February 28, 2012

From the Vaults: Modcasts #176 & #18

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).

Listen Now

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

Modcasst #18: Chillin' in Mr. Suave's Mod Lounge

Welcome to Mr Suave's Swingin' cocktail lounge and now you can enjoy a few of the songs that started me down the lounge music path. There is no doubt that my involvement in the mod scene led me to being a lounge music junkie loving all sorts of easy listening, space age pop, acid jazz, swing and other retro types of music. Lucky for me!

Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 -- Mais Que nada
Madness -- Los Palmas 7
The Style Council -- Paris Match
Burt Bacharach -- Bond Street
Bert Kaempfert & His Orchestra -- Mambo Mania
Les Baxter -- Tropicando
Combustible Edison -- The Millionaire's Holiday
Pink Martini -- Sympathique
Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited -- Robot A Go Go
Combustible Edison -- The Checkered Flag