Monday, February 19, 2007

"Now I'm drinking drinking drinking drinking coca coca cola"

#4 The Moon & Antartica, Modest Mouse, Epic Records, 2000

Though I'm guessing that Sean B might regale us with tales of that other Modest Mouse gem, The Moon & Antartica is the true opus for me. I got this record in Bristol right before Sarah and I moved to Durham and I don't think I stopped listening to it my entire first year at Duke. Or since, really. Scoffed by some as frontman Isaac Brock's sell-out album (read: first major label record), nothing could be farther from the truth. Instead of being methodical radio-pap, this record cuts a dark existential swath filled with movements from shoegaze to guitar panic and from punk spazz to acoustic balladry all within an unabashed self-transparency and lyrical truthfulness that opens the mental sinuses like a eucalyptus bath. I mean really, when I finish listening to this record it always feels like my mental state can breath again, freed from past baggage and future dirt (read: the stuff to which your body returns). For both Sarah and I, Brock, who also came from a kooky conservative Christian background, strikes a nerve with his honest, albeit blunt, theological observations. And the dynamic musical atmosphere doesn't hurt our love either. Rather than go on and on about each song, I thought I would post my Top 5 favorite lyrical moments from the record, along with links to the songs, so those who would like a taste can savor the flavor.

"The 3rd planet is sure that they're being watched by an eye in the sky that can't be stopped. When you get to the promised land, you're gonna shake that eye's hand." 3rd Planet

"I just got a message that said, "Yeah, hell has frozen over", got a phone call from the Lord saying "Hey boy, get a sweater. Right now." Tiny Cities Made of Ashes

"It's hard to remember we're alive for the first time. It's hard to remember we're alive for the last time." Lives

"It takes a long time but God dies too, but not before he'll stick it to you." I Came As a Rat

"And the one thing you taught me 'bout human beings was this - they ain't made of nothin' but water and shit." What People Are Made Of


Lucky Strikes said...

Nice pick, Brandon...I actually bought this album after I heard the Tiny Cities cover album by Sun Kil Moon. I've enjoyed it ever since...

Sean B said...

Brandon, I think you know my list better than I do.

Isaac Brock is defintely the best, most insightful crackpot theologian around. This one is right up there with LCW. In addition to the usuals, I think that "The Stars Are Projectors" is amazing. And I may have said this before, but I have the blasphemous opinion that, excellent lyrics notwithstanding, "Tiny Cities" is kinda annoying.

Big Cougar said...

I think the critical consensus is that "Tiny Cities" is annoying. And that Sun Kil Moon's cover is really annoying. While I agree with the latter, the former accusation doesn't agree with me. I know you once called this song "everything that's wrong with new wave revivalism" (and you said this in 2001), but I think that, sometimes, lyrics trumps music for me. In other words, when I first got this record, this song not only did not sound like anything I was listening to remotely, but the lyrics created a world of theological playfulness that was night and day different as well. And I always like a good ridiculous joke, and, if "Tiny Cities" is anything, it's awesome.