Modest Mouse by Pat Graham

Modest Mouse: Photographs by Pat Graham

Pat Graham was roommates with Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock when Brock was still a weird kid scratching at his guitar and shouting into his microphone. (He still does that, I guess.) Graham tagged along for the scrappy early Modest Mouse tours, and his gorgeous book of photographs documents the days of broken-down vans, snowstorms, and the unending desire to keep tours from getting boring. It captures everything from basement shows to roadside goof-offs to intimate portraits of young artists at work. In other words, you’re just as likely to see an unstaged, stoned-looking bass player stepping out of the band’s “Vansion” as you are a gorgeous shot of a sunset (which you can talk shit about at your leisure while flipping through these photos). [Josh Modell]




QuizUp is a trivia game app, perfect both for killing time on the train and engaging your friends in a competitive pop culture knowledge-off. There are actually plenty of categories outside of pop culturedom, but I only crawl out of my Harry Potter and TV corner to test my knowledge on food. Each QuizUp round consists of 10 questions you play with another person in real time, and having someone on the other end playing against you instead of a computer makes for a higher-stakes game that’s a lot more engaging. If you lose, you can challenge the person who bested you for a rematch, so there’s some actual interaction going on. (There’s also a message component, but the only message I’ve ever received was from an overly friendly man who claimed to be a doctor.) Logging in through Facebook creates a list of friends who also have the app, so you can challenge friends to trivia matches, too. It’s surprising what I’ve learned about friends’ tastes in trivia and what they do and don’t know. When you rack up enough points in a category, you earn category-specific “badges” that are displayed under your name for all to see (and fear). It’s nice that everyone I play knows I’m a “Minister Of Magic” due to reaching level 40 in Harry Potter. For really intense players, there’s the “top players,” with ranks assorted by region. For a few glorious, short-lived moments at the beginning of October I was number three in Harry Potter in Illinois. [Caitlin PenzeyMoog]

Restorations, LP3

Across its three full-length albums, Restorations has become the rock band for people who hate straight-ahead rock ’n’ roll bands. At times, Restorations has the arena-rock accessibility of Foo Fighters, but it’s got a country twang in its guitars and punk-rock backbone, which is probably why Jon Loudon is just as quick to drop Fugazi or Crazy Horse as an influence as he is the Foos. LP3 proves that all of these references are apt, if not immediately recognizable. Restorations has never settled into any one mode, and here the band ping-pongs between tracks that showcase all these disparate influences in one convenient package. The album’s lead single, “Separate Songs,” is as good a case study as any, as its chiming chord progression is set atop a choppy drumbeat that allows Loudon’s booming voice to shepherd it toward an anthemic chorus. LP3 is rock music that isn’t shy about using small, subtle details to work toward something bigger, and that’s always been Restorations appeal. It’s an album that shows all sides of Restorations, in the process proving that it may be a little too neurotic to fill stadiums, but its ambitions remain far grander than any rock club can hold. [David Anthony]