Every year that I’ve gone to the Fork Fest, I’ve been surprised how many people actually show up for it. Rationally, I know it sells out and that there are 18,000 people there, but I forget how many bodies that really is until they’re surrounding me. It’s a lot of people.
And it seems like most of them are really into the music. Of course, there is also a good percentage of folks who are just there for the experience. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I would guess that the majority really gets into the performances, packing themselves densely into the fields, singing along, and paying attention to the music. There are moments when it feels like a community, and that’s pretty exciting in these days of extreme cultural fragmentation.
Well well well, after eight long years there’s a new Ugly Casanova song. But wait, there’s more: seven more Ugly Casanova songs, actually (plus “Hotcha Girls”), coming out June 22 on the soundtrack for a film called 180° South (DVD, Bluray), which also includes songs by Mason Jennings, James Mercer, Jack Johnson, and Love as Laughter.
Still not 100% sure of the current lineup, but the press release mentions “Isaac’s banjo, Tom’s trumpet, Eric’s squeezebox, Joe’s drums and James’s harmonies.” That sounds a lot more like Modest Mouse than the previous incarnation of Ugly Casanova that included Tim Rutili, Brian Deck, Pall Jenkins, and John Orth…
To Celebrate the 10th anniversary of Modest Mouse’s The Moon & Antarctica, Epic/Legacy Recordings is reissuing a vinyl version of the album on April 17. The album has been out of print on vinyl for more than five years.
According to the label’s press release, “The Moon & Antarctica, newly-struck on 12″ heavy double vinyl, has been remastered using the band-approved 2004 CD master. The album features restored original artwork and replicates the infinite lock groove found in the original vinyl pressings of 2000. The new vinyl reissue includes a download card for The Moon & Antarctica.”
In a recent interview with Evening News 24, Johnny Marr admitted that he really likes the music he’s made over the years.
“I really loved the Modest Mouse album. I like a lot of Smiths records. I like Dusk by The The. I like some of the Electronic singles. It’s all part of the same life to. If I owned a jukebox, which I don’t, I could probably fill it with 45s out there that I’ve played on and enjoy.”
Here are the five singles featuring his own work he said he would put in that jukebox.
Directed by Heath Ledger, co-directed and illustrated by Daniel Auber with lead animation by Norris Houk, animation by Jade Taglioli and produced by Sara Cline of THE MASSES. According to a post on Modest Mouse‘s MySpace blog, “Heath’s intention was to raise awareness on modern whaling practices through a potent visual piece without having to say a word.”
Modest Mouse - Satellite Skin (Official Music Video)
Directed by Kevin Willis. The first single off the No One’s First and You’re Next EP, due sometime this year, apparently. A little weird to release a single in advance of an EP, but I guess Modest Mouse might just be a little weird. Who knows anything about the record business these days?
You can hear the b-side, “Guilty Cocker Spaniels,” over on Stereogum. Strange to hear Isaac Brock rapping about Facebook, but hey, 2009 is turning out to be a strange and mysterious year.
The Oscar-winning actor directed “King Rat” for Modest Mouse after meeting singer Isaac Brock in Australia. “Heath and I have a mutual friend and when we were in Australia, my fiancé and some of us in the band went out on a boat with him and his family and friends and talked about the idea,” Brock told VH1 in [a] 2007 interview. “The idea sort of dropped, but then he just sent me an email saying that he wanted to do it.”
Billboard reports the video was “animated by director and illustrator Daniel Auber, a member of Ledger’s art collective The Massive,” but Spin claims it was “animated by Terry Gilliam (Twelve Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas).” So who knows?
Could be interesting…
Update: MTV talked to Modest’s Mouse’s rep: “The video was animated by Norris Houk III, with Jade Taglioli as the second animator, and illustrated by Daniel Auber, who is a concept designer and frequent collaborator of Terry Gilliam — Modest Mouse’s rep stressed that Gilliam did not animate the video.”
You can’t see everything, and with 130 bands over three days, you wouldn’t want to. I wasn’t very excited about this year’s lineup. In fact, there were less than 25 bands that I was even vaguely interested in, and that’s being liberal with my definition of “interested.” So there was no way that I could spend every waking hour for an entire weekend there. Not this year. Not for three whole days.
I devised a plan which I called “Hit it and quit it.” Get in, see some bands, and get out before I got bored or sunburned or too wasted. I ended up getting sunburned anyway. But I saw some great sets and had a few pleasant surprises, which is all you can really ask for.
Not really, of course. There’s a lot more you can ask for… like good sound and short beer lines, both of which were handled very professionally this year.
According to Billboard, Modest Mouse bass player Eric Judy wants to release some old material that didn’t make it onto the last couple of albums.
“We have three or four songs from Good News… that were pretty much almost done, but they were never finished,” Judy explains. “And then there were four songs off We Were Dead… that we didn’t finish but we recorded the basic tracks and structures. Basically due to time constraints we had to pick songs to leave out of both records.”
Usually, compilations of outtakes are reserved for bands that are desperate for new material but are too burned out to come up with anything. Then again, Sufjan Stevens gathered The Avalanche from the cutting room floor of Illinois, and people seemed to have liked it. So who knows?
This is perhaps the most succinct snapshot of mainstream American culture in 2007. The Top 12 finalists from American Idol, dressed as hippies and breakdancers, sing a snappy little version of Modest Mouse’s “Float On” in a commercial for—who else?—Ford Motor Co.
Absolutely perfect. This spot has it all. In just 44 seconds, they manage to co-opt and emasculate (at least) three generations of anti-Establishment counterculture: hippies, hip-hop, and indie rock. Welcome to the future! And you thought postmodernism was played out…