Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Modest Mouse Are Not TVs.

what i'm listening to right now: Parting Of The Sensory by Modest Mouse

I've been listening to the new Modest Mouse album quite a lot. It seems that I shouldn't like it. It's slicker, more poppy, and has three guest spots from the man who's annoying and disappointing me most in indie rock right now, James Mercer. How awful is that new Shins album? Damn, disappointment of the century. A bit of hyperbole, I admit. I think what annoys me more about the Shins right now are the reviews and general press about the band. If I read another mention of Garden State and "changing your life" in reference to the Shins again, one of my eyeballs will explode. Among my myriad complaints about this reference: The soundtrack's not even that good, outside of the Shins song. It's a bunch of milquetoast post-indie rock. It's an easy space filler for music writers trying to fill up space in their review/profile. It's a tired cliche at that. Everyone else has already written each possible variation on this cliche. Did Lester Bangs parrot the same intro to his review of some shitty Jackson Browne record? Don't you want to do something besides trying to get into Pitchfork with overly verbose word stuffed reviews? Or maybe into Rolling Stone with a quick, succinct little pop culture based review that doesn't tell you anything about how the record sounds? Or maybe you just want to blather on about how everyone else is doin' shit wrong. Like me...
God, I can't even go over this post now, I can't check for spelling or grammar errors because, if I do, I'll have an eyeball explosion on my hands. Kinda like that Grover book, "There's A Monster At The End Of This Book". Good god, Jeff, just don't read this blog post after you write it, there's a monster at the beginning of this post.

So, I was talking about the new Modest Mouse. It's slick, it sounds more compressed, more modern rock than anything they've ever done. By my standards, I should be hatin' on this. I should be talking about it's greasy greasy gran-ma. Yet, I fucking love it. Slick and mainstream for Modest Mouse is still pretty fucking weird by most people's standards. The album starts off with "March Into The Sea" which is Isaac Brock leading a demented marching band, well, into the sea. It's unhinged, and it's classic Modest Mouse stomp. The single, "Dashboard" is a slick little nugget, just like "Float On", though I don't know if it'll get the American Idol and Kidz Bop treatment.

Then, there's "Parting of The Sensory", another giant stomper grows out of a "Bankrupt On Selling"esque acoustic ballad. Any hint from "Good News..." that Brock was becoming relatively happy and sane have been dashed by this song and his recent self mutilation on stage. Not sure why I'm cheering for him remaining crazy, that's not a good thing. It's good for his music. Yet, he's still a person. Maybe it's posturing. Maybe he's playing at crazy. Maybe it's none of my business.

Amanda told me that when she saw them years ago, they waited an hour to come out on stage, came out drunk/high/tripping, and then stumbled through singing "we're not tvs/don't look at us", then they left the stage, pissing just about everyone off. She refuses to see them now. So, maybe his craziness is none of my business, but it's his business, and he's airing it out for everyone. He's making it his business. The business that I buy into. He's not a tv, not in the literal sense.

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