April 27, 2012

Paradise: Portland’s Mod Revival

by Yolanda Leigh

It’s fair to say the mod revival goes from strength to strength and at the moment there are no finer exponents of it than this brand new band who hail from Portland, Oregon and go by the name of Paradise. Oh boy, they’re Paradise by name, paradise by nature! They’ve just released their debut album “Diary of an Old Soul” which is already critically acclaimed. Together, the band is gathering a staunch fan base of supporters who want to bring the good stuff back to the fore.

Who are they?

The band comprises Steven, Tamar, Dominic and Brian and they’ve been going just over a year or so. They’re signed to the “Luvvers Club” label and sort of position themselves as a Small Faces-eqsue type band. If you know you like bands such as The Stones, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, The Sweet and the aforementioned Faces then you will just love Paradise. They released their first single, also called “Diary of an Old Soul” on February 2nd and here it is:

Paradise - Diary of an Old Soul

Why not think about downloading the album or single or buying a hard copy and sending it by city link? It’s just fantastic, full of energy and life. Really super catchy organ riff, brilliant punchy guitar work and a fantastic vocal performance full of properly shouty angst. Fabulous. If you don’t at the very least tap your feet to it then there’s something wrong with you. In fact, if you've not got the organ hook stuck in your head after the first listen then there is definitely something not right. It's so infectious! The video is great too, awesome sixties feel to it and the guys have just the right balance of nerd and sexiness going on. It’s boisterous and full of heart – sort of a bit like seeing the sixties coming back into full view again. There’s a nice mix of psychedelia in there too. They say of themselves they are:
“The sound of flux, of response to a United Federation of States run by the few. A response to growing up tormented by idols and enemies. Their sound is a refuge from data, meetings and humans. In a world of mindless pop culture, we offer you an escape from the masses”
It’s true. They do. You obviously can make comparisons to who they sound like, to who they’re trying to emulate, however at the same time they do have an up to the minute, modern edge to their music that allow them to fit in with the twenty first century too.

They look the part!

Yep, it’s not always cool to keep harking back to how someone looks when the focus should be on their sound but these guys look amazing too. You can see from the video how they bring retro cool in. Their lead singer is especially smart, which is a novelty in itself when you’re used to seeing scruffy musicians shambling around. It’s that sort of attention to detail that not only makes them more appealing but makes them more credible as a mod act. You could almost feel they have a label attached to them that says “If you find us, please return us to the 1960s”. They’re that good.

Can I see them live?

They’ve just played some sell out gigs in their hometown – a great show on 20th April at Club 21 with Modern Lives, The No Tomorrow Boys and The Lordy Lords, which were really well received. In the next couple of months they’ve got shows planned again in Oregon at the World Famous Kenton Club on Saturday May 19th, and then a big gig at The Royal Room, Seattle on Saturday June 16th. Live, they pack just as much punch as they do in the studio. Noisy, exciting and visceral are probably about the best words use to describe them. Fuzzy and soaked with Farfisa goodness it’s totally impossible not to be drawn into the sounds they create. Their enthusiasm for what they do is so apparent and so redolent in their sound you can’t help but want a piece of their action, so if its old mods in a new world you want then give Paradise a go and you won’t be disappointed at all. Portland’s answer to The Small Faces has come to save modern music.

April 25, 2012

Modcast #229: Working My Way Back To You (Sans the burning love inside)

It's true, I'm working my way back to you from two weeks of pneumonia which sidelined new modcasts there for a while. But that's all behind me now and it's back to the mod mod world for Mr. Sauve. Got a lot of cool new stuff for you this week. One nice find in particular was The Biters. Discovered them over at Ratboy69's very fine music blog, where he always seems to have something good to share.

Listen Now

The Spinners -- Working My Way Back To You (1979)
Raglans -- The Man From Glasgow (2012)
The Theme -- Change Of The Times (2011)
The Mynd Set -- Moonshine (2012)
The Biters -- Electric Nights (2010)
Quantic & Alice Russel with Combo Barbaro -- Look Around The Corner -- Travelling Son (2012)
JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound -- I Am Trying To Break Your Heart (2011)
Fay Hallam & The Bongolian -- Get Off The Bus (2012)
The Toasters -- Secret Agent Man (1996)
The Slackers -- Strychnine (2012)
Special Beat -- Breakout (1990)
The Dickies -- Stukas Over Disneyland (1983)

Quantic & Alice Russell with the Combo Bárbaro - Look Around The Corner [live]

Raglans -- The Man From Glasgow

April 21, 2012

Truly, I'm Working My Way Back To You

That's right, I'm working my way back to you with a burning love inside. Pneumonia. Thank the gods for antibiotics. Hoping to be back up to full speed soon. Until then, below is a link to the latest From The Vaults.

Modcast #37: Summer Songs to Blow Away the Big Chill

Listen Now Download Welcome to Mr. Suave's Cold Cold World. The big chill came to Seattle this week dropping about five inches of snow and temperatures to a downright inhospitable 18 degrees farhenheit this week. And, to make matters worse my electric furnace decided to implode leaving me with a freezing cold house and a deep desire for summer to come blowing in. But, since summer --at least in our hemisphere here-- is still months away, I'm going to try and heat things up with some summer type songs.
  • Pizzicato Five -- Sweet Soul Revue
  • The Parade -- Sunshine Girl
  • The Love Generation -- Groovy Summertime
  • Randy Winburn -- Sunshine USA
  • The Orange Peels -- Long Cold Summer
  • Swing Out Sister -- When the Laughter is Over
  • Wondermints -- Shine On Me
  • Nuyorican Soul -- I am the Black Gold of the Sun
  • Corduroy -- Breakfast in Love
  • Love Jones -- Bacchus Girl
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 -- Look of Love
Bonus Video I: Sergio Mendes joins forces with the Black Eyes Peas to produce and new and hip-hoppier version of the classic Mas Que Nada.

April 11, 2012

From the Vaults: Modcasts #140 & #141

Modcast #141: Sophisticated Synthesized Soul

Listen Now
The show this week features predominately 80s sophistipop: soul mixed with jazz and pop, infused with strings and horns, and synthesized throughout. Lots of mod and mod friendly bands were part of the movement, which helped pave the way for the acid jazz of the 90s. Thanks to my friend Mary who's insistence that it would be worth the trip to Milano to see Swing Out Sister caused me to dig back through some old stuff and come up with a bunch of great tracks for this week's show. Enjoy.

Tahiti 80 -- The Train
Sade -- Hang On To Your Love
Brand New Heavies -- Stay This Way
Swing Out Sister -- Fooled By A Smile
Gentle Tuesday -- I've Never Been So Poorly Insulted In My Life
Everything But The Girl -- Another Bridge
Animal Nightlife -- Basic Ingredients
Simply Red -- Ain't That A Lot Of Life
Haircut 100 -- The Kick Of Love
Saint Etienne -- Spring

Haircut 100 -- Fantastic Day

Animal Nightlife -- Mr. Solitaire

Modcast #140: On The Right Track (Guest Hosted by The New Fidelity)

This week the modcast is most ably hosted by Dan from The New Fidelity. Hailing from Southern California The New Fiis a well-established mod outift that has produced some fantastic work featured on past modcasts even, and you can look forward to a new release coming very soon. So, I'm pretty happy to be able to turn over this week's program to Dan and let him run wild with some truly great mod music.

101ers -- Keys to My Heart
Billy Butler & the Enchanters -- The Right Track
The Kinks -- I Need You
The New Fidelity -- The Kids Are Alright
Eddie Holland -- Leaving Here
Left Bank -- Haven't Got The Nerve
Small Faces -- Whatcha Gonna Do About It
The Animals -- Boom Boom
The Quik - Bert's Apple Crumble
The New Fidelity -- Setting Son
The Jam -- Town Called Malice

Small Faces -- Rollin' Over


April 3, 2012

Modcast #227: Get Easy, Mod Easy

Life is easy in the mod world this week. As in easy listening. Of course it's always easy listening to Mr. Suave's Mod Mod World, but this week it's especially easy. From bossa nova to lounge pop, I've got a suave set of easy listening music from the heyday of the now sound.

Listen Now

Supergrass -- Coffee In The Pot
The Free Design -- Now Is The Time
Loveletter -- Barbarella
Truly Smith -- This Is The First Time
Roy Budd -- Getting Nowhere In A Hurry
Chris Montez -- The Face I Love
Harper's Bizarre -- Speak Low
The Gimmicks -- The Joker
Marcos Valle -- The Answer
The New Classic Singers -- Call Me
The Dudley Manlove Quartet -- Love American Style
The Four King Cousins -- Lets Get Away From It All
Love Generation -- Groovy Summertime
The Young Generation -- It Must Be Love
Frank Sinatra -- Wave

The Four King Cousins - Leavin' It All Behind

Roy Budd -- Get Carter Theme