Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock has brought back his one time solo project Ugly Casanova (see 2002’s excellent Sharpen Your Teeth) with some nine songs he recently contributed to the upcoming soundtrack to the film 180 South, set to be released June 22 on Brushfire Records (see tracklist below).
A recent Pitchfork interview with the man himself shed a good deal of light on his involvement with the 180 South film soundtrack, as well as the rejuvenation of the Ugly Casanova moniker:
Pitchfork How did you get involved in this movie?
Isaac Brock: A couple different people tossed my name into the hat when they were working on it. There was a connection already between Mason Jennings, who was doing some songs for it, and me. [Brock has released music by Jennings on his label Glacial Pace.] And then James Mercer, who’s a friend and neighbor, suggested that they have me do some stuff. He felt I’d be more specifically good at these weird ambient things. I was only supposed to do a couple of songs, and then I saw a need and got a little obsessed with actually scoring and doing stuff, so it became much more than we all planned on. Once I started working on it, I just grabbed on tight and didn’t let go.
Pitchfork: You contributed a lot of songs. What about the process made you get that into it?
IB: Really just my nature. If I start working on something, I get a little too driven. I felt like there were things about the soundtrack they had going that all seemed a bit too same-ish, just going from one singer-songwriter to another, and that bothered me. I just kept throwing out things, and they seemed to like it. I think the idea was having a soundtrack that actually was specific to the project, rather than borrowed bits of music. They got pretty excited about that.
Pitchfork: James Mercer went to Patagonia when the movie was in the earlier stages. Did you go?
IB: No, no, no. The only time I’ve ever been near there was when I went to Argentina for a wedding. But no, I wasn’t invited. That had all gone on before I was involved in the movie.
Pitchfork: What made you decide to bring back your Ugly Casanova project?
IB: Well, the nitty roots of that is that it would have been a problem legally if I’d called it Modest Mouse. I don’t much like things to go by somebody’s name, like the Bob Jones Group Jam Band. I figured, since it was more than writing, it’d just be easier to consider it as another Ugly Casanova project.
Pitchfork: Did you bring back the same guys who played on the Ugly Casanova album?
IB: Nope. But Ugly Casanova isn’t really about those people. It’s whatever odds and ends I end up throwing together. There’s more people that played on it from Modest Mouse than from the Ugly Casanova project.
Check out the first brief video of Isaac recording one of the songs from 180 South “Lay Me Down”, as well as Isaac performing one of the new songs live off 180 South “Here’s To Now” at a recent premiere in Portland, OR.
In addition to “Here’s To Now”, Brock has also been playing some Modest Mouse songs at the premiere shows, such as the classic tune “Broke”, which can also be seen below (and is worth a watch for the hilarious intro banter alone).
There are also some free downloads for two of the Ugly Casanova songs from the 180 South soundtrack below (courtesty of P’fork).
Oh yeah, and there’s now a portrait of Isaac Brock in the Portland’s mayor Sam Adams’ office. Strange, but awesomely true.
180 South soundtrack Tracklist:
01 Ugly Casanova: “Mountains of Storms”
02 Ugly Casanova: “Here’s to Now”
03 Mason Jennings: “Machines”
04 James Mercer: “Doug’s Theme”
05 Ugly Casanova: “Wave Goodbye”
06 Ugly Casanova: “Lonesome Blues”
07 James Mercer: “Journey Through the Past”
08 Ugly Casanova: “Hotcha Girls”
09 Jack Johnson: “Spring Wind”
10 Ugly Casanova: “Maybe We’re Lost”
11 Ugly Casanova: “Corcovado”
12 Love as Laughter: “Coconut Flakes”
13 Ugly Casanova: “The Geezer”
14 Ugly Casanova: “Lay Me Down”