Today’s Top 5 list is your top 5 songs from the band Modest Mouse. Before we get started, make sure to check out and like the Top 5 facebook page found here: http://www.facebook.com/thetop5five
Modest Mouse is an indie rock group from Issaquah, Washington. Their lead singer, Issac Brock, formed the group with drummer Jerimiah Greene and bassist Eric Judy back in 1994. They released their first studio album in 1996 called “This is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About”. They have released six albums in total to date, with a ton of EP’s like Sad Sappy Sucker and Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks.
Today, my guest blogger is Jessica Rita, a California native who is a huge fan of this band. She has seen them live a number of times and found the task of ranking her favorite songs extremely difficult. Affectionately referred to by her last name, Rita has a quick disclaimer before we get to her list.
Here is a quick disclaimer from Rita and then her list to follow:
There are a few things I’d like to say before I get to this list.
Once upon a time, I listened to shitty music. Well, other people still may enjoy what I consider “shitty music,” and whatever, I get that, But I’m 24 years old and don’t necessarily feel like I need to rock out to KORN anymore. I’m tired of hearing about how amazing Tool’s newest album is or how Alice in Chains really gets the hardships of adolescent youth. Generic rock just isn’t good, guys! Now I’m not saying you should stop listening to that stuff, if it’s what you like, then so be it. All I’m saying is it sucks and I’ve got Modest Mouse to thank for helping me realize the poor decisions I made in music when I was 15 years old. So on to this list!
5. Satin In A Coffin – Good News For People Who Love Bad News
In all honesty, I do believe that Modest Mouse’s earlier albums and EP’s are stronger than any of their newer stuff, but that doesn’t mean their new stuff isn’t good! Also, Good News For People Who Love Bad News has a ton of great songs. Bukowski, Bury Me With It, and The Good Times Are Killing me are solid few off this album that I love, but I specifically chose this song because, well, It’s badass. The intro with the banjo alone is enough to say this is one of my favorites, but then the lyrics start up and I find myself exaggerating my voice to sound like Isaac’s… like a lot, almost dirty, even.
4. Here It Comes – Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks
This song is so much fun! There is clapping involved, and talking about drowning in birthday cakes, which, by the way, sounds like an awesome time. And what’s up with the intro? Is it being played in reverse? It’s a catchy tune and just a good time all together! I’ve got fond memories of driving and trying to learn the clapping. Oh, those dangerous memories. This album is wildly underrated, and songs like this are just unfortunately not on the radar.
3. Trailer Trash – The Lonesome Crowded West
Let’s be real here, this whole album is pretty much all of my favorite MM songs, but for the sake of diversity, I’ll limit myself to 2 songs off The Lonesome Crowded West for this list. It was a serious hardship to pare down only 5 songs by a group that has been around for so long and have released such great albums, but Trailer Trash was never not going to be on this list. I mean, c’mon! This song is almost 6 minutes long, and never once gets boring, that’s rare these days! It’s such a raw, vulnerable, sad but sweet song and one of the most honest songs on this album. No matter how many times I hear it, it will always tug at my heart strings.
2. Cowboy Dan – The Lonesome Crowded West
Cowboy Dan is my second choice from this album. This song plays out like a movie in my head, every time. A crazy, emotional, overwhelmingly explosive movie. Holy adjectives, Batman! Seriously, though… Cowboy Dan is such a jerk! But I just can’t stop feeling bad for him. I always told myself that if I ever got a Modest Mouse tattoo, it would be of Cowboy Dan shooting a rifle, Petunia from Pete and Pete style. If you don’t know about Petunia, look it up. I doubt that would ever happen, though. Regardless of how sad and dark this song can be, it’s always going to be one of my favorites. I like my Cowboys drunk and my mice modest.
1 All Night Diner – Building Nothing Out Of Something
My Number 1 choice! All Night Diner is my all-time favorite MM song. For real, this song puts me such a good mood every time I hear it. One of my fondest memories is being with my best friend Susana, singing our hearts out, repeating “Have I told cha! You can really get it on; yea, you can really get it on!” The lyrics don’t really make much sense, and the overall feel of this song is wacky and confusing.
“When I have sex, I’m always thinking about the pavement
so I can avoid premature ejaculation
I got up, remembering to thank him
Better things to do so I’ll start drinking.”
Pure gold, I’m telling you.
A few that weren’t on my list but definitely noteworthy:
I Came as a Rat
Fly Trapped In a Jar
& literally everything on The Lonesome Crowded West
So that was Jessica’s list! Full disclosure…as with most things, and ESPECIALLY with music, my tastes tend to change from week to week, much less moment to moment! So my list is how I am feeling right now. If we did this list 4 months from now, I would wager it would look far different. Here is my list:
5. Missed the Boat – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank
I tend not to be a “music purist” or take the hipster route of “bands are only cool if you like their early stuff before they were popular”. I am glad too because I wouldn’t want to miss a song like Missed the Boat. I loved this song the moment I heard it, but it became even more sentimental after singing it with friends. Whenever I hear it, to this day, I will yell out “shake shake shake shake shake”.
4. Good Times are Killing Me – Good News for People Who Love Bad News
This album is one of my favorites of all time. I was the perfect age and perfect place in my life to hear this album, and when things like that add up, BOOM! You love it and everything about it becomes ingrained in your mind and heart. It is one of those albums you can listen to straight through with now skips at all. The more I think of it though; a lot of Modest Mouse albums are like that. This song in particular has always stood out though. It is one of my favorite songs to sing along to.
3. Dark Center of the Universe – The Moon and Antarctica
Ugh, this is the most impossible choice because I could probably choose any song of this album and put it in the top three spots. This is my favorite album from MM and, like Rita, I will limit myself with picking. I will pick Dark Center because of the “fuck you” attitude of it. Screw you! It took a lot of work for me to be this way. James “Sawyer” Ford in the first season of Lost exemplified this song. Wonderful song off a wonderful album!
2. Baby Blue Sedan – Building Something Out of Nothing
Perhaps a dark horse, but one of those songs if you go back and listen to…God it’s just so sad and perfect. Ever dated a friend and broken up with them and they just stick around and still hang out with you and your friends? There is that deep, hidden, stashed away bit of longing that you miss them but they are sitting right in front of you? Or ever split with one of your best friends because you each went to different colleges? Then you come home and things are just different and there is that single moment you realize things will never be the same? Or even when someone you loved passes away but there are little reminders of them around the house and everything feels the same but something huge is missing? Think of that moment and listen to this song. You will feel it. And then when it’s over, just do the best you can to move on.
1 Broke – Interstate 8/Building Something Out of Nothing
Ugh, My number one song. It means a ton to me given the circumstances I first heard it and the moments in my life when I continued to hear it. I look back on this list and already regret not putting on Paper Thin Walls, Out of Gas, Night on the Sun, You’re the Good Things…basically there are too many. This was probably the hardest of the lists to make so far, and I thought it would be one of the easier ones. Back to Broke, the song I chose as my number one. It is one of those songs that’s beautiful and I just heard it at that perfect time where it attaches itself to a moment and you know you will never forget the song and the event all in one. At that moment, I was broke and I know that I never want to feel that way again. Music that can dredge up that kind of emotion years later is powerful. Maybe this isn’t the most famous song they have, or the most fun to listen to, or the most fist pumpin, hard rockin, earth quakin, booty shakin, love makin song they have, but it is a song that, to me, is beautiful and powerful and worthy of my number one spot.
So there are 2 lists for this band. Try to make a list with the songs you currently like from Modest Mouse. Like I said, Music and your feelings towards it change drastically from moment to moment which makes it really hard, but also a really fun challenge. I already think that my list would change if you asked me right now! Good luck to you!