December 25, 2010

Mr. Suave's 2nd Annual Swingin' Christmas Xtravaganza


Merry Christmas kids. As always, I am joined by Ken from The Shingles for this year's big Christmas show, and it is big. We've got some nice new seasonal sounds from Pink Martini as well as classics from Sinatra and some cool stuff from Bob Francis, Jaymz Bee and more.

Make sure your turkey is stuffed, your tree is trimmed, and your glass is full of Christmas cheer when you settle down to listen to this one.

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Listen

Jose Feliciano -- Jingle Bells
Bob Francis -- That Swingin' Manger
Steve & Eydie -- That Holiday Feelin'
Jaymz Bee -- Christmas Cocktail
Peter Cincotte -- My Favorite Time Of The Year
Aztec Camera -- Hot Tub Of Christ
Swingerhead -- I'll Be Home For Christmas (Part Two)
King Kukelele & The Friki Tikis -- Luau In December
Pink Martini -- Do You Hear What I Hear
Wonderful World Of Joey -- What, Sweet Child O' Mine, Is This?
Lisa Mychols -- Lost Winter's Dream
Burt Bacharach -- The Bell That Couldn't Jingle
The Glad Singers -- Gloria (Angels We Have Heard On High)
Frank Sinatra & Bing Crosby -- We Wish You The Merriest

December 24, 2010

From the Vaults: Mr. Suave's 2009 Swingin' Christmas Xtravaganza

Once more into the vault my friends, once more into the vault. Step back in time, to a time when the modcast was young and fresh. Take a giant step outside your current listening constraints and journey with me back to Christmas of 2009. I've opened up the vaults and dusted off a classic modcast that I think you'll enjoy. Again.

One day until Christmas and you can unwrap a brand new swingin' Christmas Xtravaganza.  Until then, here's a little something the wet your whistle, to get you into the full-on Christmas spirit.  This is the first swingin' Christmas Xtravaganza from last year.  Don't over indulge.






No matter what the neighbors think, this is one cool and smooth modcast. I've enlisted Ken from The Shingles to join me in delivering a Christmas dozen -- that's 14 great songs. This is one holiday modcast that will go down in the history books with some great stuff from Miles Davis to The Very Foundation, from Farrah to Girl Trouble. It's all good, and it's all merry, and you're going to love it.

Paddy Roberts -- Merry Christmas You Suckers
Jimmy Severe and the Blue Christmas Boys -- Silver Bells
Boss Martians -- 3 Ghosts
Girl Trouble -- Holly Jolly Christmas
Farrah -- Christmas is Cancelled (This Year)
The Very Foundation -- All Lit Up (For Christmas)
LeeVees -- Applesauce Vs. Sourcream
Jeffrey Foskett -- Christmas Time Is Here
Eugene Edwards -- Dear Mom And Dad
Miles Davis & Bob Dorough -- Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern)
Mike Sammes Singers -- Do You Hear What I Hear
Tahta Menezes -- Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
Lou Rawls & Brian Setzer Orchestra -- So They Say It's Christmas
Martin Newell & Andy Partridge -- Christmas In Suburbia

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Listen



The Hungry Dutchmen -- Lookin' For Santa


Beatles Christmas 2009

December 22, 2010

From the Vaults: Mr. Suave's Christmas Modcast 2008

Once more into the vault my friends, once more into the vault. Step back in time, to a time when the modcast was young and fresh. Take a giant step outside your current listening constraints and journey with me back to Christmas of 2008. I've opened up the vaults and dusted off a classic modcast that I think you'll enjoy. Again.






So, here is my annual foray into holiday shenanigans. This year's modcast has all the elements of a classic -- old and new, power pop and punk rock, garage and indie faves, traditional --and not so traditional-- holiday cheer. It's a cozy little combination of songs that go well with hot chocolate and peppermint schnapse. I've got a few seasonal surprises for you this year from The Shambles, The Wondermints, The Wombats, The Yobs, Girl Trouble and more. I'm sure you've all got a bunch of online shopping to do and I've got loads of Christmas cocktails to shake up, so on with the show.

Download here

December 21, 2010

Modcast #184: Mr. Suave's Mod Rockin' Christmas

Merry Christmas from Suave HQ. Four days and counting until Christmas, and Mr. Suave's 2nd Annual Swingin' Christmas Extravaganza.

In the meantime you'll just have to content yourself with this little show right here. These are not your grandfather's Christmas songs, from Jimmy Severe and His Blue Christmas Boys to The Eels and The Cuban Mistletoe Crisis this hodgepodge of slightly different but cool yule sounds. And there's a few new tracks as well, most notably from Fitz & The Tantrums and The Diplomats of Solid Sound.

If you're looking to have a more punk rawk type Christmas be sure to check out Jimmy Severe's Punk Rock Advent Calendar. Originals and classics, all done in a great '79 punk style.

Jimmy Severe & His Blue Christmas Boys -- Christmas Dream (2009)
The Diplomats Of Solid Sound -- Let It Snow (2010)
Fitz & The Tantrums -- Santa Stole My Lady (2010)
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings -- Ain't No Chimney's In The Projects (2008)
Pointed Sticks -- Power Pop Santa (2008)
The Riptides -- I Can't Have A Merry Christmas (2009)
The Eels -- Christmas Is Going To The Dogs (2000)
Swag -- Everyday Is Christmas (2000)
Parallax Project -- All I Want For Christmas (Is A Chance) (2008)
Julian Casablancas -- I Wish It Was Christmas Today (2009)
The Cuban Misteltoe Crisis -- It's Christmas Time At The Airport Bar (2010)

Listen
Download

Fitz & The Tantrums -- Santa Stole My Lady

Pointed Sticks -- Power Pop Santa


December 19, 2010

Ghost of Christmas Past: Modcast#34 It's A Mod Mod Christmas

Here's a bit of mod holiday cheer to spice up your Christmas and put a little power pop in your festivities. (from 2007)

Download here

December 13, 2010

Stay Tuned For Christmas

Christmas is coming. No doubt about it. So stick with me for some Christmas cheer. Dec. 19th you will finally get Mr. Suave's annual swingin' Christmas extravaganza.


Merry Christmas -- Mr. Suave's Christmas Show Is Comin' To Town

December 5, 2010

Modcast #183: Are Your Ears Burning?

They should be because I'm talking about you on this week's modcast dear listeners. Talking about how much you're going to dig these mod friendly tunes from the pure mod sounds of The Co-Stars and Second Generation to the post-punk, new wave pop of Gruppo Sportivo to the 80s power pop of Undercover and The Action.


I suppose everyone was expect a Christmas modcast this week. But no. Even though it is December, I'm bucking the trend to dive into Christmas shmaltz ... at least for another week or two. I've got Christmas shenanigans planned for when we get a little closer to C-day itself. As of now though, no Christmas carols in this modcast.


But do stay dialed into this page as I will be reposting some past Christmas shows, as well as a few other holiday goodies between now and the big day.


Gruppo Sportivo -- Beep Beep Love (1977)
The Co-Stars -- Kiss & Make Up (1984)
Those Dancing Days -- Home Sweet Home (2008)
The Housemartins -- Time Spent Thinking (1997)
Second Generation -- Kick In The Teeth (1988)
The Rifles -- Sometimes (2009)
The Saturday People -- Find Out (2001)
Techtones -- That Girl (1980)
The Action -- She's Got My Heart (1982)
Undercover -- Francine (1982)
The Grays -- Both Sides Now (1998)



The Rifles -- The General




Gruppo Sportivo - Disco Really Made It

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November 28, 2010

Modcast #182: Ladies Get In Free

I am back from my fall hiatus, and I've got an estrogen heavy modcast ready to roll. It's ladies night in the mod world, and I'm going to bring some new sounds as well as a few classics all from the female side of the aisle. Enjoy.

Adele -- Right As Rain (2008)
Duffy -- Delayed Devotion (2008)
Amy Winehouse -- Cupid (2008)
Eliza Doolittle -- Go Home (2010)
The Foxinaires feat. Brandy Butler -- Till You Love Me Too (2009)
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings -- She Ain't A Child No More (2010)
Gabin feat. Dee Dee Bridgewater -- Into My Soul (2010)
Diplomats Of Solid Sound -- Back Off (2010)
Diana Ross & The Supremes -- I Hear A Symphony (1965)
Martha Reeves & The Vandellas -- Something (1969)
Dina Washington -- Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby (1962)
She & Him -- Sweet Darlin' (2008)

Download

Duffy -- Well, Well, Well



Eliza Doolittle - Pack Up

November 22, 2010

From The Vaults: Modcast #146 The Big Power Pop Show Pt. 1

Once more into the vault my friends, once more into the vault. Step back in time, to a time when the modcast was young and fresh. Take a giant step outside your current listening constraints and journey with me all the way back to ... well okay, only back to last year. But it'll be worth it, trust me. I've opened up the vaults and dusted off a classic modcast that I think you'll enjoy. Again.


Anyone who listens to this show or reads this blog will quickly realize that I'm a big power pop fan. So, I'm finally doing a right proper power pop show. And to kick it all off I've got a Mod World exclusive. If you're a mod power pop fan of a certain age you are probably familiar with Modest Proposal -- they were a mid-80s mod band from Washington DC. Opening the show this week is a previously unreleased, --even unrecorded-- song by MP, "Already An Angel," It was penned by lead singer Neal Augestein just about the time the band broke up back in 1986 and the they just got around to recording it about a week ago in prep for their upcoming reunion show. If you don't have a ticket though you are out of luck as the show is now sold out. Besides Modest Proposal there's lots of good stuff on this week's show. Like a kid in a candy store, my eyes were bigger than my stomach so to speak, so this is just part one of the Big Power Pop Show. You gotta love a power pop show so big that one modcast can't contain it.

Modest Proposal -- Already An Angel (2009)
The Records -- Teenarama (1979)
20/20 -- Action Now (1979)
The Pinkees -- Danger Games (1982)
The Pranks -- The Last Ideal (1980)
The Numbers -- Sideways Elevator (1982)
Fingerprintz -- Who's Your Friend (1979)
Kursall Flyers -- Television Generation (1977)
Rick Springfield -- I've Done Everything For You (1981)
Cheap Trick -- Dream Police (1979)
The Last -- Every Summer Day (1979)


Kursaal Flyers -- Little Does She Know



20/20 -- Cherie




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November 20, 2010

Diplomatically Speaking, The Diplomats Deliver One of 2010's Best Soul Releases

I like lounge music. That probably seems a strange thing to point out when reviewing a through-and-through soul record. Yet, if you've listened at all to The Diplomats of the Solid Sound over the past decade you will know what I mean. Their brand of soul, funky and loaded with bravado as it is, has a real undercurrent of lounginess. There was certainly no getting around that with their 2001 debut long player, Instrument, Action, Soul, (hell they had a song named after Hugh Hefner for heaven's sake) and while the lounge vibe is definitely more subtle on their latest release, What Goes Around Comes Around, it is still there if you're open to hearing it.

What Goes Around Comes Around marks the Iowa heartland band's fifth full-length release. And it doesn't disappoint. What Goes Around Comes Around seems to invoke all of the great soulful sounds that The Diplomats have used to such great affect over the years, melding them into probably the band's most polished and professional piece to date. And that's saying something.

The group is led by, and organized around, Hammond B-3 specialist Nate Basinger. Basinger plays in the stellar heights along with some of the current Hammond masters like, Paolo ‘Apollo’ Negri, James Taylor and
Soullive's Neal Evans. His writing and playing evoke the echoes of Jimmy Smith, Booker T and Stevie Winwood, all the while moving the soulful organ sound ahead in time and space. This is pure soul, with elements of funk and R&B throughout.

And yet there's this lounginess thing I can't get past when I listen to it -- and I don't wanna get past it. If you're a fan of the Mod Jazz series of CDs you'll know what I mean. That series trods the line between soulful jazz and lounge jazz, and it's that line that The Diplomats occasionally cross over on this disk.

The album oozes with a self-confidence that sets the songs head and shoulders above a lot of the soulful funk and R&B that is being released these days. It's a confidence that isn't arrogant, but rather earned. On "Fascination" Basinger lays down an organ line with a very Jimmy Smith like swagger, while on the groovy instrumental "Bailout!" he let's the horns do the swaggering. "Promise Of A Brand New Day" melds the horns and organ into a cool breeze of sixties soul ease, while laid across the top are the airy vocals of Diplomettes. "Gimme One More Chance" offers up hot rockin' strings even, in a floorshakin' bit of soul that hearkens back to the solid soul ladies of Motown's big hit sixties era.

If there are any standouts here then it has be the albums two opening tracks. "B-o-o-g-a-l-o-o" is driven by a sustained organ attack punctuated perfectly with horns, but it's the sassy the vocals, simple as they are that really shake the song up. That's followed by probably the strongest track on the whole album "Back Off" which puts the Diplomettes up front and center where they can take control, and boy do they. When they say back off, you better back off.

Overall, this is the Diplomats most solid release, putting all the pieces together. If you like sixties Motown, or 70s soul jazz and funk, or smooth northern soul floorshakers, then you will definitelly get a kick out of this release.



The Diplomats of Solid Sound -- Backoff

October 31, 2010

More Halloween Mixes

An old friend of mine has cooked up a couple of crazy halloween mixes. From Howlin' Wolf to the Butthole Surfers, The Cramps to the Ravonettes to Tom Waits and The Ramones, these pretty much cover the whole spectrum of halloween rock and roll. Guaranteed to scere the sheets off the wee ones when they come beggin' at your door.

Coretta's Halloween

Rockin' Halloween 

October 30, 2010

Halloween modcasts of yesteryears

By now I know you all have listened to last week's excellent modcast. So, here's a treat for you, you can get all spooked out by past Halloween modcasts.


Modcast #144: Something Wicked This Way Comes



Modcast #107: Monsters A-Go-Go!



Modcast #73: It's Spooky Modoween

October 24, 2010

Modcast #181: Monsters Rule O.K.

Ken from The Shingles is once again at the wheel of this scary Halloween hearse and he's steering it on a creepy course sure to give you a bit of a tingle up and down your spine.  Creepy, kooky, ooky and downright groovy, this year's Halloween modcast has it all.


Download


1. The Viewers - Monsters Rule O.K. (The Monster Club: The Original Soundtrack, 1980)
2. Boss Martians - She's Creepy! (13 Evil Tales, 1996)
3. Legendary Invisible Men - Headless Man (The Spooky Swingin' Sounds Of Kreepsville Manor, 2006)
4. T.S.O.L. - Blackmagic (Change Today?, 1984)
5. Siouxsie & The Banshees - Candy Man (Tinderbox, 1986)
6. Stan Ridgway - Camouflage (The Big Heat, 1986)
7. Deadbolt - Tiki Man (Tiki Man, 1994)
8. Monty Python - All Things Dull And Ugly (Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album, 1980)
9. Roger Klug - Witch From Hell (More Help For Your Nerves, 2009)
10. Fred Schneider - Monster (Fred Schneider & the Shake Society, 1984)
11. Jonathan Coulton - Re: Your Brains (Thing a Week III, 2006)
12. The Damned - Grimly Fiendish (Single, 1985)
13. Madness - Grey Day (7, 1981)
14. Bollock Brothers - Horror Movies (Single, 1983)
15. The Who - Dr.Jekyll & Mr Hyde (B-Side to "Magic Bus" single, 1968)
16. Dinah Washington - My Man's An Undertaker (Single, 1953)


October 20, 2010

Bonus Modcast: Partying with The Parties

One of my favorite bands over the past couple years has been The Parties out of San Francisco. Their sound is rooted in sixties pop music and incorporates heavily from the mod/freakbeat part of that catalog. The Parties latest album Coast Garde is no departure, but rather like a jetliner on a standard rate of incline, ever since taking off the band just keeps climbing higher and higher.
So, I got a chance to interview the band while they were putting the final touches on the album and that has lead to this special bonus modcast. You'll hear from all the band about the album, about their journey to this pioint and where they're headed from here, as well as their thoughts on what mod means today, what the state of music is like and what they're listening to for inspiration.
The band has a sort of sweetness to their sound, something I previously described as "a nice warm, beach like feeling," which maybe is a reflection of their California locale. This time around the music is richer, more lush, more perfectly honed to accent the lyrics.

On first listen I thought maybe there was an intentional theme here, but lead singer Jeremy Powers says that is just a happy coincidence. No matter, the songs are all about girls, and there seems to me to be an arc from the swaggering opening tracks about new love, to the middle tracks about deep love, to the final more sober tracks where love's mountain top high disappears.
The album's single, "Lets Call It Love" opens with an easy, breezy feeling, and a soft psychadelic undercurrent that gives it a bit of an ephemeral quality that nicely compliments the lyrics. It's an excellent mix of jangly guitars, tight rythyms, and more harmonies than you can shake a tambourine at. Along with the second track, "Can't Seem To Get My Mind Off Of You", it gets the album off to a pretty upbeat start.
The sound and the songs mature with the swirly, psychadelic "Twenty-Four", a song that could have come right out of the Pretty Things sessions in the late sixties as easily as it could have stood alongside Rain Parade's paisly underground tracks in the eighties. By the time you get to the last couple of tracks, "When The Weekend's Over", the love is lost and the sobering lonliness is all that's left. At last there's only the catchy vocal harmonies of You Ruined Me, a shorty, jaunty tune that has an infectious rhthym and melody and is fast becoming one of my favorites.
The band's love affair with sixties bands like The Who and The Creation are clear, especially in the guitar driven bridges of "Let's Call It Love" and "Twenty-Four". There's also a real sense of melody throught not unlike that of The Zombies and The Kinks.

For all that Coast Garde is a big step forward for The Parties, it also finds the band firmly, and comfortably, settled into the sound of the sixties. Which, at least for me, is a great place to be.
  • Let's Call It Love (2010)
  • Interview Pt. I
  • She's Gone Away (2009)
  • Cold Life (2008)
  • Interview Pt. II
  • You Ruined Me (2010)
  • Download

I want to thank The Parties for taking the time talk with me, I think you'll enjoy the itnerview. Their new album, Coast Garde is due out on November 2nd on the Rainbow Quartz label. More info and purchase here.

October 17, 2010

Modcast #180: Some Hits Hurt

So, lately I've been on a Three O'Clock kick listening to the band's back catalog over and over and over. I've even come to appreciate what was probably their last great song "Her Head's Revolving". Which was of course the last album featuring the band's core lineup. Like all good music does it touched a nerve and then led me on a little musical jaunt. It's one of those jaunts that is probably best listened to rather than explained. I mean, how do you adequately explain all the cool music on tap for you this week from Shonen Knife to 999, The Marigolds to Mooney Suzuki? You don't. The best you can do is listen to it and simply enjoy.


Three O'Clock -- Her Head's Revolving
White Rabbits -- The Plot (2007)
Vibrators -- DNA Robot (2010)
Shonen Knife -- Animal Song (1993)
The Ace -- If You're Out There (2010)
The Cute Lepers -- Some Hits Hurts (2009)
The Marigolds -- Sticks And Stones (1985)
Cuban Heels -- Downtown (1978)
999 -- Action (1978)
Gary Valentine (The Know) -- I Like Girls (1980)
Mooney Suzuky -- Yeah You Can (2000)



Shonen Knife -- It's A New Find


999 -- Emergency

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October 9, 2010

Modcast #179: Get Your Kicks Back In '66

Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World, sixties style.

Download Modcast #179: Get Your Kicks Back in '66

I've cranked up the way back machine and am taking you back to that glorious year of 1966 for you to get your mod kicks with some of the year's best 1966 was a pretty great year, the Soviets "landed" (it crashed) a satellite rocket on the moon, the first artificial heart was put into to some lucky guy, the supremes --justices that is-- gave us our miranda rights and the average bloke was bringing home a whopping $7,000 a year, a house cost only twice that, gas was a measly $.32, but a Parker pen cost $12. Go figure. In sports an upstart boxer named Cassius Clay started floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee, the Packers were champs in the NFL's first ever Superbowl, the Astrodome rose up over Houston, England took home the World Cup, the Orioles swept the World Series, and Billie Jean King won the women's, not the men's, bracket at Wimbeldon.

Meanwhile the world was torn asunder by war. A little thing known as the British Invasion was in full swing, and Americans were loving it. They couldn't get enough. If you had a British accent wore matching smart outfits or miniskirts you pretty much had it made in the states. As far as American homegrown music there was just a bit of that as well. This time around I'm not getting into much in the way of soul music from '66, other than the fantastic Mr. Floyd, but there was damn good soul produced that year. Instead, I'm giving a smorgasboard of R&B and garage rock for the most part. Enjoy.



Paul Revere & The Raiders -- Kicks
Doc Thomas Group -- I'll Be Doggone
MC5 -- Baby, Please Don't Go
Sam The Sham & The Pharoahs -- Lil' Red Riding Hood
The Seeds -- Rollin' Machine
The Standells -- Summer In The City
? & The Mysterians -- 96 Tears
The Monkees -- Saturday's Child
The Rolling Stones -- Under My Thumb
The Kinks -- 'Til The End Of The Day
Eddie Floyd -- Knock On Wood

The Standells - Dirty Water


Paul Revere & The Raiders - The Great Airplane Strike

October 6, 2010

The Modcast Early Years - The First Five Shows

I started this modcast back in 2006 and have produced 178 shows to date. As you might expect the show has changed over time. I've learned a lot about how to produce a better program (at least I hope so!). Still, the music remains the same.

In case you missed them the first time around here are the first five episodes of the modcast.

Modcast #1: The 80s Mod Scene
The Modsters -- Why Aren't You Dreaming?
Chardon Square -- Lost in the Cartoons
The Question -- Shall Be Love
The Key -- Feeling Special
The Leopards -- Psychadelic Boy
The Targets -- Sax Man
Manual Scan -- Nothing Can Be Everything
The Three O'Clock -- Jetfighter
Modest Proposal -- Seen Your Face Before
Mod Fun -- Live in Yourself


Modcast #1 -- The 80s Mod Scene


Download Modcast #1


Modcast #2: It's a Mod, Ska and even Garage Rock Kinda World
The Targets – Searching for a Scene
The Jetz – Moderns for a Day
The Idea – Our Way
The Untouchables – Ska Mods
Fishbone – Skankin’ to the Beat
The Untouchables – Lebanon
The Question – Stare you Down
The Pandoras – Stop Pretending


Modcast #2 -- It's a Mod, Ska and even Garage Rock Kinda World


Download Modcast #2


Modcast #3: In the Garage
The Prisoners -- Better in Black
Thee Headcoatees -- Don't Try and Tell Me
Yard Trauma -- Some People
Chesterfield Kings -- Are You Gonna Be There
The Pandoras -- The Way It's Gonna Be
Gravedigger V -- Spooky
Cynics -- Waste of Time
Fleshtones -- A Hand for the Bands
Salvation Army -- Going Home
Tell-Tale Hearts -- Won't Need Yours
Unclaimed -- Run From Home
The Prisoners -- Maybe I Was Wrong


Modcast #3 -- In the Garage


Download Modcast #3


Modcast #4: Mod Progeny: What Hath We Wrought?
Mando Diao - Cut the Rope
Solarflares - Unsociable
The Chartists - I'll be Leaving Here
Robbers on High Street - Amanda Green
Ordinary Boys - Life Will be the Death of Me
Maximo Park - Apply Some Pressure
Second Saturday - The Chase
The Made - Not a Piece of Cake
The Pills - Fighting Words
The Walnut Dash - Your Mum
The Platforms - Walk of Shame


Modcast #4 -- Mod Progeny: What Hath We Wrought?


Download Modcast #4


Modcast #5: It's The Power Pop Stupid
Vapors--Prisoners
Pointed Sticks -- Apologies
The Times -- Whatever Happened To Thamesbeat
Rick Springfield -- Jesse's Girl
The Nerves -- One Way Ticket
Breakaways (w/Paul Collins --Walking Out On Love
Plimsouls -- Everyday Things
The Romantics --What I Like About You
Elvis Costello -- Moods for Moderns
Material Issue -- International Pop Overthrow
Nick Lowe -- Cruel To Be Kind
Squeeze -- Cool For Cats


Modcast #5 -- It's The Power Pop Stupid


Download Modcast #5


October 5, 2010

September 28, 2010

Mondo Topless is Freaking Out!

Mondo Topless have a classic, timeless garage rock sound with simple hooks, catchy guitar riffs, and a driving power pop beat that moves the songs along at breakneck pace. Theirs isn't music for the sedentary listener. This is the stuff that extreme living is made of, the stuff that lies underneath the world of melodic punk rock.

So it is that their fifth full length release, Freaking Out, is balls out attack on other people's songs. The opening track, "Nothing Can Bring Me Down" (Twilighters) launches a staggering, non-stop atttack which doesn't let up until you get to the last, and perhaps most obscure, song "Little Clown" (Witch). From The Electric Prunes to Camper van Beethoven, Mondo Topless take these songs and amp them up with a garagified twist. Garage fans will be hooked from floor-stomping, fuzzed out "I'm Gonna Find A Cave" (The Banana Splits), to the sixties based freakbeat of "Get Me To The World On Time" (The Electric Prunes).

You definitely won't be bored by this fun garage album that blasts through a dozen tracks.


Mondo Topless -- Swalbr (Cream)


Mondo Topless - I'm Gonna Find a Cave

September 26, 2010

Modcast #178: Featuring Keith Slettedahl lead singer of The 88

Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World. This week the mod world is full of wonderfully pure pop music. What a show, what a show, what a show. From new to old, from The 88 to Manual Scan to the Small Faces, the whole show is packed with great music.

And a great interview with The 88's own front man, Keith Slettedahl who is the band's lead singer and main songwriter. If you're not familiar with The 88 you should be. They are a great power pop band that is carving out a really nice original sound for themselves. Rather than be just a derivative sort of soundalike band, they've incorporated influences from a lot of classic sixties bands like The Kinks, The Beatles, and The Zombies into a very modern, very original, pop sound that is all their own. You might also know them from the movie and TV work they've done, including recording the theme song to NBC's the Community. I've got some of their older stuff, as well as a taste of their brand new album appropriately titled The 88 which officially comes out next Tuesday, Sept. 28, but is already available through iTunes. Pick it up, you won't be disappointed.

The interview comes in two parts. In part one we talk about The 88's work this past year as the backing band for mod legend Ray Davies, how they write their songs and the sound of their new album. In the second half you'll find out how the band knows Danny Benair of Three O'Clock fame, some of Keith's other musical influences and what they're up to next.

Rounding it all out I've got a track that Bart Mendoza from Manual Scan sent me special for the show, a rare live track of Manual Scan backing up Squire's Anthony Meynell in 1985. If you missed my interview with Bart head on over to mistersuave.com and look up modcast #177.

The 88 - website  - Myspace

The 88 -- Haunt You (2005)
Orange Peels -- Something In You (2005)
Franz Ferdinand -- Send Him Away (2009)
Supergrass -- Sad Girl (2005)
The 88 -- Center Of The Sun (2010)
The 88 -- Go Go Go (2008)
The Who -- Circles (1965)
The Kinks -- I Gotta Move (1964)
Small Faces - Sha La La La Lee (1966)
Manual Scan w/Anthony Meynell of Squire -- Walking Down The King's Road (live, 1985)

Download the podcast



The 88 -- Coming Home



The Making of Love Is The Thing

September 18, 2010

Modcast #177 Featuring Bart Mendoza of The Shambles & Manual Scan

Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World. I'm taking you back to the early days of the US mod scene this week with some great music including a couple of really cool live tracks from The Bangles & The Three O'Clock.

Even cooler than that is that I got a chance to interview Bart Mendoza. He's been making and shaking the mod scene since the late 70s when he started Manual Scan, and then later as member of The Shambles. With a resume like that it's pretty clear that power pop is in his blood. In addition to his musical prowess Bart is a one-stop mod promotional guru, and a walking encyclopedia on the US mod scene.

The interview is long, but worth it for those of you interested in the history of the mod scene, and for anyone who likes Manual Scan and The Shambles. Bart talks about both bands, as well as about his work behind the scenes as was one of the folks that kept the mod scene going, producing shows, publishing fanzines, organizing rallies and events.


The Shambles website
The Shambles on Myspace
Manual Scan on Myspace
The Che Underground


The Shambles -- It's A Mod Mod World (2008)
The Bangles -- Pushin' Too Hard (live, 1983)
The Three O'Clock -- I Go Wild (live, 1983)
Interview with Bart Mendoza Pt. 1
The Shambles -- Nothing Can Be Everything (1996)
Manual Scan -- For Those (1983)
Interview with Bart Mendoza Pt. 2
The Shambles -- Leavin' Here (2008)
Manual Scan -- Jungle Beat (1985)
The Event -- She's Our Girl (1989)
The Jetz -- Just A Picture (1984)
The Question -- Stare You Down (1983)

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The Shambles -- The Color Swirl (XEWT-TV 1998)


Manual Scan -- Come See Me

September 5, 2010

From The Vaults: Modcast #39: I Dig Your Mind

Once more into the vault my friends, once more into the vault. Step back in time, to a time when the modcast was young and fresh. Take a giant step outside your current listening constraints and journey with me all the way back to those dangerous winter days of 2007. I've opened up the vaults and dusted off a classic modcast that I think you'll enjoy. Again.
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It's the 39th installment of the world's favorite weekly mod show, and this episode packs a punch to be sure. Questions? E-mail me at rob@mistersuave.com

The Rage -- Looking for You
The Gwen Stacys -- Beatboys (in the sun)
The Crowd -- The Right Time
The Crooks -- Bangin' My Head
Nervous Breakdown -- I Dig Your Mind
The Pretty Things -- Midnight to Six Man
Mooney Suzuki -- My Dear Persephone
The Pinstripes -- Mad Scientist
Save Ferris -- Superspy
Captain Sensible -- The Power of Love
The Producers -- What's He Got?


The Producers -- What's He Got?



Save Ferris -- The World is New


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September 2, 2010

The Ruiners Bring The Party With Happy Birthday Bitch

I've seen the new Ruiners disk described as bubblegum-garage, and all I can think is that must be some bad-ass nasty gum. When you chew on The Ruiners new release Happy Birthday Bitch you will surely get a taste explosion. You'll taste some grungy, fuzzy, glammy honky-tonk garage rock from beginning to end.

The Ruiners deliver an album that is straight forward bluesy, garage rock ala MC5, not surprising when you realize that The Ruiners are from Detroit and are channeling the Motor City quintets sharpest points. The band isn't pretentious and doesn't pretend to be mature or sophisticated. The songs are more about lust than love, more bad deeds than good, and mostly just vehicles for blistering guitar solos -- "Charlie Lane Ate My Brain" -- and rockin' out as in the title track, "Fix That Broken Halo" and "Beer Time".

If you have a penchant for eighties styled, sixties influenced, garage rock ala Gravedigger V, The Chesterfield Kings, or more glammish garage punk oriented bands like The Droogs or The Groovy Ghoulies then you'll dig The Ruiners.



The Ruiners -- Charlie Lane Ate My Brain



The Ruiners -- Sugar Buzz

August 30, 2010

Modcast #176: A Firm Grasp Of The Obvious

Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World. My mod world has been rocking out to a lot of power pop this week, so I kicked things off with a bit of early 80s Seattle power pop, courtesy of Jim Basnight and the Moberly's. Basnight is a jack of all trades when it comes to music, and something of a basketball fiend with the rest of his life, running a college basketball blog dedicated to the UW Huskies.

Even with all the power pop I've been imbibing of late the first full set of the show is new soul music. The soul revival continues, full-fledged with groups like the Diplomats and Fitz & The Tantrums, and winding its tentacles into indie pop with acts like She & Him. And, since it is summer, or at least the last few days of summer, I had to throw a little bit of summery, sunshiny, effervescent pop music. I don't know what in the world Japanese band The Bridge is singing about, but whatever it is it sounds good to me. They were one of the forerunners of Tokyo's whole Shubuya-kei scene in the early 90s that produced a slew of great artists/bands like Pizzicato Five, Towa Tei, Flippers Guitar, Fantastic Plastic Machine and a bunch more. I'm thinking I could do an entire show with just Shubuya bands. Hell I could easily do two such shows. And I just might.

Just to keep you all on your toes I've rounded things out with a set of two-tone styled ska, most notably featuring all girl ska band The Belle Stars. Most people, if they know The Belle Stars at all, probably know them from their hit cover of "Iko Iko" that was featured in the movie Rain Man, allegedly because Dustin Hoffman liked the band and lobbied for their inclusion -- no matter that the song had languished for five years before that and the band had already broken up. But, for my money their best stuff was their early stuff, so you get their debut single from 1980 like it or not (I think you'll like it).

That's it for this week's modcast. I'm working up a review of garage rockers The Ruiners new LP Happy Birthday Bitch for later this week and will hopefully find time to share a few other videos, songs, and what nots. Stay tuned, supposedly it gets better.



Jim Basnight & The Moberlys -- Tonight (198?)
Fitz And The Tantrums -- Dear Mr. President (2010)
Diplomats of Solid Sound -- Promise Of A Brand New Day (2010)
She & Him -- Don't Look Back (2010)
Bridge -- Pool Side Music (1994)
Very Truly Yours -- Things You Used To Say (2010)
Skypark -- Secret Hideaway (1998)
Belle Stars -- Hiawatha (1981)
Kingpins -- Plan Of Action (1996)
The President's Men -- State Of Mind (1980)
The Ruiners -- Happy Birthday Bitch! (2010)


She & Him -- You Really Got A Hold On Me


Fitz & The Tantrums -- Winds Of Change



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August 24, 2010

Dean Martin Rolls The Rolling Stones Onto His Show

On Dean Martin's show the Stones could make sweet love to you, but on Ed Sullivan you weren't allowed to spend the night together. Go figure.

August 20, 2010

Modcast #175: Gentlemen Start Your Engines

Welcome to the 175th installment of Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World. You are in for a treat today with some great covers that you will absolutely love, as well as some old school mod power pop, and a few bright and shining pieces of the now sound of indie power pop. What more can you ask for? If you're looking for one of the last things Ella Fitzgerald ever put on an album, or a shining example of soulful power pop courtesy of The Chords, or maybe something new from Scottish power poppers The Martial Arts, then you've come looking in the right place. Gentlemen, and ladies, start your engines. The race starts now.
The Punkles -- Glass Onion (2006)
The Martial Arts -- Empty Out Here (2010)
The Burning Hotels -- French Heart Attack (2010)
The Love Language -- Heart To Tell (2010)
The Action -- She's Got My Heart (1982)
Twist -- This Is Your Life (1979)
The Second Generation -- The Way You Were (1988)
Supergrass -- Condition (1995)
The Chords -- Knock On Wood (1979)
Stupidity -- You've Got My Number (1983)
Ella Fitzgerald -- Get Ready (1969)


Supergrass -- Grace


The Chords -- Something's Missing


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New Soul Album on the way from Fitz and the Tantrums

Fitz and The Tantrums is a new soul combo out of Hollywood that has been making a splash among soul fans for a number of months now. Earlier this year they releasde a five-song EP of love gone wrong songs appropriately titled Songs for a Breakup. The EP was accompanied by some great videos and the buzz about the band has been growing ever since. Now they're on the verge of releasing their debut full-length release and it seems they're on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream even. The new album, Pickin' Up The Pieces, includes the EP tracks along with a slew of new originals ranging from the fully orchestrated organ ballad "Tighter", to the moody and super soulful, floor pounding "News For You", to the title track "Pickin' Up The Pieces" which is a catchy, melodious bit of sunny soul-pop.

Fronted by soul singer and French ex pat Michael Fitzpatrick, the band delivers sixties influenced soul that is reminiscent of motown sounds of the Temptations, the Miracles, and the Four Tops. Yet, the band has avoided being simply a schmaltzy retro band, due in thanks to their passion for the music, and some very good song crafting. And you can't ignore Fitz's striking lead vocals which are excellently backed up by the velvety voiced Noelle Scaggs. All along the way the band delivers some great organ, drums and horns -- primarily saxophone. Interestingly, there's no guitar which doesn't detract at all from their pitch perfect take on sixties styled soul, but rather keeps the songs light and fresh.

Having opened this year for bands like The Specials and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and now with this fabulous new release it seems as if they're on their way to the top.

You can get a sneak piece of the new album --due out on Aug. 24th-- on the Fitz and The Tantrums website.


Fitz and the Tantrums -- Pickin' Up The Pieces

Fitz and the Tantrums -- New For You



Fitz & The Tantrums -- Breakin' The Chains Of Love

August 18, 2010

The Darling Buds Were Criminally Underrated

Out of the forerunner to Twee, known as c86, came a slew of bands that built the launching pad for the Britpop scene of the 90s. Among those earliest Britpop sounding groups were the Primitives, the Wonder Stuff, Soup Dragons and The Darling Buds. All had elements of new wave power pop backed by fuzzy guitars and the beginnings of the madchester psychadelic sound later perfected by Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, and the ever mod friendly Charlatans.

Maybe it was just the era in which they came together, or maybe it was a combination of differing personal styles, but whatever it was The Darling Bud's managed to craft an eclectic blend of sounds that ultimately paid off in later groups like Elastica and Supergrass. The band could easily go from sounding like Fuzzbox, to dropping lyrical references to the Buzzcocks in the midst of a Damned like guitar riff, and then bounce on to a sort of soulful and haunting shoegaze psychadelia.

The Darling Buds earliest sound was pure janglepop that had a sort of Blondie meets the Ramones quality underlying it all.  There was a more overt poppiness than that might signal, the sort that softened their sound, partly in thanks to the very poppy yet stunningly suave vocals of the vampishly goregous Andrea Lewis (who at times seemed more Debbie Harry than Debbie Harry).

The Darling Buds highwater mark came with their debut album Pop Said which climbed into the top 30 of the UK charts, bolstered primarily by the video of the almost bubblegummish pop hit "Burst" which went into heavy rotation on MTV. Not to take anything away from "Burst" which was a fun bit of music, but the rest of the album was far superior in almost everyway. Sadly, tracks like "Spin" and "Shame On You" and the spiky "Mary's Got To Go" boasted catchy hooks that should have caught on but went largely unnoticed as the band released other weaker singles.

After Pop Said the band oddly released an album that compiled earlier songs -- including some from Pop Said -- before finally releasing all new material the very same year. That second record, Crawdaddy, had a more polished producution and produced one fine single, "Crystal Clear". By their third and final album, Erotica in 1992, the band's sound had matured into a rather cliche, bland, 90s alternative sound and lacked the sense of fun and joy that had punctuated their earlier work.

The mid-90s came and ushered in a slew of bands that picked up where Pop Said had left off and took us all on a nice Britpop ride, alas without The Darling Buds who broke up somewhere around 1993.
 





The Darling Buds -- Mary's Got To Go

The Darling Buds -- Valentine





The Darling Buds -- Burst