I don’t have a ton of indie cred and I won’t pretend to. I discovered Modest Mouse the way most music fans discovered them-via “Float On” being ubiquitous on the radio and VH-1 during the summer of 2004. I’d heard the name Modest Mouse before in passing, but didn’t develop an interest until I was sitting in a conference room during a Sony Music presentation and they played the “Float On” video. What struck me immediately (other than that the video was weird as shit) was that Modest Mouse was at least somewhat indebted to Talking Heads, a band I adored (and still adore). A few weeks later, a copy of Good News For People Who Love Bad News was on my desk, and I fell in love with Isaac Brock and his band of wacky Washingtonians.
Isaac Brock’s lyrics cover a concept that I hold close to my heart (and try to utilize in practice); shit may be fucked up, but we’ll get by. The pick-yourself-up-and-move-on sentiment is not totally native to Modest Mouse’s oeuvre, but it comes across sincerely, and “Float On” is certainly one of the weirdest “hit” singles to come down the pike in the 21st century. It’s also pretty awesome for drunk sing-alongs.