 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


The shark, of course, being Kidz Bop.
posted by carsonb at 1:28 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


The first time I listened to modest mouse was one of the most formative listening-to-music experiences I'd ever had. Four of us were doing a long-haul road trip out to Bishop, California, and one of my friends had just purchased the album before we left. We listened to it the entire way out and the entire way back -- the music was synced perfectly to the lanscape. It was like the Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of Oz, but in long form. I highly recommend it as a road trip album.
posted by craven_morhead at 1:31 PM on June 19, 2012


Better than This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:35 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


With their powers combined, you can really stretch out your road trips. The westbound ones, anyway.
posted by craven_morhead at 1:39 PM on June 19, 2012


And here's some bluegrass.
posted by pipeski at 1:46 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there a particular reason to use this post as a jumping-off point for when a band everyone in the thread seems to like started to suck? Kill Yr Idols and all that, but Jesus, why not just enjoy the fact we live in a time where the Internet let us find some band way out West and now brings us a documentary about them? Sorry to be a thread mom about it, but this thread is definitely crashing.
posted by yerfatma at 1:49 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


so many of their songs ARE road trips at their heart.. that's part of it but i think there's some intangible thing that makes MM perfect when you're on mile 476 and still have 830 more to go and it's hot outside and you're sick of the A/C so you roll the windows down and let the heat blast you awake, and then Blame It On the Tetons plays..

Dramamine
Heart Cooks Brain
Interstate 8
Fire It Up
Dashboard
Trucker's Atlas
Ohio
A Life of Arctic Sounds


900 miles is a long, long, long, long ways in a car

I'm reasonably sure that's an incomplete list.
posted by ninjew at 1:53 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


And yerfatma's heart has slowly! dried! up!

I saw them with IQU, Cadallaca and Dub Narcotic (I think? One of Calvin's Bands) at a small theater in 1998 when they still really felt like my band. I was in the middle of a breakup, my ex showed up with another dude, and I still managed to have a great time. Dramamine was terrific.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 2:15 PM on June 19, 2012


Heart Cooks Brain is my fave. Oh and that song about truckers doing speed
posted by jcruelty at 2:16 PM on June 19, 2012


97 maybe? I don't think Cadallaca even had an album out yet...
posted by The Hamms Bear at 2:18 PM on June 19, 2012


and IQU was still ICU. shutting up now.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 2:19 PM on June 19, 2012


If that fact that "Dashboard" is by far the most played song on my iPod makes me the least hip of all Modest Mouse fans, I can live with that.

Well we schemed and we scheme but we always blow
We've yet to crash but we might as well enjoy it

posted by Joey Michaels at 2:22 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, The Lonesome Crowded West is amazing.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:23 PM on June 19, 2012


While we're on this topic, I have to take this moment to share some of my favourite lyrics ever, from "The World At Large". He has a ton of great lyrics but this just makes my, umm, eyes water:

I like songs about drifters - books about the same.
They both seem to make me feel a little less insane.
Walked on off to another spot,
I still haven't gotten anywhere that I want.
Did I want love? Did I need to know?
Why does it always feel like I'm caught in an undertow?

The moths beat themselves to death against the lights,
Adding their breeze to the summer nights.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:33 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Honestly, the first time I heard Modest Mouse, I was all like "this is just like Built to Spill but drunker."

Funny, I was going to mention Built to Spill, but I discovered them years after Modest Mouse, so they didn't quite have the same impact on me. Definitely cut from the same cloth, though, and a couple of their albums also rank among my favorites.
posted by drklahn at 2:36 PM on June 19, 2012


Sorry to be a thread mom about it, but this thread is definitely crashing.

Oh, just go ahead and say "PLEASE SHUT UP!!"
posted by LionIndex at 2:44 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


What's wrong with using a capo? (I know nothing about playing guitar at all.)
posted by sarcasticah at 3:01 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


i still remember pitchfork's review for building nothing out of something: "I became convinced that Modest Mouse, strangely, might be saviors... Here's a band for us to wave at the UK and sneer, 'Haha, you don't have this!' For Modest Mouse are inherently and inseparably American. Isaac Brock's brain is fed through the umbilical of strip malls, religion, blues, prairies, automobiles, and dysfunction..." (and then listening to them nonstop for like two years straight; their 'discovery' of BSS was also memorable ;)

oh and talking shit about a pretty sunset :P

"this is just like Built to Spill but drunker."

strange (angular!)

Oh, MM, how I love thee and your ill-fated spin-offs (<3 Ugly Casanova).

yea i saw them in chicago one time; they weren't very good as i recall, i guess brock was too drunk (altho he did manage to scream into his pickups) but califone opened for them and were awesome.

"You can't look in on one way eyes..."
posted by kliuless at 3:03 PM on June 19, 2012


The lonesome crowded west is a great album. Will watch with interest. Tks.

Another is Head Trip In Every Key, which I still contend is the best album released during that period by any band.

It is a great album, but I disagree. The best albums released in that period by ANY guitar based band were:

The Rock*A*Teens (January 23, 1996)
Cry (February 18, 1997)
Baby, A Little Rain Must Fall (April 21, 1998)
Golden Time (March 23, 1999)

Criminally unheard. Cabbagetown and the Redneck Underground Forever!
posted by elmono at 3:04 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do love me some "Black Metal Stars".
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 3:31 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


This was the first album I borrowed from my now-wife! I don't care much for their more recent stuff, but LCW is a great album.
posted by Fister Roboto at 3:38 PM on June 19, 2012


Dark Center of the Universe and Cowboy Dan, Mercury Theater, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1997.
posted by xod at 3:49 PM on June 19, 2012


Came here to say what Rangeboy said. That line gives me the good kind of willies.

I use my favorite albums to figure out when my students were born. Next year's 10th graders were boen the year this album came out. This makes me feel old and sad.
posted by nestor_makhno at 4:20 PM on June 19, 2012


Out of Gas, Berbati's Pan, Portland, Oregon, 1997
posted by xod at 4:21 PM on June 19, 2012


Tundra/Desert, Mod Lang Record Store, Berkeley, California, 1997
posted by xod at 4:25 PM on June 19, 2012


Good News is a bunch of pop - (it may be the only cd of theirs that I bought, lost and have since made no attempt to recover ...) but fuck it if We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank isn't a return to Brock's depressed, self-loathing form.
posted by stratastar at 4:32 PM on June 19, 2012


Trucker's Atlas, Capitol Theater, Olympia, Washington, 1997
posted by xod at 4:32 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damnit, I forgot that pitchfork actually used to have people who cared about music, writing their hearts out.
posted by stratastar at 4:46 PM on June 19, 2012


Good News is a bunch of pop - (it may be the only cd of theirs that I bought, lost and have since made no attempt to recover ...) but fuck it if We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank isn't a return to Brock's depressed, self-loathing form.

"A bunch of pop"? You say that like it's a bad thing. Good News For People Who Love Bad News is one of the finest, weirdest pop albums ever made, and it's not apologetic about that at all. "Float On" may be catchy enough to be covered on Kidz Bop, but it's also an absolute classic, and it's only one of the sixteen solid gold tracks on Good News.

The album is a weird sort of touchstone for people around my age. Almost everyone I know recognizes and appreciates, say, "The World At Large" or "Float On," or even "Ocean Breathes Salty," but for a small percentage of us, this album is legendary. Hearing "The Good Times Are Killing Me" for the first time was an absolutely transformative experience, and the darker tracks ("Bury Me With It," "Bukowski," "The Devil's Workday," "Satin in a Coffin") helped me to define my tastes and philosophies. Without Good News, I don't think I would appreciate Tom Waits, Nick Cave, or Pavement nearly as much.

The hick-prog grandeur of their earlier material is great, and a good portion of the music on We Were Dead is just as brilliant and important to me as , but none of their other albums are as engaging, varied, or (let's just say it) fun as Good News.
posted by JimBennett at 5:23 PM on June 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I CTRL-F'd this thread for the word "rapist" and was slightly surprised that it returned no matches. Interesting.
posted by item at 5:29 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates a problem
-----------------------------------------------------------
Well see what you want to see. You should see it all.
Well take what you want from me. You deserve it all.
Nine times out of ten our hearts just get dissolved.
Well I want a better place or just a better way to fall.

But one time out of ten, everything is perfect for us all.
Well I want a better place or just a better way to fall.
Here we go!

If God controls the land and disease,
Keeps a watchful eye on me,
If he's really so damn mighty,
My problem is I can't see,
Well who would want to be?
Who would want to be such a control freak?
---------------------------------------------------------
I drove around for hours, I drove around for days
I drove around for months and years and never went no place
---------------------------------------------------------
Changed my mind so much I can't even trust it
My mind changed me so much I can't even trust myself

posted by ninjew at 5:38 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't really get the hate sometimes (not just in this thread) directed at Good News and We Were Dead. I generally prefer their earlier stuff, but it's not as though Modest Mouse woke up one day and turned into Nickelback or something. And, you know what? "Float On" is a damn good pop song. It's always seemed to me that a certain subset of people dislike them for merely having become popular, or having written a good pop song.

Modest Mouse perfectly captures a certain kind of late-adolescent anxiety/aimlessness. When I hear the first few chords of "Dramamine," its like I'm 19 again, summer home from college, sneaking into parks late at night to get stoned, heartbroken over my high-school girlfriend dumping me, the days and nights stretching on and on.
posted by breakin' the law at 5:57 PM on June 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


breakin' the law: When I hear the first few chords of "Dramamine," its like I'm 19 again, summer home from college, sneaking into parks late at night to get stoned, heartbroken over my high-school girlfriend dumping me, the days and nights stretching on and on.

And nowadays it's more like "gotta go to work, gotta go to work, gotta have a job".
posted by gilrain at 6:05 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just in this thread to say I saw them open for R.E.M., along with The National. They had two drum sets and they played "Trucker Atlas."

Definitely plan to watch the documentary.
posted by valrus at 6:06 PM on June 19, 2012


If that fact that "Dashboard" is by far the most played song on my iPod makes me the least hip of all Modest Mouse fans, I can live with that.

I might be weird but while I never got into the rest of the album, I played the hell out of that song.

And I also might be weird because although I suppose I consider Moon and Antarctica my favorite album of theirs, I'm sure I listened to Lonesome Crowded West at least twice as many times, considering it was like the go-to driving album, back when I'd go from one end of Ohio to the other relatively frequently.

I guess Modest Mouse holds a special place in my heart for being the last guitar-driven band I really got into, I think it was a year or two before Good News came out, before I turned really weird and for some reason stopped liking guitar-driven music so much. That and Isaac Brock's lyrics were like this breath of fresh air when I was finding all the relatively "straightforward" lyrics I'd come across to be insipid, leading me to prefer music with vague cryptic lyrics or none at all. But his lyrics are straightforward, brilliant and endlessly quotable.
posted by palidor at 6:17 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


"The album is a weird sort of touchstone for people around my age."

That is awesome. I was curt and overly dismissive, and that wasn't the point I was making: Good News, isn't bad. Not at all. It is full of catchy songs, and I'm totally glad its brought another cohort into the fold, and when it came out I wasn't sad or angry for MM selling out, they deserved the popularity. Albums strike just each of us at different times.

What I meant to say is, I spent my freshman year of college listening to the really simple rotating guitar solo on Night on the Sun on repeat, is all.
posted by stratastar at 6:35 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Good News is one of my favorite albums, period, no disclaimers necessary. It's impossible for me to hear those songs without experiencing at least an echo of what my life was like and all the stuff I was starting to know in the year or three following its release. Maybe I'd feel differently if I'd been listening earlier, right when the first couple of albums came out, but I'm kind of glad I don't. (I think I tuned in somewhere around The Moon & Antarctica, for whatever that's worth.)
posted by brennen at 7:33 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I CTRL-F'd this thread […] and was slightly surprised that it returned no matches. Interesting.

Well, I guess you fixed that problem.
posted by xod at 7:56 PM on June 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


And, you know what? "Float On" is a damn good pop song. It's always seemed to me that a certain subset of people dislike them for merely having become popular, or having written a good pop song.

No, I really like 'Float On.' It just happens to be the marker that is, in my mind at least, directly responsible for their concerts no longer being any fun to go to, due to the 16-yr-olds who only want to hear that one song and then lose interest.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:56 PM on June 19, 2012


OMG Most favoritiest favorite favorite FAVORITE MeFi post ever. YES.
posted by victory_laser at 8:51 PM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, I really like 'Float On.' It just happens to be the marker that is, in my mind at least, directly responsible for their concerts no longer being any fun to go to, due to the 16-yr-olds who only want to hear that one song and then lose interest.

Point taken. FWIW, I saw Modest Mouse twice. Both times the concerts themselves were mostly unmemorable, but circumstances surrounding them were not. The first was at Siren Festival in 2003, and my friend and I got there real late and stood all the way in the back and the sound was so awful we could barely hear anything and I was mostly afraid of running into my ex (this was when I was heavy into them, and was during the late-adolescence that I referenced in my previous comment). The second, which was post-"Float On," was at the Borgata Casino in Atlantic City in 2005. The show was fine, if nothing special, and the crowd did include a number of those 16-year-olds. It was, however, strange waiting to get into the venue - all these teenager/early 20s indie-ish kids hanging around on the side of a casino floor, next to sliver-haired ladies playing blackjack. I remember feeling a kind of scenester cognitive dissonance.
posted by breakin' the law at 9:11 PM on June 19, 2012


...blackjack at slot machines, might I add. We were standing right next to the slot machines.
posted by breakin' the law at 9:12 PM on June 19, 2012


I have listened to The Moon and Antarctica around a thousand times dating back to 2001 or so and it is one of my favorite albums (and I know and love some of their earlier songs, like "Dramamine," what a fucking great track), and yet I think I have never listened to Lonesome Crowded West all the way through. What a bizarre fucking gap. Time to go fill it. Thanks, eyeballkid & thread.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:18 PM on June 19, 2012


I refuse to listen to a band who've named themselves Modest Mouse. That is the worst band name in the world.
posted by dydecker at 10:33 PM on June 19, 2012


ok
posted by en forme de poire at 10:51 PM on June 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Their collaboration with 764-HERO was a pretty integral part of my high school experience (along with Lonesome Crowded West and This is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About, and the Murder City Devils setting their drumkits on fire). Highly recommend tracking it down.
posted by skycrashesdown at 11:52 PM on June 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Gotten over what?
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 8:19 PM on June 19


Ninjew, in the comment directly above yours, got it.

Marr played on "We were dead before the ship even sank", which is a very fine album indeed. Then he buggered off like the fickle bastard he is. I was not impressed.
posted by Decani at 7:23 AM on June 20, 2012


this thread is definitely crashing

Just like Modest Mouse. (BADUMPUM)

I refuse to listen to a band who've named themselves Modest Mouse. That is the worst band name in the world.

I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts. To steady myself, let me catch hold of the first idea that passes.... Shakespeare.... Well, he will do as well as another. A man who sat himself solidly in an arm-chair, and looked into the fire, so— A shower of ideas fell perpetually from some very high Heaven down through his mind. He leant his forehead on his hand, and people, looking in through the open door,—for this scene is supposed to take place on a summer’s evening—But how dull this is, this historical fiction! It doesn’t interest me at all. I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises.

Good News is a bunch of pop

What. Isn't much different than the Pixies. Sure, it's pop, but it's not "pop." C'mon now.

I love Black Cadillacs if only to sing "and I was done, done, done with all the fuck, fuck, fucking around" to my wife and kids. ;)

And I've tried to make Good Times are Killing Me into a lullaby but I just can't go there.

...

OK, maybe you're right about the pop thing.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:02 AM on June 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Just in this thread to say I saw them open for R.E.M., along with The National. They had two drum sets and they played "Trucker Atlas."

2008? I saw that show too. The National blew them both away, I thought. (Boxer was a kickass album and I'm a sucker for cool drummers.) It was a disappointing time for Modest Mouse, imo. They/he seemed depressed. I suppose Johnny Marr does that to everyone.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:18 AM on June 20, 2012


Some music journalist needs to meet up with a theologian and an English professor and write an essay about the role of religion in Modest Mouse albums. God, if I have to die, you will have to die!
posted by dismas at 8:21 AM on June 20, 2012


First heard the strains from the Lonesome Crowded West via a fuzzy pirate radio station run out of Provo Utah; the guy running it was an acquaintance and gave out hints about which frequency ranges he *might* be broadcasting in from time to time. I was wandering the in-between spots of the dial one evening when I came across... Modest Mouse coming over a lo-fi broadcast setup that sortof magnified the loosely crafted nature of the material. From the personal shout-out I was surprised to get in between songs a bit later, I knew for sure it was the pirate station, but I think I'd already known this oddly bent, alternatingly underlined and laid-back spaces-in-between stuff was perfectly pirate radio for the time.
posted by weston at 9:55 AM on June 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


"FWIW, I saw Modest Mouse twice. Both times the concerts themselves were mostly unmemorable, but circumstances surrounding them were not. The first was at Siren Festival in 2003, and my friend and I got there real late and stood all the way in the back and the sound was so awful we could barely hear anything and I was mostly afraid of running into my ex (this was when I was heavy into them, and was during the late-adolescence that I referenced in my previous comment)."

SLIDING DOORS ALERT. THAT was my first time seeing them; stuck in the back not able to hear anything, only the speck of Isaac Brock in the distance. Still bought a t-shirt.

Ted Leo was great though...
posted by stratastar at 10:07 AM on June 20, 2012


...I will never, ever stop listening to 'Bankrupt on Selling.'

Irony of the day: The sponsored ad on YouTube when you search for "Bankrupt on Selling" is "Sales Job Prep Interview: Learn How To Ace the Interview!"
posted by hwyengr at 10:34 AM on June 20, 2012


I refuse to listen to a band who've named themselves Modest Mouse. That is the worst band name in the world.

So you've never heard of Slutarded, Limp Bizkit, Hoobastank, Cattle Decapitation, Cradle of Filth, Smashing Pumpkins, Puddle of Mudd, Girls Against Boys, Mott the Hoople, Cerebral Ballzy, Test Icicles... Should I go on?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:50 PM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yes, I have been ruminating over the "worst band name in the world, " and well, that's like, dydecker's opinion, maaan. This is indubitably the wrong thread to post such a comment, and I shall continue where Y.S.S.t.O.G. left off. Full disclosure, I used to be in a band called "The Great Communist Barbeque," also, yes I have often exercised the very same"worst band name in the world" hypothesis in my refusal to listen to the following bands:

Archers of Loaf
Better than Ezra
The Brian Jonestown Massacre
Cloud Nothings
Dolphins into the Future
Here We Go Magic
Minus the Bear*
Nacho Picasso
Ned's Atomic Dustbin
Neutral Milk Hotel*
Perfume Genius
Pissed Jeans
Sleigh Bells
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
Surfer Blood
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down
Throbbing Gristle
Toro Y Moi
Volcano the Bear
Waka Flocka Flame (rapper)
Youth Lagoon

And in the irksome spelling category:
Royal Trux
Sebadoh
Wavves
The Weeknd
Thee Oh Sees
Wooden Shjips
WU LYF
ZWAN

For more, I urge you to check out mpshows.

*I do really enjoy these bands
posted by obscurator at 7:44 AM on June 21, 2012


Oh come on Minus the Bear is a great name.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:46 AM on June 21, 2012


The worst band name in the world is Bob Dylan.
posted by Decani at 12:31 PM on June 22, 2012


I refuse to listen to a band who've named themselves Modest Mouse

what about modest mussorgsky?
posted by dubold at 7:02 AM on July 4, 2012


dubold that is what I always figured but not for any real good reason.
posted by zoinks at 9:08 PM on July 7, 2012


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