July 25, 2010

Modcast Special: DC Fontana - The Perserverance of Soul

DC Fontana is a long running band, nearly two decades long. And yet it is just now that they are finally releasing their debut album. Why is that? Well, that's a long story (much of which is written up on their website at www.dcfontana.com) and for my purposes with this modcast not exactly the story I wanted to tell. No, the story here is about a great soul band coming into their own at long last.

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With the soul tsunami of the past few years it seems that soul bands are about a dime a dozen. DC Fonatna is a soul band that is much more than that. Thier sound goes beyond the bounds of soul, incorporating all the elements that make for good music. And along the way you get something that evokes a retro feel, but is fresh and unique as well. It's music that will make you want to dance, but is also easy on the ears when you just need something to listen to when you relax.

Mostly, I wanted to make sure that people heard about the band and about the upcoming album, Six Against Eight. So, I rang up the bass player Mark Mortimer and interviewed him, and this is the story that came together. You'll get to find out why they're called DC Fontana, how they feel about being called a mod band, and alla bout their upcoming album as well as their music videos, which are more films than video.

It's a bit different from my usual modcasts, but I think you'll like it. And, I think you'll like DC Fontana's sophisticated style, as well as their funky, soulful, pop music.

Their new album drops August 6 and will be available as a deluxe CD with booklet, or as a digital download, from all the usual sources.

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July 22, 2010

How Cool Is This?

Agente Speciale (lounge edit)

I feel a lounge music fit coming on.

July 18, 2010

Modcast #172: Every Day Is A Rock N Roll Day

Welcome to the modcast, the rock and roll modcast. Lots and lots of rock and roll for you this week. Power pop style, punk-pop style, garage rock style, indie-pop style. Like Billy Joel said it's still rock and roll to me.

Caroline & The Treats -- Let's Do It (2010)
The Attention! -- Ace Face (2009)
The Method -- Consider This Your Warning (2010)
The Above -- Find Somebody New (2010)
The Goldstars -- Agile, Mobile & Hostile (2010)
The Cocktail Slippers -- Give It To Me (2007)
The Midways -- Looking For Someone (2007)
The Moons -- The Ragman (2010)
The Apers -- Every Day Is A Rock N Roll Day (2009)
The Riptides -- She Gets Around (2009)
The Postelles -- 123 Stop (2010)

The Moons - Let It Go

The Above - Don't Believe in the Light


July 13, 2010

Caroline & The Treats: I Wanna Rock-n-Roll, I Wanna be a Punk

Here come Caroline & The Treats fronted by the world's first, and likely only, power pop porn star ( who comes complete with her own XXX feature film which she directed, starred in and produced).

At first listen I took Norway's Caroline Andersen to be the Norseland's Debbie Harry. But, the sound is a bit punkier than Blondie's was, probably more in line with Nikki Corvette, a sort of bubble-gum power poppin' punk rock. Their cover of Cherry Vanilla's classic "The Punk" is poppier yet arguably better than the original.

And, not a few of the songs are more ... uhm, shall we say ... suggestive, than Blondie's (or most any other female act for that matter). With title's like "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme", "Let's Do It", "Gonna Get Me That Boy", and "Wine Me, Dine Me", and lyrics that often put the x in plicit, her attitude is definitely more along the lines of Wendy O. Williams singing about how she's not the kinda girl you leave alone with your father ... or your mother. Even so, I haven't seen or heard an act this sexed up since some of The Pandoras nearly-naked gigs in the mid-80s.

Once you get past the sophomoric-titilation of all that you will find an excellent, straight up, three-chord pounding, punk-n-roll act. The songs are short, sharp and fast ala The Ramones or The Muffs. The band is tight, not surprisingly, boasting Andersen's paramour Morten Henriksen of The Yum-Yum's and The Twistaroos on guitar, Glenn Glitter from The Owees on bass, and Ole Nesset from Death By Unga Bunga on the drums. If you like it hard and rough (like Caroline seems to), then you'll like Caroline & The Treats.

Caroline & The Treats -- Gimme Gimme Gimme(2010)

Caroline & The Treats -- The Punk(2010)

Caroline & The Treats - Make Out With You

July 9, 2010

Young Veins Take A Run At Classic California Style Pop

I was never a fan of Panic! At The Disco, even though their emo-pop sound dominated the music scene in the mid-2000's and put the MTV set and emo kids on their ears. With millions in sales and no end in sight it is a bit strange that guitarist Ryan Ross and bassist Jon Walker left the band last year. Now the two have bobbed to the surface of the musical seas in the midst of a new five-piece power pop combo, The Young Veins.

There are few things they could have done musically that would have been so far from their time in Panic!. The Young Veins new record, Take A Vacation, is a retro leaning nod to the classic sound of sunny, summery, pop music. The album is fun-filled ride through songs that echo the soft pop of The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Zombies, while eschewing the rougher edges of The Stones or The Who. It's not all retro though with a more contemporary comparison being The Kaiser Chiefs, especially on the album's title track "Take A Vacation".

It seems that Rose and Walker, now away from the more punchy sound and themes of Panic! truly are on a vacation, and on vacation you don't wanna have to work hard, you want easy listening. The album's sound is drenched in Beach Boys-like vocal harmonies (most notably on "Cape Town"), Kinks-like melodies (like on "Maybe I Will, Maybe I Won't") and sixties styled guitar riffs with hints of surf music and lots of catchy hooks. The music by itself is like watching the sun set over Catalina Island on a hot summer night.

The easiness doesn't always extend to the themes The Young Veins explore. Yes there are love songs about boys and girls, but their more about tortured romance than young love. But there are others themes, like the first single and opening track "Change" about a washed up beauty queen turned bag lady.

It's nice to see mainstream artists getting back into old-school pop music, revisiting the pop of past eras, and updating it for a new generation of fans.

The Young Veins -- Cape Town(2010)

The Young Veins - Take A Vacation! (Live)

July 8, 2010

The Goldstars Rock The Garage Hard, Fast And Loud

It takes balls to open your album with an instrumental. That's what The Goldstars do on their latest release, the 5-track The Race EP. They come out playing hard, fast and loud sounding for all the world like something Quentin Tarantino could drive to box office success. The song rips along like its title, "The Race", complete with a thundering car crash along about the third turn. After that they pick up the pace, and raise the bar for what passes for quality rock and roll these days.

The band swaggers through the rest of the EP with a snotty, garagey, ballsy arrogance. From the second track "She's Gonna", an anthemic barn burner kind of piece with cool guitar licks throughout, to "Agile, Mobile & Hostile", and a chance to showcase the farfisa organ styled garage rock that the band does so well, they just shred it up. The album is great followup to my previous favorite release by the band, Purple Girlfriend. If you liked that album, or if you like garage rock in general, you'll dig The Race EP.

The Goldstars -- She's Gonna(2010)

July 3, 2010

Modcast #171: Where I'm Comin' From

Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World, and what better way to open a show on a day when Germany schools Argentina in the world's game than with a German mod band Superpunk with "Das Waren Mods". And since it's America Independence Day, a day when the national pasttime is in full swing, I also included a great song by power poppers The Baseball Project about former MLB pitcher Jose Lima. Lima was a good pitcher -- great one year, 1999 when he won 21 games and started the All-Star Game -- but was better known for being quite the character. In fact, The New York Times dubbed him "the national anthem-crooning, towel-waving merengue singer who moonlights as a right-handed pitcher." Sadly, Lima died of a massive coronary on May 23rd at only 37 years of age. Amazingly, The Baseball Project already have a song out honoring him, and a damn fine one too that's a bit evocative of a more 1979ish power pop sound. Lots of other good stuff on this week's show. So, don't blow your hands off with a firecracker, but do celebrate the great American holiday with a few cocktails and the web's longest running modcast.

Superpunk -- Das Waren Mods (2008)
Healer Selecta -- Rock A Rolla Boogaloo (2010)
Diesler -- Pick Pocket feat. Laura Vane (2010)
The Underbelly -- Confession (featuring Roxie Ray) (2010)
Tiger Trap -- Words And Smiles (1993)
Bridge -- Pool Side Music (2009)
Honeyrider -- Summer Girl (2009)
Secret Service -- You've Been Gone For So Long (1988)
Permanent Green Light -- We Could Just Die (1992)
The Baseball Project -- Lima Time (2010)
Allesandro Allesandroni -- Duke Soul Jazz (1977)

The Baseball Project -- Let The Good Times Crawl (The Young Fresh Fellows)

Healer Selecta -- Tura Stomp