March 31, 2010

Told ya so: Modfather's latest being heralded as a "masterpiece" and "thoroughly Wellerian"

Looks like the big boys are taking notice of the Modfather's latest.

Q, The UK's leading music magazine, gives a rave review to Paul Weller's forthcoming Wake Up The Nation saying:
With the exception of Bob Dylan, there isn't a single artist. living or dead, who has managed a record this audacious 30-plus years into his career.
See the review here.

Meanwhile, Mojo is putting Weller on the cover, and calling the album "splenetic" (whatever that is) and "thoroughly Wellerian". They are also promising one of his best interviews ever.
In a career-spanning cover interview in the latest MOJO a vigorous Weller tells the tale behind his current creative and commercial resurgence, the impact of The Jam split on his nearest and dearest, and the night he put the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious in hospital.
The mag comes with a "Heavy Soul" CD, although it's unclear whether it's the Weller soloer of the same name, or perhaps a bunch of soul songs picked by the Modfather, or maybe some other bunch of stuff. To top it all off Mojo has a nice list of what they think are Weller's best video moments.

Paul Weller -- Moonshine

March 29, 2010

Modcast #160: Get Outta The Garage

In all the joints across the land
It's just a cryin' shame
It used to be a swingin' scene
Now everything is tame
If you're lookin' for action, baby
Well that's my middle name
I'll show you things you've never seen
Beyond your wildest dreams
Well if fun is what you're after
Scream for all that you can get
You won't find it anywhere 'cept in the Heathen Set

-- The Fuzztones

Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World. This week I'm taking you out to the garage for some of the best sixties inspired garage music you've ever heard. Garage rock can mean many different things, but for the purposes of this show I'm referring primarily to the garage revival of the 1980s. Garage bands in the eighties channeled the sound of the nuggets, the long lost mostly obscure bits of garage punk from the sixties and early seventies. The punk rock scene of the late seventies fragmented into a number of different sounds, one of which was largely influenced by loud, raw, R&B of sixties bands like The Standells, The Chocolate Watchband, and The Count Five. They mixed the punk of the sixties with the punk of the seventies and incorporate the blues influences of the early Stones, Them and Yardbirds to create a distinct sound.

Like any scene it varied from coast to coast with New York and Southern California being the primary pivots. The bands ranged from the punkier sounds of the early Miracle Workers, to the bluesy r&b of The Tell-Tale Hearts, to the snotty snarl of The Primates, to the psychadelic organ work of The Mystery Machine. Along the way the sound ceased being a revival, and developed its own unique snarling sound, driven equally by guitars described alternately as fuzzy and crunchy, and organs that seemed to swirl and float atop the songs.

There's a plethora of great garage rock out there, both new and old. So much in fact that one modcast just can't contain it all. This week I bring you the garage sound of the 80s. This is an all American show with all of the band's being from the US. But the 80s saw garage rock bands spring up all over the world. So, next week I'm doing another garage show, that one featuring garage bands from everywhere else besides the US.

The Fuzztones -- Heathen Set (1989)
The Tell-Tale Hearts -- Losing Myself (1984)
Chesterfield Kings -- Cry Your Eyes Out (1985)
The Miracle Workers -- Flashing Red Light (1982)
Gravedigger V -- Tomorrow Is Yesterday (1984)
The Primates -- Bad Luck (1986)
The Pandoras -- Hot Generation (1984)
Yard Trauma -- I'm A Man (1988)
Crawling Walls -- Day Glow (1985)
Thee Fourgiven -- Lost In The Beat (1985)
The Mystery Machine -- She's Not Mine (1983)

Thee Fourgiven -- Anything

The Untold Fables -- Spit The Winkle


March 23, 2010

Small Faces set to reinvade the US

Just got a heads up that the British Invasion DVDs are coming to America. The series will kick off here in the states later this month with the release of the Small Faces documentary. It looks great, including lots of interviews and concert footage. Future titles in the series will include Gerry & The Pacemakers: It’s Gonna Be All Right 1963 – 1965, Herman’s Hermits: Listen People 1964 – 1969 and Dusty Springfield: Once Upon A Time 1964 – 1969. It's done by the Reelin' in the Years folks, so you know it's gonna be good. They've done some great stuff on soul and jazz in the past.

Small Faces - British Invasion 'All Or Nothing 1965-1968'

From the website:
At long last, the definitive official DVD for one of the greatest groups of the sixties (or any other decade for that matter.). Small Faces: All Or Nothing 1965 – 1968 features 23 complete performances filmed from 1965 to 1968 when the band was challenging the Who, Kinks, Stones and Beatles for domination of the charts. The DVD captures every aspect of their short but brilliant career including early Mod/R&B classics such as “What’cha Gonna Do About It”, “Sha La La La Lee” and “All Or Nothing”, timeless rockers like “Tin Soldier” and later psychedelic masterpieces including “Itchycoo Park”, and “Green Circles.” Best of all is the inclusion of eight songs from the band’s LP masterpiece Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake including “Lazy Sunday”, “Song Of A Baker” and the six song Happiness Stan suite. In between the performances original members Ian McLagan, Kenney Jones and Jimmy Winston talk about the songs and tell the band’s history in new interviews filmed exclusively for the DVD. Also interwoven into the story are archival interviews with Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane.

March 21, 2010

From the Vaults: Modcast #71 - Time for a Mod Block Party

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 oh so interesting days of Fall 2007. I've opened up the vaults and dusted off a classic modcast that I think you'll enjoy. Again.

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
  • The Leopards -- Block Party
  • 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 Videos:
The Vapors -- Jimmie Jones

The Creation -- Try and Stop Me


March 19, 2010

A Girl Group You'll Flip For

Straight outta Milwaukee, and seemingly 1966, come The Flips, an all-girl group of sixties afficianados. They got the look. They got the sound. They got ... six members -- and they're not a ska band.

The Flips take me back to when The Bangs (later the Bangles) were playing in the early 80s -- girly, soulful, garagish and overall poppy. They have a sweet girl-group sound, but there's a hint of agression under there, tightly coiled and waiting to be released. Not unlike other contemporary girl-groups going the retro route like The Pepper Pots or The Pippettes, The Flips come across not nearly as plastic as the latter, and not as sweet as the former. Both of which give them an advantage.

The Flips -- Baby, It's Gonna Be Alright (2009)

The Flips -- That Girl Stacey

March 18, 2010

The Modfather Set To Shake Up The Nation

Next month Paul Weller will release his tenth studio album, an accomplishment that is impressive in part when you realize that Weller remains a virtual unknown to all but punk afficianados in the US. Compare that to his godlike stature in the UK where he's lovingly referred to as the modfather, a sort of elder statesman of British pop music who is credited with the advancement of Britpop as much as either the Beatles or Ray Davies (neither of which had the hands on experience with the 90s movement as Weller did).

He is arguably one of my top favorite living artists (along with the aforementioned Davies, Pete Townsend, Mike Ness and Billy Joe Armstrong) and the one who is still producing the mot original, highest quality music. And that's saying something when you think of what Billy Joe's done with Green Day of late, and Ness' own strong songwriting skills continue unabated.Still, Weller's solo albums, for me, have been hit or miss. The misses, admittedly, are vastly superior to the rest of the schlock on the market. But, not everything he touches turns to gold -- just most of it.

So, too with this latest release, Wake Up The Nation. The tracks run the gamut from outstanding to merely passable. Half of them are pure bliss, equally invoking northern soul and guitar driven punk rock -- two things Weller can combine like no one else. The other half are over produced, atmospheric pieces that pick up where his last release, the enormously successful (which I wasn't all that fond of) 22 Dreams left off. The album is heavily influenced by sixties psychadelia, almost too much so, with some of the effects overwhelming the songs, as in the case of the last track, "Two Fat Ladies".

The title track will shake up the nation for sure. It's riotous bit of pop sure to appeal to the masses, and at the same time scratch all the itches of Weller's longtime, more demanding fans. The lyrics deal wtih the inreasing impersonal nature of technology: Get your face off the facebook / and turn off the phone / the death of the postbox / nowhere feels home. The song has a striking resemblence to "From The Floor Boards Up", anoter upbeat, fast paced piece of rocking soul. It's quick, it's quirky, it flows smoothly in a memorable and catchy way and I expect it will be hit everywehre but in the states.

"Wake Up The Nation" is packed into the first third of the disk with "Moonshine", "No Tears Left To Cry", and "Fast Cars, Slow Traffic" (is there a stray Cure piano tinkle sampled in there?), all strong songs and helping make this the best start to an album that I've heard in a long time. The songs are soulful, especially the Motownesque "No Tears Left To Cry", and would seem to fit better with 2005's As Is Now than just about any other of his solo works.

The rest of the album isn't as strong, partly as I mentioned because some of it seems overproduced, especially the aptly-named instrumental "Whatever Next", which Weller describes as a breather; sadly, it's a noxious one with unneccesary tinkling windchimes. Or, "Up The Dosage" which probably would have been a fine, upbeat floorshaker, until they decided to play mixmaster with it.

Yet, there is one song in the latter half of the album that really rocks is "7&3 Is The Strikers Name". It too is atmospheric, pscychadelic, and on first listen might seem to have too many gimmicks, but the underlying melody and Weller's vocals actually pick the track up and really push it forward.

Overall this is a great record, and will probably fare well in the markets. It will be interesting to see if it can reach #1, giving the Modfather his fourth album to do so. An impressive trick no matter who you are.

Paul Weller -- Fast Car, Slow Traffic

Paul Weller -- Wake Up The Nation

March 14, 2010

Modcast #159: Let Your Mod Light Shine

This week on the Mod Mod World I'm shining a light on some great sounds from acid jazz to power pop. This week's show is a bit longer than usual, but it's worth it. It's an eclectic mix to be sure, but then mods are lucky enough to enjoy many different styles of mod friendly music.

Listen Now

The Hot Rats -- Pump It Up (2010)
Frank Popp Ensemble -- Psychadelic Girl (2005)
Corduroy -- Something In My Eye (1996)
Count Basic -- Moving In The Right Direction (1995)
Those Dancing Days -- Home Sweet Home (2008)
Maxtone Four -- One More Thing (2003)
Office -- Nobody Knows You (2008)
Blur -- Jubilee (1994)
Eurovox -- Love On The Airwaves (2005)
Supergrass -- Caught By The Fuzz (1995)
Apples In Stereo -- Shine (In Your Mind) (1996)

Hot Rats Interview

Corduroy -- Motorhead

March 11, 2010

Gotta Love That Whole Garage Rock Thing: David Peter and the Wilde Sect

Once upon a time growing up as a young mod I cut my teeth on the 80s garage rock revival, listening to (and when lucky enough seeing live) bands like The Crawdaddys, The Tell-Tale Hearts, Crawling Walls, The Funseekers, The Gravedigger V, Thee Fourgiven, and The Things.

Recently I stumbled across a band that could have fit into the whole 1984 garage rock revival just perfectly: David Peter & The Wilde Sect. Their sound is not unlike something that Them, The Stones or The Yardbirds could have turned out circa 1965. The music is fast, raw, loud and has a killer beat. This is authentic sixties based R&B, with upfront guitars, solid bass lines and even some blistering harmonica work thrown in for good measure. This is rock and roll the way it's meant to be played.

They hail from Denmark and are making quite the splash on the Continent. I traded some e-mail wtih front man David Peter Jorgensen and will share that with you here:
A little info if you need it: The song is from the vinyl ep on Wilde Beat Records called The Tornado Sessions released in 2009.

David Peter and the Wilde Sect comes fresh out of the Copenhagen underground. Their mission, to teach the youngsters of today about music with a soul - a very desperate teenage soul that is. David Peter and the boys are tired of popcharts, and tired of the misuse of words such as r&b, beat and ravers of today. With a love for danish beat and 'pigtrĂ¥d', these four boys bring it down to a very raw and energetic act, that will make the teenies dance and shout!

David Peter and the Wilde Sect has been playing gigs in Denmark, Sweden, Italy and Switzerland since February 2008. The next upcoming gigs are at Le Beat Bespoke, Corn rocket Beat Bonanza and at Hope and Anchor all in London, England. Back To Beat in Bergen, Norway. Primitive! Rotterdam, Holland. Festival Beat, Salsomaggiore, Italy And of course in and around Copenhagen, Denmark.

Search: David Peter and the Wilde Sect

David Peter & The Wilde Sect -- Wild Girl

David Peter and the Wilde Sect -- Oh Amy

March 9, 2010

This Just In: New Fidelity's Small Screen Debut

Normally, I don't just repost other people's material, but since it isn't everyday that a bona fide mod band finds its music in a national TV Show, and since this is The New Fidelity and they deserve all the recognition they're going to get, here's the blurb from the band's own e-newsletter.
New Fidelity's Song "No Way Back" on NBC's New Primetime Show "Parenthood" Tuesday Nite!

That's tonight! The New Fidelity's just licensed our song "No Way Back" to NBC for Episode 2 of Parenthood to air tonight, Tuesday March 9th, 2010.

"If you watched NBC's coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics, you surely saw an ad, likely many, of NBC's new drama series Parenthood starring Lauren Graham of Gilmore Girls fame. The show, which is produced by the acclaimed Brian Grazer, has been a critic favorite for many months and tonight the network is finally premiering it."

Our song appears in scene 2, 1 minute 25 second sync- background vocal scene 2: "Roosevelt HS- The principal tells Amber her lack of credits puts her as a sophmore".

This is a background scene for the music, but it will be clearly audible during the scene. For extra fun, download the song for only 99 cents on our iTunes page so you know what to expect, and then you can watch it on the show. "No Way Back" is available through iTunes on our record Tiny Slivers.

For more on Parenthood, please check their web page at

The New Fidelity - 2nd Once In A Lifetime Girl

March 7, 2010

Modcast #158: It's A Mod Thing

This week the mod world is full up with cool sounds both new and old. New from The Futureheads and Ocean Colour Scene, and old from the likes of The Doors and Pimlico. It's a good show, I guarantee it. If you've been perusing past shows and find some that aren't currently available just leave me a comment and I'll put them back online. Storage and bandwidth cost money, so some of the older shows aren't available anymore. That's why I do the From The Vaults shows where I dust off old modcasts and repost them.
Listen Now
The Futureheads -- Struck Dumb (2010)
Ocean Colour Scene -- Mrs. Maylie (2010)
The Elements -- Deep Freeze (2007)
The Ladders -- Been A Long Time (2009)
Squire -- Get Smart (1979)
The Nerves -- Working Too Hard (1976)
Pimlico -- Revolve (1995)
The Doors -- Break On Through (1967)
Amboy Dukes -- You Better Find Yourself Someone (1966)
Jefferson Airplane -- It's No Secret (1966)
Arthur Lee & Love -- My Little Red Book (1966)

Ocean Colour Scene -- Magic Carpet Days

Pimlico -- Queenie

March 4, 2010

Lack of Afro doesn't mean lack of soul

Lack of Afro is essentially one guy, a drummer, DJ Adam Gibbons, who mixes together 60s and 70s jazz, funk and soul with modern hip-hop beats to create what he calls "a steamy stew of a breakbeat bonanza". And he ain't kidding.

The nu-funk-soul landscape has become awash with all sorts of bands, DJs, and others, belting out funky, jazzy, soul music. The hammond beat sound is alive and well to be sure. Problem is, a lot of the stuff is junk, and derivative junk at that. The real purveyors of cool in this genre standout. A few that I'm thinking of are The New Mastersounds, Nicola Conte, Karminsky Experiment, Paolo Apollo Negri, Soulive, and The Bamboos. And the more traditional soul and R&B outfits like The Dap Kings, Diplomats of Solid Sound, Nicole Willis and Soul Investigators and so on.

I will now add Lack of Afro to that list. Partly because he fits into the genre, clearly, but also because he's doing something a little different, making a unique mix of trad soul and jazz with rap and hip-hop. There's a knack to good mixing, and re-mixing especially, and Lack of Afro has it.

I remember when The Style Council pushed out some early rap songs in the mid-80s, which for the most part fell flat. Weller's attempt seemed forced, like he was trying too hard to cash in on a new thing. But Gibson's blend of old and new seems much more ... well groovy. Just take his northern soul stomper "Touch My Soul" with it's inspired sampling of Steve Marriott.

His first album, 2007's Press On, was an impressive debut. And it too featured excellent mixes. But this latest album , released just last fall, My Groove Your Move, shines even brighter, especially with the tracks that incorporate rappers Herbal and Wax, and solid soul vocalist Roxie Ray. They're the freshest pieces on the album by far.

"Touch My Soul" Lack of Afro feat. Steve Marriott

Lack of Afro w/Wax -- Suspicious Glow

Lack of Afro -- The Outsider

March 1, 2010

From The Vaults: Modcast #10 Mo' Mod Sounds

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 oh so interesting days of September 2007. I've opened up the vaults and dusted off a classic modcast that I think you'll enjoy. Again.

Welcome to Mr. Suave’s Mod Mod World. This week I’ve got some mod bands, some psychedelic bands, some garage bands, and some power pop bands. So, pretty much an ordinary show. There’s nothing ordinary about any of these next groups though.

Three O'Clock -- Jet Fighter