Story time! I too had an unpleasant concert experience, summer '07. I think I've seen them three or four times; third was worst. Fourth was mellower. Third was in Ohio. Idiots moshing, climbing up on stage. These dykes trying to hold hands, sneak past me, so I elbowed one in the boob, shoved her back, trying to hold my comfortable fifth row "spot". Scenes like that are ripe for frottage, too. It's filthy. Invisible kicked off the concert and everyone started SHOVING. Ridiculous! I worked my way to the front, out of the insanity. I got out of that sea and moved back into the more mellow crowd. Of course, security didn't give a shit about that, but they couldn't have me sitting down on steps. Oh no. So, this scrawny security guy told me to move. I said, dude, I'm not hurting anything. Those idiots up front are ruining our enjoyment of the concert. Why don't you go do your job and take care of THAT? I forget what happened next. I think he came back later to harass me some more. He tried to grab me, I jerked away. Shoulda slugged him then, but before I knew it, I was escorted out by three security dudes. They let me back in eventually, but it painted that experience as very sour. You don't fucking mosh to Modest Mouse.
Like WWD it? I love it! The only, and I mean only, weak track ON that album is We've Got Everything. It's one rare instance where an artist doesn't understand his best material. That that was a single is telling. Or maybe it was label pressure. But, track by track, we've got MM immediately going to its roots to March into the Sea, flirting with death. Then its crowd pleaser Dashboard, danceable, and even more catchy than Float On if such a thing is possible. Fire It Up, a bit too mellow for my taste (still, decent lyrics), but Florida picks things up again, harkening back to Ohio (more roots). Parting of the Sensory is one of the most gritty, exhausting, invigorating death dirges ever created. Missed the Boat is lyrically and musically one of best tracks they've ever put together:
Tiny curtains opened and we heard a tiny clap of little hands and a tiny man would tell a little joke and get a tiny laugh from all them folks, sitting, drifting 'round in bubbles and thinking it was us that carried them when we finally got it figured out that we had truly missed the boat.
Chills, and I still haven't processed why the imagery does that for me, but that's poetry. We've Got Everything is forgiveable, because FLY TRAPPED IN A JAR is up next. This song absolutely KILLS live, and the recorded version isn't too shabby either. Raw, gritty, more of Isaac's death obsession. Education, Little Motel, Steam Engenius: all very solid, though I expected a LITTLE better from a song called Education coming from Isaac, considering his love of the esoteric. Spitting Venom is their magnum opus, and he knew it would be. 8+ minutes of pure bliss and a use of horns that just makes you feel happy, even in the midst of heartbreak. There was a moment at a Sunset Rubdown concert that reminded me of this: dude who had a few too many blurted out in between songs, so earnestly, "Your music makes me feel so happy inside!" That it does.
Cheer up little baby it wasn't always quite so bad, for every bit of venom that came out the antidote was had.
Side note, back in '07 MM performed live for YRock in Philadelphia in an amazing concert, broadcast on Internet radio. He riffed about Uno, and he absolutely JAMMED his heart out on a 16-minute version of Spitting Venom/I Came as a Rat tease. It is my favorite performance of theirs ever. There is some scatting, some unintelligible lyrics (which I would love if someone could translate), and he botches the first verse early on. But, hearing the horns come out and the crowd cheer, hearing the mix of old and new, it's all so incredibly uplifting.
People as Places as People ain't too bad either, but the clinchers are Invisible (In Your Car) (hey there, dancing shifter with your strong cell phone arm...) and King Rat (which came later, and is a defining song of the band -- after all, what else can complement a Modest Mouse BUT a King Rat?). Invisible is noteworthy for the structure it invokes on the album as a whole. Look back to Moon and Antartica, with a song of a VERY similar style and structure in what people are made of. It's followed by another tome similar to Spitting Venom in Life Like Weeds. Relationships gone awry followed by a watery ocean death (what people are made of has "They ain't made of nothing but water and shit" versus Invisible's "We will be crushed by the ocean but it will not get us wet").
Isaac has mellowed, sure, but he hasn't softened, and creatively, though Long Drive in my opinion contained some of his most complex arrangements and satisfying lyrics, he's still gonna be cranking it out for years to come. End artist fellatio.
Will definitely look into finding that bootleg. There are some rarities that must be heard through bootleg for the hardcore MM fan. (Four Leaf Clover is one of my faves, as is the Fishes jam for Trailer Trash, I think it is).