My iPod #243: Modest Mouse – Dashboard

Sorry, the post is a bit late. Had some work to do, you know.

I had never listened through song fully by Modest Mouse before “Dashboard” appeared on the TV seven years ago. The last few seconds of “Float On” were the only thing I had witnessed when I changed the channel onto MTV2 one time, but unsurprisingly those seconds didn’t last long in memory.

The video for “Dashboard” was regularly advertised, being shown as the ‘brand new single’ from the band’s then forthcoming album “We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank”. It was their first album in three years, and Johnny Marr, formerly of The Smiths, had recently joined the band’s lineup so interest was high. I say this like I know; I only assume, I was twelve at the time.

Dashboard is about taking the positive aspects from a less than satisfactory car journey. Or a car accident. Maybe more the latter. The dashboard melted, but hey look on the bright side…. they still had the radio. Even with the positive message, the song itself is not bright and happy melodically. There’s something about those strings after the first chorus that reminds me of being on the sea during a thunderstorm. Like a pirate sort of thing. But maybe that’s because of its music video.

The video is funny too. Apparently Seasick Steve is the barman who has the guitar fretboard for a leg at the end (you’ll need to see it to understand)…. but I swear it looks nothing like him.


Author: Jamie Kyei Manteaw

An English student at Coventry University who spends most days listening to music (old and new) and reading and writing about it, however informal it may be. And studying too, obviously.

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