Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Get Modern ... Show # 160

Forming in 1980, The Modernettes were a Canadian punk band from Vancouver. The band were a three piece, John "Buck Cherry" Armstrong was on guitar/vocals, Mary Jo Kopechne covered bass/vocals, and John "Jughead" McAdams played drums and sang as well. The band has been described commonly by critics as a mix between The Velvets and Ramones. The band had a sound that was a mix of pop and punk way before the days of modern pop-punk bands such as Sum 41; the band also was influenced by other bands, like The Who. The band was not like other Canadian punk acts like D.O.A. or The Subhumans, they were different.

The band did not last that long, but they were part of the emerging Vancouver club scene at the time playing at Vancouver's answer to CBGB's, the Budda nightclub. The band only had one full length album, but released a bunch of EP's. In 1980, Strictly Confidential was released on the Quintessence label. Also the EP titled Teen City was released in 1980. The EP featured six songs and is regarded as one of the if not the best releases from the band. It contained the track for which the band is commonly known for "Barbra", a song that sounds influenced by Ramones, but also a pop song in a different way. Other great tracks include "Suicide Club", "Celebrity Crackup", and "Teen City". 

In 1981, the bands only full length album (or LP) was released, it was called Gone But Not Forgiven. After this release, the band had one more EP titled View From The Bottom in 1982, The band then disbanded. In 1994 The Modernettes reformed and recently in 2007. In 2005 Sudden Death Records released Get It Straight. The release is a collection of various songs from the bands various releases as well as some live and unreleased material. Armstrong would go on to play with other bands and even write a book titled Guilty of Everything, about his time with The Modernettes. The Modernettes were a Canadian pop and punk band before it became known as a genre, and were an interesting Canadian band.

Here's the play list:

1. Them – I can only give you everything
2. Count Five – double decker bus
3. Ugly Ducklings – just in case you wonder
4. Standells – mr. nobody
5. Electric Prunes – get me to the world on time (live)
6. Modernettes – barbra
7. Modernettes - get modern (live)
8. Spys – underground
9. Saints – demolition girl
10. The Dogs – john rock and roll Sinclair
11. MC5 – call me animal
12. The Stooges – tv eye
13. Brian James – why why why
14. The Users – kicks in style
15. 222 – first studio bomb
16. Teenage Head – little boxes
17. Demics – the least you could do
18. Scavengers – true love
19. Rezillos – I can’t stand my baby
21. Young Marble Giants - clicktalk
22. Generation X – from the heart
23. The Clash – listen
24. Sex Pistols – emi (outtake)
25. Undertones – wrong way
26. Buzzcocks – fiction romance


The Modernettes - Barbra
The Modernettes - 509
The Dogs - John Rock and Roll Sinclair

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Different Age...Show # 159

Coming out of Liverpool in England, The Dead 60s started out as Resthome, then Pinhole. As Pinhole the band recorded some songs, opened for Green Day in 2002 and even recorded a BBC session with John Peel. The name change occurred in 2003, with the band also changing direction a bit. The band would add more reggae, dub, and ska into their music as well as punk. The band sounds influenced by bands such as The Clash, Gang of Four, The Specials, King Tubby, and Lee "Scratch" Perry. The band consists of Matt McManamon (guitar/vocals), Ben Gordon (guitar), Charlie Turner (bass/vocals), and Bryan Johnson on drums. The band signed to Deltasonic records in 2004, "You're Not the Law" was released as a single, the song featured organ, heavy reggae/dub influenced bass and catchy lyrics; The song sounded influenced by British ska legends, The Specials. "Riot Radio" followed as a single. The song is a energetic ska, punk flavored track with phaser guitar sounding like a mix of Gang of Four and Ska; It reached # 30 on the UK charts.

Both Versions of Dead 60s first album.

The actual Dead 60s album was released in 2005, but it was released in different versions. In the UK, the red album version was released featuring a different track listing than the US version which is known as the yellow album version. The difference between the two albums is the European/UK version of the album featured the songs "Ghostfaced Killer" and "Soul Survivor", as opposed the the US version which featured "New Town Disaster" and "Just Another Love Song" instead. A limited edition of the red album was released with a bonus disc featuring dub remixes. Also the version of "Riot Radio" was re-recorded for this album. The album was recorded in Liverpool, and produced by a group of producers called Central Nervous System. The album was released on Epic Records in the USA, Sony/BMG in Japan, and Deltasonic in the UK. "A Different Age" was a punk influenced rocker, "Control This", "Loaded Gun", and "Horizontal" are also rock tracks. "Train To Nowhere" is a slow reggae influenced track, while "We Get Low" and "Red Light" offer reggae and ska variety; Also the song "Ghostfaced Killer" is a fast ska track sounding heavily influenced by one of The Specials faster songs. The album overall was a punk, new wave, dub, ska, and reggae album drawing in influences from various the spectrum's of theses genres, sounding original and unique at the same time.

"Stand Up" is the first single from their second album titled Time To Take Sides. This time the band travelled to New York City where they worked with producer David Kahne, who has worked with acts such as The Strokes, 311, and New Order. The album is set to be released in September of 2007, it features eleven tracks (and two bonus tracks if you order the import version). The majority of the songs for this album were worked out live while on tour, the result is something different than the bands first self titled release. The songs have more melody, and more new wave sounding influence than punk or dub. "Stand Up" the first single, is a mellow and energetic song with short stabbing guitar parts in the catchy chorus. "Start a War" is a song with a Motown sounding bassline with ska and David Bowie sounding guitar, while the chorus has new wave sounding guitar as well. "All Over By Midnight" is an energetic fast paced rock song with ska influence, dirty guitar riffs, and a climbing bassline as the lyrics "It's All Over By Midnight" ring through your head. "Liar" is a song that sounds influenced by the bands new wave and punk favourites. "Seven Early Days" shows the band returning to their dub and reggae influences. Other interesting tracks include "Desert Sun", "Dull Town", and "Beat Generation". Time To Take Sides shows more promise for the band, who shows that they are not a one album band. As of February of 2008, the band split up and are no longer together. You can visit their website at

Also this week I played Young Rival, who are a Canadian band from Hamilton, Ontario. The band used to be called Ride Theory (who I also played), and they are currently working on a new album. To hear some of their new material and for more info visit Young Rival's website.

Here's the play list:

1. Offspring – smash it up
2. Arctic Monkeys – old yellow bricks
3. Hater – tot finder
4. Love Me Nots – cry
5. Bob Dylan – tombstone blues
6. 101ers – sweet revenge
7. Ride Theory – got me on the run
8. Young Rival – 415 (demo)
9. Subways – somewhere
10. Empire Dogs – the dogs
11. Fiction Plane – death machine
12. Radiohead – pop is dead
13. Action Makes – get the joke
14. Marble Index – missing file
15. The Midways – a lot like me
16. The Locusts Have No King - goodman on a strange horse
17. The Whammies(redux) – double whammy
18. Johnny Thunders – pipeline
19. Mach Kung-Fu – Singapore ’66
20. Caesars – we got to leave
21. Pearl Jam – anything in between
22. The D4 – outta blues
23. Compulsive Gamblers – stop & think it over
24. Dead 60s – start a war
25. Dead 60s – all over by midnight


Stand Up
Riot Radio (Version 1)
Riot Radio (Version 2)
You're Not The Law
Ghostfaced Killer
Ghostfaced Killer (Remix with members of Madness)
Loaded Gun
The Last Resort

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Don't Care...Show # 158

Klark Kent formed in 1978. Claiming to to have been a computer programmer who sued IBM for stealing an invention he created, Klark Kent was actually the alter ego of Stewart Copeland. Coming from the band The Police, Drummer Stewart Copeland wanted to record some of his own songs in which Sting, from The Police rejected. Copeland is credited for playing all the instruments and singing on Klark Kent's debut album, Music Madness From the Kinetic Kid (the album contains eight songs so it could also be classified as an EP), but it sounds like members of The Police actually play on it at times. Klark Kent released a few singles starting in 1978, with "Don't Care". The song was a quirky, eccentric new wave number containing similarly odd lyrics. "Too Kool to Kalypso" was the second single released the same year. The song was a song that sounded as if it came from the Police album Regetta De Blanc, which wouldn't come out until 1979. The song featured Copeland's loud, energetic drumming along with kazoo parts in the song.

Music Madness from the Kinetic Kid (also known as Klark Kent, or Klerk Kant), was released in 1980, the albums first single was "Away from Home" backed by the song "Office Talk". "Ritch in a Ditch" came as the next single, backed by the song "Grandelinquent", which was an instrumental. The song "Ritch in a Ditch" was released without the "T" in the word "Rich". The album overall was a new wave album of songs that sounded like Police song outtakes (like the songs written by Copeland such as "On Any Other Day", and earlier Police songs that he also wrote), the album also featured two instrumentals "Grandelinquent", and "Theme For Kinetic Ritual". After Klark Kent's identity was found out, Copeland stopped his odd little side project and returned to his band The Police.

In 1995, Klark Kent returned with Kollected Works. The album (released on CD) was a collection of Klark Kent's material from Music Madness From the Kinetic Kid, as well as some early singles, b-sides, and outtakes. Klark Kent's albums are now out of print (I don't believe that Music Madness From the Kinetic Kid was ever released on CD). After The Police fell out in the late 80s, Copeland would continue to work on side projects with other musicians, do soundtracks (for movies and video games), and in 2006 he released Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out, a documentary he filmed during one of The Police's tours. Currently Copeland is touring with The Police on their 30th anniversary reunion tour; An anthology featuring a collection of Copeland's work is also out titled, The Stewart Copeland Anthology, it features one Klark Kent song and a bunch of solo Copeland material.

Play List:

1. Gang of Four – to hell with poverty
2. Glaxo Babies – Christine keeler
3. Roxy Music – street life
4. Elvis Costello – less than zero
5. Iggy Pop – dum dum boys
6. Blondie – Detroit 442
7. The Cinch – once a week
8. Young Canadians – this is your life
9. Evaporators – el degas
10. Vindicators – hate
11. Chessmen – l’adventure
12. Professionals – the magnificent
13. Public Image Limited – poptones
14. Talking Heads – electric guitar
15. Ultravox – all stood still
16. Wire – fragile
17. Klark Kent – don’t care
18. Klark Kent – too kool to kalypso
19. The Diodes – behind those eyes
20. Pointed Sticks – its ok
21. The Stranglers – tank
22. Magazine – model worker
23. The Hives – tick tick boom
24. Joe Strummer – it’s a rockin’ world

Krazy Videos:

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ghost Town...Show # 157

The Specials formed in 1977, in Coventry, England. Before they got to the name The Specials, the band went by other names first The Automatics, The Coventry Automatics, then Special AKA. The band consisted of Jerry Dammers (keyboards/vocals), Lynval Golding (gutar/vocals), Roddy Radiation (lead guitar), Sir Horrace Gentleman (bass), John Bradbury (drums), and Terry Hall on vocals as well. After being seen by Joe Strummer of The Clash, they were offered an opening position on the bands On Parole UK Tour. Opening for The Clash generated interest in the band, which in turn generated interest in the band from major record labels. Instead of signing to a major label, Dammers would start his own record label known as 2-Tone. The labels design would be black and white checks, the band would adopt a unique fashion sense, one of the 60s rude boys, which featured Mohair/2-tone suits, hats, and loafers. It wouldn't be long before fans would be dressing the same way. 

In 1979, the band released their first single on their label "Gangsters". The ska paced single would become a top ten hit. In 1979, the band would also release its first self tilted album, Specials. The 14 track album was produced by Elvis Costello, and it featured a variety of covers. "A Message To You Rudy" (Daddy Livingstone), "Monkey Man" (Toots and Maytals), and "Too Hot" (Prince Buster). The album was a ska revivalist album which featured British ska mixed with Jamacian Ska from the 60s, with the energy of punk. It started a Ska movement (other bands included in this were Madness, The Beat, and The Selector). The album would also blend in political ideas surrounding Britain at the time, most notably the track "Concrete Jungle" (borrowed from a line in a Bob Marley song), which described the violence in the cities of a Margret Thatcher run Britain. "Nite Klub" was a song obviously about the club scene in Britain, "Too Much Too Young" about teen marriage and pregnancy (also it was a #1 hit on the UK Charts), and "It Doesn't Make It Alright" an anti-racism song. The album is a ska classic.

The band would then tour, but also release a live EP called Too Much Too Young. More Specials came in 1980. This album would draw in more influences such as, New Wave, and Lounge. The actual album would reach # 5 on the UK Charts. The album would have guest appearances (Ronda Dakar, The Go-Gos, Lee Jay Thompson from Madness). "Enjoy Yourself" starts the album, it is a cover of a song from the 40s (it is a ska song with western sounding piano). "Man at C & A" is a reggae song slower featuring saxophone, building organs and horn sections. "Hey, Little Rich Girl" is a ska flavoured song featuring Lee Jay Thompson from Madness on Saxophone. Other greats include "Do Nothing" (a more pop influence track), "Pearl's Cafe" (a song featuring beach sounding keyboards), and "Stereotype" (an odd mix of ska and western cowboy sounding influence). While the group did bring in new influences on More Specials, the album proves to be just as vital as Specials.

In 1981 the band released the single "Ghost Town" a song about unemployment rates in Britain and race related violence. The song did so well it went to number one on the UK charts and stayed there for three straight weeks. After its release Neville Staple (the then drummer), Terry Hall (vocalist), and Lyvnal Golding (guitar) left the group to form Fun Boy Three. This would not stop Dammers from making music, he would add Stan Campbell (vocals) to the band and change the name of the band back to Special AKA. In 1984, In Studio would be released. The album would have some hits "Free Nelson Mandela" and "Racist Friend". The album was deeply political, after the final single was released "What I Like Most About You is Your Girlfriend", the group disbanded; Dammers would go on to pursue political causes.

Remaining members of Specials would go on to tour with The Beat to form The Special Beat a touring band, that formed in the early nineties. The Specials would also return in the late 90s to release three albums (minus Jerry Dammers). In 1996 Today's Specials was released, in 1998 Guilty Till Proven Innocent!, and in 2002 Conquering Ruler. The Song "Ghost Town" has been featured in some films, in Snatch (2000) and Shaun of the Dead (2004). Both films featured the song as some sort of introduction to either characters or the film. The Specials were a ska revivalist band that brought in the energy of 70s punk, they would later bring in more influences such as lounge, and new wave. The band still stands up as a great band (one of the best British Ska bands to come out of Britain) and their influence can be seen all over.

Play list:

1. The Saints – river deep mountain high
2. Radio Birdman – I-94
3. Teenage Head – you’re tearin' me apart
4. Gruesomes – what’s your problem?
5. Modernettes – I can only give you everything (live)
6. Standbys – withdrawn
7. Victims – disco junkies
8. Lurkers – I don’t need to tell her
9. Coventry Automatics – jay walker
10. The Specials – Friday night, Saturday morning
11. The Specials – international jet set
12. Madness – night boat to Cairo
13. The Beat – drowning
14. Toasters – night train to Moscow
15. Ugly Ducklings – gaslight
16. King Beez – Gloria
17. Bureaucrats – grown up age
18. Piranhas – green don’t suit me
19. Only Ones – city of fun
20. The Cure – I want to be old
21. The Damned – I fall
22. Ramones – swallow my pride
23. Ramones - gimme gimme shock treatment
24. The Clash – gates of the west
25. The Stooges – little doll


A Message To You Rudy (OGWT 1979)
Gangsters Video
Ghost Town Video
Nite Klub (Live on Dance Craze 1980)
Friday Night, Saturday Morning Video
Monkey Man/Blank Expression (Live)