Saturday, March 07, 2015


Eight years, man. You didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

In May of 2007, my year of exile, I made the pilgrimage from Bundang to Purple Record in Hongdae. I lived in Hongdae during my first year on the Peninsula, and, as a twenty-something-year-old with a lot of disposable income, spent a lot of that money buying CDs there. Sometimes I'd pick up an album from Tower Records in Sinchon or HotTracks at the Kyobo bookstore in Gwanghwamun, but if I wanted to find an album from a lesser-known artist, Purple Record was where to find it.

And so that's where I headed on a Sunday afternoon. I wanted two albums: El-P's I'll Sleep When You're Dead and Modest Mouse's We were Dead before the Ship even Sank. Those are the last two CDs I've ever bought.

I got home and devoured I'll Sleep When You're Dead, then threw on We were Dead...while dozing off. I was unfamiliar with Modest Mouse at the time and bought the disc solely because Johnny Marr played lead guitar* on it. My first thought before sleep took me was that lead singer Isaac Brock sounded the love child of Mick Jagger and Tom Waits**. My second thought was that I had to discover more about this band.

I went through the Modest Mouse discography in reverse order, starting with We were Dead..., then Good News for People Who Love Bad News, then The Moon & Antarctica. It was revelatory. I was hooked.

Then the years passed by, one after another, with no promise or even a hint of a new Modest Mouse record. No One's First and You're Next, an EP from 2009 might be the last of them, I thought.

The waiting was the hardest part.

But that wait is over. Strangers to Ourselves, Modest Mouse's first album in nearly eight years, is set to be released on March 17th. And it's incredible. I know this because instead of purchasing albums in tangible stores, I now have to download them by spurious means.

I feel more than a little guilty*** about it, and I would gladly pay for the album, but the absolute shitfuck that is iTunes Korea won't let me.

Float on.

* poetry

** Who else has a name that can also double as a sentence? It can't be a long list.

*** but there isn't a jury in this country that will convict me

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