Song of the Day #3,589: ‘Paper Thin Walls’ – Modest Mouse

I’m three for three this week on bands I’ve surprisingly never featured before. I would have sworn that I’d at least blogged about Modest Mouse’s 2004 hit ‘Float On,’ but alas, I have not.

Like Sleater-Kinney, Modest Mouse hails from Washington state. I guess something about those Pacific Northwest bands really struck a nerve in the year 2000.

Modest Mouse’s critically-acclaimed album from that year is titled The Moon & Antarctica, the band’s third studio release.

Based on my quick sampling of the album, I hear a big Talking Heads influence. There’s the same sort of off-kilter weirdness to the songs, though for my money they don’t land as often.

Interesting sound, though, and worth a listen even if I won’t return to them anytime soon.

[Chorus]
These walls are paper thin
And everyone hears every little sound
Everyone’s a voyeur
As they’re watching me watch them watch me right now
They’re shaking hands, they’re shaking in their shoes
Oh Lord, don’t shake me down
Everyone wants two of them
And half of everyone else who’s around
It’s been agreed the whole world stinks
So no one’s taking showers anymore

[Verse 1]
Laugh hard, it’s a long ways to the bank
I can’t be blamed for nothing anymore
It’s been a long time since you’ve been around
Laugh hard, it’s long ways to the bank

[Verse 2]
Tow the line to tax the time, you know
That you don’t owe
I can’t be a fool for everyone
That I don’t know

[Chorus]
These walls are paper thin
And everyone hears every little sound
Everyone’s a voyeur
As they’re watching me watch them watch me right now
They’re shaking hands, they’re shaking in their shoes
Oh Lord, don’t shake me down
Everyone wants two of them
And half of everyone else who’s around
It’s been agreed the whole world stinks
So no one’s taking showers anymore

[Refrain]
Laugh hard it’s long ways to the bank

[Outro]
Tow the line to tax the time, you know
That you don’t owe
I can’t be a fool for everyone
That I don’t know

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,589: ‘Paper Thin Walls’ – Modest Mouse

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I’ve heard of this band, perhaps cited as an influence by another artist I like such as Ben Folds or Vampire Weekend? Anyway, I like their sound and the lyrics are clever.

  2. Peg Clifton says:

    Where do these bands come up with their names? That would be an interesting project.

    • Clay says:

      I actually know this one… it comes from a passage in the Virginia Woolf story ‘The Mark On the Wall’:

      “I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises.”

  3. Peg says:

    Impressive!

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