Quintessential Songs of the ’00s: #3 “Float On”

It wasn’t until Modest Mouse’s fourth album (Good News for People Who Love Bad News) that lead singer Isaac Brock figured out how to fully combine his pensive lyrics, warbled vocals and catchy hooks into one beautiful mess of positivity. “Float On” is the album’s signature song and it was a big departure from the band’s previous work. From the song’s wiki page, Brock had this to say:

“It was a completely conscious thing. I was just kind of fed up with how bad shit had been going, and how dark everything was, with bad news coming from everywhere. Our president is just a fucking daily dose of bad news! Then you’ve got the well-intentioned scientists telling us that everything is fucked. I just want to feel good for a day.”

And we’re lucky he did.

More Quintessential Songs of the ’00s.


Pitchfork Music Festival taps Pavement, Modest Mouse, and LCD Soundsystem

2009 Pitchfork Music Festival

This year’s Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago is already shaping up nicely. Announced today, the first batch of bands includes the reunited Pavement, Modest Mouse, LCD Soundsystem, and many other fan favorites.

From Pitchfork.com:

The Pitchfork Music Festival will hit Union Park in Chicago July 16-18. And this year’s lineup is seriously amazing. We’ve got the reunited Pavement! Holy shit! Not to mention indie godheads Modest Mouse, James Murphy’s dance-punk juggernaut LCD Soundsystem, Wu-Tang Clan master chef Raekwon, St. Vincent, Lightning Bolt, Cass McCombs, Sleigh Bells, and Here We Go Magic.

All that is only the beginning. This year’s Pitchfork Music Festival will feature more bands than ever before and a longer day of music on Friday.

Tickets go on sale at noon Central time today at TicketWeb. Single-day passes cost $40, and three-day passes cost $90. (There are no two-day passes this year.) Keep watching this space for more details.

Besides Coachella, this is the other music festival I’d want to attend. I’ve only been to Chicago once, but its appreciation for great music was incredibly obvious.


New Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cutie videos

We’ve got new videos today from two of “indie” rock’s biggest acts. Obviously, I mean indie in the sense of their style of music, as both bands are on a major. While Modest Mouse hasn’t gotten much bigger than they were in 2003, Death Cab for Cutie’s stable seems to grow by the day.

This video from Modest Mouse is for “The Whale Song,” off their newest EP No One’s First and You’re Next.

UPDATE: Vimeo won’t let me embed the video at this moment, though I was able to earlier. You can still check it out here.

“Meet Me on the Equinox” is, of course, Death Cab for Cutie’s contribution to the “New Moon” soundtrack. Death Cab takes a back seat in this one as footage from the vampire flick is shown throughout.

Even though I’m unable to post it on our site, I urge you to check out the one from Modest Mouse. The song is solid and the visuals are stunning.


Mutemath: Armistice

RIYL: Power Station, Wire Train, Gomez

When the members of New Orleans-based rock band Mutemath were beating their heads against the wall with the new material they had written as the follow-up to their stellar 2006 debut, the band almost broke up. The songs just were missing something, and they all knew it. Instead of channeling their energy into a bitter divorce, though, Mutemath enlisted the help of producer Dennis Herring (Modest Mouse, The Hives, Elvis Costello), who told them to start over again and write some new stuff. They did, but they did so with an angry passion they lacked before the near-breakup, and the result is a powerful set of new tunes called Armistice. Singer Paul Meany may be one of the best rock vocalists you know nothing about, but that should hopefully change with this groundbreaking album. Right from the start with “The Nerve,” Meany and his band mates symbolically pay tribute to their own rebirth, with the gang vocal chorus shouting, “Set it on fire!” The layers of guitars and strings, slapping bass and tasty drums all mesh well with Meany’s vocals in a way few bands manage to these days. But just like the band’s debut, Armistice has twists and turns and variations in style and texture – especially on the electro-funk of “Backfire” or the title track to the alt-pop beauty of “Pins and Needles” or “Goodbye” to the Goo Goo Dolls-ish “Lost Year.” Whether or not the band does feel like it lost a year, they sure did gain back their self-respect and have delivered one of the best rock records of the year. (Warner Brothers 2009)

Mutemath MySpace page