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Collector's Corner: Modest Mouse - 'Good News for People Who Love Bad News': 20th Anniversary Edition

(Photo Credit: Michael La Torre)

Picture this: It's 2006. Ohio University, a typical small college town with not a lot to do but drink and listen to music. Indie music rules the airwaves on the local radio stations and in the jukeboxes at the 32 bars that line Athens, Ohio's famous Court Street. There is perhaps no song more popular around that time than "Mr. Brightside" by The Killers and "Float On" by Modest Mouse. The Killers are new kids on the blocks, "Float On" has been popular since 2004, that is it's a song with staying power.

College students were rage screaming Isaac Brock's lyrics as they partied. One of those students myself, imagine my excitement as I saw that Modest Mouse were coming to Columbus, Ohio (a mere hours away) to play! We knew we had to go and we did. What we weren't prepared for were the "Creatures from Ohio" (A post that the band put on their website as they drunkenly hid under a tub and crawled around in a grassy area in the outdoor venue). The concert was unlike anything I'd ever seen. Brock shrieked into the pickups on his guitar creating sounds unlike anything I had ever heard. A kid on acid faceplanted behind us with joy because he was having an experience unlike any of us (exept for perhaps Brock himself).

I say all of this because when I saw they were making a 20th anniversary release of Modest Mouse's seminal Good News for People Who Love Bad News, it brought about a flood of nostalgia and excitement. The end result was even better than I could have expected. Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment did a great job with the packaging of this reissue. It's a reimagining of the original cover of the album that includes a file cabinet with arrows in it that bleeds pink among a pink background. Modest Mouse have never been one to shy away from the bright, catchy, or downright crazy.

The packaging also incorporates imagery from other Modest Mouse packaging such as hot air balloons, hummingbirds, and targets. Good News for People Who Love Bad News isn't so much a Modest Mouse album as much as it is the Modest Mouse album...The one for which the band is most critically acclaimed, it was certified 2x platinum, and nominated for a GRAMMY in 2005. It features such hits as "Float On", "Ocean Breathes Salty", and "The World at Large". While those were the popular singles, you can really spin this one from top to bottom/back to front. There are other favorites on there such as "Bury Me with It" and "Satin in a Coffin" just to name a couple. However, my favorite track was never considered a single on this one, it's "The Good Times are Killing Me", the closer for the record. I love how much each song in the album leads into the other, that's why it's best played in a series.

I'll be honest, I'm not much for remixes on albums. However, the ones we get here are fun they bring a new aura to the songs that we have come to know and love, particularly "The World At Large - Enough Love to Kill Us All" Remix by Modest Mouse and Jeremy Sherrer. The slow pace of the original track combined with the picked up vibe of the remix makes the song feel like something more along the lines of a hardline alt/electronic song that a guitar driven indie track. It's interesting that the song was able to be completely transformed and not just turned into a dance bit like most remixes do.

I forgot to mention the vinyl in the packaging! One is a gorgeous pale pink that matches the pink used throughout the 20th anniversary edition and the green on the other is more reminiscent of the original packaging. A thoughtful nod to 20 years of excellence from one of indie's most celebrated bands. So is this vinyl worth the price tag? Absolutely, you not only get original in all it's glory, but some pretty cool remixes as well. All wrapped up in a beautiful bow.

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