Isaac Brock at Sudsy Malone's

I've met Isaac Brock, the front man of Billboard darlings Modest Mouse.

It was a crisp November in 1997 at Cincinnati's Sudsy Malone's. Sudsy Malone's is a great bar/club/laundromat (yes, I wrote "laundromat") that's located in an artsy neighborhood of the Queen City. There's a cool, old-style bar with plenty of selection, a lax doorman, a stage with its back to the front window, and several washers and dryers in the rear. We arrived early - before the doorman was even ready - and hung out, waiting for the show.

The bands did not disappoint. I sat atop the bar as 764-HERO and Modest Mouse collaborated for "Whenever You See Fit". Soon after this show-stopper, MM played a raucous set. We were plenty satisfied.

Although the band mostly played new material, a girl who traveled with us talked Brock into playing "All Night Diner" even though he was tired of the song. It didn't hurt that the girl was cute.

We got a chance to chat with Eric and Jeremiah who were rather pleasant fellows. They asked what I bought from the merch table. So, I proudly showed off my new Mouse t-shirt and a 7". The record was "Birds vs. Worms" which Jeremiah didn't really care for, but we all agreed that the packaging (pressed on marbled powder blue vinyl in a translucent, rice paper sleeve) was really cool. According to Wikipedia, there were only 500 of these singles pressed.

We hit the John and headed out the door for our hour drive back to Dayton. As we made our way up the street, we saw Brock with this woman hanging all over him. Brock had had conversations at previous shows with this guy, Adam, that was with us who was wheelchair-bound (MS I think). The two acquaintances shared a common interest in having beat poetry and Buddhist imagery tattooed all over their arms.

Brock promptly stopped us and told the woman that he needed to talk to us since he hadn't seen us in a long time. After exchanging pleasantries, Brock invited us back to the bar for some drinks. I talked to him about seeing Modest Mouse in Columbus the year before. He remembered being weirded out about playing a bagel and beer joint, but he loved that night's opener, Tiara.

Our group re-entered Sudsy's, and Brock headed to the bar for those promised beers. He returned with a beer in each hand. He handed (the three of) us one and kept the other for himself.

The rest of our discussion was dominated by Brock insisting that we find a dance club that was still open at 2:30 AM. This was Cincinnati, not New York. We eventually left a little star-struck.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Coincidental tidbit: I know nothing about Cincinatti, and I don't intend to go, but a friend was talking about the region (she is from there) and we talked about Sudzy Malones today. Not the Modest Mouse show, but she was probably there or nearby around the same date.