“Blame It On The Tetons” and Perfect Moments in Music

This originally appeared on All Things Go as part of their retrospective on Modest Mouse’s ‘Good News For People Who Love Bad News’


“Blame It On The Tetons” isn’t my favorite song — that honor, coincidentally, belongs to an earlier Modest Mouse song, “Gravity Rides Everything” — but “Blame It On The Tetons” contains my favorite moment in music.

And that might mean even more.

Because we all listen to music for that moment when everything comes together just right. It’s what crescendos were made for. And even though dubstep did all it could to murder ‘the moment’ by continuously dropping it, it’s still the backbone of it all. It’s still the thing we yearningly search for when scouring the web for new music, and it’s why we keep coming back to old sources of it time and time again. We want to feel that temporary relief that comes from aural oneness.

And that might sound a bit too romantic, I know, but I defy you to listen to the piano line that comes in at 3:44 and tell me that it isn’t a transcendent experience.

This song is rallying cry against those that haven’t accepted the Isaac Brockian take on Buddhism — which dictates that yes life is suffering, but you really have to get over that and just own it — Everyone is a burning building, mumbling loudly; everyone is an ocean drowning, proudly shameful.

But as the hypnotic group therapy session dissipates after the second chorus and there’s the hint of a possible (bittersweet) ending to the song, all of a sudden airy violins blossom and hope begins to springs anew.

Then there it is.

Clear as day, that simple modest piano line slips in and nimbly dances on top of the tumult in the song below, elevating the entire mood of the song to its level. After that, while the rest of the song still airs the faint aroma of sour milk, at least it feels like the glass is half full.

All because of those few seconds where it all came together just right.

God, I need a cold one now.

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