Tuesday, September 1, 2009

10 Years Ago This Month: Modest Mouse Changed My Life Forever...

This month marks 10 years ago that the band Modest Mouse was introduced to my life. It would be impossible for me to explain the vast depth and weight of the emotional attachment that the music of Modest Mouse has created in my life over the last decade. I own every album, I've seen them live nine times in four states, I've met all three original members of the band, I've had numerous conversations with lead singer Isaac Brock, I've spent countless hours listening to their songs on cassette tapes, CD's and MP3's. I've seen the band progress from a straight on indie-rock three piece touring the United States in a old beat up van to a progressive indie-rock six piece touring the globe in large buses and airplanes. After 13 plus years of existence, Modest Mouse is still the most unique and important movement in independent rock today...and still the most important thing to ever happen to my life.

My journey as a Modest Mouse fan started on a weekday while working at Karma Records in the fall of 1999. I was a 19 year old, living my dream of working at an independent record store. At the time, I was a fan of mostly classic rock, classic rap and pop/rock and I was growing increasingly tired of listening to the same songs over and over. I needed a change in my life...and that change came in the form of a compact disc by the band Modest Mouse. "The Fruit That Ate Itself" was playing on the speakers in the store when the song "Dirty Fingernails" caught my attention. I turned to my co-worker (Justin Kreitzer) and simply asked..."who is this?!", his reply..."Modest Mouse".

Isaac Brock and I after the Murat show in Indy: 11/12/07

The music of Modest Mouse entered my life at a time when I needed something to shake me up, and help to form my jumble of thoughts and emotions. The lyrics and sounds of complete desolation combined with the desire to be alone without being left alone were the keys to a new exploration of myself. I found that the songs began speaking louder and louder to comfort my angst and misunderstanding of the world. As the months passed, it became clear that this band and their music would provide a steady and welcome companion for my journey ahead.

Eric Judy and I after the Murat show in Indy: 11/12/07

On the verge of turning 20 years old, I was nine months deep into the world of Modest Mouse when I made the four hour trek to Chicago, Illinois to see them live for the first time in May of 2000. If I thought I was a big fan before seeing them live, I knew for a fact that I was an even bigger fan after seeing them belt out all the songs that I had grown to love and connect with. After the show, I stood outside and hoped to meet the band. 45 minutes later, lead singer Isaac Brock strolled out with Heineken in hand (this wasnt his first, or even sixth of the nite) and we spoke of their music and their travels before they had to make their way to the next stop along the way. As the years went on, I rarely missed an opportunity to see them live.

A decade later, I am now 29 years old. I still love Modest Mouse as much as I did when I first fell in love with them in the winter of 1999. This band has shaped my life in a way that nothing else ever could have. My outlook on life and my understanding of who I am as an individual in this world can be directly tied to the time in my life where I discovered the music of Modest Mouse.

Words simply cannot express the depth of my emotions for this band. I am who I am today largely because of them. At several points in my life Modest Mouse has helped to push me through difficult situations. At several points in my life Modest Mouse has helped me to understand that I will never completely understand. At several points in my life Modest Mouse has pushed me away from the people I love. At several points in my life Modest Mouse has drawn me closer to the people I love. At several points in my life Modest Mouse has given me the inspiration to "float on". At several points in my life Modest Mouse has given me exactly what I needed and I thank them for that.

p.s. Justin Kreitzer, I am eternally grateful for the introduction to Modest Mouse. Never forget that...because I never will.

My all time favorite Modest Mouse lyrics:

from "Blame It on the Tetons"

Everyone's a building burning
With no one to put the fire out
Standing at the window looking out...
Waiting for time to burn us down
Everyone's an ocean drowning
With no one really to show how
They might get a little better air
If they turned themselves into a cloud...

Suggested listening:

Interstate 8 EP (1996)

This is a Long Drive... (1996)

The Fruit That Ate Itself (1997)

The Lonesome Crowded West (1997)

Building Nothing Out of Something (1999)

The Moon & Antarctica (2000)

Everywhere and His Nasty Parlour Tricks (2001)

Good News for People Who Love Bad News (2004)

Baron Von Bullshit Rides Again (2004)

We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank (2007)

No One's First, And You're Next EP (2009)

Suggested viewing:

some of my favorite MM videos...

1 comment:

Monique said...

Very well spoken...And now, I deeply thank you for my introduction to Modest Mouse.