Modest Mouse – This is a Long Drive For Someone With Nothing to Think About

Today I ate one entire package of Sidekick’s, 4 servings of 190 cal per serving, although instead of one cup of milk (or my usual substitute of one cup of soy milk) instead I used slightly less than a cup of table cream. I also omitted the tablespoon of margarine. I also had an egg salad sandwich, though it was a prop sandwich and eating it wasn’t completely my fault. I am not sure how many calories it had. Then I had a frozen Michelina’s-style thing, 350 calories, and some vanilla ice cream, likely about 500 calories but moreso a great deal of fat (it was expensive ice cream). I did not exercise at all besides a paltry (even for me) amount of walking. At roughly 8:30 I weighed 149 pounds, naked. Today I spent $22.50 buying ten subway tokens (I used two of them), and also $3.14 on the aforementioned egg salad sandwich.

That night I also had two cups of herbal tea with honey, roughly 70 calories in each, though it is hard to tell the exact amount as the honey is “per tablespoon” and the tea itself has a few, although negligible, calories as well. I also spent $7.90 buying tylenol, as I needed something that wasn’t non-drowsy.

It’s exceptionally trite to say so, although appropriate especially given its exact nature, but I can’t think of ever seeing an album title that more exactly reflects the album itself. This is music for a long, solitary drive through the middle of nowhere, preferably during winter, with no towns to pass and no interesting scenery. Lead singer Phineas Q. Bubbles (actually Isaac Brock – ed.) sounds like equal parts Wayne Coyne and severe depression, with a dash of gay, and sounds always lackadaisical and somewhat droning, on the verge of saying “fuck singing” and walking away, except for once in a while when he starts shrieking at you all cutting-like.  But he gets morose again, no worries!

The songs are basically about hopelessness – looksie at the titles: “Talking Shit About A Pretty Sunset,” “Space Travel Is Boring,” “Exit Does Not Exist.” But the mice are oddly mature in their lyrical approach, never whining about relationships or self-loathing or loathing the world. They’re hopeless in a horrifying, matter-of-fact sort of way. Here are some fun sample lyrics: “I claim I’m not excited with my life anymore / So I blame this town, this job, these friends / The truth is it’s myself” (from “Talking Shit About a Pretty Sunset”), “Goes through the parking lot fields / Doesn’t see no signs that they will yield / And then thought / “This’ll never end, this’ll never end, this’ll never stop” (from “Custom Concern”), “Truly sorry / I see clearly / Calmly crashing, I pace faster than anyone / Hinges rusting, they swing louder than anything / Truly lonely, this place is flatter than it seems” (from “Ohio”).  Whee! Like flyyyyying on a swing of joy and joyness! Yessir, it takes a pretty wacky mind to monotonously describe space travel as “boring.” No escape, no going home, no summer, no respite, no childlike joy, no point in trying but trying anyway because it’s there.

Musically! The same general theme, usually mid-tempo something. Somehow they manage to have everything sound slightly reverby for maximum sadness, but the songs aren’t samey at all. Some are faster and such: “Might” has a neat-o wild west type feel, “Dog Paddle” sounds really off-kilter and woozy (they’re not playing their usual instruments on thataone), “Lounge” is snakey and intense, “Tundra/Desert” starts off slow before turning all disco-rock, “Head South” is pretty normal until Isaac starts yelling at me in the chorus (along with two other voices saying the same words but waaaay off key and it’s lovely). A lot of the songs have multiple parts, with one of the parts always being an instrumental bit, but don’t worry! It doesn’t sound like shitty jamming, it sounds instead like a very disciplined group of sad people knowing exactly what they’re doing, just doing it without words (in those instrumental parts).

I’m depressed. This album was my going to work album when I worked for the election, so it got very associated with tired, cold mornings of commute. But it’s a perfect album for just that! Also, the vinyl had two extra songs, but they aren’t very good so don’t worry about them. “Space Travel Is Boring” is a way better album closer than “A Manic Depressive Named Isaac Brock Wrote This Song When He Was Like, Fucking 17.” Also, “She Ionizes and Atomizes” sucks. I give it an A for effort! Also an A for results. Still depressed though. I want to drink but it’s only 2:30 and I need to go work out instead. Also, what’s the point of doing things? Why do I need to go see a band for the fourth time? Why can’t I just be at home or other peoples’ homes like I want to? It’s trite to complain about I know, but I hate this business of always having to be “active” lest I bore my girlfriend and friends. I’m lucky enough to have them, it’s not enough that I hang out with them? Christ, maybe I don’t feel the need to travel the world or see plays I never enjoy or follow TV shows I have zero interest in. You’re a good friend, Modest Mouse.

9/10

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