Monday, November 29, 2004


I just read a comment from someone on the internet (a mistake on my part): "Modest Mouse? Just buy some Talking Heads albums. Get it from the original source."

Where do people draw the line at disregarding new bands simply because they incorporate influences from older bands?? (Uh, by the way I've never heard this comparison before, I find it hard to see any connections between the two bands on any of Modest Mouse's pre-Good News... albums [or even any songs on Good News... besides {MAYBE} the singles].) In my view, songs are as unique as fingerprints- even if a band consciously tries to capture someone else's sound or style, they're not gonna get it exactly right, and in the process they are adding some of their own spins on the music. Bands that consciously copy, however, usually end up sucking anyway...

Seems like anyone saying we don't need Modest Mouse because we have (had) the Talking Heads would be happy with only 5 really good bands that each did really distinct things. Then, that's it. No new music (unless it's reaaaallly different from everything that's ever been put out).

In a final note, I AM against rehashing old music, but I'm not hardcore about it. AND it will probably be the case that bands will start copying Modest Mouse. etc.


  1. I used to say stuff like this. Then I realized that EVERY band in the world is channeling their influences. It's impossible not to do it. Therefore, it's better to accept that there will always be a "retro" element in all music because everything has pretty much been done already. As a band, you can choose to emphasize this, or downplay it. But you can't deny it.

    I still think Coldplay sucks because they're channeling U2, but they're doing it poorly. They are the adult contemporary equivalent of Pink Floyd.

  2. Tell me a U2 album that influences "Parachutes" (never heard "A Rush of Blood...") and I will listen to it (and, by your account, like it more). All I have is Achtung Baby, but I've listened through "All that you can't leave behind". And I don't really see (hear) much anything in those relating.

  3. That reminds me - I bought the second Coldplay record, and I don't know where it is. I must have hidden it in shame.

    Since I don't know Parachutes that well, I'll have to go back and listen to it. But based on what I've heard, Coldplay are unquestionably mimicking early-era U2 - War and The Unforgettable Fire especially. Take a song from one of those two records, slow it down, strip it of the socio-political angst and add some dopey quasi-love-pop lyrics, and you have a Coldplay song.

    "The Scientist" lifts directly from "Bad" both harmonically and structurally (yet never peaks like "Bad" does with Bono howling at the top of his lungs), while the bridge on "Clocks" is basically the same one as the bridge on "New Year's Day". "Don't Panic" sounds a lot like the ballads on The Joshua Tree. Again, most of these comparisons are from Coldplay's second record. I don't have the first one handy to check.

    In retrospect, I won't dog Coldplay for ripping off U2. If I could get famous that way, I would. Heck, U2 based their whole comeback on ripping themselves off. I still don't like Chris and co. though, or all the attention they've been getting as a "groundbreaking" band. That's the part that really irks me. You can put a little stamp on your record that says you saved some trees, or you can write a song like "Sunday Bloody Sunday" to show that you really stand for something.

    And to actually respond to your original post, saying Modest Mouse ripped off the Talking Heads is ridiculous. Sure, the singer is taking a cue from David Byrne in his delivery, but the music sounds way different to me - unless MM has a keen interest in funk, gospel, and world music?