Sunday, August 5, 2007

Modest Mouse

It is a disappointment to have bad taste sometimes.

I just watched Modest Mouse on PBS's Austin City Limits. I'm not a regular viewer, but I was surfing the channels to see what might catch my eye or ear and I came on this in the middle of a song. It was like a train wreck and I couldn't look away.

I know a number of people like the group, and I tried to see why. I think the rhythm & percussion are catchy. The pump organ one of them played added an interesting element to the total sound. Last night I watched the DVD of PBS's American Experience episode about the Original Carter Family, and I think the short phrases and repeated words of the Modest Mouse songs are distantly related to Old Timey folk lyrics.

In that sense, Modest Mouse is like extremely painful modern classical music: it's more intellectual/technical than pleasant. One is more likely to "understand" it or understand what they are doing than to enjoy it.

That's what I mean about bad taste: after I thought about it, I could see a number of things Modest Mouse was doing, and I could see the folk music connection with their lyrics, but even though I know some people enjoy MM, I just can't make that next step myself.

On the other hand, Guided By Voices, the second band in the Austin City Limits show moved me to change the channel.

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