Long Winded Modest Mouse Show Preview

While The Moon & Antarctica is widely considered Modest Mouse‘s crowning achievement, there are some, like myself who consider The Lonesome Crowded West a near perfect album. Dropped in 1997, it didn’t make its way into my regular rotation until a year or so after. But, I was a fickle college music fan, gravitating to various bands and styles, then moving onto the next. Still, upon graduation in 2002, I packed my old Honda Accord with one of those traveling cases of CDs, a few packs of smokes and my sleeping bag…and I drove from Austin to my new home, Yellowstone National Park. It was that first 24 hour road trip that really made me indebted to that LP, so much so, that now, some 20 years on from that adventure, I can still recall every twist and turn of the songs, and every little nuanced moment where Modest Mouse made it into my life in those months. I’m fortunate to be able to catch the band touring behind the entirety of said LP here in Austin on Monday; tickets are SOLD OUT, so perhaps ask a friend..

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Fest Pics: ACL 2021 In Review

We are a little bit clear of ACL 2021’s two weekends. We dealt with the mental gymnastics required to attend both weekends during a pandemic. Proof of a negative test or full vaccination likely meant that Zilker Park was the safest place in Austin. But then again, a lot of people are liars.

So difficult to let go of being safe, yet so easy to get caught up in the moment.

Let’s get on to some thoughts a few photos.

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Float Fest Reminder

Hey y’all. Float Fest is coming up this summer and we’ll have some coverage, but first, we need to remind you that pricing goes up at midnight. If you are on the fence, get in now. Camping is a thing and Amazon sells air-conditioned tents. Take advantage of tubing and then revel in Tame Impala, Modest Mouse, Snoop, White Denim, RTJ, A Giant Dog and many more.

Told Slant Has Something

Told Slant - Going By | Press picI’m going to go out on a limb here, Told Slant (the project of Felix Walworth) is the new Modest Mouse. I don’t mean this in terms of the over-produced, oft-dimsissable, current MM, but the old stuff we all love and adore. Even with that, there’s something accomplished, almost polished that makes it even more appealing. It’s only one song, but it already seems perfectly suited for one of those late night drives under the stars, letting the music sink into your soul as you drive to an endless horizon. Look for the new effort, Going By, via Double Double Wammy on June 17th.

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“Dead” Video From Darts

dartsWe don’t normally post a lot of music videos, but when I came across this one by Darts, I simply couldn’t resist, as the song is awesome and the music video creepy, yet entertaining. The song, “Dead,” is an angst filled roller coaster ride, and the male vocals definitely bring you thoughts of Modest Mouse, but what’s different about this song as well as the band are the presence of the contrasting female vocals which add a whole different aspect to the sound. Watch the disturbingly awesome video below and jam along with Darts.


ACL Lineup Is Here!

untitledThough the lineup unofficially leaked yesterday, we were holding off to make sure everything was all official and whatnot before posting anything.  So if you haven’t seen it yet, the ACL lineup was just announced this morning for both of the festival weekends.  Of course ATH is excited about seeing The Strokes again, but as usual, we’re enjoying the undercards with groups like Kurt Vile, Waxahatchee, Talk in Tongues, Jose Gonzalez, etc.  Check out the full lineup here and form your own opinions.

You can also pick up a 3 day pass at 10am central time by following this link.  Do it.

Show Preview: Modest Mouse @ Stubbs (11/8 & 11/9)

Date 11/8/11  & 11/9/11
Location Stubbs
Doors 7pm
Tickets SOLD OUT!

I hope most of you were paying attention to sites that think more in the future and saw the recent announcement about the Modest Mouse shows at Stubbs in Austin.  I say this because both the initial show and secondary show are sold out so you’ll have to try craigslist or scalpers for this one.  Both nights will have stellar opening support provided by Portland based group Talkdemonic.  Don’t forget that Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. will also be doing aftershows on the inside stage for both nights.  Get your hands on some tickets kids.

[audio: https://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/modestmouse-satelliteskin.mp3]

Download: Modest Mouse – Satellite Skin [MP3]

Cymbals Eat Guitars – Lenses Aliens

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Hailing from New Jersey, Cymbals Eat Guitars are a four-person band with one album, Why Are They Mountains, under their belt already. Released in 2009, that album rewarded this band with comparisons to bands like Modest Mouse, and Pavement. On this new effort, they looked to work on it more collaboratively, and the effect of this is a band that sounds more controlled, and the instrumental parts feel tightly knit and well thought out on Lenses Alien.

The first song is “Rifle Eyesight (Proper Name),” which is an eight and a half minute long track, but it’s really just two songs pushed together with the help of some atmospheric guitar feedback noise in between the two. For roughly the first three minutes of this track, you have this lovely bouncy and jangly alternative rock song, complete with the harsh vocals of lead singer, Joseph D’Agostino, whose voice reminds me a bit of John Paul Pits, of Surfer Blood, due to its ability to turn ragged and grungy in an instant. You get a chance to see this switch to grungier on the second half of the first song, in which the guitars are fiercer, the cymbals crash more, and the pacing is faster. D’Agostino gets his chance to command the song with his vocals that are exasperated and rough at first. However, as the song calms down, so does the raspy nature in his voice, softening, if only for contrast as the song resurges to its final height.

After this monster of a song, it would be easy for the rest of the other tracks to pale in comparison, but each brings a lovely new element to the table. On “Shore Points,” you have a nice little surf rock jam, complete with angular guitars and enticing backing vocals from the other band members. Following immediately on “Keep Me Waiting,” there’s a killer bass line just bubbling under the surface, waiting for your ears to pick it out and move your body to it.

 While there are softer songs on here, like “Wavelengths” toward the end of the album, Lenses Alien does seem to fall a little one dimensional upon the inaugural listen. Perhaps there is too much of a good thing on this album; the heavy guitar and nasal vocals seems a little grating by the end of the ten song album. Maybe, with much repeated listening, there is more to this sophomore release, but as of now, it’s a pretty middle of the road album.

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