End of the World Playlist: Part 2

Today’s contributions to the End of the World Playlist come in the form of another double-song, single-artist whammy; this time with a focus on Modest Mouse. As with so many other bands, my attention was brought to Modest Mouse in those tender early teen years by my friend Francesca. We met in 7th grade at AFNORTH (nay– back then it was still AFCENT!) International School, and though she’s admitted she found me annoying at first (probably because I kept butting into the conversation she was having with someone else about that “If You Steal My Sunshine” song) it didn’t take long for her to fall for my bespectacled charms. We were to bond over our love of Third Eye Blind, had a blast together on the middle school cheerleading squad (something I have to believe is as laughable to her present-day friends as it is to mine), and rocked out hard in band class, where I played flute and she played orchestra bells. Oh, and in those pre-texting days, we exchanged superfluous amounts of notes, which I’m sure I still have in a shoebox at my parents’ house.

After a few short months of friendship it was time for the military lifestyle to take its toll and she moved with her family to Florida. That was over a decade ago; we haven’t seen each other since. But thanks to technology and our mutual affinity for blogging (it was, in fact, Francesca who encouraged me to get my very first blog– a DeadJournal– when I was 14), we’ve managed to remain in a sort of contact that’s ebbed and flowed over the years and resulted in my second-hand introduction to all kinds of awesome music. (Including her own! I believe she performs under the moniker “Bear Paw” these days.)

And… including Modest Mouse. It must have been sometime in early 2003 when she was first imploring me to scour Kazaa for the likes of “Night on the Sun,” “Dramamine,” “All Nite Diner,” and, the first in today’s End of the World Double-Set:

the universe is shaped exactly like the earth: if you go straight long enough, you’ll end up where you were

Now I realize this song doesn’t have directly apocalyptic overtones but it’s kind of about space and is loosely existential and just a pretty dope song that I wanted to include.

Of course… had I not had Francesca to steer me towards Modest Mouse it would have happened all on its own within a year when they achieved nationwide recognition with “Float On“. I seem to remember Fran considering the song and its implications (and… its placement in a Target ad) to be somewhat of an abomination, but I was less tempted to resist. “Good News for People Who Love Bad News” is probably in the Top 5 of my formative high school albums, and Track 4 has landed a spot on the EotW Playlist.

good luck! for your sake, i hope heaven and hell are really there… but i wouldn’t hold my breath. you wasted life, why wouldn’t you waste death?

Though this one also makes no specific reference to the end of the world, per se, it has a message I find similar to yesterday’s “The End’s Not Near;” that it can be easy at times to get so distracted by the idea of what comes after this world and this life that proper attention doesn’t get placed on one’s current surroundings and relationships… and does it really make sense to live that way?