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Year: 2011 | Month: January
Posted 2011/01/31 at 09:31 | By: Gregg | Tags: Jeremiah Green, Side Project

New music from World Gang / Drums repressed

Last week we learnt from imputor? records that the new Jeremiah Green/Darrin Wiener (aka World Gang) single, Promise The Mixtape was being pushed back two months to April 14.

Earlier this morning however they uploaded what appears to be a 15 and a half minute track from that upcoming release, simply entitled "Promise". Which at that length, may just be the entire single. Stream the track below. (Disclaimer: Those looking for new Modest Mouse, this is going to be vastly different.)

imputor? also announced this weekend, that the 2008 World Gang release, Drums, will see a further repressing of 200 copies.

World Gang - Promise - Master1 by imputor

Source: World Gang Drums Repress

Posted 2011/01/14 at 09:18 | By: Gregg | Tags: Joe Plummer, Side Project

Free release from Joe Plummer's Mister Heavenly

Mister Heavenly is a side project signed to Sub Pop, featuring Modest Mouse's Joe Plummer, Man Man's Honus Honus and Islands' Nick Thorburn.

Today they're giving away their new single featuring the tracks "Mister Heavenly" and "Pineapple Girl". You can listen to the first track and download both through the Sub Pop widget below (you will need to part with your email address for the download).

They will also be playing two gigs this weekend (featuring their December touring member, actor Michael Cera). The first at the Lincoln Hall in Chicago tonight, January 14, and then at the Bowery Ballroom in New York on January 16.

Source: Sub Pop - Mister Heavenly offer up their first official recordings! For free, even!

Posted 2011/01/12 at 17:20 | By: Gregg | Tags: Jeremiah Green, Side Project

The many side projects of Jeremiah Green

With Modest Mouse news being slow at the moment (i.e. non existent) and Jeremiah Green's World Gang releasing a new single in about a month, we thought it time to bring Jeremiah's side project list up to date.

The old site criminally neglected Jeremiah's body of work, focusing mainly on his projects with Red Stars Theory, Satisfact and Vells. We've done our best to try and add every single thing that he's worked on over the past 15-20 years, but with so much stuff out there, it's entirely possible we've missed something (For now they are still unfortunately missing 99% of the lyrics). If we have, let us know.

The interesting part about all his work, are the familiar names that keep appearing. So many seem to pop up on different projects, and even spill over to Modest Mouse at time. Jeremiah seems to have really established a kind of musical collective up in the Seattle Area, one where everyone seems only too happy to contribute to each other's projects.

So here is a brief attempt at trying to document that non-Modest-Mouse-related career that is Jeremiah Green's:

  • Peeved: Supposedly Jeremiah's first band, formed around 1992 with Tonie Palmasani, Jeff McCollough and Jason Talley. They would put out one album called Burden Of The Tiger (of which we can find little other info). Tonie, Jason and Jeremiah would go on to form Red Stars Theory with James Bertram (Lync, Built To Spill, 764-HERO).

  • Red Stars Theory: One of his longer projects, Jeremiah would drum on all seven of their releases, even providing a bit of guitar and vocals on one or two songs. They released a steady stream of work from 1995 to 2000, but have largely become defunct due to Jeremiah's hectic touring schedule with Modest Mouse. They would however, contribute a new song to Suicide Squeeze's 10 year anniversary compilation, Slaying Since 1996, in 2006.

  • Mocket: He would guest on the Matthew Steinke and Audrey Marrs Pearl Drop single in 1995. Produced by Calvin Johnson (Sad Sappy Sucker, The Fruit That Ate Itself) and Phil Ek (Night On The Sun Japanese EP) . Matthew Steinke would also be involved in Satisfact.

  • Satisfact: Label mates with Modest Mouse at the time of their first release, they would put out one album on UP Records, before releasing an EP and second album on K Records. Jeremiah would not be involved in their last album, The Third Meeting At The Third Counter and would be replaced by Dave Schneider (Lync, Love As Laughter).

  • Membranaphonics: Monitor Records would do their best to showcase different drummers on this 2001 compilation. Jeremiah would contribute a solo untitled track. Other drummers included Brendan Canty (Fugazi) and Simone Pace (Blonde Redhead).

  • Vells: Reportedly formed when Jeremiah quit Modest Mouse in 2003, he would be joined by Tristan Marcum, Mary Thinnes and Adam McCollom. To date they have released two albums, an EP (featuring artwork by Kevin Willis, who would later direct the music video for Satellite Skin) and a single, with their last release being in late 2007.

  • [[[[VVRSSNN]]]] (pronounced Version): Accompanied by Eric Judy and Calvin Johnson, they would contribute one track to this Adam Forkner project in 2003.

  • Plastiq Phantom: With Vells now on the imputor? label, Jeremiah would become more involved with one of the label's founders, Darren Weiner (Plastiq Phantom, Psychic Emperor, World Gang, backing vocals on Perpetual Motion Machine). Jeremiah would drum on Plastic Phantom's self titled album (artwork by Nando Costa, who would later direct the video for The Whale Song) and also get a song onto the Moog documentary's soundtrack.

  • Psychic Emperor: Darren Weiner would join Jeremiah, and Vells band mates Tristan Marcum and Mary Thinnes, to put out a self titled album in 2004. James Bertram would play bass on a few tracks. Jeremiah has not been involved in this project since their first album though, and it would seem that Psychic Emperor has become more a project for Darren and Tristan.

  • Graig Markel / The Animals At Night: In 2007 Jeremiah would guest on fellow Plastiq Phantom collaborator, Graig Markel's, solo album. The following year he would drum on one track of Graig's new band The Animals At Night. Both albums would feature tracks recorded in Jeremiah's basement.

  • World Gang: Teaming up once again with Darren Weiner, the two would release long ambient improvisational pieces in extremely limited quantities through imputor?. Their latest release, entitled Promise The Mixtape, is due out on February 14.

For more information on the above mentioned releases and projects, please explore Jeremiah Green's pages in the Discography section.

Posted 2011/01/04 at 23:03 | By: Gregg | Tags: Isaac Brock, Video

Fly Trapped In A Jar: Behind the scenes

All images courtesy of The Saline Project.

As most of you now know, back in March 2008, New York collective The Saline Project released a music video for Modest Mouse's Fly Trapped In A Jar.

At the time we described the release as "silent," mainly because no one in the community had any heads up this was coming, nor had it received any prior publicity from the band or their label. The video would be taken down shortly after, but not before being distributed amongst Modest Mouse fans, and nothing more would be said about it for almost three years.

Director/Artist Adam Toht (who also apparently lent his features to the alien in the video) was kind enough to take some time to write to us and share some details on the making of the video, and tell us what exactly went wrong.

As huge fans of Modest Mouse we were ecstatic to be offered the chance to make a video for one of the tracks from We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank.

For "Fly Trapped in a Jar" we kept seeing a band of identical extraterrestrials led by Isaac's alien counterpart. We loved this idea of creating a single-shot video set in a bright, tweaked take on a Seussian world. We saw Fly Trapped in a Jar as more of a performance than a standard music video, so we wrote it, pitched it and were awarded the job.

Because we had a minimal budget, we piggybacked our green screen shoot with Isaac onto another shoot Modest Mouse were doing at the time. We mocked up an alien outfit so that Isaac could play with the character and the alien's body type. It was a fun, super short shoot and we brought the footage back to New York and began what we thought would be a relatively normal post process. We shot the backup band, with their performances taking cues from Isaac's, and began building out the candy-colored world and its inhabitants. That's when we began to realize how time-consuming the process was going to be.

A full five minutes of animation equals about 7000 frames of animation for each of 25 different dancing, instrument-playing, face-making little dudes. It was an insane undertaking. Even worse, as great as the individual character tests looked to us, the label and the band, once put in a single frame, our painstakingly animated little guys seemed to cancel each other out onscreen.

It was like a black hole, the more work we put in, the more the video seemed to be sucking the life out of itself. So we asked for more time and put in what ended up being a few more months of work, only to submit a locked off camera version that everyone hated. It was brutal. So other jobs came in and we switched off between these projects and endless iterations of Fly Trapped in a Jar.

As frustrating as all of this was, we knew there had to be a great video in there. All the individual elements, the song, Isaac's performance, and our beloved aliens, were each too killer to result in something boring and static. Finally, with a version that seemed like a better video (we may have been losing a little perspective), we knew we had to put the project to bed. We re-submitted it to the label and... heard nothing.

Weeks went by, and as Adam explains, a small lapse in judgment would see the project shelved.

And that's when we did a really stupid thing.

We posted a version of Fly Trapped in a Jar to our site. We were up for several jobs with a similar aesthetic and salineproject.com serves as our main portfolio. And before we rubbed two brain-cells together and realized the kind of impact any new Modest Mouse video naturally has, Fly Trapped in a Jar was all over the web. Pitchfork posted it, bloggers blogged it, Rolling Stone wrote it up... and our production company called us to say that the record label was (rightfully) furious and wanted the video pulled immediately.

That was one of the shittiest days our group has ever had. We apologized our asses off to Isaac, the record label and our reps, and wiped the video from the web as fast as we could.

And then Fly Trapped in a Jar was sat on a shelf for over two years.

And then we decided this wasn't going to fly. And we opened up the project again and started working on the video again.

(Because we are crazy.)

And it got really good.

And years after the early version was leaked we got in touch with Isaac and talked about the possibility of releasing the video again, and Isaac was totally down and loved the idea that this was more of a short film, more of an "An Alien Musical," and Fly Trapped in a Jar was officially released!

The completed video was finally released in December 2010, and Adam, his producer/artist/brother Ben, and the other members of The Saline Project seem to be really ecstatic with their finished project.

Amazingly, it resulted in one of the best things we've ever done. People love this thing; people hate this thing. We love it and are so grateful that we had a chance to make and (finally!) release it.

To view the completed video, check out the song's page or watch it on The Saline Project's website.

Posted 2011/01/03 at 16:40 | By: Gregg | Tags: Site News

I'm on a road shaped like a figure eight: The new Interstate-8.com

Happy new year and welcome to the new Interstate-8.com. As you can see we have completely redesigned the site.

Firstly, to get the technical stuff out of the way, I recoded the site in PHP and converted the existing database to MySQL. I have also moved the site to a new web host, Media Temple, which I am extremely happy about seeing as how my old web host in the last year has been going down in flames.

Down to new features. Apart from a fresh new look and feel, which I don't think looks too bad considering I have ZERO design skills, I have added new features, most are small and insignificant, but will make the presentation and usefulness of the data we store better. Major changes include:

  • Commenting - This is request I have received a lot over the years. The ability to comment on songs like the site SongMeanings.net, etc. It's a really good idea, so I've added this feature through a plugin called disqus.com, which is becoming more and more popular. The new site has the ability to comment on news articles, songs, albums, tour dates (instant reviews!), pretty much everything.

  • Studio Sessions - This is a rough collection for now. We will need to go through and fine tune it, but basically it is an attempt to catalogue every time Modest Mouse entered a studio to record something, whether if be an album track, demo, etc. Sessions link back to the songs and people involved and visa versa.

  • Song Quotes - Any quotes the band has ever mentioned involving individual songs from interviews, etc; like either the song's meaning, effects used, etc. Although... Someone now just needs to find some...

  • Alternative lyrics and track names - Something that has been sorely missing and a limitation of the old site, is the ability to bind alternative song titles to songs and alternative lyrics (this includes live lyrics). No longer. I received many contributions earlier on for alternative lyrics from live performances, (eg the extended Trucker's Atlases, etc), but had no way of putting them into the system, this can now be done, so by all means if you have a bootleg of a show in which the lyrics to a track are severally changed and you think it should be noted, please submit.

  • Tour Recordings - just the info for now, I am not looking at hosting bootlegs. This feature will do is track which shows have been recorded, with what, the quality and if the recording is complete or not. The technology is there, it's just a work in progress and something you will start to see more of in the tour section.

  • Venues - Tour dates will now start tracking performances played at the same venue, not just city, state and country. With the hopes of expanding and having a decent library of venues around the world.

  • Themes - At the moment, this is the default theme for the site, but in the coming weeks we will be adding one for each album and maybe some EPs. It's nothing too major, mainly just the colours of the site, but it's a nice touch.

Right now, most of the original data is as is. We're going to be going through entries over the next few months and trying to fix up as much of the original data as possible (I found tons of mistakes while moving the data over; incorrectly spelt song names, album release dates, and a whole Japanese tour missing from 1999). The new system also allows us to expand on the already large discography section with far more ease. A lot of the entries will still have their old album art in, which is the incorrect size, so some may look a little stretched. This mainly applies to side projects though.

I've also got in temporary bios taken from Wikipedia, which we will go back and add to along the way, but feel free to add your two cents to them in their comments section. We also have plans for a new message board theme, a mobile site, maybe (big maybe) an iPhone app, and some other useful features a long the way.

So... here it is. I hope I haven't missed anything in testing. If you see something glaringly wrong, please bear with us, let us know and we will do our best to fix it as soon as possible.

Thanks for all your support over the last 4.5 years, and here's hoping we all get word of the new album soon.

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