Modest Mouse, and Cass McCombs

Successful yet good bands -- the hottest new trend

What else can you say about an indie band that's suddenly on every TV show still hosting live music? Or about a lead singer like Isaac Brock, who goes on several national shows and doesn't even try to disguise the big, nasty shiner on his right eye? What happens when said band's breakthrough album, Good News for People Who Love Bad News, a treatise on death and the afterlife, is nominated for a clutch of Grammys and is now an impulse checkout item near the register at Target? If you're an indie snob, you say, "They deserve their moment in the sun," and secretly search for someone less conspicuous to champion now that MM doesn't need you. Try opening act Cass McCombs, a Baltimore son with two albums and an EP under his belt, and a portfolio of songs that also don't shy away from tough subjects like death ("I Went to the Hospital," "She's Still Suffering") and the afterlife ("Sacred Heart"). His latest album, PREfection, is just that -- a near perfect collection of uplifting '80s guitar Britpop with singer-songwriter smarts 'n' despair that critics love. If you can imagine yourself happily singing "Dearly departed, we all will return to the soil," you've already found your next big thing. And ours.

 
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