Modest Mouse: A Pretty Good Read

Alan Goldsher, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $13.95 (201p) ISBN 978-0-312-35601-9

Bassist and journalist Goldsher chronicles the unexpected rise of Modest Mouse, the Washington State indie-rock band behind the infectiously upbeat 2004 single, "Float On." Like the previously published interviews from which this unauthorized biography was culled, this work spotlights sailor-mouthed, media-loathing front man Isaac Brock, whose songwriting knew much darker beginnings. A decade ago, the trio first built a healthy subgenre following with catchy, morbid and often nonsensical anthems. Brock later struggled with alcohol abuse, rape allegations that ultimately proved false and an assault that left him broken-jawed in the middle of a recording session. In a true-to-form darkest-before-dawn story, Brock served jail time for a DUI; drummer Jeremiah Green left the band for a mental hospital; and both coproducers walked away before Modest Mouse emerged with their most widely appealing album to date. Evoking the lore of Robert Johnson and Kurt Cobain, Goldsher attributes MM's allure partly to a "mythical" reputation Brock designed for himself as a notorious jerk to his fans as well as a starving-artist martyr. Goldsher cuts to the quick of the indie-rock scenester's antisellout, "hipper-than-thou" ethos in a style that's accessible and downright funny. While his reliance on secondhand sources and long-winded ruminations on individual songs may frustrate fans eager for new insight into the band member, Goldsher's book is an aptly titled jaunt through the MM story. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 10/23/2006
Release date: 11/01/2006
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-4668-2307-5
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