December 26, 2012

Modcast #255: Mr. Suave's 2012 Christmas

Merry Christmas mods, it is indeed the season of jollyness. So get yourself a little Christmas cheer, a holiday libation, and get jolly while you listen to this year's show.

This year my gift to you dear listeners is less of my creaky voice and more cool music from the likes of Fitz and the Tantrums, The Dukes of Hamburg, HB Radke, the Eels, Joyride and more. As usual you can get a full track list at

And if you missed last week's show featuring a special acoustic track from The Bang, and songs specially chosen by the proprietors of the Mod Soul Review podcast, We Are The Mods, the Ice Cream Man Power Pop and More blog, and lots of other goodies -- well you can check it out right here.

And I promise that I'll try harder next year and make the 2013 mod Christmas extravaganza something to really get excited about. Be sure and check back next week for my best of 2012. Until then, happy holidays and thanks for listening.

Listen Now

Joyride - The Little Drummer Boy
Redd Kross -- Super Sunny Christmas 1991
The Eels -- Everythings Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
The White Stripes -- Candy Cane Children
Canadian Dollars - Outsourcin' Christmas (The Unemployed Little Elf Song)
Harvey Danger - Sometimes You Have To Work On Christmas (Sometimes)
She & Him -- Little Saint Nick
Fitz & The Tantrums - Santa Stole My Lady
Dukes of Hamburg -- Greensleeves
Los Straitjackets with Kaiser George - Holiday Twist
Eux Autres-- Merry Xmas Everybody
HB Radke - Hipster Christmas
Sweet Daddy Lowe & The Blue Note Ad Hoc Orchestra - Be-Bop Santa Claus
Vince Guaraldi Trio - Christmas Is Coming (Track Meet)
Jigsaw Seen -- God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Wednesday Week -- Christmas Here
Rather Good Stuff -- Communist Christmas
The Primitives -- You Trashed My Christmas
The Beatles 1964 Christmas Message
The Long Blondes -- Christmas is Cancelled

Richard Cheese -- Christmas in Las Vegas

December 17, 2012

Modcast #254: Mods' Christmas Faves

Merry Grimble, ho ho ho and all that stuff. This is the time of year that all over the planet people are striving to be of good cheer. And the mods on the internet are no different. I have invited a bunch of mod bloggers, mod podcasters, mod friendly bands to tell us about their favorite Christmas song. You'll hear from guests The Bang with a special brand new acoustic Christmas track; Warren Peace of the We Are The Mods podcast; Jonny from mod band The Ace; Wayne from The Ice Cream Man Power Pop and More blog; cocktail diva Mary Queen of Cosmos; Dean from the Mod Soul Review Podcast and more. Oh yeah, and a few tracks of my own that I think are right nice around this time of year.

Mark you calendars folks because next week is the 4th Annual Suave Headquarters Office Christmas Party, when my co-host will be none other than Ken from The Shingles. See you then for more holiday shenanigans, Christmas music and mayhem all courtesy of the rat bastard who put so little punch in the office rum bowl.

Listen Now

The School -- Let Me Be The Fairy On Your Christmas Tree Tonight
Warren Peace -- Do They Know It's Christmas (Bandaid)
Darlene Love -- Winter Wonderland
The Bang -- (Christmas) Baby Please Come Home (Acoustic - download here)
Wayne Ford -- I Want An Alien For Christmas (Fountains of Wayne)
The Idea -- It's About That Time
The Critics -- She Feels Like Christmas Day
The Spongetones -- Christmasland
Jonny from The Ace -- Stop The Cavalry (Jona Lewie)
Kara from The Corner Laughers -- Christmas in Suburbia (Martin Newell)
Dean Stickley -- Sleigh Ride (The Ronettes)
Smoke Robinson & The Miracles -- Christmas Everyday
James Brown -- Go Power At Christmas Time
Donny Hathaway -- This Christmas
Thee Headcoatees -- Santa Clause

Santa is a Mod — Mark Cunningham & Rob Fricker

December 15, 2012

Martin Freeman turns The Hobbit into The Moddit with soul and style

So, I've been a fan of the BBC show Sherlock since it first started airing and a Brit friend recommended it to me. It took me a couple episodes before I realized where I knew that Watson guy from. He was Tim on the original British version of The Office. Oh, and he was Arthur Dent in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. So, that makes actor Martin Freeman a bona fide movie star. Now I see that he's been tagged by Peter Jackson as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit. If he wasn't a star before, he will be from now. Cool for him.

Even cooler for me was finding out today that he's a die-hard mod, a real ace-face and has been since he was just a wee thing. He even tried to insert someof his mod aesthetic into the Bilbo character's clothing and fashion, so much so he and the cast took to calling The Hobbit The Moddit.
Here's my take on a mod Bilbo, less subtle than what Freeman was able to do. just ran a great interview with Freeman. I'll just highlight the relevant parts, but the whole thing is worth reading.

Do you class yourself as a mod?

I suppose so. But it’s a dangerous thing in this environment now, because even the Daily Star has gone modtastic because of Wiggo. He’s the real deal, he’s not a plastic, he’s always been into it. But the trouble is, from a media point of view, as soon as you say that word, everyone starts getting out pork-pie hats and parkas and doing the Lambeth walk. I’ve been into what I’ve been into since I was about nine years old. I started buying 2 Tone records, and from there went that rude boy sort of skin/mod/soul boy route all my life. And I’ve always loved clothes. Even before I had money, I went charity shopping. So I’ve always had an eye for clothes.

Who are your style heroes?

First it would have been Jerry Dammers of The Specials, and then it would be Pete Tosh from The Wailers or Paul Weller. McQueen – Steve, not Alexander. Small Faces. I’ve always liked a certain look. When you say the ‘M’ word, I would say of course I am, but only me and about another 10 other people I know, know what we mean by that. Which is everything from modern jazz from 1957, to 1970 suedeheads. It’s all that and beyond, from football casuals into acid jazz and now through to hip-hop. The truth is, the absolute truth, is that most people have no idea about it. It’s like a cult. It’s like being a Roman Catholic in the 17th century or something. You don’t really know what it is. You’ve heard of it. You think, “Oh, that’s The Jam isn’t it?” Well yeah, it’s The Jam partly, but it’s also 500 other things. It’s a much broader church than most people give it credit for. See, I’m much more animated now talking about this.

So do you worry about a mod bandwagon, where everyone starts buying jackets with targets on from the high street?

If it means a 16-year-old likes a pair of shoes with laces instead of just a pair of trainers, then I’ve got nothing against that. I just get wary of it for my own sake, because I’ve stuck my neck out before on that mod thing. People see me walking around town and I look a certain way. I don’t expect other people to be into it. If everyone became a mod, I would probably become a rocker. Because that’s the mod thing to do. It’s about being an individual. It shouldn’t be about a uniform. There are common denominators, but it should always be the highest, not the lowest. It shouldn’t be lazy f*cking uniform. I can spot it in people a mile off, and it doesn’t have to be telegraphed. It’s the cut of people’s jeans, the shoes, something about the f*cking hair. Things that the editor of The Sun certainly wouldn’t spot.

After reading that piece I Googled up some more comments from Mr. Freeman about his passion for all things mod. Came up with this 2008 article in the Daily Mail, which also has some lengthy and insightful comments from Freeman about his views on mod styles and mod music. Here are a few excerpts from that interview.

‘I love that pre-mod jazz look of the late Fifties, the Steve McQueen style that influenced the British modernists. I love all kinds of loafers – penny, tassel, fringed. Loafers have been a staple of my wardrobe since I saw Terry Hall of The Specials in them on the cover of Do Nothing. One of my favourite looks is a button-down gingham shirt with a Sixties Levi’s jacket, Levi’s 501 “XX” jeans and a pair of loafers with maybe a nice little hat. You can wear that all your life.

‘I love all that “Ray Davies circa 1966” style – sort of English dandy. And I love the cut of Soho tailor Mark Powell’s suits. Being a mod is about attention to detail and a love for clothes. Mark and I meet on that level and he knows my taste. I like really versatile clothing that’s not too showy but has nice details – stealth style. But I have to be careful with clothes, because in my mind I’m 6ft 1in – but really I’m quite short.’


When did this fascination with the nuances of Britain’s subcultures begin?
‘It’s always the music that’s led me,’ he says. ‘For other people it was the clothes, but for me it was music. The first records I could sing along to when I was five were by the Sex Pistols, The Clash and the Buzzcocks. I had older siblings and that was what I heard all day long. I think I sensed it was naughty. I used to sing them to wind up my dad. But it was 2 Tone that really started me off. I thought I looked like one of The Specials, but really I was just this nine-year-old kid who didn’t even know that “rude boy” was a term for a Jamaican gangster.’

Freeman even remembers the first outfit he bought with his own money. ‘I was 15,’ he says, ‘and it was a Prince of Wales three-button mod jacket bought from a local mod shop. I had matching trousers from Oxfam, a Ben Sherman shirt, loafers from Hobbs and an umbrella. People used to ask me, “Why do you dress like that?” They were genuinely puzzled.’


Someone who certainly knows his onions, Freeman – who has recently filled in as a DJ on BBC 6 Music – is an avid (some might say rabid) collector of classic vinyl. His pristine record collection is meticulously sorted in alphabetical order in a set of custom-made shelves in his Sixties-inspired living room.
‘I love everything about buying records. There is something really special about it'

‘I love everything about going to a record shop and buying records. There’s something really special about that. But there’s no reason to suppose that old music will be better or worse. It’s just from another era, which might be as relevant or irrelevant as what’s happening now. So I try to always learn about stuff. The one thing I’ve found is that someone always knows more than you do, including your babies. There are loads of things people presume I know about that I don’t.’

Finally, a nice quip from Freeman in The Belfast Telegraph

The 41-year-old realises he is close to becoming better known for his Mod aesthetic than he is for his acting. "I may as well just wear a pork pie hat with a Union Jack on it," he joked.

December 5, 2012

Modcast #253: East Meets West with the Shibuya-kei Soul Sound

East meets west with Shibuya-kei taking center stage in the mod world this week. Shibuya-kei was a 1990s music movement that wasn't as much about Tokyo's ultra-trendy and fashionable Shibuya district as it was about a rather lucky gathering of Japanese musicians who mixed bossa nova, soul, funk, jazz, techno and synthpop into a retro-futurist sound that was both redundant yet fresh.

Shibuya-kei's most prominent artists -- Flipper's Guitar, Pizzicato 5, Love Tamborines, Kahimi Karie, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Cornelius and others -- mixed together everything from sixties pop and motown, to acid jazz, krautrock, French ye-ye and twee. The result was something like if Sergio Mendes and Burt Bacharach had a Japanese love child.

So this week I'm exploring the soul and style of Shibuya-kei and also exploring a few of the scenes influences, as well as some of it's offspring and distant cousins.

Listen Now

Karen Aoki --- The Paris Match (2010)
Love Tambourines -- Spend The Day Without You
Towa Tei Feat. Bebel Gilberto -- Batacuda (2001)
Pizzicato 5 -- Baby Portable Rock (1995)
Crazy Ken Band -- Bibimop
Fantastic Plastic Machine -- Bachelor Pad (1997)
The Flipper's Guitar -- Young, Alive, In Love (1990)
Cloudberry Jam -- Cliches (1996)
The Style Council -- Long Hot Summer (1983)
Swing Out Sister -- Am I The Same Girl (1993)
Kahmi Karie -- Candyman (1998)
Melting Holidays -- Timebird
Instant Cytron -- Summer Wine
Karen Aoki -- Smooth Operator (2009)

Ty Ku Suave Tini

  • 2 parts Ty Ku Liqueur

  • 1 part citrus vodka

  • 1 part aloe juice

  • 1 part soda water
    Mix all ingredients together in shaker with ice, strain into pre-chilled cockail glass

  • Kahimi Karie - Elastic Girl

    Fantastic Plastic Machine feat. Ms. Nomiya Maki - Dear Mr. Salesman

    Cornelius - Chapter 8 ~Seashore and Horizon~

    Flipper's Guitar - Blue Shinin' Quick Star

    Twitter - @mistersuave
    Facebook -
    Subscribe - iTunes

    </ br></ br>