Nov.22.05 Filed in: music
A couple of months back I got to see/ Mix a show by Mark Kozelek of the Red House Painters. I was familiar with his first solo release under the name Sun Kil Moon and absolutely loved it so I was pretty excited to see this show. During the show I knew so many of the songs were very familiar for some reason but I couldn't quite figure out why that is, until I found it out just recently that he had covered a lot of Modest Mouse songs during the show. While I was browsing through emusic yesterday I came across a new album by Sun Kill Moon called Tiny Cities and was immediately really happy to see that he had released some new music and went ahead and downloaded it. I then discovered that it was an album full of Modest Mouse covers!
I find the whole Idea really interesting because he is such a gentle musician where Modest Mouse has so much more of a quirky upbeat kind of a feel to it. The cool part about this release is that these covers are almost entirely different from the original songs. This album is more of a reworking of the original songs and to some extent the only part that remains of the original tracks are the words and the melodies to some extent. It's a pretty much a bizarro remix album.
There is a documentary called Gigantic that is all about They Might Be Giants and in the movie there are a couple of scenes where there are a few miscellaneous celebrity fans reciting the words from TMBG songs and this was one of the coolest parts of the movie because it was really cool to hear the lyrics read like this in such a stripped down form. When listening to the original songs you get caught up in the catchy melodies and upbeat nature of the songs that make TMBG who they are but when they are spoken out loud like that it really settles in how great their song writing really is. I thing that the approach that Mark has taken with these songs have a similar effect. By slowing down the tempo a bit and scaling back the production you almost forget you are listening to a song that was originally written by Modest Mouse. The lyrics really get a chance to shine and I really like that about this record because that is one of the things that make Modest Mouse so amazing in my mind.
So if you are a fan of Modest Mouse or anything Mark Kozelek has done in the past I would recommend checking this out because at its core its a really great listen. Standout songs in my mind are Tucker's Atlas, Jesus Christ Was An Only Child, and Never Ending Math Equation but all of them are great!
Link to the album in iTunes: