Modest Mouse: A Pretty Good Read by Alan GoldsherTHE BEST WAY TO BECOME A ROCK STAR IS SOMETIMES THE WORST WAY TO BECOME A ROCK STAR
Unruly and antagonistic, the Washington State rock trio Modest Mouse would seem like one of the least likely candidates for mainstream stardom: Their often brilliant live performances sometimes collapsed into utter chaos. Their highly original, highly off-center songs ran as long as eleven minutes. And their leader managed to raise eyebrows among music writers, law officials . . . and sometimes even his fans.
But Modest Mouse persevered. They didnt compromise their original, compelling musical style, nor did they lighten up on the attitude. They just waited for the world at large to catch up.
In 2004, with the release of their smash single Float On, it finally happened. And it was worth the wait. For everybody.
Journalist Alan Goldsher uncovers the strange, little-known details of Modest Mouses rise from DIY indie heroes to platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated international superstars. Goldsher also reveals the troubled background and fractured history of frontman Isaac Brock, a charismatic, cantankerous singer/songwriter who has spent as much time avoiding the media as he has attempting to control it.
Thoroughly researched, sharply funny, and filled with more than thirty rare photos, this unauthorized biography shows how Modest Mouse trashed the Behind the Music mold and created their own unique version of the rock n roll, rags-to-expensive-rags success story.
Rock & Roll Books
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Martin's Griffin, pp. Chicago bassist and freelance writer Adam Goldsher's first mistake was to write a book on Modest Mouse without the band's consent. Without access to his subject, Goldsher is forced to cobble together previously published interviews with the Modest Mouse himself, Isaac Brock, then add his own spin on the band's fascinating trajectory. Goldsher indulges in excruciatingly long and unhelpful technical descriptions of every Modest Mouse track, making Pitchfork's wankery look concise by comparison. Most egregious are the "interludes," which embark on embarrassing flights of existential angst about the band's noncompliance with his project and tortured comparisons between Brock and Robert Johnson, Charlie Parker, and Kurt Cobain. Unlike Bukowski, this isn't a pretty good read by any stretch. The problem lies primarily in the author's writing: He's disorganized, lacking fundamental grammar skills, and appears to be a stranger to proper paragraph transitions, rendering his prose confusing and often unreadable.