Tag Archives: modest mouse

Poetic Memory: Red Wire Black Wire (List)

Red Wire Black Wire are originally from Connecticut but now call the hip streets of Brooklyn their home.

Drawing from a palette of new wave influences that includes Depeche Mode and The Human League, the six-piece use synth-heavy, melancholic rock songs to paint a surrealistic picture of life in the big city. The success of their first LP, Robots and Roses, has helped the band build up a solid fan base in New York. Red Wire Black Wire are currently preparing an as-yet-untitled EP of remixes and B-sides for release this year.

Lead singer Doug Walters recently gave us a peek at the music that has shaped his band’s sound. His Poetic Memory is below. Continue reading…

Poetic Memory: Shaw (List)

You don’t know who Shaw is, but that’s just something you’ll have to remedy.

On his mesmerizing debut EP, Pretending We’re Not Animals, the San Francisco native sets tales of fauna against electronic, sterile backdrops. His vocals are robotic yet mournful, drifting like echoes across barren, frigid soundscapes before fading into the ether. It’s seventeen minutes of the most stirring music you’ll listen to all year, and you can buy it from his label, Swordfish Records.

In addition to his auspicious solo work, Shaw has joined a new band, the New York City-based The Future Self Envy. The group is finishing up work on its debut EP, Bangerdropper, set for release in June. After that, Shaw will turn his attention back to his solo work and release some more EPs. His Poetic Memory is below. Continue reading…

Noah & The Whale ‘Spring’ Into Action (MP3)

Noah & The Whale

The marriage of indie rock and corporate advertising can be a strange coupling. Of Montreal, Modest Mouse, and The New Pornographers are just a few bands that have had their tunes co-opted to hock steaks, cars, and beer. If you watched any television last year, chances are you caught the commercial for the Saturn Outlook, which prominently featured a bubbly little tune called “5 Years Time”. Catchy as it was, the advertisement gave little indication that the band behind the jingle, London folk rock act Noah & The Whale, had created one of 2008’s best albums: Peaceful,The World Lays Me Down.

Sounding like a poppier version of Scottish soul mates—and Owl&Bear album of the year winner—Frightened Rabbit, Noah & The Whale use acoustic guitars and mournful vocals to craft aching confessionals that would break your heart if you weren’t so busy tapping your foot. The band is set to release its sophomore album, entitled The First Days of Spring, on August 31st in the UK and October 6th in the US.

As a companion piece for the album, the band has created a film version of The First Days of Spring, which will be screened at select locations in August and September, and will also be available as part of the album’s deluxe edition. You can watch a trailer for the Wes Anderson-inspired film, as well as download a Twelves remix of the song “Blue Skies”, after the jump. No Saturns were harmed during the making of the film. Continue reading

Why So Modest? (Video)

King Rat

In January, it will have already been two years since Heath Ledger died. And as much as the world continues to miss him, that loss is eased somewhat by the continued unveiling of Ledger’s latter-day projects. Last summer, we were treated to a little film called The Dark Knight, which won Ledger a much-deserved posthumous Oscar.

This fall, we will get to see his final film, the Terry Gilliam-directed The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (also starring Tom Waits), which finds Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell assuming Ledger’s role for the scenes left unfinished at the time of his demise.

But, in even more exciting news, today has seen the belated release of “King Rat”, an animated music video Ledger directed for indie darlings/smart-asses Modest Mouse. Completed in collaboration with LA’s THE MASSES, the video’s release is timed to coincide with Modest Mouse’s new EP No One’s First and You’re Next. The EP contains newly recorded songs from the We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank and Good News for People Who Love Bad News sessions, as well as two rare b-sides.

In addition to being entertaining, the video has a conservationist bent. According to THE MASSES:

Proceeds from iTunes video downloads in the first month of release will go toward Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organization organization committed to ending the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Sea Shepherd uses direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. We encourage you to visit their site if you are compelled to make a larger donation or volunteer your time.

We’ve got the video for “King Rat” after the jump. Continue reading