Tag Archives: Modest Mouse

The Republic Tigers

The Republic Tigers don’t need any help to get noticed. They’re going to be hot, but — bonus — they’re good to boot.

These college kids have the full flex of Alexandra Patsavas behind them. I remember being excited a long time ago that she was going to be in charge of a label (Chop Shop, a subsidiary of Atlantic), and this is (finally) her first project. It’s sure to launch, Kennedy Space Center style, particularly after they play David Letterman in a month and then start touring with Nada Surf, an excellent pairing.

Buildings and Mountains, featuring excellent backing vocals, is their first single. If you download it at RCRD LBL, then the band gets paid even though the mp3 is free via the miracle of advertising. It’s at the bottom of that interview with Patsavas. What’s the song like? Well … maybe the mellow bits of Modest Mouse?

The video for that track is quite nice, as well. Very simple, but mesmerizing. This Kansas City, MO, band has the potential to flesh out an exciting range of emotions in their 2008 release Keep Color. I’m looking forward to seeing more.

May 2 – Tribeca Film Festival – Webster Hall – New York
May 12 – KCRW “Morning Becomes Eclectic” – Los Angeles
May 13 – Spaceland – Los Angeles
May 22 – David Letterman – New York
June 1 – The Social w/ Nada Surf – Orlando
June 2 – Studio A w/ Nada Surf – Miami
June 3 – State Theatre w/ Nada Surf – St. Petersburg, FL
June 5 – Mercy Lounge w/ Nada Surf – Nashville
June 6 – tba w/ Nada Surf – Memphis
June 7 – Bluebird w/ Nada Surf – St. Louis
June 9 – The Music Mill w/ Nada Surf – Indianapolis
June 10 – The Basement w/ Nada Surf – Columbus
June 11 – Beachland Ballroom & Tavern w/ Nada Surf – Cleveland

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Inappropriate Funeral Songs

Recently a friend told me a funny story about a death in the family. The laughter felt just a tiny bit wrong, but it was exactly right.

AV Club wrote an interesting but silly piece about the top 26 inappropriate songs to play at a funeral, called Don’t Taunt the Reaper. In the spirit of the funny funeral story, I have given this topic some amount of thought. But before we get to my nominees, here’s the best of theirs:

I love #2, Ween‘s Push Th’ Little Daisies. That infectious glue-sniffin’ song gets in your head so bad it makes you want to die. And Queen‘s Another One Bites the Dust is freakin’ classic, of course, as is the Blue Oyster Cult tune to which the article’s title refers. I’m also on board with I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight, if we’re attempting the truly tasteless. From the comments section, I like the option of Dress Sexy at My Funeral by Smog.

AV Club also listed a Pixies song, Cactus, and an Eels song, Last Stop: This Town, but I decree they’re the wrong songs from those bands.

My top choice is the Eels‘ It’s a Motherfucker (Being Here Without You). The rest of the lyrics aren’t particularly compelling, but that line and the sound of the song (listen to part of it here) make perfect wake music. Maybe too perfect for the AV Club’s list of inappropriate songs, actually. [To be filed under random awesome quote, E says, “I’m not trying to fuck anyone’s mother here. Let’s just establish that right now.”]

I also nominate Nerf Herder‘s warning to all who consider suicide, 5000 Ways to Die. Lyrics:

“And the bastard you hated the most / Will stand up and give you a toast / He’ll say We were such good friends especially near the end / Then he’ll feel up your girlfriend in front of your ghost.”

The Pixies are an obvious choice. Dead, In Heaven, Wave of Mutilation, Into the White, Monkey Gone to Heaven, Ed is Dead … and there are many that don’t quite make the list like I Bleed or There Goes My Gun … but I have to go with Ed is Dead for the lyrics and mood, combining to be an inappropriate yet apt funeral song. The problem is that any Pixies song (see Dead) that’s about death could just as much be about sex. Or maybe that’s not a problem at all. The Pixies are good like that.

And last but not least, Modest Mouse. They sing about death quite often, with a proper fierceness, insisting that we remember “we are our own damn coffins.” That line is from Satin in a Coffin. Great titles, but not really great lyrics for a funeral, include Bury Me With It or Black Cadillacs. But perhaps the greatest MM song for this project is Parting of the Sensory. Check the lyrics: “Dehydrate back into minerals” and “Some day you will die and Somehow something’s gonna steal your carbon.” And when you listen to the song, wait for the end when it’s swirling you down the drain in manic round after round of intensity.

What are your suggestions? I’m excited to improve this list!

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R.E.M, Modest Mouse, and The National

I’m holding my breath for tickets to someday go on sale for the gigantic R.E.M, Modest Mouse, and The National summer tour promoting the April 1 rollout of R.E.M.‘s new disc Accelerate. Thanks to the wizards at Stereogum, we can listen to the track Supernatural Superserious, which has a big ole guitar hook and a radio-song friendliness.

R.E.M. has sort of faded out of the music scene’s consciousness, but if they would just ADD MORE SHOWS with this amazing line-up, they might be able to prove to all of us that InSound is right in its discussion of the 2007 live album/documentary release: “R.E.M. Live proves that the group packs a stronger punch live than they do in the studio.”

Thanks to Muzzle of Bees and BrooklynVegan for the tip on these 2008 tour dates.
May 23 – Vancouver, BC – Deer Lake Park
May 29 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
May 31 – Berkeley, CA – Greek Theatre
June 03 – Denver, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
June 06 – Chicago, IL – United Center
June 08 – Toronto, ON – Molson Amphitheatre
June 10 – Raleigh, NC – Walnut Creek Amphitheatre
June 11 – Washington, DC – Merriweather Post Pavilion
June 13 – Boston, MA – Tweeter Center
June 14 – Long Island, NY – Jones Beach Theater
June 18 – Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center
June 19 – New York, NY – TBA
June 21 – Atlanta, GA – Lakewood Amphitheatre

The combination of these three bands trumps all my misgivings about going to another amphitheater/arena venue. This is one of those moments when the music will easily transcend seats of any crappiness.

I love Modest Mouse. Listen to them on MySpace or to four live songs here. I hope they play a mix that represents their entire back catalog. The ever-helpful Hype Machine directs us to the location of songs such as Jesus Christ Was An Only Child, Float On, Parting of the Sensory, Bukowski, 3rd Planet, Dramamine, Worms vs. Birds, I Came As A Rat, and Summer. Each of these songs comes from a different MM disc (buy them!), and here’s a bonus b-side King Rat (right-hand column). As Isaac says in Summer, “Dance d-d-dance d-dance and go crazy!” Or, if brooding is more your speed, there’s plenty of that, too.

The National rocks my music world. Buy their discs. If you’ve already done the buying, grab three tracks from their Daytrotter session, but since that doesn’t address anything from the acclaimed Alligator, also check these THIRTEEN tracks (especially Secret Meeting, if you’re just easing into it) live from National French radio “Black Sessions.”

I saw this great rock show (download courtesy of NPR) at the 9:30 Club last summer during the Boxer tour. MPR’s The Current’s session with The National offers three more live songs. Whew! That’s a lotta goodies!

There’s also gonna be a documentary about The National: A Skin, A Night. It’s done by Vincent Moon, the brilliant bastard who orchestrates the Take Away Shows.

***The Take Away Show with The National doing their song Start a War is one of my very favorite things on the net; it seems it will be part of the film. Simple and perfect, and if you don’t listen to or watch anything else I recommend, at least humor me on this one.

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Favorite Albums of 2007

I am so incensed by the exclusion of Into the Wild’s soundtrack from year-end lists, I am creating a 2007 best albums list. Everyone else thinks they’re righting the world’s wrongs, too, but so be it.

stellasplice’s favorite albums of 2007:

Boxer ~ The National
MySpace Site Buy

Music for the Motion Picture Into the Wild ~ Eddie Vedder
Buy and Listen

The Shepherd’s Dog ~ Iron & Wine
MySpace Site Buy

Because of the Times ~ Kings of Leon
MySpace Site Buy

Marry Me ~ St. Vincent
MySpace Site Buy

Glory Hope Mountain ~ The Acorn
MySpace Site Buy

Buckle in the Bible Belt ~ Ha Ha Tonka
MySpace Site Buy 

Oh, My Darling ~ Basia Bulat
MySpace Site Buy

Music for the Motion Picture Once ~ Markéta Irglová and Glen Hansard
MySpace Site Buy

Rust Belt Blues ~ Oliver Buck
MySpace Site Buy

The Stage Names ~ Okkervil River
MySpace Site Buy

These two were quite good, but I unfairly wanted them to be Wolf Parade and The Shins, respectively, so I never could fall for them wholeheartedly:
Random Spirit Lover ~ Sunset Rubdown
Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? ~ Of Montreal (though it is my fav. Of Montreal disc)

I love the following artists. However good their 2007 discs may have been, they did not measure up to the artists’ previous releases, so they have been relegated to addendum status:
The White Stripes
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
José González
Spoon
The New Pornographers
Beirut (he swallowed up Alaska in Winter, too)
Modest Mouse
The Shins
Elliott Smith
The Polyphonic Spree

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