The Good Times Are Killing Me: Two Decades of Modest Mouse in Skateboarding

By Reuben Barrack

It’s no secret that I’m a loyal Modest Mouse fan. I even have a tattoo on my left arm which references one of my favorite songs of theirs, “Heart Cooks Brain.” Maybe I’ve just been feeling nostalgic lately, or the fact that I just saw them live again for the fourth time at SDSU on Sept 22nd. Nevertheless, I went down the rabbit hole by chronicling the most memorable video parts that have featured Modest Mouse tracks. I’ve always had a connection with their music, probably because they’ve been a band as long as I’ve been alive. But it most notably stems from the first time I watched Misled Youth and heard “Shit Luck” blasting for the Toy Machine commercial. My brother also played “Dramamine” for me when I was 8 or 9, and I couldn’t believe it was the same band. 

Their versatility of fast, punk songs mixed with a variety of mellow indie jams still intrigues me to this day. As a way to honor and pay respect to their enhancement of skate video soundtracks, I compiled the following list of edits spanning over the past two decades. This is admittedly one of the nerdiest articles I’ve pieced together for the mag thus far, but I hope if you’re watching these for the first time that you’ll learn to enjoy them as much as I do. Also, I challenge anyone to look up another band or group that has been used just as much (if not more) than Modest Mouse. If you do feel inclined to check out their discography, do so after you overindulge on enough skateboarding to keep your stoke levels alive well into next week! 

Disclaimer: We put in a few songs twice, namely “Shit Luck” because it was used again for the Toy Machine team montage for Jeremy Leabres’ pro part as an ode to their original use of the song in Misled Youth. Also, Rick McCrank and Whitey both skated to “What People Are Made Of” and I couldn’t decide which part I like better, so we’ll leave it up to the viewer’s preference.

Also, Clint Walker skated to “Cowboy Dan” from The Lonesome Crowded West in his Saturdays part, but we were only able to include the rough cuts since his part is not currently available for free on any platform. Big bummer. But, play the song a few times while you watch the rough cuts. Almost as good as the real thing!

Toy Machine Commercial in Zero’s Misled Youth (1999)

[Shit Luck – The Lonesome Crowded West (1997)]

Jon West in Foundation’s Art Bars (2001)

[A Different City – The Moon & Antarctica (2000)]

Cairo Foster in Real to Reel (2001)

[Never Ending Math Equation – Building Nothing Out of Something (2000)]

Ryan Bobier in Adio’s One Step Beyond (2002)

[Alone Down There – The Moon & Antarctica (2000)]

Stefan Janoski in TWS – Subtleties (2004)

[Paper Thin Walls – The Moon & Antarctica (2000)]

Wayne Patrick & The Houston Heads in Static II: The Invisibles (2004)

[Breakthrough – This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About (1996)]

Rick McCrank in the Antisocial Shop Vid (2004)

[What People Are Made Of – The Moon & Antarctica (2000)]

Whitey from Hotwax (2005)

[What People Are Made Of – The Moon & Antarctica (2000)] 

Colin Brophy in Call It Venting (2013)

[Broke – Building Nothing Out of Something (2000)]

Shane Auckland in SK8RATS – Rat Poison (2014)

[Ocean Breathes Salty – Good News For People Who Love Bad News (2004)]

Toy Machine’s “The Re-education of Jeremy Leabres” (2014) – Intro/Team Montage

[Shit Luck – The Lonesome Crowded West (1997)]

Brad Cromer in TWS – Outliers (2014)

[Tundra/Desert – This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think About (1996)]

Jeff Stevens in Fuck This Video Too (2016)

[From Point A to Point B (Infinity) – Sad Sappy Sucker (2001)]

Clint Walker in Birdhouse – Saturdays (2017)

[Cowboy Dan – The Lonesome Crowded West (1997)]

Mason Silva Welcome to Real (2020)

[Every Penny Fed Car – Sad Sappy Sucker (2001)]

Zane Timpson “Sufferlove” Heroin Skateboards Part (2021)

[Teeth Like God’s Shoeshine – The Lonesome Crowded West (1997)]

Read more about some skate video music history HERE.

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