Saturday, February 23, 2008

Modest Mouse - Space Travel is Boring

Before you get all juiced up and think this is a new Modest Mouse record it must be told that this is just a mix of songs that I think any fan, old or new, should have in their collection. The artwork is mine and the whole package is completely unofficial. As it is, mixes are relative, and I've chosen songs that fit smooth in the various cracks and crevices of my life. Modest Mouse is the caulk that keeps your shower from leaking onto your downstairs neighbors (or floods your basement if you are house-bound).

In light of recent events I feel that there is a large back catalog of Modest Mouse albums that definitely need to be heard on a wider scale. While a part of me is overwhelmed at the success of Modest Mouses past two albums I also cant help but feel that they are their two least successful albums. Good News has bold charm hidden throughout its runtime, but We Were Dead barely even leaves a blip on my radar. As sad as this is for anyone who has watched a favorite band pass their prime I hope we all remember why we liked a band so much in the first place. Modest Mouses albums, all of them, leading up to Good News, were some of finest indie rock albums ever created. They all have their pitfalls, "experiments" if you may, but their undeniable tunefulness comes shining through even when Issacs voice is lisping and cracking or the whammy bar is bending notes just a little too far. The sloppy drums, the flat toned bass, something about this lo-fi slackerness reeks of the same charm as Slanted and Enchanted. And I dont mean sloppy or under produced in any lazy, negative way. This is dripping blues. This is indie rock Bob Dylan. This is another indie rock brick in the wall. Bring into the mix the beer soaked laments of Issac and the moody weather patterns of the Pacific Northwest and you have what I consider a full package. Everything from their album cover art to the song titles to the lyrics and their delivery. From Eric Judys lilting bass to Jeremiah Greens ramshackle drumming and of course Issacs spacey whammy bar theatrics - every single thing gels into a perfect snapshot. Have I given this enough love yet? Only repeated listens can achieve that status.

This mix, which I created a ways back for a friend and then recreated for you, is culled from various EPs and studio sessions from their career. This idea is similar to their 7" comp Building Nothing Out of Something, but with no repeats. Tracks can be found on the Interstate 8 EP, Sad Sappy Sucker, tracks from the Moon and Antarctica period (released as Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks) and The Fruit that Ate Itself.

I hope that some of you who recently found love for Modest Mouse can glean a lot from this compiliation. I also hope that old fans can find a new gem or two that they may not have heard, though if you're a freak like me you probably already have all of this stuff sequestered away in a special place. And trust me on this one, I jam this mix alot, it functions as a great album. It also features two of their greatest songs, Night on the Sun and Edit the Sad Parts.

(Please right click and view artwork to get a larger format for your iTunes and iPods and feel free to spread this mix around)

Modest Mouse - Space Travel is Boring

1. Night On The Sun (7:39)
2. Birds Vs Worms (2:13)
3. The Waydown (2:30)
4. Edit The Sad Parts (7:03)
5. You're The Good Things (3:34)
6. Sunspots In The House Of The Late Scapegoat (2:43)
7. Four Fingered Fisherman (2:28)
8. So Much Beauty In Dirt (1:24)
9. Here It Comes (3:10)
10. Secret Agent X-9 (1:13)
11. Karma's Payment (3:29)


Blogger blend77 said...

For more listening enjoyment you should also have these incredible albums in your collection:

Lonesome Crowded West

Building Nothing Out of Something

This is a Long Drive...

11:56 AM  
Blogger world's greatest DAD said...

_This is a long drive..._ contains one of my all-time favorite side1/track 1 songs ("Dramamine"). there's something about the spaces in their songs that i like -- and i think we can include therein the "sloppiness" that you mentioned in your post. i had misplaced my copy somewhere along the way, and i'm stoked to hear it again. Thanks!

7:18 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

here, i meant to put this up too.

Moon & Antartica

I know exactly what you mean. The space between their notes breathes. Life Like Weeds from M & A has that quality to a tee. It feels like cosmic wind from the middle to end. Those spaces keep you floating.

7:46 PM  
Blogger sweet baby jaysus said...

if only there was enough time to elaborate on the beef issac and i have had over the last ten years. not enough space here, maybe on my blog someday...
issac brock = idiot savant

1:20 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

it wouldnt suprise me if he lived his life like an idiot but wrote his music like a savant.

i saw them around 97 in nyc and Issac was shit faced and caustic. It was entertaining but for the wrong reasons.

i also think i understand why i dont like the new modest mouse album. it's not that theyve changed so much of their songwriting styles as much as they seem to be buffed clean of all the ramshackle drunken charm laced into their older stuff.

share your story with us one day jay.

3:27 PM  
Blogger papstar said...

dramamine has to be one of the best openers ever....great album
good mix, blend, thanks!

4:10 PM  
Blogger gabbagabbahey said...

I've downloaded this and hope to start listening to it soon. Like Interpol, this is oen of the indie bands I only know from current radioplay and not their "better, older" albums!

more importantly, Blend, we both got quoted on German Wikipedia!

5:53 PM  
Blogger blend77 said...

Gabba, I cant say enough good stuff about early modest mouse. Not even that early. Moon and Antarctica is amazing. Make sure you check the albums too. Start with Moon or Lonesome and work backward. Get yourself into the vibe so your ready to hear Dramamine and Talking Shit About a Pretty Sunset (both from This Is a Long Drive...)

If anyone needs a full Fruit That Ate Itself, heres the chance.

And Gabba, how hilarious is that! German Wikipedia! You know, Im part German too, not that that means anything. Thanks for letting me know!

9:41 AM  
Blogger LLIW said...

we've had many conversations about modest mouse
i echo tims sentiments
top notch mix, and the album art is fucking awesome dude
i love what youre doing with the place

5:00 PM  
Anonymous rgratzer said...

This is exactly what I need right now. I've neglected Modest Mouse for way too long. I would hear albums here and there while hanging out with friends. And I've had burned CDs here and there. But I haven't really gotten to know them.

But I was just over at Isaac's house like 20 minutes ago (and it's a cool house... you'll hear no complaints from me about how he lives his life), and I sort of felt like a lamewad for being so unfamiliar with them. So I'm going to listen to this mix, and then dive in to the stuff Blend just posted. Thanks guys!

2:50 AM  
Blogger blend77 said...

ahhh, nice. how exactly does Issac live his life? Jay made a reference and ive heard a thing or two. I mostly just know that hes a big drinker.

let me know if you need anything else by them RGratzer

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:54 PM  
Anonymous Dillon said...

Sad Sappy Sucker or the Fruit that Ate Itself are both missing from my collection. If you could put those up, that would be the best.

Serious appreciation for what you did on this page. I feel like the last two albums appeal to a different, more radio-friendly, audience, and that may be one of my qualms with them.

11:32 AM  
Blogger 小貓咪 said...


9:23 AM  
Blogger Rika said...

have always enjoyed this mix and i love the fruit that ate itself [ep]. don't where i found it originally, but i lost all my files and i am downloading it again. thanks! :)

10:52 PM  

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