Tag Archives: Modest Mouse

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Brand New/Modest Mouse – Madison Square Garden – July 14, 2016

July 15th, 2016

Brand New - Madison Square Garden - July 14, 2016

Photos courtesy of Joe Papeo | www.irocktheshot.com

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Cass McCombs Plays The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday

January 5th, 2016

Singer-songwriter Cass McCombs’ calling card is his distinctive voice, both lyrically and aurally. Prior to actually releasing any music, his dark, funny stories earned him a slot touring with one of Will Oldham’s bands and Oxes, which eventually led to McCombs putting out his debut EP, Not the Way (stream it below), in 2002. Two LPs, and stints in the Pacific Northwest, England and Baltimore, followed before he found himself on the road with Modest Mouse. Since then, McCombs (above, doing “Omie Wise” for WAMU FM ) has relocated to the mellow vibes of California, but he remains as busy as ever, his style of music often changing with each release. Despite putting out two well-received albums in 2011, Wits End (stream it below) and Humor Risk (stream it below), the indie-minded troubadour released an Americana-tinged double LP, Big Wheel and Others (stream it below), in 2013. Not one to rest on his laurels, McCombs returned in 2015 with an anthology of B-sides and rarities, A Folk Set Apart (stream it below), out just a few weeks ago. “Culled from over a decade’s worth of home and studio recordings, this certainly the cabinet of curiosities you’d expect from the prolific singer-songwriter,” according to AllMusic. And although it rehashes much of his career, “There is enough strong material here to attract new fans and provide longtime listeners a deeper look into McCombs’ curious world.” See him play The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday night. “Art rock supergroup” Soldiers of Fortune opens the show.

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Modest Mouse Have Them Dancing at Celebrate Brooklyn

July 23rd, 2015

Modest Mouse – Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandhsell – July 22, 2013

Modest Mouse – Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandhsell – July 22, 2013
After opening their sold-out show at Celebrate Brooklyn at the Prospect Park Bandshell
last night with the rallying call of “Fire It Up,” Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock announced that he had some minor concerns about playing the show. As it turns out, he
had just sprained his index finger. “How’d I do that?” he mused aloud. “Carelessness.” Brock’s candor was fitting, considering the tone of sarcasm and detachment that permeates many of the group’s lyrics, from their first album in 1996 to their latest release, Strangers to Ourselves. Modest Mouse’s performance of songs like “Tiny Cities Made of Ashes,” “Bury Me with It,” “Out of Gas” and “King Rat” nicely conveyed this attitude.

Of course, it’s not all aloofness and irony with Modest Mouse—their catalog includes many moments that skew toward sincere. Last night’s rendition of “Dramamine,” from the band’s first official release, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About, was clearly an emotional touchstone for the crowd, as was the sweet and simple new song “Coyotes,” and “3rd Planet,” from 2000’s The Moon & Antarctica. But Modest Mouse didn’t shy away from playing one of their most upbeat songs, “Float On,” the sonic equivalent of a pep talk.

Despite Brock’s injury, he admirably played through, and if anything, alongside his shambolic energy and wacky banter, it added to the overall experience of watching this singular performer. As if to get in one last barb, during the spirited performance of “Paper Thin Walls” in the encore, Brock and the band abruptly stopped halfway into it. “A new song or finish this song?” asked Brock. “The second half is exactly the same as the first half,” he pointed out. And, without waiting for a consensus, the band picked up where they’d left off, and the crowd resumed dancing. —Alena Kastin | @AlenaK

Photos courtesy of Jeremy Ross | jeremypross.com

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A Modest Mouse Lovefest at the Capitol Theatre

August 6th, 2014

Modest Mouse – Capitol Theatre – August 5, 2014

(Photo: Andie Diemer)

(Photo: Andie Diemer)

A love for Modest Mouse is one that runs deep. My own unscientific assessment of this leads me to believe that an unusually high percentage of the band’s fans also have Modest Mouse tattoos. And at the earliest indicators that the group was about to take the Capital Theatre stage last night—as the road crew wrapped up tuning guitars, the house lights dimming—just about everyone in the building screamed at the top of their lungs. That screaming would carry on for the rest of the night. Most artists tend to see their muse as something external, but Isaac Brock’s seems to live in his belly. It’s as if he’d swallowed his muse whole many years ago, and it’s been trying to fight its way out ever since. It’s a battle that seems to take place as he performs: As “King Rat” began, Brock countered with his signature howls of “Well!” like the muse was acknowledging its creation.

It’s been five years since Modest Mouse have released new music, and while there were some new songs sprinkled into the two-hour set (previously played “Sugar Boats” and “Lampshades on Fire”), the night was mostly a nonstop Modest Mouse retrospective. With a touring band up to eight, possibly nine members, songs weren’t spared a single sonic embellishment. Some even ended up sounding more polished than when they were first recorded. With three people covering percussion, “Bukowski” took on an almost-marching-song tempo. An added string arrangement on “Cowboy Dan” made an already epic song that much more colossal.

The set featured practically the entirety of Good News for People Who Love Bad News, in addition to old favorites like “3rd Planet,” “Out of Gas” and “A Different City.” At about the moment when you might have thought, “Have they left any time for an encore?” the band left the stage but returned to play through six more, “Black Cadillacs,” “Wild Pack of Family Dogs,” “Broke,” “Paper Thin Walls,” “Fly Trapped in a Jar” and “Spitting Venom,” with hardly any breaks between them. With too many great songs to choose from, Modest Mouse did their damnedest to squeeze in as many as possible. How they’ll pull this off when a new album is added into the mix will certainly be a challenge, so better see them before it comes out. Or just see them then, too. A Modest Mouse love knows no bounds. —Dan Rickershauser

 

 

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Cass McCombs Returns to Play Music Hall of Williamsburg Thursday

May 20th, 2014

Singer-songwriter Cass McCombs’ calling card is his distinctive voice, both lyrically and aurally. Prior to actually releasing any music, his dark, funny stories earned him a slot touring with one of Will Oldham’s bands and Oxes, which eventually led to McCombs putting out his debut EP, Not the Way (stream it below), in 2002. Two LPs, and stints in the Pacific Northwest, England and Baltimore, followed before he found himself on the road with Modest Mouse. Since then, McCombs (above, doing “Brighter,” “Angel Blood” and “Morning Star” for Triple R Melbourne radio) has relocated to the mellow vibes of California, but he remains as busy as ever. Despite putting out not one but two well-received albums in 2011, Wits End and Humor Risk, the indie-minded troubadour returned last year with a double LP, Big Wheel and Others (stream it below). In a review filled filled with praise, Pitchfork says it “takes root in this fertile soil of Americana, crafting a sprawling cosmology out of its characters from the past two centuries.” Of course, the music is actually a lot more fun than that, especially played live. But don’t take our word for it: Go check out McCombs on Thursday night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Endless Boogie open the show.

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Cass McCombs Brings New Tunes to The Bowery Ballroom Tomorrow

December 11th, 2013

Singer-songwriter Cass McCombs’ calling card is his distinctive voice, both lyrically and aurally. Prior to actually releasing any music, his dark, funny stories earned him a slot touring with one of Will Oldham’s  bands and Oxes, which eventually led to McCombs putting out his debut EP, Not the Way, in 2002. Two LPs, and stints in the Pacific Northwest, England and Baltimore, followed before he found himself on the road with Modest Mouse. Since then, McCombs (above, doing “County Line” for Pitchfork TV) has relocated to the mellow vibes of California, but he remains as busy as ever. Despite putting out not one but two well-received albums in 2011, Wits End and Humor Risk, the indie-minded troubadour returned this year with a double LP, Big Wheel and Others (stream it below). In a review filled filled with praise, Pitchfork says it “takes root in this fertile soil of Americana, crafting a sprawling cosmology out of its characters from the past two centuries.” But, of course, the music is actually a lot more fun than that, especially played live. So check out Cass McCombs tomorrow night at The Bowery Ballroom.

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Morning Teleportation and Desert Noises Together at Mercury Lounge

August 9th, 2013

Tiger Merritt (vocals and guitar), Tres Coker (drums), Travis Goodwin (keyboards) and Paul Wilkerson (bass) met in Bowling Green, Ken., and formed Morning Teleportation. The psychedelic four-piece, with the “combined energy of a basement party, a back-room jam session and a futuristic hootenanny,” recorded their debut album, Expanding Anyway (stream it below) over 12 days in Modest Mouse frontman Issac Brock’s home studio. The result, according to Consequence of Sound, is “driving four-on-the-floor beats, a glimmering polyphonic mix of synthesizer and electric guitar lines and a variety of crazed, Coltrane-esque guitar solos or trumpet lines.” But their album is just a start because Morning Teleportation (above, playing “Salivating for Symbiosis” for Audiotree) are quickly becoming known for their high-energy live shows.

Another four-pack of friends—Kyle Henderson (vocals and guitar), Brennan Allen (guitar), Patrick Boyer (drums) and Tyler Osmond (bass)—formed Desert Noises. You can pick up some of the Orem, Utah, outfit’s influences in their music, which is kind of a folkie Americana (think: Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac) with some unpredictable twist and turns (think: Tame Impala). Thanks to an intense touring schedule, Desert Noises (above, performing “27 Ways”) built a loyal following even before their first LP, the melodious Mountain See (stream it below) came out in late 2011. They’re currently working on their second release, but you can see Desert Noises alongside Morning Teleportation tomorrow night at Mercury Lounge.

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Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Johnny Marr on 5/3

April 30th, 2013

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Singer-songwriter-guitarist Johnny Marr, formerly of the Smiths and Modest Mouse but currently of himself, comes to Brooklyn on Friday to play Music Hall of Williamsburg. He’s got a terrific new album and the show sold out quickly. But have no fear because The House List is giving away two tickets. Want to go? Try to Grow a Pair. It’s easier than you think. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Johnny Marr, 5/3) and a brief message explaining why you deserve a free night out on the town. Eddie Bruiser, who’s looking for the same, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

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A Moveable Feast of Earnest Sadness

October 1st, 2012

Mark Kozelek – Music Hall of Williamsburg – September 29, 2012


Mark Kozelek has already written this review. Without being overly meta, this is to say that he is both in on the joke and knows everything you might say or write about him. We all know this even without listening to his most recent thesis statement, “Sunshine in Chicago,” a song about being a musician getting older who used to play in a sort of famous band and is now a sort of famous solo artist, with all the niceties aside. The singer, alone onstage at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday, referenced exactly this notion while telling a protracted story about an incident from the previous evening in Philadelphia: 45-year-old Kozelek had made a broken pass at the 23-year old daughter of a fan, 58, who had invited the singer out to dinner with the family. Kozelek asked the daughter to dinner instead, and the father was incensed. “I don’t play Christian Rock,” said Kozelek. “My music is about death, depression, trying to get laid and not getting laid.”

There were chairs in the venue, and the lights came nearly all the way down as the singer took the stage amidst a reverent hush. Kozelek, dressed in a dark dress shirt and jeans, sat alone with his guitar, two bottles of water and a Becks that he would accidentally spill (and might have been nonalcoholic if the basement bartender can be believed on these sorts of vagaries). “One of the few pleasures I have,” Kozelek offered as maybe nonalcoholic Becks foamed from the neck of the salvaged bottle. He opened with Modest Mouse’s “Four Fingered Fisherman,” with the lyric “It doesn’t matter anyway”—spilled beer, not getting laid, sitting in chairs at a rock venue were all forgivable mistakes. He followed this with an original, “Moorestown,” which you could argue is the best song ever written about New Jersey by someone other than Bruce Springsteen. Kozelek settled in and girded himself for a set that was to be as long as a Paul Thomas Anderson movie, obliterating the audience in his quiet way on the night’s fourth offering, “Missed My Heart.”

Kozelek had not arrived here to save anyone, but the audience already knew this. On “Elaine,” a tune from his most recent record, Kozelek murmured, “Wish I could help you with your problems, but, babe, I’ve got enough of my own.” It is true for his audience, too, as he encouraged two fans to box after they yelled rival song titles from the wings. He may as well have tried to fuck their daughters. Everyone seemed to grasp this completely. Kozelek closed with “Cruiser,” a favorite, but the night was better summed up by his “UK Blues,” a song about being miserable on a European tour, with each new place, Finland, Denmark, London, Belfast, featured in the chorus. “Belfast, Belfast,” sang Kozelek, but it could have been “Brooklyn, Brooklyn,” just another stop on the singer’s moveable feast of earnest sadness. These are things everyone already knew but came to see anyway. Kozelek didn’t play “Sunshine in Chicago,” partly because he didn’t need to. —Geoff Nelson

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Modest Mouse/Felice Brothers – The Wellmont Theatre – July 20, 2012

July 23rd, 2012

Modest Mouse

Photos courtesy of JC McIlwaine | jcmcilwaine.com

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Modest Mouse – The Wellmont Theatre – July 22, 2010

July 23rd, 2010

Modest Mouse - The Wellmont Theatre - July 22, 2010

Photos courtesy of Andy Keilen | spartanmarchingband.smugmug.com/Music

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Modest Mouse – Terminal 5 – March 15, 2009

March 16th, 2009

Photos courtesy of Michael Jurick | music.jurick.net