I'm not one to harp on Modest Mouse and the massive success the band has become. Isaac Brock can, and will, do whatever the hell he wants...and there's no denying they are one of the weirdest, wonkiest bands in indie rock. But when it comes time for a good road trip (to the Gorge, perhaps!), I inevitably reach for The Fruit That Ate Itself, Everywhere and His Nasty Parlor Tricks, Building Something Out of Nothing, and the great Lonesome Crowded West, for my soundtrack. The Fruit That Ate Itself is an EP tailor-made for driving long distances, with reference to state parks and "wrong-hand lanes", and Lonesome Crowded West boasts the last of the great road anthems "Truckers Atlas". Lonesome also opens with "Teeth Like God's Shoeshine", which gives you the adrenaline rush you need to make it over the Pass (that is, if you don't have amphetamines). These are perfect windows-down-empty-highway-passing-log-trucks-stopping-for-gas-near-Cle-Elum-type songs. And when it gets late with everyone else in the car asleep and you're looking out at hillsides that are just shadows and a big, crazy moon over Washington State, then it's time for Everywhere and His Nasty Parlor Tricks. Isaac reached deep down into his late-night soul for this EP. Few people have ever captured that mood of being alone with your thoughts in the middle of nowhere after midnight.
Modest Mouse plays the Sasquatch! Mainstage at 8:15 p.m., Saturday.