Modest Mouse is a rock band from Washington (the state). They're a bunch of crazy motherfuckers.
Modest Mouse came together in 1994, when Isaac Brock and some of his friends made a deal with the devil to record indie music, or something invariably more interesting than, "Hey, we should form a rock band." They took their name from a Virginia Woolf story, showing off their cultured side.
Complete with moustaches and fezes
They released their first album This is A Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About in 1996, beginning a tradition of long, slightly depressing album titles. They lingered in obscurity until they signed onto Epic in 2000, releasing The Moon and Antarctica. The album was critically acclaimed, etc. etc. all that jazz.
Modest Mouse got progressively more famous as the decade went on, scoring a hit in 2004 with "Float On", about hitting police cars and getting scammed by Rastafarians, as far as I can tell. They scored a number one album with We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank, as well as more acclaim and accolades.
What makes Modest Mouse Modest Mouse? Two things, really. First, the music. It's loud and jagged, most of the time. Even when they're playing a ballad, they sound uptight and paranoid.
Second, the lyrics. They make no sense whatsover. Seriously.
Modest Mouse is equally famous for their videos, especially after they scored big in 2004. As time has gone on, they've gotten progressively weirder. Take the "Float On" video:
What the fuck is going on? Why the sheep? The answer is: there is no why. There is only Modest Mouse.
Also, take their video for "Dashboard":
There is a story, although it's separate from the actual song (whose lyrics were improvised, apparantly), and is just side-splittingly surreal. It's also proof of Isaac Brock's insanity.
Sweet, sweet insanity
But what really takes the cake is the video for "King Rat", directed by Heath Ledger (yes, that Heath Ledger):
This is one of the creepiest and horrifying music videos you will ever watch. Why exactly? It's not because of the whales. It's not because of the role-reversal. It's not even the last part with the dog food. It's because of that sun. That. God. Damn. Sun.