Where Oh Where Have the Side-projects Gone?

by Jay Boller

When members of established bands deviate into the always iffy side project territory, the results often vary. There are the hyper-indulgent (De Facto, Neon Blonde) and the superb (Ugly Casanova, Desaparecidos). This blog will focus, albeit briefly, on the latter.

That said, remember how hard Ugly Casanova and Desaparecidos ruled? Man, totally ruled. And the world was only treated to one record from each. In my opinion, that’s totally messed up. For those of you unfamiliar with one or both, Ugly Casanova was the side project of Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock and Desaparecidos was the side project of Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst. Ugly Casanova gave us the stripped-down and trippy Modest Mouse-ish “Sharpen Your Teeth” and Desaparedicos offered up the politically charged and Pinkerton-era Weezer sounding “Read Music. Speak Spanish”.

I still routinely rock both, given how truly badass they are. And yet – cock tease alert – that’s all we (the world) got! So lame.

To make matters worse, Brock claimed that the recording process for “Sharpen Your Teeth”, which consisted of copious amounts of brew pounding and hanging out, was one of the most rewarding musical experiences he had ever had. Why not record another on, then, ISAAC? Similarly, Oberst said something to the effect of “Desa will raise its head again.” That was, like, three years ago. Tease, tease, tease …

Anyway, let that open up the floor to you guy’s best/worst side projects. What ya got, MN Daily.com readers?