I promised a Mobo post a long time ago and never delivered. I’m sorry! Here it is.
I honestly don’t remember how I discovered Modern Baseball. I think I got into Tigers Jaw (post will come) first and then just kept exploring the Run for Cover Records family. Sidenote: RFC is the freaking best record company in the universe. They have wonderful bands that they treat well, and the record company itself is composed of the coolest guys ever. I stopped watching Tuesdays With Tay, but my god it used to be my favorite Tuesday ritual. Bean Dip and Alex are the coolest guys ever and Tay is so funny. If you don’t already support RFC please consider checking out their bands, buying their merch and watching their funny videos.
So I found Modern Baseball somehow. Then I hardcore fell for Sports. The whole record is perfect. The lyrics said exactly everything I was feeling as a sad little sophomore in high school and the music is fun and upbeat and quirky. “The Weekend” literally articulated everything I was feeling while also being fun and happy and way too catchy. Also Brendan’s vocals are just perfectly pop punk but with a fun nerd rock twist. IT IS SO IRRESISTIBLE.
Also their image is just too perfect. I mean some pop punk bands simply aren’t believable because the band members all look like god damn male models with chiseled muscles and frat boy clothing (talking about you Parker Cannon of The Story So Far). Modern Baseball is believable. Ian Farmer is a total ragamuffin nerd, Brendan is quite pudgy, and Jake is a nerdy looking short guy. You know these guys really were miserable in high school. It just makes the music feel that much more honest. The lyrics are all quite introspective and actually come off as extremely emotionally mature and self aware, but you also know they’re teenagers. I think I like pop punk because it’s generally (maybe surprisingly) so genuine, self reflective, and honest as a genre.
Anyways Sports is a perfect record. I was going to pick out my favorite songs, but honestly I like every song on that album. Hours Outside in the Snow or The Weekend or Coals or Tears Over Beers likely my favorites.
Then I discovered their old EPs and splits and COULD NOT STOP listening to “It’s Cold Out Here.”
Then they released “You’re Gonna Miss it All” right before I saw them on a super small stage in Oakland with a bunch of other more punk bands. YGMIA never disappointed for a second. I think it’s a wonderful record, and I love tons of songs off of it (namely Apartment and Rock Bottom). However, it never really earned the same place in my heart that Sports inhabits. I think that’s mostly due to timing and when I discovered Sports. Anyways, the show was awesome. Modern Baseball looked so funny and cute and not punk compared to the other bands playing the venue that evening. It was before they kinda blew up and you could really feel the excitement of the crowd. We knew that they were good and that people would know about them.
And they did blow up (for a pop punk RFC band). You’re Gonna Miss it All sold a lot and “Your Graduation” was a big hit. I actually even occasionally see it on Apple Music playlists!!! Also the New York Times recently did a piece on the band so you know they’ve basically made it.
Anyways I love them dearly and only wish the very best for Brendan, Jake, Ian and Sean. Thank you guys for always liking my tweets about your band and being nice cool people. Thank you for being nerdy guys in a pop punk band who don’t care about looking cool. Sending much pop punk love your way.
P.S. I have the Into It Over It shirt Brendan is wearing in the picture above!
UPDATE: I was just reading an AV Club article about MoBo’s desire to create a safe place at their shows and came upon this quote from Jake: “I can’t even imagine what it feels like to be a 16-year-old girl and love music and really want to play music—but go to a show and see four men on a stage, followed by four men on a stage, followed by four men on a stage. They have to think that the chance of becoming part of that feels so slim.” It’s so damn cool that he realizes how white and male pop punk is and wants to change it.