It's always interesting when something unknown to the general fan community turns up, especially when it's something really old and from a period of the band's history that is general unknown and poorly documented. That's why yesterday I was quite pleased when Interstate-8 reader and frequent contributor, Martin, emailed me in something he had recently found and purchased on eBay.
"Babble On" is a self released compilation tape from 1994 featuring mainly bands from the Seattle, WA area. Compiled by Chad Byerly, the tape has a real DIY feel to it, tracks that aren't really studio quality, and each band seemingly getting to contribute a page of photocopied artwork.
The Modest Mouse tracks featured on this tape are nothing that most hardcore Modest Mouse fans wouldn't have heard before. The first being "5-4-3-2-1... Lisp Off", which is obviously the more common of the two, having appeared on the band's first EP, "Blue Cadet-3, Do You Connect?" and "Sad Sappy Sucker". The second is perhaps a little more rare. Having always been known as the Modest Mouse demo "Follow Through", here it finally gets a home and an official title, "Every Mom I Know Seems To Think Its 'bout Them But It Ain't", labeled as "The Other Song" on the back cover. Both tracks are Isaac Brock only songs, just guitar and vocals (and astronaut voice), and are most likely both from his "Dial-A-Song" collection.
The artwork features a young Brock, probably around 18-19 years of age at the time, sitting on low brick wall. An address at which to write the band, the same one that would appear on the back of the "Blue Cadet-3, Do You Connect?" 7". And lastly, rounding up a final piece of Modest Mouse history, the phone number for his Dial-A-Song, (206) 557-0311 (and before you waste your time, I called the number, and it has long been disconnected by the phone company).
The other bands featured on the tape don't seem to have gone on to do anything else, with the exception of Tattle Tale, who were quite well known in the Seattle Riot Grrrl scene. In 2003, Jen Wood would also appear as a guest vocalist on the The Postal Service's debut, providing the female vocals for the duet "Nothing Better". She has also collaborated with Black Heart Procession and Joan of Arc.
For more information on this release, as well as scans of the full booklet where you can read Chad's story, check out "Babble On" under Compilations in the Discography section.
Modest Mouse - Every Mom I Know Seems To
Think Its 'bout Them But It Ain't (aka Follow Through)