August 25, 2014

Modcast #306: The Big Skacast!

Welcome to Mr. Suave's Ska Ska World. That's right, this week's show is crammed full of ska, from original rocksteady to two-tone and everything in between.

Ska has been a mainstay of most mods musical catalog dating all they way back to the '60s when original Jamaican ska and rocksteady became a big part of the mods' dancehall scene. Later mods mixed ska and soul, and then ska with punk and power pop which was really what came together in the two-tone scene of the late '70s and early '80s. Since then there have been several ska revivals, some more mainstream and poppy, and others harder with a punk edge. But through it all, ska has always been there for us in one style or form or another.

Listen Now

Bad Manners -- Skinhead Love Affair (1993)
Madness -- Benny Bullfrog (1981)
Madness -- Misery (2012)
Buster Shuffle -- Brothers and Sisters (2012)
Bombskare -- Do All Dogs Go To Heaven (2013)
Cherry Poppin' Daddies -- Skaboy JFK (2009)
Mr. Review -- Girl Is Money (1998)
Square Roots -- Sod Off (199?)
The Skatalites -- Guns of Navarone (1963)
The Ethiopians -- Train To Skaville (1966)
The Chequers -- Rudy's In Love (1968)
Desmond Dekker and The Aces -- Israelites (1968)
Skameleon -- Break On Through (2013)
The Toasters -- Secret Agent Man (1996)
Bim Skala Bim -- Sunshine Of Your Love (1996)
Skanatra -- The Lady Is A Tramp (1999)
The Offenders -- The Youth Paid (2014)

Skameleon -- What is Love

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August 19, 2014

From The Vaults: Mod Essentials: In The Beginning

Once more into the vault my friends, once more into the vault. Step back in time, to a time when the modcast was young and fresh. Take a giant step outside your current listening constraints and journey with me back to a not so distant past, all the way back to 2008. I've opened up the vaults and dusted off a classic modcast that I think you'll enjoy. Again.

Listen Now

Recently a friend --we'll call him Minnesota Mark -- asked me what mod is. More than that, he asked if I could put together a short playlist of the best mod songs. And you know, I was blown away by how difficult a task that turned out to be. I found that you can't narrow down to a dozen or so the most quintessential mod songs. Not to mention it's a totally subjective thing. What I think of as quintessential mod songs will be much different than another mod's picks. And what is quintessential anyhow? Again it's pretty subjective. I think I would define the quintessential mod songs as the songs that made me a mod early on -- mostly these were the songs that I simply loved that were already considered mod songs. As I thought about it though, I realized that quintessential mod songs are also those that when I hear them they make me think mod, they make me think of the mod sound and what it means to be a mod. They need not be original quote unquote mod songs.

Anyhow, Minnesota Mark's question got me to thinking: I bet there are a lot of people who'd be interested in hearing what I think are the most quintessential mod songs. At least I hope so. So, I'm going to do a periodic series of modcasts picking the dozen or so most essential mod sounds -- each time corresponding with a specific genre unique to mods, or a specific mod era. For this modcast I'm starting where you should start, at the beginning, in the sixties. Thank you to Mark for asking the question of what a mod is and what mod music sounds like and getting this ball rolling. For the early mods it really all started rolling with the soul sound. I could go back to the jazz roots of mod -- the modernists, but this modcast is only supposed be a thirty minute affair and we're already going to blow that out of the water. So, let's jump up to the modernists' next gen children; the first 'mods' as it were and their love affair with all things soulful. all things bluesy, all things dancable. This podcast just barely skims the surface of what the sixties mod sound was like, but at least it's a start.

J.J. Jackson -- But Its Alright
The Miracles -- Tears of a Clown
Edwin Starr -- 25 Miles
Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames -- Money (That's What I Want)
The Who -- I Can't Explain
The Creation -- Biff Bang Pow
Small Faces -- Wham Bam Thank You M'am
The Kinks -- Set Me Free
The Monkees -- I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone
The Zombies -- She's Not There
The Easybeats -- Friday on my Mind
Strawberry Alarm Clock -- Incense & Peppermints

So, what are your essential sixties mod songs? I'm dying to find out from people what they see as the quintessential mod sound. E-mail me at and let me know.

The Small Faces -- Rollin' Over

Edwin Starr -- 25 Miles

August 7, 2014

Modcast #305: For Tiki Oasis 2014 - Like, The Unofficial Beat-Tiki Mix Man

I've got a special treat for you this week: you don't have to listen to my scratchy voice. Instead, in honor of Tiki Oasis 2014 coming up in San Diego in a couple of weeks, DJ Ken from the Shingles has compiled a really great mix and there are some real gems in here. Tiki Oasis' theme this year is beat-tiki, so you know the tracks on this show are going to be super hip.

Listen now!

01. Charlie Barnet & His Orchestra - Bebop Spoken Here (The Capitol Big Band Sessions, 1950)
02. Lionel Hampton - Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop (78 RPM 10" Single, 1945 )
03. Les Double Six - A Night In Tunisia (The Double Six of Paris: Swingin' Singin', 1960)
04. Carmen McRae With The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five (Single, 1962)
05. Lambert, Hendricks & Ross - Twisted (Lambert, Hendricks, & Ross!, 1960)
06. Dave Frishberg - I'm Hip (Single, 1965)
07. Gary McFarland - Bloop Bleep (The In Sound, 1965)
08. Jack Costanzo - Dickey, Dickey, Dickey, Dockey (Learn-Play Bongos with Mr. Bongo, 1961)
09. Ken Nordine - You're Getting Better (Word Jazz, Volume 2, 1960)
10. Tom Waits - Step Right Up (Small Change, 1976)
11. Robert Maxwell & The Ray Charles Singers - Song of the Nairobi Trio (Solfeggio) (Single, 1956)
12. Katie Lee - Don'tville (Life Is Just A Bed Of Neuroses,1961)
13. Buddy Collette's Latin All Stars - Jazz Heat Bongo Beat (Jazz Heat Bongo Beat, 1959)
14. Brazilian Octopus - Gamboa (Brazilian Octopus, 1969)
15. Kingston Trio - Scotch And Soda (The Kingston Trio, 1958)
16. Christopher Logue & the Tony Kinsey Quintet - Lithe Girl, Brown Girl (Blue Shoes) (Red Bird: Jazz and Poetry, 1959)
17. Bob Dorough - Dog (Jazz Canto Vol. 1,1958)
18. Slim Gaillard & His Middle Europeans - Yip Roc Heresy (Single, 1951)
19. Babs Gonzales & His Orchestra - Capitolizing (Single, 1949)
20. Jack Hammer - Like (Songs & Poems of the Beat Generation,1960)
21. Oscar Brown Jr. - Mr. Kicks (Sin & Soul...And Then Some, 1960)
22. Rod McKuen - RSVP (Beatsville, 1959)
23. Terry & The Chain Reaction - Keep Your Cool (Single, 1967)
24. The Damned - Beat Girl ("Eloise" 12" single B-side, 1986)

Maynard G. Krebs (Bob Denver) -- Ho Daddy!

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