February 26, 2008

Modcast #85: Mr. Suave's Cold Cold World

Welcome to Mr. Suave’s cold, cold world. Cold, brrrr, because I spent this past week in the freezing cold, the subzero, completely ungodly temperatures of snowy Minnesota. I thought for sure that I’d have all the time in the world to work on the modcast – I mean what the hell else do you do when it’s below zero? And way, way, way, below zero with the wind chill. Surprisingly, I had a full schedule of relaxing, drinking martinis, sleeping, drinking martinis, relaxing, drinking martinis, and visiting with the family. Oh yeah, and drinking martinis. Gotta keep warm somehow. No matter, the songs on this week’s show are hot, hot, hot. We’ve got mod, mod and more mod. From The Crooks and The Lambrettas to Manual Scan and The Vertabrats, it’s all good. Welcome to modcast #85. Enjoy.
  • The Legendary Golden Vampires – Rebel Woman
  • The Crooks – Me and My Friends
  • The Odd Numbers – Autumn Leaves
  • Chardon Square – ’65 Film Show
  • The Lambrettas – London Calling
  • The Soup Dragons – Slow Things Down
  • The Continentals – Walking Tall
  • The Alljacks – Guilty
  • Manual Scan – Don’t Know Where to Start
  • Wards of Court – How Could You Say One Thing
  • The Vertabrats – Left in the Dark

Bopnus Videos
The Soup Dragons -- Head Gone Astray

Manual Scan -- New Difference


February 14, 2008

Modcast #84: Mrs. Suave I Get A Love From You

Welcome to Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World. It is Valentine's Day after all, so here's the requisite lovers package. A valentine of sorts from Mr. Suave to Mrs. Suave. These are songs that in some cases date back to our original courtship when I had to woo Mrs. Suave with all of my charms, just to get her to have dinner with me. While others of the songs are more recent, proving that being in love never goes out of style. So, without further ado here is the Valentine's edition of the modcast.
  • The Leaving Trains -- I Love You
  • The Style Council -- Sweet Loving Ways
  • Acid House Kings -- A Lover's Weekend
  • Dancing Mood -- A Groovy Kind of Love
  • Squire -- Every Trick in the Book of Love
  • The Funseekers -- Love Me Yeah
  • Makin' Time -- I Get A Love From You
  • The Rifles -- She's the Only One
  • Fevers -- Love's Gettin' Better
  • Dudley Manlove Quarter -- Can't Take My Eyes Off of You
  • The Pipettes -- I Love You
But, that's not all. Download now and you can include these six delicious tracks into whatever mix you want. All are songs that should have, could have, would have made the modcast, time and bandwidth permitting No matter, they're yours for the taking right now.

Bonus Tracks
  • Georgie Fame -- I'm in Love With You
  • The Flatmates -- Thinking of You
  • The Hotshots -- I'm in Love
  • Lancelot Link & The Evolution Revolution -- Rollin' in the Clover
  • The Lyres - I Love Her Still
  • The Mods -- Love Only Me

This week's bonus video is one I put together myself. A montage of suave shots of the queen of cool herself, Mrs. Suave.

From Mr. Suave to Mrs. Suave

February 10, 2008

Modcast #83: Whether it's new or old, it's all good

Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World. Lots of really great stuff on this week's show from beginning to end. The opening track from the Undertones is nothing short of terrific -- a song that does justice the band's original sound and could have easily been penned and played in 1980. And, all that without the distinctive vocals of original front man Feargal Sharkey. It's rare for an aging band to reform and produce good new material, and almost unheard for them to do so with a new singer. But, the Undertones deliver in aces. Other standouts here include new material from The Cynics, The Svengalis, The Gurus and Joe Jackson who is back in top shape also with a track that could have fallen out of his back catalog circa the Look Sharp era. Enjoy kids.

Questions? Comments? Rants? Raves? I'm listening:rob@mistersuave.com This week's bonus videos are delightful. Wish the quality of the Dolly Mixture vid was better, but I'm just happy to find any video of them at all.

Dolly Mixture -- Been Teen

Graham Coxon -- Bittersweet Bundle of Misery

February 3, 2008

Modcast #82: Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up

Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World, it's time to learn how to pick it up, pick it up, pick it up.

This week it's a ska world indeed. I've got here a bunch of bands that know a thing or two about skanking. For instance,what better way to open a show that focuses on ska, than to do so with a band that isn't a ska band, but sure as hell loves the music? I open with Border Ska by Camper Van Beethoven. Camper Van was probably the band that the terms alternative and indie were created to define, and a big part of their sound was combining ska with punk and straight ahead rock and roll. So tune in and check out Dr. Ring Ding, Los Fastidios, Inspecter 7, and The Toasters.

  • Camper Van Beethoven -- Border Ska
  • Dr. Ring-Ding & the Senior All Stars -- Fever
  • English Beat -- Save it for Later
  • Mr. Review -- Ice & Snow
  • The Loafers -- Follow My Leader
  • Los Fastidios -- Skankin' Town
  • The Toasters -- 2-Tone Army
  • The Selecter -- Missing Words
  • The Slackers -- Feed My Girl Ska
  • The Know How -- Selfish
  • Inspecter 7 -- Popeye

Be sure to check out my Myspace page.

If you have a podcast of your own that you think I'd like let me know, and maybe we can do some cross-promotion of the shows. Or, if you'd like to try your hand on DJing a show, let me know. I've had guest hosts in the past and would welcome any interest. And finally, if you're in a punk, power pop, ska or any type of mod band really, shoot me an MP3 and I'd be glad to work you into a future modcast. If you've got any questions you can e-mail me at rob@mistersuave.com.

Los Fastidios -- We're Coming Back

The Loafers featuring guest vocalist Laurel Aitken -- Sally Brown


February 2, 2008

(Not so many light years) From The Jam

Just got back from seeing 2/3 of the Jam perform as From The Jam. Back in 1991 I saw 1/3 of the Jam when Paul Weller came through Seattle. Based on a show-to-show comparison 2/3 is better than 1/3. Yeah, I know, I'm surprised too.

I have to say that going into From The Jam I was expecting a hollow, shameless tribute band. Not even close. I was actually blown away. Hell even Foxton has acknowledged that they're not much more than a glorified cover band, yet one with more credibility seeing as how they're 2/3 of the original act. Of course, that's the 2/3 that contributed all of about 8 songs out of a total of 100+, and didn't dominate the vocal side. I mean, Paul Weller, a casio, and a drum machine would have sounded much the same as the original line up. Or so I used to think.

Who knew Paul Weller had so much soul? This band had almost none of it. But that wasn't a detriment. Amazingly, they were edgier, punker, and harder than the original. Rick Buckler drove the band with an intensity like Keith Moon's, and Bruce Foxton it turns out actually has a pretty powerful stage presence. Not to mention an energy and constitution of a man half his age.

They pounded out 30+ songs in an hour and fifteen minutes, buzzsawing through them in a really tight manner. Not disrespectfully, but almost as if they were being played for the first time they way they were meant to be played. Faster. Louder. Harder, and with more sneering. It was more punk than ... well, than punk.

Seattle is not a town for visiting bands. The people are depressed, not to mention cold and wet, and they have little excess energy to spare for travelling acts. I've seen countless shows where the audience barely stood up to see the band (The Strokes come to mind). And, this show, sadly, started out no different. A sparse crowd of maybe 300 hundred spread themselves out in a theater that seats four times as many. Made the place look empty, and feel even colder. A few parkas, and a few ill-fitting suits clearly dusted off for the nights entertainment. A pork pie hat here or there. It was a real mod show in that the audience was 4-to-1 males-to-females. But, overall it was mostly beer bellies and work weary khakis. Hardly a Jam like audience that one would have pictured in 1980.

Hugh Cromwell of the Stranlgers opened. One might have asked, Whatever happened to the Stranglers, let alone the heroes? Looked like he had his son and grandaughter playing with him (at least I hope he's related to that hot little 19yo strumpet he had on bass, because if he isn't that's really creepy). Anyhow, his set was okay if you like brit punk via 6 minute Grateful Dead jams. Yawn.

After that, my hopes were even lower than when I'd purchased my ticket. Expectations are a funny thing.

The show started with a piped in song that sounded like a throw away from Franz Ferdinand. It was a guitar driven, neo-wave sort of instrumental with a very synchopated melody. Eventually, the band emerged as the music faded out and they quickly opened the show the way they opened their careers, with The Modern World and In the City, which was a fast paced, frenzied version that had the crowd on their feet -- well, at least the few in the front were on their feet. Remember this is Seattle, we're beat down by the rain and we stay there. After that is was pretty much all Jam Snap! beginning to end. One familiar song after another.

You could sense the audience wake up a little more with each song, and by 20 minutes or so into it everyone was up and into the show. I don't who the new lead singer is --Russell Hastings?-- but you know he was sometimes more swaggering mod than Weller. And, he had a voice to match -- both Weller's and his arrogant swagger. When he eventually belted out --which inevitably I feared he had to-- a song that is identified as much with Weller's vocals as anything else, the audience was nearly his.

The song? It's Too Bad, a tune that has Weller's stamp all over it vocally. Yet, Hastings matched Weller and somehow made you feel the song was his to do with as he pleased. And when they immediately followed with Ghosts, another song that was once keyed to Weller's voice, you had to admire the audacity of the choice, until you realized that Hastings was more than up to the challenge. At this point -- thirty minutes or so in to the show -- everyone was on their feet.

I was won over, and enthusiastically anticipating each and every song that followed. By the time they hit the penultimate song of the show, Eton Rifles, I was ready to become a card carrying member in the Foxton-was-right fan club. The song was that damn good. And, they finished the show with Going Underground. By this time the audience was Hastings' -- and the Jam's. I was finally thinking, Weller who? No shit.

There was an encore that included Down in the Tubestation and Town called Malice -- which was the most trite and cliche moment of the show (great song, but overplayed). And noticably absent were a few classic songs: Beat Surrender, Thick as Thieves, Saturday's Kids and That's Entertainment. I thought for sure we'd hear that last one, though I'm not surprised we didn't hear Beat Surrender. They also avoided most of the other soulful songs like Precious as well as many of the later Jam tracks.

Still, I was pleasantly surprised to say the least and count the show as $27 well spent. When they get to a town near you, you really should get out and see them.

So, here's a couple of videos I dug up. It's Too Bad alright, too bad that they haven't made a decent video. Anyhow, this first one is just purely so you can enjoy the vocals, and so you can hear the similarity between Russel Hastings and Paul Weller. When you're there seeing the show live, Hastings sounds amazingly like Weller. Maybe it's because I'm used to hearing Weller, or maybe it's just that they have similar voices. But, no matter, his vocals are perfect.

From The Jam - Going Underground (Rehearsal Studio 2007)

Also, check out:
From The Jam -- In The Crowd (Live at Cardiff The Point)