From Publishers Weekly
Bassist and journalist Goldsher chronicles the unexpected rise of Modest Mouse, the Washington State indie-rock band behind the infectiously upbeat 2004 single, "Float On." Like the previously published interviews from which this unauthorized biography was culled, this work spotlights sailor-mouthed, media-loathing front man Isaac Brock, whose songwriting knew much darker beginnings. A decade ago, the trio first built a healthy subgenre following with catchy, morbid and often nonsensical anthems. Brock later struggled with alcohol abuse, rape allegations that ultimately proved false and an assault that left him broken-jawed in the middle of a recording session. In a true-to-form darkest-before-dawn story, Brock served jail time for a DUI; drummer Jeremiah Green left the band for a mental hospital; and both coproducers walked away before Modest Mouse emerged with their most widely appealing album to date. Evoking the lore of Robert Johnson and Kurt Cobain, Goldsher attributes MM's allure partly to a "mythical" reputation Brock designed for himself as a notorious jerk to his fans as well as a starving-artist martyr. Goldsher cuts to the quick of the indie-rock scenester's antisellout, "hipper-than-thou" ethos in a style that's accessible and downright funny. While his reliance on secondhand sources and long-winded ruminations on individual songs may frustrate fans eager for new insight into the band member, Goldsher's book is an aptly titled jaunt through the MM story. (Dec.)
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From the Inside Flap
THE BEST WAY TO BECOME A ROCK STAR IS SOMETIMES THE WORST WAY TO BECOME A ROCK STAR Unruly and antagonistic, the Washington State rock trio Modest Mouse would seem like one of the least likely candidates for mainstream stardom: Their often brilliant live performances sometimes collapsed into utter chaos. Their highly original, highly off-center songs ran as long as eleven minutes. And their leader managed to raise eyebrows among music writers, law officials . . . and sometimes even his fans.
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But Modest Mouse persevered. They didn’t compromise their original, compelling musical style, nor did they lighten up on the attitude. They just waited for the world at large to catch up.
In 2004, with the release of their smash single “Float On,” it finally happened. And it was worth the wait. For everybody.
Journalist Alan Goldsher uncovers the strange, little-known details of Modest Mouse’s rise from DIY indie heroes to platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated international superstars. Goldsher also reveals the troubled background and fractured history of frontman Isaac Brock, a charismatic, cantankerous singer/songwriter who has spent as much time avoiding the media as he has attempting to control it.
Thoroughly researched, sharply funny, and filled with more than thirty rare photos, this unauthorized biography shows how Modest Mouse trashed the Behind the Music mold and created their own unique version of the rock ’n’ roll, rags-to-expensive-rags success story.