The band I've seen live the most. If you are an Internet nerd, you know Modest Mouse is a gigantic hit or miss live, and it usually had to do with Isaac Brock's level of energy/sanity. I saw their Portland residency in the fall of 2009, and every show was outstanding. The band went from a wall of anxiety to a group of professional musicians playing stellar music. One of my friends was so impressed, he accidentally included one of their 2009 shows in his top ten shows of 2010. He's old, poor guy.
I've seen Modest Mouse at their worst as well. In fact, every festival show I've seen of theirs has been awful to average. I've said in the past they don't care about the festival shows, but really care about their fans who pay $30 to see them locally. I think finally headlining Sasquatch will be different. I'm giving my personal guarantee that Modest Mouse will put on a hell of a show. Those of you skipping their set are going to miss something great.
If you are new to the band, I have one question, who are you? There are two schools of thought when it comes to Modest Mouse's music. There is the, "they used to be so good before they sold out," and the, "who is this band I've never heard of before the song Float On?" If you stray away from what is popular, the album you want to check out first is The Moon and Antarctica. If you are new to the band, and wear cologne, you want to check out Good News For People Who Love Bad News. They are both great in their own ways, but if you are undecided about which profile you fit, definitely go with The Moon and Antarctica first. One of the greatest qualities of Modest Mouse that still holds true to this day is they have an original sound. No one sounds like Modest Mouse.
1. Tiny Cities Made Of Ashes
2. Float On (haha, die hards now hate me for including this near the top, and by the way, get over yourself, it's a great song)
3. 3rd Planet
4. Never Ending Math Equation
5. Gravity Rides Everything
6. All Nite Diner
8. Paper Thin Walls
9. Ocean Breathes Salty
10. I Came As A Rat
11. Spitting Venom (they have closed with this song many times in the last couple years. They obviously like it)
12. King Rat (this song kind of sucks, but no other band can create a song sounding like this. It's also a blast live)
Do you want to know what gets me excited? As I write this, I get to listen to Teen Dream to pick my favorite tracks. It was one of my top five albums from last year. It gets me as excited as listening to Kanye West's latest, and I'm a huge Kanye fan. I like to give every album five listens before I form an opinion, because it usually takes that long before the catchy/impressive stick out, but I recognized virtually every song on Teen Dream after three listens. It is pure pop gold, and anyone who doesn't list in their top 20 albums for 2010 either hates pop music, won't listen to it, or has terrible taste in music.
If you want a comparison, the lead singer sounds a lot like Stevie Nicks. It's nice they landed a main stage spot on the Sasquatch lineup, since they were victims of sound issues at Sasquatch 2009. Not only was the sound at the Yeti Stage a recurring issue, but the wind was blowing perfectly from the main stage where the Silversun Pickups were playing. At one point, I could hear Silversun more than Beach House. So sad. They are back though, and I'm glad I get the chance to see them with the beauty of the Gorge in the background. You won't be dancing, and you'll probably prefer this show from the hill, but it will be Gorge-ous.
3. Take Care (if you want to sing me this song when I'm under the weather, I might fall in love)
4. Walk in the Park
5. Wedding Bells
6. Used To Be
7. Silver Soul
8. Apple Orchard
A friend turned me onto Black Mountain a couple years ago. I was working when I first listened to them, so I wasn't giving the album my full undivided attention, but I formed an opinion based on the general sound. The email I sent him read something like this, "It sounds like a dude started a metal band that couldn't hit it big, then he started dating a chick who wants to sing in a band. She then convinces him that they need to add her and become more indie, because that's what is popular these days, but the rest of the band doesn't like her and is revolting." For those who know the band, this statement is probably funny for its inaccuracy, but there is an underlying truth to it. The band has metal-like tendencies, but are very much indie-rock. It's like if you crossed Arcade Fire with Type O Negative, but a lot less excruciating.
Black Mountain hails from Vancouver, so all the Canadians who read this will be stoked. Sasquatch will be my first time seeing them, and I'm pretty darn excited. They are in my top ten even. I hope no one is keeping track of how many top ten acts I have, because it's probably close to eighteen.
2. Stormy High
3. Don't Run Our Hearts Around
4. Faulty Times
5. The Hair Song
7. Old Fangs
8. Wilderness Heart
9. Stay Free
Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears
If you happen to catch this band, I believe they will be one your top ten highlights of the festival. I'm not really into their recorded material, but they are so much fun live. Therefore, I'll keep the suggested tracks short. Everything you need to know about this band live I stated in my review of their recent Portland show.
1. Get Yo Shit
3. Big Booty Woman
4. Bitch, I Love You