[2010-03-08] Idols

I like when I have a theme, and yesterday, I came up with a great theme — my idols. By that, i mean the musicians who have shaped my life and my creative process in certain ways that I can see, even when others can’t.

This, of course, implies “favourite artists of all time, ever”, but doesn’t necessarily imply “current top-X favourites” — nor does it imply that these are my favourite songs by these artists, as concern for time (I try to keep these casts under an hour) and flow/matching (not necessarily “beatmatching” — I’m also sure those of you who are well up on your muso trivia as I am have caught that I’ll make little in-jokes with song order, some jokes more obvious than others, I’m sure). For example, I tend not to listen to so much Queen these days, as I can get fairly weepy (having your favourite person in the world die when you’re ten can affect you), and even so, I rarely listen to “God Save the Queen” — but making it a closer to an opening of “Star-Spangled Bologna” just struck me as incredibly amusing.

 
[right-click here to download]

2010-03-08
The Evolution Control Committee – The Star Spangled Bologna
Marc Bolan – Dandy In the Underworld
Daucus Karota – Raw Power
Iggy & The Stooges – Gimmie Danger
Gavin Friday – Man of Misfortune
DEVO – Be Stiff
Dexys Midnight Runners – Soul Finger
Rufus Wainwright – Greek Song
Danielle Dax – Fizzing Human Bomb
Japan – Talking Drum
The Who – Armenia City In the Sky
Cat Stevens – Lovely City (When Do You Laugh?)
David Bowie – London Bye Ta-Ta
Secret Affair – Only Madmen Laugh
Prince & the Revolution – America
Marc Almond – Brilliant Creatures
Queen – God Save the Queen

[2010-01-25] Oooh sha la la la ooh…

There is a very good reason that I haven’t uploading anything in a few weeks, and why this week’s cast may be best described as… well, “not Mod”. A very good reason, but not one I’m going to extrapolate on here because, frankly, if you don’t know, you don’t need to know. But it makes me feel better, and only four or five people seem to listen to this with any sort of regularity, it seems — and “five” is me being an egotist.

Think about it though: what could be more Modern than electronic music?

 
[download link]

2010-01-25
The Buggles – Living In the Plastic Age
Fad Gadget – Speak To Me
Tuxedomoon – Desire
Shriekback – Beatles’ Zebra Crossing
Yoko Ono – Wlking On Thin Ice
Silicon Teens – Sun Flight
Stereo Total – Dans le Parc
Sylvester – Band of Gold
Colourbox – You Keep Me Hangin’ On
DEVO – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Berlin – The Metro
Vicious Pink – My Private Tokyo
Japan – Life In Tokyo

[2010-01-25] Oooh sha la la la ooh…

There is a very good reason that I haven’t uploading anything in a few weeks, and why this week’s cast may be best described as… well, “not Mod”. A very good reason, but not one I’m going to extrapolate on here because, frankly, if you don’t know, you don’t need to know. But it makes me feel better, and only four or five people seem to listen to this with any sort of regularity, it seems — and “five” is me being an egotist.

Think about it though: what could be more Modern than electronic music?

 
[download link]

2010-01-25
The Buggles – Living In the Plastic Age
Fad Gadget – Speak To Me
Tuxedomoon – Desire
Shriekback – Beatles’ Zebra Crossing
Yoko Ono – Wlking On Thin Ice
Silicon Teens – Sun Flight
Stereo Total – Dans le Parc
Sylvester – Band of Gold
Colourbox – You Keep Me Hangin’ On
DEVO – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Berlin – The Metro
Vicious Pink – My Private Tokyo
Japan – Life In Tokyo

[2009-12-28] A Taste of Garage

I’ve been shaking a cold and too congested to even think until earlier today. OK, I may have been coherent enough to draw penises, but if you’re a personal friend of mine, that makes total sense to you.

Hre’s this week’s set list, and tomorrow, i am heading down to Direct Hits for New Year’s Eve — where I will not be DJin or selling top-quality crap, but will instead be drinking of top-quality booze and wondering why more Mod men don’t at least admit that they’re bisexual (as I am often fated to wonder; but hey, it’s better than going to the “gay night” and being hit on by lesbians and The Straight Guy Hunting Down a “Cute Lesbian” for his “Curious” Girlfriend).

 
right-click (on a PC) or double-click (on a Mac) to download

2009-12-28
France Gall – Jazz A Go Go
Violent Femmes – Gone Daddy Gone
John’s Children – Come And Play With Me In the Garden
Jacques Dutronc – Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi
The Creation – Biff Bang Pow!
The Prisoners – A Taste of Pink
Radio Birdman – Burn My Eye
The Loons – Getting Better
The King Kongs – Leave Me Alone
The Love Me Nots – Heart On a Chain
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Deanna
DMZ – Rosalyn
Jefferson Airplane – Tobacco Road
The Solarflares – Hold On
Sharon Tandy – Daughter of the Sun
The Lipstick Killers – Hindu Gods of Love
Jayne County – I’m In Love With Dusty Springfield
Gate Ball – You Really Got Me

[2009-12-21] It’s a Festivus Miracle!

I actually compiled this cast a couple of days ago so that I wouldn’t have to worry about selecting some Yultide Cheer at the last moment.

 
download

2009-12-21
The Soulful Strings – The Little Drummer Boy
The Pipettes – White Christmas
James Brown – Merry Christmas, I Love You
Eartha Kitt – I’m Gettin’ Nuttin’ For Christmas
The Del Vetts – I Want A Boy For Christmas
The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping
Eleanor Rigby – Kiss Me Quickly (It’s Christmas)
Danielle Dax – Blue Christmas
Dexys Midnight Runners – Merry Christmas Everybody
Marc Bolan – Christmas Bop
Shonen Knife – Space Christmas
The Jacobites – Teenage Christmas
The Kinks – Father Christmas
The Dead Milkmen – All I Want For Christmas Is a Job
Marc Almond – Christmas In Vegas
Klaus Nomi – Silent Night
Tiny Tim – The Christmas Song
Mae West – My New Year’s Resolution

[2009-12-14] No, really! I’m not backdating this!

As much as it shames me to admit this, there isn’t really any excuse for this to be as late as it is, but it is. There are a few reasons I could use, but honestly, it just feels like a cop-out, as perfectly valid as those reasons appear on paper, were they to come from another.

I decided to do something different withthis one, and so it’s all instrumentals and minimal-voice pieces.

Also, I have no excuse for uploading 30 November’s cast again last week. I just fixed that.

 
download link

2009-12-14
Pizzicato 5 – Trailer Music
Japan – Voices Raised In Welcome, Hands Held In Prayer
Brian Eno – Here Come the Warm Jets
The Tape-beatles – Grave Implications
The Evolution Control Committee – Hurdy Gurdy Men
The Monochrome Set – The Etcetera Stroll
Style Council – Our Favourite Shop
Jean-Jacques Perrey – Soul City
Pierre Henry – Teen Tonic
Booker T & the MG’s – Mo’ Onions
Giddle & Boyd – Going Steady With Peggy Moffit
Les Cappiccino – Move Move Move
QYPTHONE – Tension Attention, Please / Modernica In the House
Pizzicato 5 – Readymade FM

2009-11-16: New Dance

So, OK, I know i promised this weeks ago, but things happen when you’re Ruadhan J McElroy.

This week’s Modcast is songs that inspired characters and scenes in my second novel, New Dance, which is available on Amazon.com right now:

Click here to read the back-of-the-book description of New Dance and for valuable purchase links.

…the story is very character-driven and plot is meandering — but then again, so is most of Truman Capote’s work.

 

R. Dean Taylor — “Back Street”
The Monochrome Set — “The Jet Set Junta” (Jacky’s theme)
Dexys Midnight Runners — “There There My Dear” (Gaz’s theme)
David Bowie — “DJ” (Alice’s theme)
Secret Affair — “What Did You Expect” (Jace’s theme)
The Fall — “Just Step S’ways” (Nino’s theme)
Brian Auger & The Trinity — “Back At the Chicken Shack” (Dougan’s theme)
Mari Wilson — “Let Me Dream”
The Specials — “Nite Klub”
Twiggy — “Beautiful Dreams” (Eliza’s theme)
Rip Rig + Panic — “Eros (What Brings Colour Up the Stem)”
Makin’ Time — “Nothing Else”
The Jam — “Absolute Beginners”
The Purple Hearts — “Can’t Help Thinking About Me”
John’s Children — “Just What You Want – Just What You’ll Get”
Japan — “I Second That Emotion”

“Back Street” inspired the name of the club the characters regard as their favourite — both as I wrote and in the story.

“The Jet Set Junta” was partially what inspired this scene with Jacky beating the crap out of three other young men after Gaz was attacked by them. The song that initially inspired it was “3-5-0-0″ from the soundtrack to HAIR, but I was listening to “The Jet Set Junta” as I went back and polished it up, edited, etc….

Gaz was listening to “There There My Dear” by DMR in a scene where, after back home in Belfast for a week, and in his own blue funk, he meanders down to the kitchen for breakfast with his mother. I hesitate to call this one his “theme” as I’m not sure what this says about his personality, but he was a main character in this one, and I felt compelled to associate a song with him on this mix.

I decided that Alice was a David Bowie fan as I was setting up her background, which included being a long-time DJ of Rhythm & Blues, soul, garage, psych, etc…, so I put a bunch of David Bowie in WinAmp while writing another scene. Lodger was an album I’d listened to only seldom before them, and so when “DJ” came on, sparks of Alice’s personality seemed apparent in the emotional tone Bowie used in his voice whilst recording that one. There’s a causticity alternating with nonchalance that I think helps round out Alice’s character nicely.

I decided that Nino’s favourite band was going to be The Fall, cos that’s one of my own personal favourites. I made his “theme” one of my favourite songs of theirs from the years appropriate to the time of the novel — which has its story-line ending in 1983. Nino is alarmingly literate and wise for being the youngest amongst the characters, and his parents are “deep old-schoolers” and intellectuals, making him an oddity amongst them, and The Fall has also been one of those plain quirky and weird bands that exists outside the realm of genre. My decision wasn’t random.

“What Did You Expect” was selected for Jace because it’s lyrically melancholy, implies alcoholism as an escape, and I decided that Jace’s favourite band was Secret Affair.

Dougan’s personality really didn’t bring itself out to me until I decided that his father was Black. After that, it just made sense that he was a bit more introverted than the others, he has a good-standing relationship with his mother, and even an amicable one with the man his mother implies is his father. It also seemed very apparent that Dougan most allows himself to express his feelings through music, and he took up the piano (and later Vox Continental organ) after discovering Brian Auger at about the age of eleven or twelve. I think the Auger instrumental i chose “for Dougan” adds something to his character that I only hinted at in the story, and that even i don’t feel I hinted at very well.

“Beautiful Dreams” directly inspired Eliza’s “big scene” — those pages would not have happened if I hadn’t decided to hit “back” to repeat this one and really listen to how Twiggy emotes this one. The lyrics have nothing to do with the scene, and while Twiggy has a flawed, almost tinny soprano (which almost compliments Eliza’s otherwise flawed, one-sided character of “the selfish girl everybody secretly hates, but puts up with”), she’s pretty good at emoting as she sings (and the other characters, at least those who have a band together, put up with Eliza cos she’s a good emotive singer). I think Twiggy seems to actually “cry” through her voice in this one, and when i picked up on that, Eliza was given a chance to break down and cry, and apologise to the others for something she had done. This song also doesn’t “fit in” very well with the others, and Eliza is absent through most of the book, except to act as a catalyst for something or another — basically, she doesn’t fit in very well with the others.

“Eros (What Brings Colour Up the Stem)” inspired a concert scene moreso than the song I named in that scene did.

I chose the cover of “Can’t Help Thinking About Me” cos 1) I’d already used a Bowie song, and I didn’t want to use another, and 2) listen to the lyrics. This song is about gayness. If you can’t hear it, then you just may be lacking some grey matter.

“I Second That Emotion”, I realised, was left off the track-listing for the CD-Rs that i gave away at the book signing *after* I had already printed out the tray cards. You have no idea what a pain in the rear I was having printing them out. I selected this for the mix because… Honest answer? David Sylvian and Mick Karn are gods among men. Do not argue with me about this.

2009-08-24… wait a second….

OK, yes, I know I was going to post this yesterday, but eh, shit comes up. Actually, yesterday, I spent most of the day stressing out and goofing off to try and relieve some stress, and I didn’t even give the cats their wet food, cos that was just one more stressor in my life, and as much as i love doing this, so is this podcast.

Why so stressed? Because I’m having a book signing for my second novel (the first in what I’m calling “The Mod Stories”), and I’m just anticipating nothing going right. Why? It so rarely does. I mean, already, I can tell I’m in for a real doozy, cos only today, did Lindsay tell me that my name has been added to the poster 9and this event has been secured since January, and was supposed to happen in July, but hey, last minute scheduling conflicts are like the Father Dougal to my Father Ted).

That said, if you’re stuck in or (gods forbid) plan to be in the Ann Arbor / Ypsilanti, Michigan (U$A), area this Thursday, 27 August 2009, then come down to (or rather up to) The Heidelberg Club Above for Direct Hits, the area’s only Mod / Trad Skin / Retro night — in fact, it’s the only one I know of until you get to either Chicago or New York City. This month, the Big Event is “Bomb Pop Boutique” and will feature a gallery of local artists, a mini fashion show from The GetUp Vintage Clothing on State Street in Ann Arbor, and yours truly, hawking his second novel and selling his top-quality crap. All copies of the novel will come with a CD-R of next week’s Modcast (most of which I consider to be “themes” for various characters), a set of buttons for the novel, and a hand-written coupon for $4 off my first novel (e-mail me for details).

 

2009-08-25
The Tabe-beatles – All’s Right With the World
Nouvelle Vague – Come On Eileen
Brian Auger Trinity – In & Out
Mari Wilson – Beat the Beat
Prince – I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man
The Singles – The Most Beautiful Girl
B-52s – Strobe Light
Art Brut – Direct Hit
The Chesterfield Kings – Outside Chance
Revillos – Voodoo
The Love Me Nots – Dark City
Van Morrison – Ro Ro Rosey
The Jam – English Rose
Style Council – Long Hot Summer (Club Mix)

Modcast for 2008-10-25

Yes, a new cast!  No, I still have more Direct Hits sets to load, but crap, I’ve waited three weeks.  I suppose that I owe both listeners an explanation:

I have medical issues. I have been taking care of these. I also have a band; actually, I have several music projects, but this is my “real band” I’m talking about. As a band member, I have band practise. I also have many other projects that I juggle around, including a novel that needs to be wrapped up and I’ve found myself taking on a regular blog project and I am just bad at budgeting my time. Really bad. Heinously bad. Still, with practise, I will get better.

So, here’s a new 45-minute set, and on Wednesday, I will load more from my Direct Hits archives. I promise. It will be awesome.

 

The Tape-beatles – Individual Choice
Tiny Tim – The Coming Home Party
Blue Rondo a’la Turk – Change
Gloria Jones – Finders Keepers
The Monochrome Set – Expresso
Nouvelle Vague – Dance With Me
R. Dean Taylor – Back Street
The Fall – Gotta See Jane
France Gall – Jazz A-Go-Go
QYPTHONE – Go-Go Girl
Les Fleur de Lys – One City Girl
The Rolling Stones – Let’s Spend the Night Together
The Small Faces – What’cha Gonna Do About It
The Libertines – Can’t Stand Me Now
Mae West – Light My Fire

ModCast Archive: 2006-07-24

OK, I know I promised something both yesterday and today, but in all seriousness, yesterday and today was filled up with me doing shit for my band — my actual band, the one I sing for. In fact, until my guitarist got here earlier today for practise, I thought it was still Wednesday.

Now, it turns out that I never actually cast this old archive, I just had the set-list jotted down and I came across it by accident. Yes, I suppose that in theory I could just go get my Direct Hits setlists from this summer and just arrange the music on here, but that would involve transcribing hand-written sets, and this shit is just C&P. I will resume my “twice-weekly until it’s all my archives and old sets are posted” schedule next week, when I pick up after the lag from my guitarist getting into the swing of things at uni.

 

The Olympians – Hopeless Endless Ways
The New Hearts – Another Teenage Anthem
The Purple Hearts (60’s, Australian) – Of Hopes & Dreams & Tombstones
The Damned – Morning Bird
Nino Ferrer – Mirza
The Loons – Stumble & Fall
The Ordinary Boys – Boys Will Be Boys
Nine Below Zero – Eleven Plus Eleven
Makin’ Time – Pump It Up
Franz Ferdinand – Get Up and Use Me
Rip Rig & Panic – Eros, What Brings Colour Up the Stem
Les Cappuccino – Green Onions
John’s Children – Just What You Want, Just What You’ll Get
Jacques Brel – Jacky