30. Modest Mouse
Years active: 1993 - present Influenced: Poetic, plaintiff and anxious emo-rock Hometown: Modesto, California Jam: "Blame it on the Tetons." Scapegoats aside, this song encapsulates that whether it be loud or soft, the level of emotion that Modest Mouse conveys within rough, jumbled vocals is unmatchable.
As a band whose name derives from a passage by Virginia Wolfe and whose latest lineup includes a member of The Smiths, Modest Mouse was destined for greatness among young, emo folk from the get-go. But the surprising, poignant and just plain weird poetry of the songs, supplemented by warped electric guitar sounds and blurred out vocals created a sound that was completely unique, while still couched in the same basic elements of the indie genre. The band's sound is anxious, often depressed, and littered with inconsistencies and oppositional juxtapositions—in essence it resonated perfectly with an audience of confused and wandering teenagers. But the anthematic climaxes of songs like "Float On" and "Dark Center of the Universe," or even the later "Dashboard" became emblems for a generation who fell in love with the idea of wearing their hearts on their sleeves.