Saturday, June 13, 2015

the moon & antarctica

It all fell right into place for Modest Mouse like an endless ocean landing on an endless desert with this expansive expression of what people are made of.    The Issaquah, Washington trio recorded two albums at Olympia's Moon Studios  (This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About  and  The Lonesome Crowded West) for indie label Up before signing with Epic Records to record 'The Moon & Antarctica' at Clava Studios in Chicago, Illinois.   Brian Deck produced the sessions that featured Isaac Brock on guitars and vocals;   Jeremiah Green on drums;   and  Eric Judy on bass;    with   Ben Blankenship providing lap steel guitar, banjo, keyboards, and guitar;   Brian Deck on keyboards;  Ben Massarella on percussion;   Greg Ratajczak on guitar;   Jeff Kennedy on lap steel guitar;   Tyler Riley on violin;  and  Tim Rutili and Chiyoko Yoshida adding background vocals.    

In the middle of the recording process, Brock was hospitalized for a week and had his jaw wired shut for several months.  Brock relates:   "We were living in an apartment above Clava Studios, where we were recording The Moon & Antarctica, and we'd been out at a bar. We drove back to the apartment, and there was a park kind of kitty-corner to it, where local kids were just hanging out. I was going to smoke a cigarette outside before I went in, I'm all friendly drunk-guy, and I decided to shoot the shit with these kids. I'm like, 'Hi, how are you all doing?' And before I can get more words out, some dude from the side just full-on punches me, breaks my jaw. There's 14 of these fuckers. They were chasing after our dog, throwing bottles at me, still throwing punches—but they never landed another one. That's one of the things that could make me think that maybe I'm full of shit on this higher-power thing, because there's no reason that they kept missing after that first punch. I remember turning around and saying, 'You broke my jaw!' and they're just like, 'Fuck you, cowboy!'"

'The Moon & Antarctica' reached one hundred and twenty on the US Billboard 200 album chart and number five on the Heatseekers chart.  It was their first album to be certified gold.

'The Moon & Antarctica'
full album:

All lyrics written by Isaac Brock, all music composed by Isaac Brock, Eric Judy, and Jeremiah Green, except where noted.

1. "3rd Planet" 3:59
2. "Gravity Rides Everything" 4:19
3. "Dark Center of the Universe" 5:04
4. "Perfect Disguise" 2:43
5. "Tiny Cities Made of Ashes" 3:44
6. "A Different City" 3:10
7. "The Cold Part" 5:03
8. "Alone Down There" 2:24
9. "The Stars Are Projectors" 8:46
10. "Wild Packs of Family Dogs" (Isaac Brock) 1:45
11. "Paper Thin Walls" 3:01
12. "I Came as a Rat" 3:48
13. "Lives" (Isaac Brock) 3:19
14. "Life Like Weeds" 6:30
15. "What People Are Made Of" 2:14

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