New Modest Mouse

I’ve been bouncing off walls all day with excitement about what happened yesterday and while I’m still not willing to bank on it, it really looks like the Senate has flipped. But that’s enough election-talk for now, so I’ll just leave that subject with a great quote from Obama:

“But in order to change history, we now have to work even harder to turn last night’s results into tomorrow’s progress.”

The guy sure can turn a phrase.

Anyways, in other major news in my life, Modest Mouse, potentially my favorite non-Beatles band, are on tour, with new guitarist Johnny Marr. The first wave of live stuff is out, with a whole set from Wiltern, LA from November 6 available via WOOZradio. It includes six new songs, presumably to be included on the forthcoming We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank and is also interesting just because it’s the first chance to hear if the new incarnation of the band is going to sound like the Smiths.

The verdict: just a little bit, but still distinctly Modest Mouse. The recording quality isn’t high enough to really tell anything for sure, but it’s just great to hear some new stuff from these guys. While there’s no song that immediately bursts out at me like the first time I heard Life Goes On (an early, extended version of “Float On”), there’s a lot to like here.

Missed the Boat

My favorite of the new tracks, this one sounds a little different than anything else we’ve heard from the band. It’s very pretty, which calls to mind their more recent work, but it feels a lot more organic, more open. Unlike, say, “The World at Large” which is about as pretty as a song could be but which required softening the edges on Isaac’s voice, this one gives him all the space he could want to roam free.

Invisible in Your Car

This song would fit comfortably on Good News… but it’s got a bit more pep to it. I’m really liking the convergence in Marr’s guitar-playing style and the traditional Modest Mouse sound here. There’s also a great moment around two minutes in when you get to hear some guy complaining about something. Good stuff.

Fire It Up

While we’re talking about things in context of eras, this one reminds me most of stuff from This Is a Long Drive… Once again, the sound-quality isn’t great, but you can get the general picture.

Anyways, I’ll be very excited to here some more live stuff as I anxiously await the new record. If I hear anything more, I’ll be sure to pass along the info.

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