February 26, 2011

Modcast #192: Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?

Welcome to a special charter modcast ladies and gents with The Shingles. In the hot seat this week with one hand firmly on the controls and one hand firmly on the nearest stewardess is Cap'n Ken. Co-piloting, and if truth be known probably doing all the real work, is Shingle's bassist Daren. They will be flying you through some quite friendly skies. The wayback machine shows that the smoking lamp is lit, the seat belt sign is off, so you know it's gonna be smooth sailing from here on in.

Listen Now

01. James Taylor Quartet - Blow Up (Mission Impossible, 1993)
02. Nerves - When You Find Out (The Nerves, 1976)
03. Loved Ones - You Better Do Right (Better Do Right, 1994)
04. Remains - Don't Look Back (The Remains, 1966)
05. Three O'Clock - Sorry (Baroque Hoedown, 1982)
06. Big Star - Thirteen (#1 Record, 1972)
07. Lloyd Cole - Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken? (Rattlesnakes, 1984)
08. Dick Dale - Hava Nagila (King Of The Surf Guitar, 1989)
09. Saints - Just Like Fire Would (All Fools Day, 1986)
10. Stiv Bators - Evil Boy (Disconnected, 1980)
11. The Style Council - My Ever Changing Moods (Piano Version) (Café Bleu, 1984)
12. Cousteau - Wish You Were Her (Cousteau, 1999)
13. Redskins - It Can Be Done! (Neither Washington Nor Moscow, 1986)
14. Untamed Youth - The Hearse (Untamed Melodies, 1996)

The Saints -- "Stranded"

February 19, 2011

Mod Essentials III: The Britpop Invasion

Here, finally, was proof that mod could mutate into a reflection of contemporary street culture and yet still retain its vital characteristics: confidence, defiance and an appreciation of a nice pair of shoes, all wrapped up in a cocksure bravado traceable all the way back to original ‘tacky herbert’ Jimmy Cooper. A booming Loaded magazine (run by Jam fans James Brown and Tim Southwell) happily ran fashion spreads of Liam-esque models in fishtail parkas and Hush Puppies and Oasis duly became the biggest band since The Beatles. Once again mod chic had officially became the nation’s leisurewear and outlook of choice.
 -- Mojo Magazine, 2004

In the early 90s American music ruled the airwaves internationally. Seattle had spawned the angrily apathetic punk-metal hybrid that was grunge, and the slacker sound had rolled right round the world.

For every action there is a reaction. Britpop was that reaction. Blur front man Damon Albarn explained Britpop as a reaction to grunge's lack of style. The Britpop scene of 1994 - 1997 was a sort of stylistic second coming of the mod revival, this one based less on soul and R&B and more on the pure Britishness of being what was essentially a modern mod. Britpop bands brought back the importance of being British, and the music was so thoroughly British it never did manage an invasion of the US the way sixties British music had.

Britpop was a cultural shift through and through. It had its own movies like Trainspotting and Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. It had its own celebrity nightlcub The Blow Up.  Its own style, lad boys along with its own documentation of the style, lad mags. But above all it had its own music which dominated the world's music scene throughout the mid-90s.

So, as part of my mod essentials series of modcasts I'm exploring the Britpop phenomenon. Previously I looked at the sixties mods and then the mod revival of the late 70s and early 80s. And now it's time to turn to the 90s. If you missed last week's show on the beginnings of Britpop be sure to check it out here.

You can explore more as well. I had a lot of resources that I was able to crib from, using audio clips and borrowing quotes. There are some good movies about the Britpop era: The Britpop Story and Live Forever. There is a fantastic book that delves into the whole scene from the music to the culture to the politics: Britpop!: Cool Britannia And The Spectacular Demise Of English Rock by John Harris. Mojo magazine produced an entire Britpop special edition a few years back that includes interviews with about 20 of the artists and briefly tells the scene's story. Once you get into it you'll find, as I did, how amazing a time it really was.

Listen Now

Paul Weller -- Can You Heal Us (Holy Man) (1993)
The Charlatans -- Can't Get Out Of Bed (1994)
Pulp -- Babies (1994)
Blur -- Sunday Sunday (1993)
Oasis -- Hello (1995)
Supergrass -- I'd Like To Know (1995)
Ocean Colour Scene -- Better Day (1997)
Elastica -- Stutter (1994)
Sleeper -- Swallow (1995)
Thurman -- She's A Man (1995)
Menswear -- We Love You (1995)
Dodgy -- Staying Out For The Summer (1995)

Live Forever (Part 1)

Oasis -- Supersonic

February 13, 2011

Modcast #190: The Britpop Launching Pad

Rising out of the mod, twee, power pop and C-86 scenes of the 80s came a guitar driven alternative rock in the UK. It was partly as a response to the hordes of flannel wearing grungesters and the burgeoning gangsta rap scene of the day. 


This alt rock movement was based outside of London, primarily in Manchester, and had it's own roots in the British invasion bands of the 60s as well as psychadelic rock of the 60s/70s and the post-punk and new wave movements of the 80s.

The bands on this modcast provided the launching pad for the mod influenced, British reinvasion that came to be called Britpop -- featured on the next Modcast #191: Mod Essentials III - The Britpop Invasion.

The Charlatans UK -- The Only One I Know (1990)
Darling Buds -- Shame On You (1988)
The Mighty Lemon Drops -- Inside Out (1988)
The Wonder Stuff -- Unbearable (1988)
The Soup Dragons -- No More Understanding (1991)
5:30 -- Abstain (1990)
The Haywains -- Bye Bye Boyfriend (1993)
Paul Weller -- Bitterness Rising (1992)
These Animal Men -- Who's The Daddy Now (1994)
S*M*A*S*H -- Bang Bang Bang (1994)
Ride -- From Time To Time (1994)

The Darling Buds -- Hit The Ground (plus interview)

The Mighty Lemon Drops -- Into The Heart Of Love

February 5, 2011

Modcast #189: On The Good Foot

Welcome to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World where we're all breakin our beats on some nasty funk and soul this week. So, get on your good foot.

Breakestra -- No Matter Where You Go (2009)
Jamiroquai -- Smoke And Mirrors (2010)
Chris Joss -- Kali Flowers (2010)
Thunderball -- 12 Mile High (2010)
Candice Monique & The Optics -- Mama Don't Know (2010)
Lucky Soul -- Lips Are Unhappy (2006)
The Pepper Pots -- My Little Girl (2005)
Button Up -- I'm Gonna Leave You (2009)
Gabin -- If You Want Me feat. Mia Cooper (2010)
Pure Wilderness -- Ain't No Use (2002)
Trio Valore -- El Compadre (2008)

Listen Now

Chris Joss -- Danger Buds

Jamiroquai -- Lifeline