May 30, 2012

Modcast #234: The Best of Days

It is the best of days when you've got a mix like this one to keep you company. From to new to old with a few stops in between, I think you'll dig this week's modcast.

And it only gets better when you add a delicious summer cocktail. This week's concoction: Italia Libera
1 ounce overproof (150 proof alcohol) white rum
1 ounce amaro
1/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Chilled seltzer
1 lime wedge, for garnish
Combine the rum, amaro, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice, top with seltzer and garnish with the lime wedge.

Listen Now

The New Pornographers -- Mutiny, I Promise You (2007)
Early Hours -- Happenin' Kid Today (1997)
The Dbs -- Love is for Lovers (1984) (free downloads)
The Gents -- Tommorow Never Comes (1985)
The School -- That Boy is Mine (2012)
The Primitives -- Panic (2012)
Andy Lewis & Wesley Doyle -- The Best of Days (2012)
Oingo Boingo -- Ain't This The Life (1980)
Easy Cure -- I Just Need Myself (1977)
The Mannequins -- Shiver (2012) (free downloads)
Tony Orlando and Dawn -- Knock Three Times (1970)
The Guess Who -- These Eyes (1969)
The Beau Brummels -- Just A Little (1965)
Rachelle Spring -- Stayin' Alive (2009)
The Offspring -- One Hundred Punks (200?)
The Wonder Stuff -- Save it for Later (2012)
Sparks -- Over The Summer (1977)

The School -- Never Thought I'd See The Day

May 22, 2012

Modcast #233: Stuck in the Sixties

The sound of the sixites is addictive and the primary reason I got into the mod scene in the 80s. Then sixtiesque bands were either mod groups blending soul and power pop or garage rock revival groups pounding out the primeval sound of sixties garage rock. For as long as I can remember I've been stuck on that sound, and so stuck in the sixties. So, this week I've a got a full dozen bands all doing their best to emulate the great sounds of the sixties from the original garage punk bands like The Standells, The Sonics, The Seeds, The Yardbirs, Love, The Creation and many more. If you dig the sixties sound you'll wanna stick around for the whole show.

Listen Now

The Launderettes -- Porn Star (2002)
Thee Vicars -- Hauser and O'Brian (2012)
60 Second Swingers -- 60 Second Swinger (2012)
Monsters From Mars -- Punchbowl on a Plane (2012)
The Onlookers -- Mystic Surrounds Me (198?)
The Forty-Fives -- Drinkin' With No. 3 (1999)
The Affected Four -- So Near So Far (2012)
The Movements -- You're Alone (2011)
The Surfadelics -- Bad LIttle Girl (1986)
The Addiction -- Obnoxious Girls (1985)
The Flips -- Baby (It's Gonna Be Alright) (2009)
Jack White -- I'm Shakin' (2012)

THEE VICARS Back On The Streets

The Onlookers - You and I

May 14, 2012

Modcast #232: The Ice Cream Man Cometh

Here's comes the Ice Cream Man, Rick N. Baker from the excellent blog Ice Cream Man Power Pop and More (Ding Ding) is at the helm for this week's modcast. He's sailing you into some familiar and not so familiar waters. Check the track list and you'll see right away that it's going to be smooth sailing.

Listen Now

Len Price 3 - After your'e gone
Thee Brandy Hips - Wayne
Stanley Road - Street Fighting Mods
The Allusions - Gypsy Woman
The Turnback - What she said
Baby Scream - Suddenly
Phenomenal Cat - Ramshackle Heart
The Eyes - I'm rowed out
The Routes - Do what's right by you
Les Fleur De Lys - Circles
Jonathon Richman and The Modern Lovers - Ice Cream Man

Thee Brandy Hips - In my room

Len Price 3 -- Mr. Grey

May 12, 2012

Mr. Suave's Reviews You Can Use -- The School's Latest Is a Winner

The School is one of the leaders among indie bands that are keeping sixties pop and soul alive in contemporary music. The
Cardiff band's sound hasn't evolved, because it didn't need to, as much as it has been sharpened. Their first single was 2008's All I Wanna Do a dreamy, shimmery bit of indie pop. After that it was the EP Let It Slip which was a strong step forward and helped put the band on the map. They followed that two years later with their debut full lenth album, Loveless Uneliever. The music in those early releases was heavily sixties influenced, and rather twee with the girlisly lilting vocals of lead singer and keyboardist Liz commanding full attention. The songs seemed to circle her vocals which put her at the heart of the band. And not just musically, the album cover for Unbeliever was a rose tinged closeup headshot of the blonde chantreusse.

Now here we are in 2012 on the brink of another new release from The School. The band --and it's a big band, eight people strong, half male and half female-- is set to release on Monday their sophmore album, Reading Too Mucn Into Things Like Everything on Elefant Records. The album picks up in many ways where Loveless Unbeliever left off, but like I said with a sharpened focus. That focus has a more soulful, girl group feel to it than even Unbeliever did. Ths songs themselves are sharper. Where Unbeliever had a more innocent carefree feel and a lovelly simpleness to the songs, Reading Too Much shows maturity in both the arranging and the wrting.

The opening track Never Though I'd See The Day is a jaunty bit of pop that opens the door onto an album that brought to mind for me all of my favorite things. At times you can almost think they're playing Burt Bacharach arrangements, especially on Where Does Your Heart Belong with it's mellow trumpet solo and soft strings. Elsewhere you are reminded of other girl vocal focused groups like She & Him, such as on Stop The Boy, with it's soft, melodious vocals. The album is packed with strong songs like the lush, richly arranged It's Not the Same. Someday My Heart Will Beat Again has lavish girl-group type vocas, a very sixties styled approach and is the sort of song that could have been on the Quadrophenia movie soundtrack, like The Cascades Rhythm of the Rain. The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side with its jaunty, almost doowop sound shows off the happy sixties influence that The School incorporates into all of their music so pitch perfectly.

Throughout there is an obvious deep seated love of the sixties girl group sound, The Chiffons, The Shirelles, The Shangri-Las, which is no different than The School's previous releases. This is enhanced by the swirling and dreamlike keyboards, the trumpet flourishes, and the overal musicianship of the group. In Reading Too Mucn Into Things Like Everything you have a dozen of the best sixties songs written and produce in teh 21st century. The only thing missing is a male vocal. I thought one of the strongest songs on Loveless Unbeliever was the closing track, I Don't Believe In Love.

Still, overall this an album that fits nicely with other groups keeping the revival sound around such as The Like's Release Me, Lucky Soul's The Great Unwanted and The Red Button's As Far As Yesterday Goes. You won't be disappointed in this one, in fact you're more likelly to overplay it -- but you won't mind.

May 8, 2012

Modcast #231: It's Tiki Time

Oasis. Tiki Oasis. That's right, it's tiki time. Guest DJ, Ken from The Shingles put together a special modcast this week to highlight this year's Tiki Oasis 0012. It's an action packed show with lots of music and no rubbish talking.

Every year for over a decade the annual conference has been the landing spot for lovers of all things tiki: exotica, lounge and surf music as well as cocktail culture. Each weekend includes great music from all sorts of bands, cocktail and music seminars, as well as fun in the sun and lots of drinking and dancing. This year's theme is Exotic Espionage and Polynesian Pulp. Featured entertainers will include: The Love Me Nots, Tikiyaki Orchestra, The Barbwires, The Martini Kings and more.

Check out the Tiki Oasis website for a complete dossier on this year's mission.

Listen Now

01. Your Mission: Tiki Oasis 0012 (0:19)
02. Tokyo Panorama Mambo Boys - James Bond (Mambo Bond) (Mambo Tengoku, 1995)

03. Brian Briggs - Spy Vs. Spy (Brian Damage, 1980)

04. Jerry Goldsmith - The Boilermaker (Our Man Flint) (Our Man Flint, 1966)

05. Bikini Machine - Bikini Theme (A Introduction To Bikini Machine, 2003)

06. Nancy Sinatra - The Last Of The Secret Agents (The Last of the Secret Agents, 1966)

07. Wrecking Crew - Get Smart (Get Smart, 1965)

08. Ventures - Mission Impossible (Hawaii Five-O, 1969)

09. Edwin Astley - The Saint (Main Theme) (The Saint: Music From The TV Series, 1963)

10. Teddy Randazzo - The Girl From U.N.C.L.E. (The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., 1966)

11. Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart - The Ambushers (The Ambushers, 1967)

12. Wondermints - Austin Powers (Austin Powers: Original Soundtrack, 1997)

13. Earl Hagen - I Spy (I Spy: Music From The TV Series, 1965)

14. Clee-Shays - Man From U.N.C.L.E. (Theme) (Dynamic Guitar Sounds Of The Clee-Shays, 1998)

15. Cal Tjader and Eddie Palmieri - Modesty Blaise Theme (El Sonido Nuevo: The New Soul Sound, 1966)

16. Ray Barretto - Mister Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (SeƱor 007, 1965)

17. Jamo Thomas & His Party Brothers Orchestra - I Spy (For The FBI) (Single, 1969)

18. Edwin Starr - Agent Double-O-Soul (Soul Master, 1965)

19. Specials - Sock It To 'em J.B. (More Specials, 1980)

20. Oranj Symphonette - A Shot in the Dark (Plays Mancini, 1996)

21. Billy Strange - Peter Gunn (James Bond Double Feature, 1997)

22. Henry Mancini - Fallout! (The Music from & More Music from Peter Gunn, 1959)

23. Devo - Secret Agent Man (Duty Now for the Future, 1979)

24. James Taylor Quartet - Car Chase (The Money Spyder, 1987)

25. Link Quartet - The Sound Of Danger (The Sound of Danger, 2004)

26. Agent Orange - I Kill Spies (This Is the Voice, 1986)

27. Moon-Rays - Lament for a Trapped Spy (Thrills and Chills, 2002)

28. Stereophonic Space Sound Unlimited - Girl From Acapulco (The Fluid Soundbox, 2000)

29. Vikki Carr - The Silencers (Movie Soundtrack Version) (The Silencers: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, 1966)

30. Al Caiola - Man Of Mystery (Sounds For Spies And Private Eyes, 1965)

31. Lalo Schifrin - Mission: Accomplished (Mission Accomplished: Themes for Spies & Cops, 1996)

32. Toy Dolls - James Bond Lives Down Our Street (Single, 1985)

May 5, 2012

The Strypes – Young, Gifted and Mod

by Yolanda Leigh

When you think about Mod culture probably the first place you that doesn’t come to mind is deepest, greenest Ireland. However, that’s all about to change with the emergence of a brilliant, new and (very) young band that hail from Cavan in the Southern half of the country.

Primarily at the moment they just concentrate on cover versions of sixties and modern day classics – however, please don’t let that put you off, or make you avoid them because you think they’re “just another rip off band”. To watch them is quite simply a wonderful experience and considering they’re only fourteen years old the sound they make is completely sublime.

The band consists of Ross Farrelly on vocals, percussion and harmonica, Josh McClorey on lead guitar, backing vocals and keyboards, Pete O’Hanlon on bass, backing vocals and harmonica and last but by no means least Evan Walsh who plays drums. At the moment, the band still remain unsigned which is an absolute crime – according to their blurb they “eat and sleep Mod” so hopefully it won’t be long before some record company sees sense and signs them up quick sharp!

Tell us about their sound

Well, first of all have a look at their first single – released last year, which was a cover of The Beatles “You Can’t Do That” and just prepare to be amazed.

The Strypes - You Can't Do That

To think they’re so young and they’re already making such a brilliant sound is really quite amazing. Fair enough, they had a great original song to get to grips with, but they’ve put their own spin on it and done a great job, the guitar playing for one thing is quite awesome and Ross Farrelly is a very assured and competent vocalist already with hopefully scope for development as he matures.

Alongside the great talent they have such a brilliant look and have all the mannerisms and moves just right too. It doesn’t look like a group of teenage lads copying their idols, it looks like a group of teenage lads who are doing what they want to do and doing it really well, because they love it. It’s slightly out of kilter in a world which is filled with manufactured pop and singers who all look and virtually sound the same.

Their First EP

On 13th April they released their first proper EP called “Young, Gifted and Blue”, through “EmuBands Records”. It’s available for purchase through iTunes and all the other usual outlets. The debut release contains cover versions of The Yardbird’s “Got Love If You Want It” which you can listen to here:

The Strypes - Got Love If You Want It

It also has their versions of Bo Diddley’s “You Can’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover”, more from The Yardbirds with “I Wish You Would” and finally a rendition of The Bird’s “Leaving Here”. The confidence they show in tackling these songs and making such a great sound really bodes well for their future, when hopefully they’ll maybe start to tackle writing and recording their own music and lyrics. Also, lets hope they manage to avoid the pitfalls of fame (you know, drink, drugs and then later on drug treatment to get over their addictions).

However, they’re seemingly not afraid to tackle more up to date stuff either, and probably one of their more unusual efforts is a version of The Last Shadow Puppets hit “Meeting Place” which they’ve given a real mod overhaul and made to sound totally different from the original:

The Strypes - Meeting Place

It’s a really interesting version; with the added jangly guitars and less of the almost Burt Bacararach-esque strings from the original they’ve somehow made it sound even more sixties than The Last Shadow Puppets did, which is no mean feat.

Why should we bother with them?

Apart from their astounding talent and the fact that they actually bring something fresh to the songs they’re covering, we need to step back for a moment and examine what it is they’re actually doing. Think about it for a moment or two. These guys are young, and they’re not churning out samey-samey rubbish for the masses. What they’re actually doing is bringing the sounds of some wonderful sixties bands to a brand new generation who, maybe apart from The Beatles, would have had little or no interest in anything from that era. The fact that they themselves even know who Bo Diddley and The Yardbirds are is a pretty marvellous thing and they can only be congratulated for their commitment to honing their craft at the temple of the Mod Gods of the swinging sixties. Here’s to them and a great musical future, of which – if they keep up the good work, they’re totally assured. The Strypes. You heard them here first...

May 1, 2012

Modcast #230: All Psyched Out

Are you ready for some fuzz? Some freakbeat? Some psychadelic garage rock? You better be because I'm taking you on a trip back to the sixties for some of the best psychadelic rock you can get.

Listen Now

The Nazz -- Open My Eyes (1967)
The Attack -- Feel Like Flying (1967)
The Standells -- Our Candidate (1966)
Pink Floyd -- Lucifer Sam (1967)
Strawberry Alarm Clock -- Birds In My Tree (1967)
John's Children -- Hippy Gumbo (1967)
Jefferson Lee -- Sorcerella (1967)
Status Quo -- Pictures Of Matchstick Men (1967)
The Beatles -- It's All Too Much (1967)
Brian Auger & Trinity -- Indian Rope Man (1968)
Tintern Abbey -- Vacuum Cleaner (1967)
The Blues Magoos -- She's Coming Home (1966)
Jefferson Airplane -- Plastic Fantastic Lover (1967)


John's Children -- Smashed Blocked