MOUSE INTHEHOUSE: Modest Mouse is on a mission:
Make a big noise, get the kids to dance, and watch suburban isolation
come tumbling down. Their music is sprawling, but crowded with
sound and emotion. On the opening track of the band's newest album,
The Lonesome Crowded West (on Seattle's Up Records), the
impassioned lisp of singer/guitarist Isaac Brock croons the band's
theme: "The malls are the soon-to-be ghost towns/well, so
long, farewell, good-bye." The rest of the band does its
level best to serve as suburbia's sonic wrecking ball.
Brock's vocals bounce from sweet to shouting to whispered. Bassist Eric Judy and drummer Jeremiah Green pound out complex rhythms that are twisted and tempered into incredible pop hooks by Brock's guitar work. The song crescendos and is destroyed in a flurry of yelps and crashing cymbals.
Idealistic and full of pranks and angst, Modest Mouse hails from Issaquah, Washington, a town 20 minutes outside of Seattle. They've recorded two albums and two EPs in two years. They're a young band, and you can hear more than a hint of Built to Spill and the Pixies in their music--but above all that soars Mouse's own distinct greatness.
Tour mates 764-Hero, supporting their newest release We're Solids (an Up Records/ Suicide Squeeze co-release), is a no-nonsense guitar-and-drums-only outfit performing tuneful folk to an often punk-rock backdrop. What's in a name? It's the number to call for Seattle carpool-lane violations.
As for what happens when a band moves from Tucson to Olympia, Washington...Three months later they go on tour with Modest Mouse and 764-Hero. Former Tucson band Carissa's Weird opens the triple-bill show at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, November 13, at Theatre Congress, 125 E. Congress St. Tickets are $6 in advance from Sound Addict Records; $7 at the door.
--By Eric Freund
HOW-DEE! The Ninth International Western Music Festival gets underway on Wednesday, November 12, kicking off a five-day series of events including workshops and seminars, an International Yodeling Contest, late-night jam sessions, a western-swing dance at Old Tucson Studios, the first-annual Entertainer Awards, and the Western Music Hall of Fame inductions. Live performances include a Marty Robbins tribute by Don Edwards, and an All-Star concert dubbed "The Big Corral." The latter features Rusty Richards and the American Cowboys, a cowboy/church and gospel concert with the Dartts, and the Turtle Family, plus 20-some hours of live western music spread over four days, culminating with a Grand Finale Concert on Sunday, November 16. The festivities will be centered primarily around the Inn Suites Hotel Tucson, 6201 N. Oracle Road, with some events taking place at Reid Park, Broadway and Country Club Road. Many of the daytime activities are free and open to the public. For more information call 825-6621, or visit the website at www.arde.com/wma/.
HEADS UP! Calling all unsigned bands: Musician magazine is now accepting entries for its 1998 Best Unsigned Band competition, hereafter referred to as BUB. Bands of all shapes, sizes and persuasions are encouraged to submit materials, including a cassette tape of their two very best songs, completed entry forms and other relevant information. A panel of judges composed of big-time industry writers and editors will whittle down submissions to a manageable number of semi-finalists, at which point Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Ani DiFranco, Moby, Art Alexakis (Everclear), Keb' Mo' and Eric Johnson will take over to select 12 finalists and one grand-prize winner. Winners will be featured in Musician, and land a spot on the Best of BUBs CD, distributed to all of Musician's major and indie label A&R contacts. The Grand Prize winner also gets $10,000 in equipment. Neat, huh? More information is available by calling 1-888-SONGS98, or on the web at http://www. musicianmag.com /bub.
LAST NOTES: Not quite as modern as they used to be, Modern English has joined the wagon train of marginally successful '80s bands striking out for another shot at prosperity in the late '90s. We Gen-Xers must be a sentimental lot--it seems as though in the past year I've had more opportunities to see more cheesy bands I listened to in high school than I did when I was actually in high school. Nonetheless, the '80s nostalgia craze appears to be going strong--strong enough to bring Modern English to The Outback, 296 N. Stone Ave., to melt with you at 8 p.m. Wednesday, November 12. Tickets are a nominal $5, $3 with a student ID. Call 622-4700 for more information.
Yet another band emerges from Orange County, California--Costa Mesa, to be exact--chunky pop-punk trio 4 passes through Tucson, playing at 8 p.m. Friday, November 7, at Skrappy's, 3710 N. Oracle Road, with locals Gradvole and Tongue Dried Sun. Touring south Cali and the Southwest in support of its recent Headhunter/ Cargo Records release, Unusual Warmth, the band will be making an in-studio appearance at KAMP Student Radio on Thursday, November 6. Ticket for 4's Friday show are, appropriately enough, $4. Call 408-9644 for more information.
The Tucson Kitchen Musicians are sponsoring a mini Folk and Western Music Fest, from 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, November 9. The fest features a mix of local and regional talent, including western bands The Titan Valley Warheads and The Desert Sons, multi-lingual world folk with Emilie and Stefan George, contemporary folk artist John J. Coinman, and "post-modern" folkies Ice-9. The show is outdoors at Tucson's freakiest family venue, The Valley of the Moon, 2544 E. Allen Road. Tickets are $6, $5 for TKMA members, $1 for children between 6 and 12 years and free for kids under 6. Call 749-9770 for more information.
C'mon, get happy! The Boondocks Lounge, 3306 N. First Ave., with help from friends at the Tucson Blues Society, goes all-out Loozianna Zydeco with Rounder Records recording artist Geno Delafose & French Rockin' Boogie on Thursday, November 6. Tickets for the show are $10, $8 in advance and for TBS members. Call 690-0991 for more information.
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