Monday, May 7, 2007

Modest Mouse - Doin' the Cockroach

Hey now, I'm back! Summer vacation has finally arrived. This also now finally gives me the time to cover a Modest Mouse show I attended last Wednesday (5-02) as a brief escape from final exams period. As I suspected, the show was fantastic, but the crowd was horrible. So when you balance those things out, I'd say you'd get "great."

I arrived at the venue around 5:30 for the 7 PM doors and 8PM start time. Only one person was in front of me. Though waiting for 90 minutes with nothing but irrational homeless people to entertain you isn't a good time, getting right up front was. A brief note on the homeless- one who was sporting an 1980's era walkman and poofy foam headphones stood with one foot perched on a fire hydrant, fist pumping in the air chanted out the chorus to Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock" for a good minute or so. Another approached me, mumbling something about Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, then shouting "You weren't even bornnnn!!" Yeah...and he wanted my money. So I finally got inside, I talked a bit to the one guy who was ahead of me in line as well as a girl who said the main reason she was here was for Johnny Marr.
The first band who played was named Love as Laughter and they almost put me to sleep. They had no stage antics whatsoever, with completely boring music to boot. The vocalist's emotionless delivery was like the retarded lovechild between Stephen Malkmus and Beck. Maybe that's giving too much praise. They could sound better on album, but live we were all just polite and clapped anyways.

Man Man next took an eternity to set up, and to be honest, their soundcheck was about 10 times as interesting as Love as Laughter. I went into the show not knowing a thing about Man Man, and I think this was for the best. They had an absurd amount of instruments with unorthodox with drums and keyboards set up in the mid-end of the stage facing each other (keyboard on the left and drums right) with the other five members playing their instruments in a semi circle around that setup. Their live show as just off the wall. Just check out the pictures I took and try and make sense of what you're seeing.

Modest Mouse took the stage later than I expected, almost 10:30. Their setlist was as follows:

Bury Me With It
Paper Thin Walls
Fire It Up
Float On
Trailer Trash
Little Motel
Tiny Cities
Missed The Boat
Doin' the Cockroach
The View
Break Through
Spitting Venom/I Came as a Rat tease

Originally "Ocean Breathes Salty" and "Fly Trapped in a Jar" were on the setlist- both of which were cut for "Dramamine," a trade I was more than happy for. Actually, that's like instead of being given a coupon for a free drink with the purchase of a burger and fries, you get free food for a year. "Dramamine" is indisputably top 5 Modest Mouse material. I was really happy with this setlist...realistically I'd expect the majority of the songs from the new album, but with 2 from This is a Long Drive for Someone With Nothing to Think About, 2 from Lonesome Crowded West and 2.3ish from The Moon and Antarctica, I was very happy with the setlist. Seriously- what an encore.

Now for that crowd issue I hinted at before...they were fucking dickbags, that's what they were. If you want to be in the front for a show then get in line
before everyone else like I did. Otherwise...tough shit. Might I add there is perhaps a correlation between how much one likes the Good News for People Who Love Bad News songs and how obnoxious they are. Thankfully I had a barrier to lean up against, but I was bending over the majority of the time...something my legs killed for the next day. I wonder if the crowd would have been like this in 2003, the year I started to really get into the band. It was after I shelved Weezer for the Pixies, giving them the favorite band title. I began to look to bands similar to the Pixies, finding Modest Mouse in a search. I bought The Moon and Antarctica on a whim for $8.99 and thus an obsession began. My second record was then This is a Long Drive... I remember buying this at an FYE in Ohio while visiting family. It turns out Modest Mouse was the clerk's favorite band, and he asked if I was going to the show they were playing on Friday. Turns out we flew home Friday morning. I was pretty pissed about that timing. What if I saw that show? I might have been a little wasted on me as I still hadn't discovered the masterpiece that is Lonesome Crowded West (one of my top 10 albums ever) but in hindsight I wonder how the crowd would have been if the crowd was entirely indie kids rather than this show which was indie plus alt, jam, whatever they are fans. Fans that punch each other in the heads. Seriously- during Florida there was a moment where I looked over to see a guy pushing one hand into the sholder of another, plummeting his hand into the head with the force one would use to fit a tennis ball through a bagel. You can hear it on the bootleg that I'm posting in this entry- you can hear the band getting increasingly sloppy, Isaac screaming HEY! upon first punches (much angrier and forceful than Black Francis' famous Hey) and the band eventually stopping playing completely to ask "what the fuck is going on?" The security took care of it, tossing the perpetrators. Still, I wish they would have done something about nearly getting crushed factor. After the show I met Johnny Marr outside of the venue, who was incredibly nice, though conversation was initally awkward, as we both had ringing ears. I didn't get to meet Isaac though- he was apparently still inside the venue at the bar. Oh well. Still, excellent show. I loved hearing "Trailer Trash" live in an extended version, a song a did an entry about a while back.

Modest Mouse Live @ Lupo's (Entire Show)

More Pictures

Another highlight was the second Lonesome Crowded West track "Doin' the Cockroach" which was favorite track when I first got the record. Now I've moved onto "Cowbody Dan," but this song is still completely awesome. I love this record so much...regardless to how big Modest Mouse gets and how the same people who like the Red Hot Chili Peppers will like Modest Mouse and how alienated I grow to feel, I'll always have this album- and this album + me alone in my bed (or loud in the car, it's a great road trip album) can't be beat. Until the day when I get it on vinyl, but the $200 eBay prices aren't likely. Hey you Up records! reissuereissuereissue

Modest Mouse - Doin' the Cockroach

"I was in heaven
I was in hell
Believe in neither
But fear them as well

This one's a doctor
This one's a lawyer
This one's a cash thief
Takin' your money

Back in the Metro
Ride on a Greyhound
Drunk on the Amtrack
Please shut up!

Another rider
He was a talker
Talking about TV
Please shut up!

This one's a crazer
Day-dreaming disaster
The origin of junk food
Rutting through garbage

Tasty but worthless
Dogs eat their own shit
We're doing the cockroach, yeah

Doin' the cockroach, yeah
Doin' the cockroach, yeah
All right, not bad

One year
Twenty years
Fourty years
Fifty years
Down the road in your life
You'll look in the mirror and say
"My parents are still alive!"

You move your mouth
You shake your tongue
You vibrate my eardrums
You're saying words
But you know I ain't listening

You're walking down the street
Your face
Your lips
Your hips
Your eyes
They meet
You're not hungry though

Well, late last winter
Down below the equator
They had a summer that would make you blister

Oh, my mind is all made up
So I'll have to sleep in it

Well, late last winter
Down below the equator
They had a summer that would make you blister

Oh, my mind is all made up
So I'll have to sleep in it

Well, late last winter
Down below the equator
They had a summer that would make you blister, yeah!

Oh, my mind is all
Oh, my mind is all
Oh, my mind is all made up
So I'll have to sleep in it"

We're all doing the cockroach, as in while we think we're advancing from generation, we're really not learning anything. While we can discover new aspects about the world, our interpersonal relationships and ultimately human nature is static. At the core we're all ultimately the same, and our own personal choices, life paths, and interests are secondary and ultimately dismissible. One day, be it sometime soon or far into the future we will look into the mirror and see that we have become our parents.

Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West @ ($10- a steal!)

1 comment:

Lazer Kaufman said...

I used to listen to Modest Mouse in summer 2003, when I was working at a summer camp in New Hampshire and drove to Massachusetts for my days off.