December 30, 2007

Modcast #79: New to You in 2007

Welcome to the end of yet another great year in music history. There was lots of great power pop coming out this year, as well as garage and post-punk, and even pure soul music started making inroads into the mainstream again. Definitely a good year to be a music lover. I always tell people that the best music I've ever listened to is the music I'm listening to right now. If you're a music lover like me, what else can you say.

2007 is over, but the music will live on. And there was so much good stuff out this past year, how could we not explore a few new gems. Rather than provide yet another year ending list of what I happened to think was best this year, I've opted to serve up some stuff that will hopefully be new to you. All the dozen tracks on this week's show were released in 2007, and so rather than let them get stale in '08, I'm going to deliver them fresh while the year is still with us. Enjoy!
End of Year Bonus Videos!

The Red Button - Cruel Girl




Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong - Lonely Boy




The Icicles - Sugar Sweet (live)




Hushpuppies -- You're Gonna Say Yeah



December 23, 2007

A Suave Christmas Card

I love Richard Cheese because he's ... well, he's cheesy. There's seldom a better time to be cheesy than at Christmas. Richard does it up just right with this original Christmas tune, "Christmas in Las Vegas". Last year he had a video contest for the song. You can see dozens of entries at Youtube, but this one is my favorite.

Christmas in Las Vegas

Mr. Suave's 2007 Swingin' Christmas

Merry Christmas modsters. Christmas is just two days away, the North Pole is all in a tizzy, Santa's gettin' his sleigh road ready, and that means it's time to dust off an old favorite. Actually, 24 old favorites. This year's mix is just a little different from last year's. Mostly the same, but you've got to mix it up a little.

Every year I play my mix at parties, post it online, and generally share the cheer. And every year people beg me to burn them a copy. Since hard copies are so 20th century, here's a digital download of Mr. Suave's Christmas disk in all it's swingin, glory. And, it's pure tunage, completely without Mr. Suave commentary!


  • Happy Holidays -- Mel Torme
  • Jingle Bells -- Esquival
  • Winter Wonderlands -- Ella Fitzgerald
  • Mr. Snow Miser -- Year Without A Santa Claus
  • Sleigh Ride on High -- Squirrel Nut Zippers
  • Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer -- Billy May & His Orchestra
  • Toot, Toot, Tootie, Toot -- Duke Ellington
  • Let It Snow -- Lena Horne
  • Christmas Wrapping -- The Waitresses
  • Skating -- Vince Guiraldi
  • The Merriest -- June Christy
  • Warm December -- Julie London
  • We Four Kings -- The Blue Hawaiians
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside -- Dean Martin
  • Caroling -- Nat King Cole Trio
  • Merry Christmas Darling -- The Carpenters
  • Snow Valley -- Mel Torme
  • Sleigh Ride -- Combustible Edison
  • Mr. Heat Miser -- Year Without A Santa Claus
  • Frosty The Snowman -- Ray Conniff Singers
  • Santa Claus Is Coming To Town -- Cyndi Lauper/Frank Sinatra
  • Ring Those Jingle Bells -- Peggy Lee
  • Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas -- Bing Crosby

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a Mod New Year!

December 18, 2007

modcast #78: It's Merry Merry Christmas Time

Merry Christmas and welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod Christmas episode. It is indeed that time of year again when everyone is dusting off their old skool Christmas disks and spinning Nat King Cole and Burl Ives morning 'til night. But not on this modcast. Nope on this modcast you're going to get the likes of Otis Redding, Arrah and the Ferns, High Elevations, and the Staple Singers. So, heat up the eggnog, slip in some whiskey, sit back and relax with some Christmast cheer.

Next week I'll be serving up my annual modcast of Mr. Suave's Swingin' Christmas. Seems that people really dig it because of the wide variety of christmas music; it's got everything from Combustible Edison to Frank Sinatra, from the most excellent holiday special ever The Year Without a Santa Claus to the Waitresses, and lots more. But that's next week. This week we've got some great Christmas goodies. Enjoy.
  • Brian Setzer Orchestra (feat. Ann Margaret) -- Baby It's Cold Outside
  • Robbers on High Street -- Season's Greetings
  • Irene -- Christmas on the Beach
  • The Higher Elevations -- All These Winter Nights
  • Euz Autres -- Another Christmas at Home
  • Arrah and the Ferns -- Merry Christmas, Not Exmas
  • The Swimmers -- The Christmas Sound
  • Otis Redding -- Merry Christmas Baby
  • The Staple Singers - Who Took The Merry Out of Christmas
  • Stevie Wonder -- What Christmas Means To Me
  • Rev. Horton Heat -- Santa on the Roof
E-mail me at rob@mistersuave.com.

Bonus Videos

The Ramones -- Merry Christmas


The Kinks -- Father Christmas

December 14, 2007

The Three O'Clock (pt 2)

Last post I caught you up on The Three O'Clock's early years when they were still known as Salvation Army.

In late 1982 The Three O'Clock released their first EP, Baroque Hoedown. The five song release was well received throughout the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego areas where The Three O'Clock were building a large mod following. The album was a clear stepping stone bridging the punk of the Salvation Army and the more soulful, new wavish, power-pop that so defined the band's later releases. The Baroque Hoedown EP moved the band towards a more decidedly sixties sound that was less punk; a sound tinged with psychadelia and a sort of lilting synth sound that was becoming more common with Southern California's Paisley Underground scenesters. The hardest rocking song was a cover of the Easybeat's Sorry, and one of the few times where a cover completely outshined the original. Quercio's vocals and Guiterrez'z guitar licks overwhelmed the song, bring to it a passion that was unequaled in the original. The band made it a staple of their live shows ot the delight of fans. The most popular song on the EP was probably With A Cantaloupe Girlfriend, and yet it wasn't the best track. That had to be the very sixties like When I Go Wild, with its jangly guitars and more gentle harmonies than the band had previously embraced.


The Three O'Clock -- Sorry (Baroque Hoedown, 1983)
Now gigging at clubs like Oscar's Cornhusker, The Timbers, The Palace, Cuckoo's Nest, Mama Brown's Backdoor, the Roxy and even the Whiskey A-Go-Go, The Three O'Clock quickly grew beyond the bounds of the traditional mod scene and began to attract crowds as a sixties inspired pop-punk act. They even appeared in a modish television commercial for Orange County's original Scooterville (Vespas/Lambrettas) that aired on MTV during the early years of the cable channel's broadcasts. The band went back to recording and thier second album, Sixteen Tambourines proved to be their highwater mark. The album was played on college radio nationwide, and the single Jetfighter even garnered commercial radio rotation in and around southern California, and the video was played on MTV, MV3 and other music video programs. The album solidified the Three O'Clock as power pop band first and foremost, and their soulful and poppy sixties influences made them mod favorites. Sixteen Tambourines was definitely was an LP of its time. Listening to it now it is hard to get away from the fact that it has a decidedly 80s flavor to it with lot of synthesizer and a strong, yet soft, production. The full, lush, sound was undoubtedly thanks to the band's collaboration with Earle Mankey, a guitarist with Sparks, better known as a power pop producer who had squeezed really great albums out of LA bands like 20/20 and The Last. Songs like Stupid Einstein and A Day in Erotica boast that typically 80s echoey vocal, with string like guitars and sythesized organ. In My Own Time is a blatant rip off of the Beattles Tax Man, and Fall To The Ground has a sort of Beattles quality to it as well.

From Baroque Hoedown
I Go Wild
From Sixteen Tambourines
When Lightning Starts And So We Run
The band's live performances during this period were at an all time high as well. Their concerts were tight, well crafted shows that brilliantly showcased Quercio's affected vocals and made the most of Mariano's harp like keyboarding. Mods flocked to their shows all over the state. Scooter rallies to Three 0'Clock shows were regular events. Three 0'Clcok patches, buttons, and stickers adorned scooters and parkas alike. For a brief moment the guys were bonafide mod superstars. By late 1985 the band was showing an even greater distancing from the sixties sensibilities and garage sound that had first propelled The Three 0'Clock to the forefront of mod bands. Guiterrez left in early 1986 and was replaced by various others, none of whom had much interest in the sixties sound or power pop. Consequently, later albums such as Arrive Without Traveling -- which was released on Prince's Paisly Park label -- lacked the gritty pscyh-punk aggression of their earliest works, and all but abandoned the sixties pop sound that they captured so wonderfully on Sixteen Tambourines. The Three 0'Clock said good-bye to their mod roots and started to delve into the creative wasteland of post-new wave, mid-80s, electronic pop sounds that so many bands tested out during those years.
The Three O'Clock -- Jetfighter (Sixteen Tambourines, 1985)
Quercio must have wanted to get back to good music, because after the band's demise in 1989 he moved on to fronting power-pop band, Permenant Green Light, and later an indie band with both power pop and psychadelic influences, The Jupiter Affect. Louis Gutierrez went on to play with Mary's Danish. While not a mod band, the group had an excellent indie rock sound with obvious R&B tendencies. After four CDs and national attention Mary's Danish fell apart and Gutierrez went on to form Battery Acid with his wife, former co-lead singer from Mary's Danish.

December 10, 2007

From the where are they now file (although the same could be said about me) it's The Three O'Clock (pt 1)

The Three O'Clock proved to be one of Southern California's most most popular mod bands throughout the 1980s.

The Three O'Clock was really Michael Quercio's band from its earliest incarnation as the Salvation Army in 1980. Quercio, with John Blazing and Troy Howell, captured the psychadelic garage sound of the sixties perfectly. Bringing influences such as the Standells, Chocolate Watchband and the Count Five together with the raw, punk-like energy that infected so many bands during the early 80s, Quercio and company attracted the attention of Dennis Boone of the Minutemen who recorded and released their first single, Happen Happened b/w Mind Gardens.

The Salvation Army's sound was definitely power pop with a punk like feel to it, but also had the earmarks of sixties garage that was beginning to establish a toe hold in both the east and west coast scenes, notably in Southern California and in Boston. In Southern California the garage scene had diverse influences but with a more pop sensibility, more like the Byrds or the Turtles than the Small Faces or the Yardbirds. Quercio himself coined the phrase Paisley Underground which was adopted as the scene's name, and came to personify a wide array of sixties influenced bands like The Last, The Rain Parade, Pandoras, Green on Red, and even the Bangles

Just after the release of the single in 1981, Blazing left the band to be replaced by Louis Gutierrez. Still calling themselves Salvation Army, this was the real beginning of The Three O'Clock. Another demo of four more songs was sent to Rodney Bingenheimer who every Sunday evening was pioneering alternative radio by showcasing punk, mod, ska and garage bands at KROQ in Los Angeles on his show Rodney on the Roq. Rodney loved the demo and played all of the songs regularly, especially the psychadelic She Turns to Flowers.

Shortly thereafter the Salvation Army released their one and only LP Happen Happened, on Frontier Records. By 1982, Michael Mariano and Danny Benair (formerly with one of Sourthern California's earliest punk bands, The Wierdos) had joined the group turning it into the foursome it would remain. Under threat of a lawsuit from the non-profit charity they shared a name with, the Salvation Army changed their name and The Three O'Clock was born. Salvation Army played their last show in 1982 at the premiere mod club of the day, O.N. Klub, and a few short months later The Three O'Clock played one of their earliest shows there as well. In 1992 Frontier reissued Salvation Army's only LP, Happen Happened: Befour The Three O'Clock, on CD with a slew of previously unreleased material.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in the story of The Three O'Clock in a future post.


The Three O'Clock -- I Go Wild (Baroque Hoedown, 1983)

December 7, 2007

Modcast #77: My One and Only Modcast

Welcome to Mr. Suave’s Mod Mod World. This week the mod world is blessed with lots and lots of goodness like the incomparable surf, punk, mod, power-pop band Agent Orange and the now legendary revival modsters, Purple Hearts. Both bands were ones that I really didn't care for all that much when I was first introduced to them. At the time I first discovered Agent Orange I was more into the really soulful side of the mod sound and they were just too punk for me. And the Purple Hearts seemed derivative, just another mod revival band when there were so many similar bands to enjoy like the Chords, Lambrettas and Secret Affair. But, it didn't take long before I began to appreciate each band's individual sound, and their own unique take on the music. Both bands have suffered from sort of 'also ran' type careers, and looking bad I see that they're so much more than that.

As for the rest of the show it's the usual collection of perfect music. But, I do have to tell you what surprised me most about this week's modcast was a certain little power pop song I think you'll really enjoy from Mike Tholfsen who checks in with My One and Only One Note. There's lots of other good notes, as well.
  • Agent Orange -- Somebody to Love
  • Bronco Bullfrog -- One Day with Melody Love
  • Chris Stamey & The DBs -- You Wanted to Know
  • Mike Tholfsen -- My One and Only One Note
  • 007 -- Nearly Man
  • Split Screens -- Know What I Want
  • Purple Hearts -- Perfect World
  • Corduroy -- Don't Wait For Monday
  • The Solarflares -- Feet Wrong Way Round
  • Mother Earth -- Very Together
  • Vibrators -- Amphetimene Blue

Questions? E-mail me at rob@mistersuave.com.

Bonus Videos:
Purple Hearts -- Millions Like Us



Corduroy -- The Joker's Wild

November 28, 2007

Mr. Suave's Mixology Lab

Since I've been in a martini mood of late . . . .

You might like a drink with vodka, but it isn't a martini. If I had a penny for everytime I've had to teach that lesson. This is Mr. Suave's Mixology Lab and Swinigin' Cocktail Lounge, learn to make a real the one place you can martini.

Too many cocktail bars mix any old concoction of alcohol and add 'tini as a suffix thinking they'll make it big. All they make is a pathetic drink that is NOT a martini. Enough about bad drinks, this podcast will teach you to make one good drink. Sit back, relax, and remember Mr. Suave's motto -- there are no subtle drinks.

November 25, 2007

Modcast #76: Gettin' Better All The Time

Here it is November with Christmas creeping towards us, and it is damn cold here in Seattle. So to help warm the blood I've got another great set of songs for this, the 76th installment of the web's original modcast, Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World.

Click here to listen now.
Click here to download.

Kicking things off is a great bit of power pop from BBC DJ Mike Reid's group The Trainspotters. The story behind this one is interesting to say the least. Reid is probably most famous for being the DJ that vaulted Frankie Goes to Hollywood to #1 hit status -- completely unintentionally. The story is that one day on his BBC show Reid started playing a new single from Frankie called Relax, without ever having listened to it first. While it was playing he listened to the lyrics and got so enraged that he pulled the record off the turntable in mid-song and broke it half right on the air. Within hours the BBC had banned the song from all of its stations. It was then that the law of unintended consequences kicked in and within a few days the song was #1 and Frankie Goes To Hollywood became megastars overnight.

There's a few lessons in there to be sure. The rest of this modcast is a lesson in pure power pop. So get yourself a lusty libation, sit back, relax and enjoy the sounds.
The Strollers -- Red Skies



I Love My Jeans -- Camera Obscura


Mr. Suave

November 24, 2007

The Martini Mood

When your sipping on a chill martini, just about anything sounds good. An extra-dry 'tini with high proof gin -- believe it, or not --can be complemented just as easily by pulse-pounding, three-chord bashing from The Damned or Social Distortion as it can by the hip, sixties sounds of Jefferson Airplane, The Who or the Doors. And of course more traditionally by the soft, crooning of Mel Torme, Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra, and certianly the swinging sounds of Henry Mancini, Les Baxter or Count Basie

Frank Sinatra -- Bim Bam Baby


Still, there is a right way to truly enjoy the Martini Mood. A good martini should always be accompanied by music, friends, or a combination of the two. This is part of what makes it a good martini. As you mix the martini it is important to conduct a brief self-examintion and decide on the music or companions that will mix best with your martini and your mood. (Note: Sipping a martini alone and listening to Pink Floyd is not considered a safe -- or sane -- mix.)

B Martin/P Coulter -- Teen Lovers (AKA Big Moody)


A good mix of the Martini Mood can include a swinging film like "The Guide to the Married Man" (Walter Matthau, 1967), an exciting baseball game, or Combustible Edison. Don't waste a good martini on NASCAR, "Rocky V," or Boys II Men.

Combustible Edison -- Checkered Flag


The perfect martini:
  • 4oz. Gin (I prefer London Bombay Dry, or Beefeater -- both have a strong gin/juniper taste and a strong, smokey finish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dry vermouth
  • Fill a metal shaker (glass shakers don't stay cold for long) about half way with crushed ice.
  • Add the gin first (preferably it should already be ice cold, straight out of the freezer) and swirl it briefly, then add the vermouth.
  • Stirring is better than shaking -- although shaking does tend to bruise the gin, meaning it brings out a stronger flavor.
  • Strain into an ice cold cocktail glass. I use stainless steel glasses (stored in the freezer so they are always ready to go), again because they will stay cold longer.

    Sip it, don't gulp it.
  • November 20, 2007

    The Mod Sound: Manual Scan

    In the summer of 1983 I discovered a whole new world of music. I was introduced to the mod scene sort of by accident. Already interested in punk and new wave, I was still really figuring out what that music was all about when I met some mod kids from Huntington Beach, CA -- at summer camp of all places.

    And they were cool. Their clothes were cool. Their music was cool. And their style was all about their clothes and music. They were mods and I was very impressed. Especially with that blonde one named Heidi who introduced me to a couple of things besides The Jam and Secret Affair, but that's another blog post entirely ... if you get my drift. Ahhh, summer camp. Where was I? Oh yeah, learning the ropes about being a mod.

    Anyhow, in 1983 I discovered the southern California mod scene --which I say was just about to explode at that time-- and the first local mod bands I remember really getting into were The Untouchables and Manual Scan. On the local scene, they were the shiznit if you will.

    Manual Scan were the mod band for purists at the time. They blended the sixties with power pop in a pitch perfect way, and they did it with impeccable style and grace. Where the LA mod bands were either sloppily dressed punks playing really cool soul infused power pop, or caricatures of sixties garage rockers, Manual Scan were reliably well dressed in the very sorts of clothes that the fashion conscious mod teens of the day were spending all their free time and money obtaining. They looked like mods. They acted like mods. They played music like mods. They were the real deal as far as most 16 year old mods in 1983 were concerned, me included.

    Depending on what you believe on the internet, the band started in the late 70s or the early 80s. Regardless, by 1981 Manual Scan were a mod force to be reckoned with and in 1982 they released a five song EP, Plan Of Action, that set them even further ahead of the pack in many ways. Not the least of which was being the first serious So Cal mod band to have a significant release. It put them up front as some of the leaders of the mod scene in California.

    Manual Scan was always a major presence in San Diego and San Francisco, but less so in LA where the mod scene was more punk and ska focused. Still, I remember them as one of the bands that we absolutely loved to see, and would at times scoot for hours to catch one of their shows. There's an interesting article about the band which I won't copy here but direct you to check out at the California Mod Scene site which has some really incredible bits of historical info regarding the birth of So Cal's mod scene.

    In 1986 the band released their first LP titled One on Hi-Lo records in the UK, and it was finally released in the US two years later in 1988, titled Down Lights. A few years back, well a lot of years back actually in 1996, a very good compilation of their music was released on Get Hip records. It provides probably the best collection of the bands work.

    Manual Scan went on to have several other releases throughout the 80s. The band's core was always Bart Mendoza and Kevin Ring, original members, who went on to form another influental mod/sixties act, The Shambles in the early 90s. Mendoza himself is something of a legend having networked with most of the mod and garage rock scenes around the United States and indeed the world over the past 25 years. His presence on stage with Manual Scan was great, if not magnificent, but his presence off stage for the San Diego mod scene at first, and the world scene later, seems to have been even more important. I comment as an observer only, but his mentions and appearances with various mod bands, projects, and events over the years indicate a serious appreciation for the music and the scene.

    November 18, 2007

    Modcast #75: Pull The Trigger

    Mr. Suave's Mod, Mod World
    Modcast #75: Pull The Trigger

    Click here to listen
    Click here to download

    Welcome to Mr Suave's Mod Mod World. First, all apologies for missing last week's modcast. It's inexcusable, but by way of an explanation I will tell you that losing electricity to half your half house is a mind boggling experience. Mostly because you're trying to figure out what the hell happened between one electical outlet and another to make half the house light up like a Christmas tree and the rest of the house to play dead like a possum. Regardless, I am now able to get the latest modcast broadcasting far and wide. So, here you go with this week's goddam good set.

    • Mooney Suzuki -- Yeah You Can
    • Couple -- Now That I Can See
    • Dirty Pretty Things -- B.U.R.M.A.
    • Jasmine Minks -- Think
    • Looker -- After My Divorce
    • The School -- Let It Slip
    • Acid House Kings -- This Heart is a Stone
    • Odd Numbers -- About Time
    • The Crooks - Waiting For You
    • The Elevators -- Your "Is" Are Too Close Together
    • 27 Various -- If You Can't Trust Death

    Cheers,
    Mr. Suave

    November 5, 2007

    Modcast #74

    Editor's Note: Due to a technnical glitch this episode was late in posting. Please forgive.
    Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World all girl special. I started putting this modcast together and realized that purely by accident I'd picked out mostly songs about girls. So I finished up the set keeping that with that unconcsious theme and now you're going to be treated to girls, girls, girls. Hopefully I won't get tagged as a perv for searching out songs about little girls, tricky girls, school girls, naked girls, and other girls. All from bands like The Creation, The Thanes, The Scooters and The Headboys. Get youself settled and turn up your speakers, it's time for the show.
    • Kids -- Hey Little Girl
    • The Scooters -- Young Girls
    • The Headboys -- Schoolgirls
    • Wardens -- Tricky Girls
    • The Diodes -- Plastic Girls
    • The Kidnappers - Spanish Girls
    • Red Cross -- Clorox Girls
    • The Creation -- The Girls Are Naked
    • The Thanes - Girls
    • The Orchids -- Girls
    • Eux Autres -- Other Girls

    The Creation -- Makin' Time




    Oingo Boingo -- Little Girls



    November 1, 2007

    The Mod Sound: The Untouchables


    In the early to mid 80s Southern California boasted the USA’s largest mod scene. And no wonder, the weather was such you could ride your scooter virtually rain free over 300 days a year. British mods never had it so good.

    In the early 80s in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Orange County and the Inland Empire, the scene was exploding. Relatively speaking. (Never mind San Diego and San Francisco that were also beginning to stir to life as centers of mod activity.) Scooterists were popping up everywhere and scooter clubs were forming, and more importantly young wanna be musicians were thinking that a mod sort of sound was for them. Fortunately for most that passed quickly in the summer of '79, or maybe ’80. But for a few it made an endearing and indelible mark that would haunt them throughout the decade. One of the first bands so branded were The Untouchables.

    Rather than tell you their history, which you can find elsewhere, I will tell you my history with the band –such as it is— and how I perceived them, and hope no one steals my story.

    I was a sophomore at Upland High School about 30 minutes east of Los Angeles when I first heard the rumblings about The Untouchables. It was 1983. I was a lowly scrub with little social standing at school, but they were already well on their way to local notoriety with the onslaught of their second single. Of course, everyone I knew thought it was their first. So much for marketing.

    First, second, no matter. The single was The General and it was a piece of … work. But, if you fancied yourself a mod –and I did, even if it wasn’t always the case at the time– then this was the goddam best fu*king single of the year.

    I mean in 1983, The Jam were just recently departed – never mind we in the US were just really getting used to a band named after something we put on bread – and the two-tone ska movement of Britian was already ashes. Here in the states kids were still discovering the sound of the mod revival and pounding it out in their garages (and church multi-purpose rooms mind you) as if it were brand new. And for us it was brand new. The Jam, and the Damned, be damned.

    The Untouchables hit Southern California in 1981 amidst the explosion of punk rock – their compatriots in some sense were X, Black Flag, and the Circle Jerks – and they tapped into that vibe, but with their own sort of ska and power pop mix that seemed to tap equally 1967 and 1977. They covered the Monkees, and then they covered The Specials. It was a pure mix of power pop and ska that few bands other than perhaps Madness (and they’re mostly a ska band at heart) have ever managed to really grab onto. Mixing soul with ska was one thing, lots of acts had done that. Mixing soul with power pop was becoming more and more common all the time as bands hearkened back to the Who, Yardbirds and early Stones. But precious few bands ever mixed all three of these elements together, let alone successfully. The Jam mixed a lot of soul with power pop. Likewise the Specials or English Beat mixing soul with ska and reggae. Probably only The Clash ever really came close, and they're the exception. As far as I'm concerned, no commercially succesful band ever truly merged all three sounds -- so I'd argue that The Untouchables alone really did so. (Okay, commercially sucesfsul and Untouchables in the same sentence might be a stretch. But, since I remember hearing Free Yourself on the radio in Indianapolis in 1985 and thinking, "DAMN! The UTs have hit the heartland" (I'm willing to argue they were somewhat commercially sucessful - though the band's bank accounts may beg to differ.)

    Between 1981 and 1986 The Untouchables were the preeminent mod band, and the preeminent ska band, in southern California. No one mixed the two genres as seamlessly as they did, and with as much passion and resulting in as much enjoyment from their audiences.

    I didn’t see the band live until 1984 and many said I missed their best shows -- though I find that hard to believe having seen them do some pretty great sets in some pretty crappy places (Oscar's Cornhusker, The Timbers, etc). From what I remember I would say I saw them at their peak when they had smoothed out the rough edges. Seeing them upwards of 20 times in 1984-1986 I can tell you that band was smooth in that very cool "we know what we’re doing" way. And they also had a certain raw, untempered feel to their shows. These weren’t over-rehearsed sets choreographed by a video producer. These were Untouchables shows with all the intensity the band had ever had, as well as some of the foibles that made them real and raw.

    Here then are two of the many great tracks that the band produced. First up is Mod Knights, which no one would remember if it wasn’t for the comp CD ‘Cool Beginnings: Rare and Unreleased 1981- 1983' (even though it was a staple of their live sets through the mid 80s). That CD is excellent and boasts loads of early Untouchables recordings, as well as both their singles. The second track here is the second of those singles The General. I include it not because it is the best, but because it is perhaps most representative of those early years, and one of the most well known tracks of The Untouchable’s formative time. And it's a good track.

    The Untouchables - Mod Knights
    The Untouchables - The General

    The Unctouchables discography
    • Twist n Shake b/w Dance Beat (1982)
    • The General b/w Tropical Bird (1983)
    • Live and Let Dance EP (1984)
    • Wild Child (1985)
    • Agent Double O Soul (1988)
    • Decade of Dance (1991)
    • Cool Beginnings - Rare & Unreleased 1981-1983

    October 30, 2007

    Modcast #73: It's Spooky Modoween

    Happy Mod-o-Ween! Don't be scared this is just Mr. Suave's halloween episode of Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World. This week's show is extra spooky, extra creepy, and extra good. If you like sixties infused garage rock with a bit of punkish power pop thrown in then you are going to be in heaven.


    • Madness -- I chase the devil
    • Gorehounds -- Voodoo priest
    • Groovie Ghoulies -- Daughter of Frankenstein
    • Dead Kennedys -- Halloween
    • The Ghastly Ones -- Haulin' Hearse
    • The B-52s -- Devil in my car
    • Gravedigger V -- It's spooky
    • Zombina & The Skeletones -- The grave ... and beyond
    • The Undertakers -- Born in a graveyard
    • The Playn Jayn -- Dig my own grave
    • The Postmarks -- Everyday is Halloween



    The Ghastly Ones -- Haulin' Hearse Madness -- I chase the devil

    October 21, 2007

    Modcast #72: Happy All The Time

    Welcome to modcast number 72 of Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World. This episode is chock full of garage, soul, power pop and more. From the Kravin A's to Sleeper, from The Crooks to Rare Groove Orchestra, there's no doubt you will find more than a few morsels of goodness within. And a bit of news for you all, I've launched a new sort of thing on the modcast homepage, Mod Sounds. Every so often I will be sharing mod singles with all my dear listeners out there. So, keep an eye on this page because it will update periodically each week with a new download. Kicking things of this week you can grab The Targets -- Searching for a Scene. As always you can e-mail me at rob@mistersuave.com. Enjoy.
    Jimmy Lingon -- I Don't Know, I Don't Care




    Sonic Love Affair -- Something to Believe in


    The Mod Sound: The Targets - Searching for a Scene

    I'm starting something new, where in every so often (I hesitate to say daily, or even weekly, as I'm a notorious procrastinator) I will be sharing single songs from my collection. These will primarily be mod songs that are perhaps obscure, or at least not mainstream. My hope is that this will introduce you all to things you might have missed otherwise and that you will search out the artists, buy their music or support their live performances.

    So the first upload I've selected is from a band that I saw play live only once right at the end of their existence, The Targets. They were a southern California mod band from Claremont, fronted by a young woman named Nikki. The guitarist was Perry Tollet who went on to form the mod power pop band Chardon Square that played the So Cal mod scene throughout the rest of the 80s. This track is Searching for a Scene. It's a simple song, a sort of blend of sixties pop with eighties power pop, and definitely geared for dancing. The lyrics are simple too, but perfect for sixteen year old mods that were into reviving all things sixties, cool and British. We wanna be sharp/when we go out at night/We don't wanna look like skanks/we don't wanna fight/We're so far from London/that sometimes I just ache/Working next here on our own/We're all gonna shake.

    Get it here.

    October 17, 2007

    Modcast #71: Time for a Mod Block Party

    .. Modcast #71: Time for a Mod Block Party

    Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World, and welcome to the mod block party. Lots of cool sounds at the block party this week including The Creation, The Funseekers, The Chords, The Jetz, The Futureheads and more. Questions? Complaints? If you want to e-mail me you can do so at rob@mistersuave.com.
    • The Leopards -- Block Party
    • The Vapors -- News At Ten
    • The Chords -- Hold On I'm Coming
    • Translator -- Everywhere That I'm Not
    • The Creation -- Biff Bang Pow
    • Action -- Baby You've Got It
    • Baby Snakes -- She'll Be Gone
    • The Slickee Boys -- Girls Want To Be With Girls
    • The Jetz -- Moderns For A Day
    • The Funseekers -- Forever Yours
    • Futureheads -- Stupid And Shallow

    Bonus Video: The Vapors -- Jimmie Jones




    The Creation -- Try and Stop Me



    October 7, 2007

    Modcast #70: The Real Me

    .. Modcast #70: The Real Me
    Welcome to the 70th episode of Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World in which I'm going to showcase the most played albums in my collection. Each song comes from an album that I play constantly -- some of them for twnety years or more. I've played through vinyl LPs, cassettes, and CDs of all these albums. I play these albums at least monthly, or even weekly, if not daily. Everything from the very first album I bought for my very own nine year old self, The Monkees, to my mod faves from The Jam and The Who to mod faves like Stupidity and non-mod faves like Oingo Boingo. Another eleven great tracks. Enjoy.
    • The Jam -- It's Too Bad
    • The Who -- The Real Me
    • The Standells -- Rari
    • The Monkees -- I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone
    • The Style Council -- Walls Come Tumbling Down
    • Madness -- Baggy Trousers
    • Franz Ferdinand -- Come On Home
    • Mad Parade -- Calling Out
    • Social Distortion -- Mommy's Little Monster
    • Oingo Boing -- On The Outside
    • Stupidity -- Bend Don't Break

    Bonus Video: The Jam -- Going Underground


    Oingo Boingo -- Appearance on the Gong Show

    October 1, 2007

    Modcast #69: Mods, Skins, Punks

    .. Modcast 69: Mods, Skins, Punks

    Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World, this week is a very garage rock sorta show so enjoy.
    Bonus Video: Pandoras -- You're All Talk



    TSOL -- Word Is



    September 25, 2007

    Modcast #68: They’ll Do Your Drugs & Your Boyfriend

    .. Modcast 68: They’ll Do Your Drugs & Your Boyfriend

    Welcome to another episode of Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World. It is now safe to say that at long last Mr. Suave is gettin' some ass. Assrock that is. That's right, the Mod World has gone into pseudo syndication over at the Association of Rock and Roll Podcasts, at assrofrock.com. So now they're are even more ways to get your mod on. In putting this show together it turned out by chance that a great number of the bands are either girl-groups in total or at least fronted by women -- Blondie, Elastica, Four King Cousins, The Holograms, The 75s, PP Arnold, and The Raveonettes. So you know it's going to be a great show with that much estrogen!

    Bonus Video: Elastica -- Waking Up



    Bonus Video: Raveonettes -- Attack of the Ghost Riders


    Hey, if you got questions or complaints or whatever, shoot an e-mail to rob@mistersuave.com.



    September 17, 2007

    Modcast #67: Is There Trouble In Your Brain?

    .. Modcast 63: Mod for the Summer
    You are now tuning into the original, best, longest running modcast on the web. This is modcast 67 featuring a few new releases, as well as some classic tracks right from wax. From the Tri-Cities in Eastern Washington, to the Netherlands, from New Orleans to Sweden, I've scoured the globe and come up with a terrific bunch of mod friendly sounds for this week's show.

    Don't be a stranger. E-mail me at rob@mistersuave.com


    Bonus Video: Mark & The Spies









    September 2, 2007

    Modcast #65: Smokin’ Skunk on the 13th Floor

    .. Modcast #65: Smokin’ Skunk on the 13th Floor

    Welcome to yet another modcast, and yet another set of great music any mod should dig. I've got a great set this week with bands like The Itch, the Buzzcocks, the Untouchables, Agent Orange, and The Swear. That would be the London based Swear, not the rock band by the same name hailing from Atlanta. The Swear look to have broken up, which is too bad since I just discovered them recently and they have a really cool sound. In fact, the title of this week's podcast is a great line from the song I've included, High Rise. Also you'll want to check out the video on the modcast homepage. It's an interview with long time mod scenesters The Itch, and includes a pub performance, as well.

    As usual if you want to rant or rave drop me an e-mail at rob@mistersuave.com.

    • The Jags -- Woman's World (Myspace)
    • Private Jets -- Target in my Heart (Myspace)
    • Untouchables -- Mandingo (Myspace)
    • Gleaming Spires -- Are You Ready for the Sex Girls?
    • The Itch -- Kiss You (Myspace)
    • Les Elite -- Frustration (Myspace)
    • Buzzcocks -- Sixteen Again (Myspace)
    • The Swear -- High Rise (Myspace)
    • Les Black Carnations -- Voice Scream & Murmur
    • Agent Orange -- This is All I Need (Myspace)
    • The Love Generation -- The Bummer (Guide Me Home) (Myspace)

    August 28, 2007

    Modcast #64: My Business, Your Pleasure

    .. Modcast #64: My Business, Your Pleasure

    Welcome modsters one and all. I think this show is especially good. You know how sometimes you just know something works, something clicks, something fits like a glove. That's this modcast. And that's a good sign. A sign that things are getting back to the way they should be, with me posting a new show every week, instead of only every so often as has happened this past summer. But, no more, I'm back and I've got lots of good stuff, like the latest from the Modfather, "This Old Town" (it even sounds like a Jam title doesn't it?), some soulful sounds from Smokey, and some floor shakers from the likes of The Moog, Schocking Blue, and the Walnut Dash.



    I am curious to know what people think of The Selecter cover of Do Nothing. E-mail me at rob@mistersuave.com and let me know if you like it or not. Is it mustard or pants?

    • Paul Weller & Graham Coxon -- This Old Town
    • The Selecter - Do Nothing (Myspace)
    • The Robustos -- My Heart & Soul(Myspace)
    • Smokey Robinson & The Miracles -- My Business Your Pleasure
    • The Frantic V -- Good Lovin'(Myspace)
    • The Gear -- Eight Arms To Hold You (Myspace)
    • The Moog -- I Like You (Myspace)
    • Beau Brummels - Just a Little
    • The Zombies -- Time of the Season
    • Shocking Blue -- Send Me A Postcard
    • Walnut Dash -- Just Feel (Myspace)

    Bonus Video: Beau Brummels -- Woman







    Bonus Video: The Moog -- I Like You








    Enjoy!

    August 15, 2007

    Modcast #63: Mod for the Summer

    .. Modcast 63: Mod for the Summer

    Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World, I opened today's show with a track from a band called Airborne Toxic Event, and even though they're out of Los Angeles man they sound a lot like a british band with obvious influence from Franz Ferdinand and the Fratellis. The rest of the show is equally as good. I think there is pretty much something for everyone here -- except for the Def Leppard crowd (you know who you are, now leave me alone and learn to like better music).

    • The Airborne Toxic Event -- Does This Mean You're Moving On?
    • Tsar -- Wanna Get Dead
    • Pristine - King Without a Crown
    • The Rifles -- One Night Stand
    • The Mary Onettes -- Void
    • The Procession -- Major and Minor
    • The Lodger -- Kicking Sand
    • Mando Diao -- Paralyzed
    • Crawling Walls -- Tell Me Why
    • Paul Bevoir -- Maybe Not

    Be sure to check out the bonus videos by Airborne Toxic Event and The Rifles at the modcast source page at modrob.podomatic.com. If you've got questions or just want to chat drop me an e-mail at rob@mistersuave.com. Thanks for listening.