People As Places As People

Typical depressing Modest Mouse. This is, like every Modest Mouse song, about alienation and the search for connection. Or, you could look at is as the opposite. You can see it as kind of uplifting. As in, the only place worth being is where the people we care about are. Also, try to unpack the video while you’re at it. Modest Mouse have a great track record for surreal video that are equal parts comical and disturbing. This one seems to have a lot to say about love, prejudice and ecology. In fact, those are pretty heavy handed themes. But it’s also a little funny in its weirdness. It’s on point with the theme of finding someplace or someone to belong to, and how hard that is, and how weird.

Parting of the Sensory

Another lovely song about death. Is every Modest Mouse song about metaphysical angst? Sure seems like it. It’s hard to think of a songwriter less interested in the usual about-a-girl stuff than Isaac Brock. Relationships are almost everybody’s biggest theme, even the most misanthropic people haters’. But almost every Modest Mouse song is about something existential. If it’s not about straight-up dying, it’s about how much life sucks, or how much Isaac Brock hates people, or how much Isaac Brock hates himself. I get the feeling he’s probably not the most fun guy spend a lot of time with; one of those people whose head you really wouldn’t want to get inside. On the other hand, it makes Modest Mouse one of the most uniquely rewarding bands of our time. You can explore their records again and again, for years and years. You can always enjoy the friction of uptempo and gloom.