February 25, 2010

It's True Arthritis Sux

The Coathangers are a nearly all girl punk band. They have a hard edged, aggressive sound, but one that is clearly indebted to a love of garage rock, as well as post-punk, new wave sounds. There's a lot of Killer Pussy echoes in the vocals, and a number of the songs bring to mind PIL.

There are sixties garage overtones all over their music, if you listen for it. Probably their most sixtiesish song is "Tonya Harding" with the very farfisa sounding organ work, and the falsetto girly vocals that give way to a more biting chorus. I also like "Getting Mad and Pumping Iron", "Pussywillow" and "Toomerhead".

But there's one song that I can really relate to. Maybe one of The Coathangers has arthritis. As someone who does and suffers on a daily basis I can relate to any song titled "Arthritis Sux".
i don't want broken bones
bullied bones
rheumatoid i'm annoyed
i can't move
i can't get up
you fucking suck
i've had enough

The Coathangers -- Arthritis Sux

The Coathangers -- Tonya Harding

February 24, 2010

Sock It To Me: You Learn Something New Everyday

I like learning things. Like I just learned recently the The Specials' "Sock It To 'Em JB" is a cover. (Who says I'm slow?)

It's a cover of sixties soul combo Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers 1966 single. The original features an even more James Brown like style, and some really cool organ work. The JB in question could be either James Brown, or James Bond, both of whom are the inspiration for the song.

Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers -- Sock It To 'Em JB

February 21, 2010

Modcast #157: Mods Keep Marchin'

Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World, which this week is coming to you from my sick bed where I am fighting off one of those nasty winter colds. Don't worry though, you won't get anything from listening to this modcast ... other than another great selection of mod songs.

Lots of new stuff here for you to groove on. The Modesty are a Swedish mod trio that have a new EP out, Take Modern I, which really rocks. The band mixes sixties and revival flavored power pop with some soulful garage overtones, and a bit of a modern Britpop flare for good measure. So, that alone should make you want to download this podcast and check it out. Go ahead, you won't be sorry.

The Modesty -- Parklife Social Club (2010)
The Omens -- Gonna Be Alright (2009)
B-Back -- Are You Ready? (2006)
The Goldstars -- Open Up Your Door (2003)
Ripchord -- My Precious Valentine (2009)
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones -- Too Many Stars (2009)
SPY -- Happy As A Child (1997)
Lacrosse -- Go Ego Go (2007)
The Haywains -- Kill Karaoke (1993)
Raphael Saadiq -- Keep Marchin' (2008)
Laura Vane & The Vipertones -- Roof Off (2009)

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones -- Don't Worry Desmond Dekker

Ripchord -- Backstabber

February 19, 2010

The Revolution Won't Be Televised -- It Will Be Digitized

Smoove turn Gil Scott Heron upside down with this revisioning of his class "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" in part to remind us of what we are capable, for good or ill.

Smoove - The Revolution Will Be Televised

February 18, 2010

Go-Go With Gert Wilden

Gert Wilden was a nobody until the cocktail nation stumbled over his labors and fell madly in love. Here was an obscure, classicly trained, Czech musician and arranger, who scored softcore porn and low-budget thrillers in Germany in the late 60s. You can already hear the music in your head I'll bet.

With Xers the world over getting into exotica, lounge, and anything remotely retro sounding in the mid 90s, the kitsch kings at Crippled Dick Hot Wax Records released two compilations of Gert Wilden and his Orchestra. The first was a tribute to his porn music and named after a famous German softcore series, The Schulm├Ądchen Report. The songs were sensual to be sure, but the music was pretty straight-up, sixties, now sound. Naturally, the release was a huge success. Enough so that Crippled Dick released a second set of songs, these written for movie and TV crime dramas and thrillers. I Told You Not To Cry is in my opinion a far superior album. Less exotic, but also less derivative. Where the first brought to mind the likes of Paul Thomas, Lex Baxter and Klaus Harmony, this one instead reminds me more of Henry Mancini mixed with John Barry. It's both more playful and more vibrant, so of course more fitting the crime time themes.

No matter, you're not going to go wrong with Wilden if you're in the mood for some swingin', go-go music.

Gert Wilden & His Orchestra -- Desert Hips

Gert Wilden & His Orchestra -- Green Spider Theme

Gert Wilden & Orchestra -- Schulm├Ądchen Report (Title Theme, Die Dressierte Frau)

February 16, 2010

The Bamboos Slyly Turn It Up

The Bamboos are an Aussie group that play down and dirty funky, soul jazz. The group started out as a four-piece combo in 2000, but over the years has expanded with a full horn section, and the addition of vocalist Kylie Auldist.

2010 sees them rolling out their fifth studio disk, strangely titled 4. No matter, this album smokes. There's bound to be something for everyone on here, from the opener, the aptly named "On The Sly", with the inestimable Ms. Auldist, to the Lalo Schifrin like "Red Triangle", to the sitar-fueled "Up On The Hill" which brings to mind Nicola Conte. There's another voice featured as well, Lyrics Born joined the band for their 2009 single "Turn It Up" a very Stax like bit of soul, and Born does a good job of delivering a funky, James Brown styled performance. With the Stax sound covered, the band also gives a nod to motown with the lively, bouncy, "Never Be The Girl". Soul lovers are going to be in heaven when they crank this one up.

The Bamboos -- Turn It Up

February 14, 2010

Modcast #156: Play That Song

Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World, modcast #156. In honor of Valentine's Day I've done nothing. Nothing for Valentine, but everything for you dear listener -- and it's a much better story.

Listen Now

I've got a couple of brand new tracks from The Eddies and the Len Price 3. The Eddies are twins Dean and Dale Hoth backed up by legendary producer Earl Mankey on the drums. (If you don't know, Mankey was an original member of Sparks when they started out and later became a producer in the LA undergrounds for The Quick, The Last, Three O'Clock, Long Ryders, Leaving Trains and more.) Their new song shows off Mankey's producing with lots of cool sound affects throughout. The Len Price 3's latest album dropped last month to rave reviews, and you won't get any argument from me. They've outdone themselves again. In addition there are a few supercool, superhero number and some sixties stuff. Nothing not to like here.

The Eddies -- I Want You and I Want You (2010)
Len Price 3 -- Mr. Grey (2010)
The Svengalis -- Runaway (2007)
Radars to the Sky -- Victoria (2009)
The Kinks -- Superman (1970)
The Jam -- Batman Theme (1977)
The Ramones -- Spiderman Theme (1992)
The Monkees -- Let's Dance On (1966)
The Groove -- Play That Song (1968)
? & The Mysterians -- Smokes (1966)
The Odd Numbers -- Time For Truth (1995)

The Kinks -- Apeman

The Jam -- Move On Up

February 11, 2010

Len Price 3's new album Pictures delivers ever so much and more so

What can I say about the Len Price 3 that I haven't already said before? Well, I can tell you this, their new album kicks ass. And seeing as how it is less punky, more pop focused, with more elaborate arrangements, that's saying something.

From the opening moments of Pictures there are the ringing guitar chords that have become a staple of the combo's sound, so you have no doubts who you're listening to. But where their first disk Rentacrowd (still my favorite LP3 song) abounds with punk like rough edges and garagey fuzziness, this latest album shines like a freshly polished piece of crystal. Their second album, Chinese Burn, kept up the frantic pace by pounding out 15 songs (several barely more than a minute long) in exactly 30 minutes. The band built a reputation, well-deserved, for hard-driven, tightly played, garage rock.

With Pictures their reputation is going to change -- for the better. Not that they aren't still primarily a sixties influenced, garage punk styled, power pop band. They certainly are. But, now they have a level of production and arrangement that was lacking before.

Right off the bat Pictures has a more radio friendly jangle than previous releases. There's a jauntiness to the songs with their la-la-las, Beach Boy like vocal harmoniess and overall lighter lyrical content. The rough edged garage quality is there, breaking through in full force on songs like "You Tell Lies" and "Under The Thumb". But those are balanced by songs with better nuanced songs sporting a more modern indie vibe like "Mr. Grey", "Jack in the Greens", and "The Great Omani".

Let me name check the obvious references and influences that are all still there front and center -- The Who, The Creation, The Kinks, even The Zombies. But for me two bands kept popping into my mind as I listened over and over to the album -- The Smithereens and The La's. Seriously. Check it out and let me know if you agree.

The Len Price 3 -- Jack In The Greens

The Len Price 3 -- Under The Thumb

February 10, 2010

Modcast #155: This Modcast Is Simply Sick & Wrong

Welcome to Mr. Suave's not very politically correct and borderline taboo modcast. If you're easily offended, then some of these songs probably won't be for you. If you're just a dirty-minded perv then pull up a chair because have I got a show for you. This show is a testament to, as Oingo Boing would say, all those naughty little things we don't discuss publicly. Actually, the music is quite good, as always, it's just that a few of the lyrics are ... shall we say ... questionable. But who cares, it's all for a good cause.

Listen now

Sex Pistols -- Friggin' in the Riggin' (1979)
Killer Pussy -- Pump-A-Rama (1982)
The Flys -- Just For Your Sex (1977)
Malcolm Practice -- Sex Object (1978)
Sloppy Seconds -- I Don't Wanna Be A Homosexual (1990)
Dirty Looks -- Love Comes In Spurts (1980)
Radio Stars -- Dirty Pictures (1982)
Tina Peel -- Penis Between Us (1980)
Bad Manners -- Big 7 (1998)
Oingo Boingo -- Nasty Habits (1981)
The Vikings -- No Limp Dick (1996)

Sex Pistols & The Muppets -- Friggin' in the Riggin'

Tina Peel -- Blow Me

Bad Manners -- Samson & Delilah

February 8, 2010

Swanky, baby swanky

If you want cool videos just check out the lounge edits produced by Uncle Jerry. We're talking swank baby, mile high club all the way. The sounds are the swinginest stuff of the sixties and seventies by the likes of Alan Hawkshaw, Les Baxter, and Tony Hatch, all edited to cool period pieces, or photos of cool 50s and 60s models, or old news reel footage. Just swank stuff.

Millionaires' Hideaway

February 5, 2010

The Circles

Some clever bloke has taken one of my favorite mod revival songs, "Billy" by The Circles, and created a video for it using only clips from Quadrophenia. Nice fan video, especially when you think of all the crap fan videos that are out there.

The Circles
were one of those revival bands that falls into the also-ran category now because they didn't have label distribution and support -- at least not like those bands you are most familiar with, and with which they definitely should be lumped -- Secret Affair, The Chords, Lambrettas and so on. No matter, The Circles had a very Jam-like straight forward power pop sound, infused with the punk angst of the day, but still more focused on sixties R&B.

The Circles -- Angry Voices

The Circles -- Billy

February 2, 2010

Rediscovering Birdie

A buncha years back I discovered Birdie's first album, 1999's Some Dusty. It was a great moment to find a group so obviously influenced by my favorites like Burt Bacharach, Swing Out Sister, Free Design and Stereolab. Their sound proudly echoed the others in its dreamy, sixties styled soft pop. From the first track "Laugh", I was in love. It skips along at a jaunty pace, with sultry yet innocent vocals floating across it's top. The rest of the album followed suit with its cooing backing vocals, soft pop sensibilities, and sugary melodies. At the time I was unable to track down their second album, 2001's Triple Echo. At last I've got it and have been listening nearly non-stop for almost a week.

Suffice to say, this release even better than the original. In some ways the band follows more closely along in the footsteps of Stereolab. But they do so without the sort of techno-edge that haunts much of Stereolabs work. Birdie's approach is similar, but its not replicating the sound, rather they take it in a more retro feeling direction, staying more true to their sixties pop influences. In that sense Triple Echo is more akin to Swing Out Sister than Stereolab. And, they produced a very mod video that fits them very well.

Birdie -- Rosie's Drugstore

Birdie -- Such A Sound