“Modest Mouse and Driving”

In the irony of all ironies, Modest Mouse, to me, best cradles the motif of freedom — a vast expanse of vista and possibility — color, light, variation, extension and harmony. It’s a feeling that stymies the need to “drive around” in order to reach edification, chord progressions, garage production and Jeremiah Green’s inimitably doglike drumming flanking the sonic palladium. I’m talking about whatever Modest Mouse material — the old stuff, anything quintessential, “Out of Gas,” “Gravity Rides Everything.”

One time I HAD to go get gas, anything could happen, nothing could happen, and the getting gas seemed wrong, but listening to Modest Mouse’s “Gravity Rides Everything” seemed right, and yes, on the old recording, of course, about which Isaac Brock was rightly so self-conscious, opting eventually to remaster it to a horrible molasses, because he was really making a timeless artistic statement. The underrated, dissed tracks on The Moon and Antarctica are better than anything from any other album during the ’00’s. And yes, there’s Jeremiah Green, barking like a dog on the drums like in some dream, a dog that follows you to the end of the Earth, tapping on your skull, under all rock (gas-rich shale), your own little haven never again.

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