DJ RJ’s Modcast: Sing a song of when I loved…


Attilla the Stockbroker – “Burn It Down”
Leonard Nimoy – “Where Is Love?”
Sandie Shaw – “Til the Night Begins To Die”
Rinaldi Sings – “Heaven Knows”
Cat Stevens – “The First Cut Is the Deepest”
The Smiths – “Back to the Old House”
Menswe@r – “Being Brave”
The Jacks – “Gloomy Flower”
The Flaming Stars – “God Told Me to Do It”
The Small Faces – “Up the Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire”
Paul Weller – “You Do Something to Me”
David Bowie – “The Prettiest Star (orig. studio w/ Marc Bolan)
Tot Taylor – “Australia”
Fosca – “Assume Nothing”
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – “All Tomorrow’s Parties”
Siouxsie & the Banshees – “The Last Beat of My Heart”

Spot On Etsy Tuesday!

So, for those of you who don’t diligently watch my Etsy updates, I’ve recently posted my novel, New Dance, to my shoppe, and in honour of this grand occasion, I’ve decided to make Treasury lists based on some of the more prominent characters in the book. So the first half of this is going to be my Etsy Treasury for Alice Reagan, with some commentary (more than Etsy lets me post), and the next half will be badges I’ve neglected to add since my last Spot On Etsy update.

il_570xN.411143997_qawi So, one thing that I edited out of the novel was a relatively unnecessarily lengthy half-chapter going into details about Alice’s history with wearing a beret, usually red. Since it’s been a while since I’ve read my own book, and that was one of the final omissions I made, I’m 90% sure that I at least mentioned she used to wear a red beret daily, whilst still at university. I still often imagine her wearing a beret a lot, but I also have mental images of her in a lot of “going out” attire, which involves a bouffant, not hair for wearing hats. Since I kept details about her brand of cigarettes wrapped in pink papers, and how her wardrobe is almost completely black, white, reds, and pinks, I thought she might have something like this for her beret days.

il_570xN.370969985_3dz2 In my mind, Alice has more catsuit-ish pieces than Emma Peele, or Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. Which works on slim girls. I can actually see all these variations working on Alice and being things she’d have, or at least like to have, especially if you make some changes to the colours suggested in the illustration —even the hooded blouse, maybe in a geometric pattern of red and black with a red catsuit.

il_570xN.375318230_quly …and speaking of Aud in Funny Face! Probably my favourite Hepburn film. The scene at the café was a major influence on Alice’s character, as I was writing —that and Audrey as Holly Golightly, specifically in the scene where Holly is leaving the police station, her impeccable bouffant bunched up in back, large sunglasses, roomy jumper and slim capri trou, with this body language that says “oh, what fresh hell is this?” Alice is significantly mouthier, though.

il_570xN.381885840_smvi If Alice had a quote to live by, I think she’d pick this one. I really hope I put her optimism through well enough in the pages I allotted, cos I think she’s genuinely one of the happier and more optimist characters I’ve ever written. She puts up with a lot, her loved ones can stress her out like mad, she can be feisty and blunt if she thinks you can handle it, but she probably is the most faithful in human nature out of all of my published characters so far.

il_570xN.407270861_ojc1 Can’t properly do an Alice-themed Treasury without a few Bowie-related items (keep reading). Probably my favourite of Bowie’s looks / eras, in a stark pop-art style. If you have the CD I tend to give out with copies of New Dance at events, you probably noticed that Alice’s “theme song” I picked out was “DJ” from The Lodger. Another major influence on her character, and you can tell by how much I stress in the book that her skills as a DJ was integral to their favourite club’s success. In all the years I’ve been both attending and DJing at various nights, and with various themes, girl DJs have certainly become more common –but then, these are subculture nights– but according to some older friends, girl DJs in the early 1980s were still a bit of an oddity, and in the 1960s, practically unheard of. I still really think it works, with her character as the primary DJ at their club, even in 1982.

il_570xN.432820118_8ayl You know, I still have no idea why I thought to include this, other than the colours and pattern on the top of the case. I think it is definitely something her character would pick up at a charity shoppe or rummage sale, or maybe even decades later, after eBay happens, but honestly, I don’t see her as especially domestic, so she’d likely just pick it up cos it’s both functional and beautiful, and the lid of the box caught her eye.

il_570xN.378521795_e3pr Yes, I genuinely believe that Alice would have something like this in her wardrobe for extra-casual days; probably paired with slim jeans or leggings and a belt, since it looks quite long. Remember, this is not a “1960s Mod” story, this is a Mod Revival story featuring a lot of characters who actively don’t just wear things from charity shoppes that smell of moth balls, cos to them, that sort of misses the point of “Modernism” —why wear brittle old hand-me-downs when newer things exist, or can be created, that look just as nice or better? After all, while the 1960s Mod look certainly had influences from the 1920s (especially for the girls), it got updated, even though the influences are totally obvious.

il_570xN.399336664_bpkp I totally picture Alice wearing jumpers and blouses with skinny jeans with the 1980s high waists, cigarette-slim trou, capris…. She’s not really about skirts, has very few dresses, but looks just as clean and smart and sharp as any other girls at the clubs, arguably more so than most.

il_570xN.401362311_j8as I actually described Alice in something very much like this —and it’s made in England, no less! ;-) I probably would’ve put this higher up in the treasury if I’d found it earlier in my search for Alice items, but I swear, I described something similar to this, but when I saw this, it looked better for her.

il_570xN.435208709_sk42 Oh, who else had a mother with a cigarette purse? Alice smokes a lot, a fictional Belgian brand that I invented for the alternate reality that the stories are set in (yes, I Tarantino’d my own fictional brands and media, though with some overlaps with this reality); her brand, En Rose, are arranged in their packet so the papers around the tobacco alternate pink and red, and the filters have a silvery paper. The cigarette wraps also contain flint dust, so they pop with a glittered / sparkler effect as they burn (this is actually based on something an old friend of mine used to do, by rubbing the flintwheel bacwards on cheap disposable lighters to create a fine flint dust, then sprinkling a tiny bit of it along the edge of the wrap after rolling his own, before closing the seal). This is argueably the “girliest” thing about any given outfit she wears. It made sense to me that she might keep her fags in a shiny metallic mesh ciggie purse.

il_570xN.405747947_dwol I don’t recall mentionig Alice having any cigarette holders, but this looked like something she might pick up as a functional impulse buy, as with the hostess set. It’s cute without being overly cutesy, and I imagine that the roses might match the box design for En Rose.

il_570xN.111157603 I really do imagine Alice wearing this sort of necklace with a catsuit, or maybe a solid jumper with capris. This came up when I searched “David Bowie, pink” and the seller says it’s Ziggy-era influenced. I don’t really see that, but it’s got a cute minimalism to it, and Alice would see it as something tasteful to go with her simpler outfits.

il_570xN.361056510_39ei Alice purchased this simple print (or one just like it) and put it up in the DJ booth, in place of where Owain, the club’s owner, initially put a clock. She justified this, stating that people looking up at the booth don’t need to be reminded of the time, they need that on their way out of the lavvy. When they look up into the booth, they’re looking for a reason that they came here, and a reminder of what that big shiny floor is all about.

il_570xN.397875693_41no A woman who drinks as much strong, dark coffee as Alice Reagan cannot be satisfied with just a coffeehouse, even one that maintains an impressive Swedish Modern décor. So when she’s forced to have her strong French roast at home, she realises (as do all proper Mods ;-) that percolated coffee is nasty, and electric drip is only very slightly better, and even then, only when it’s fresh. Give the woman French Pressed, or give her… espresso.

il_570xN.377077210_dy2i I do make a point of describing Alice’s preferred shoe for dancing to be flats or ballet shoes —she’s not trained in ballet, but she finds a basic ballet shoe (read: NOT pointe shoes) with a split leather sole, much more sensible for dancing all night than some of the clunky heels or boots that the other girls wear. I don’t really think she’d wear ballet flats with the glittered stripes, but I thought they were cute, and they’re handmade, and they go with everything else in the treasury very nicely. Maybe she would have a pair like this, but just not wear them as much.

il_570xN.318565788 Lastly, the basic black catsuit. I really like the belt this is pictured with, too, and it’s very much something I picture Alice in, maybe with the pendant I picked, and a Capezio Jazz dance boot with split soles. Remember kids: Never wear stirrup leggings with footwear that can’t cover; the stirrup exists as part of the function, not the form, and the function is to keep the catsuit or leggings from riding up one’s leg and out of the boots, socks, or legwarmers with wear. I don’t care if you saw otherwise in some film, that’s cos the costumer was simple and didn’t understand basic style.

And this week’s badge updates:

These are in random order, and the Gallery form on the WordPress software won’t let me link everything individually, but as always, my shoppe is here.

I’ve also recently had items featured in the following Treasury lists:

So now that the weather’s getting better, hopefully I’ll be back to my regular schedule, and the annual seasonal depression is on a wane.

The Rest of the Story

…of Lola:

Continue reading

Homoeroticism in our icons

Empty Glass, when compared with The Who’s 1981 album Face Dances, was considered the superior album, with many critics calling it a Who album that never was. Roger Daltrey later commented that he felt let down by Townshend, and that many of the songs from the album would have worked well for The Who, among them “Rough Boys” and “Empty Glass”; Townshend countered by saying that he felt “Rough Boys” was the one song Daltrey would have wanted clarified (in terms of the song’s homoerotic subtext) and toned down if he were to sing it, thus defeating its message…

It is August 1983 and the letters page of Smash Hits is ablaze with controversy. The cause is the video for the Style Council’s new single Long Hot Summer. It features Paul Weller, saucy in bare chest and espadrilles, fondling the ears of his new musical collaborator “Merton” Mick Talbot. It may qualify as the least erotic piece of homoeroticism ever captured on film: “Merton” Mick’s facial expression suggests not the bliss of Zeus and Ganymede but disappointment and confusion, as if a golden career opportunity isn’t really panning out as he had expected. Nevertheless, it’s enough to cause uproar among teenage male Weller fans: in a world of gender-bending synth prodders, the former Jam frontman is supposed to be a dependable source of resolutely blokeish rock. Anguished letters flood in, until the editors are forced to intervene in time-honoured Smash Hits style: sniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip!

Possibly the lowest point of Bowie’s career, especially in the 1980s, and Mick Jagger’s highest point in the 1980s.

Here’s something better:

Turner [from the 1970 film Performance] is a reclusive, eccentric former rock star who has “lost his demon” and who lives there with his female friends Pherber and Lucy (Michele Breton), with whom he enjoys a non-possessive and bi-sexual ménage à trois.

Modcast 2012-06-25


Anita Lane – “I’m a Believer”
Flaming Stars – “Should’ve Happened Before”
The Boys Next Door – “The Voice”
Mick Harvey & Anita Lane – “69 Erotic Year”
Laughing Clowns – “New Bully In the Town”
Rowland S. Howard & Lydia Lunch – “Some Velvet Morning”
FASHØN – “Steady Eddie Steady”
David Bowie – “Please Mr. Gravedigger”

I’ve got so much other stuff I like to post about, and honestly? Cakewalk has been crapping out on me, lately, so until further notice, I’m cutting down the Modcast to a half-hour every other Monday. This may change in the future, but it’s completely dependent on whether or not I can get better software that can piece these things together more easily. Some future casts I have planned are also going to be all voice recordings —discussions and/or interviews via Skype, if i can arrange it. Maybe one of these days, that year-and-a-half as music editor for my friend Subrina’s magazine will prove useful?

[2011-01-17] Happy Belated New Year!

I had originally intended to put this off until I’ve already moved to Lansing, but I was getting antsy. I’m definitely not going to do one next week, and depending on how long it takes to get the Internet set up again, maybe not on the 31st, either. There will definitely be a new cast on February 7th.

David Bowie – Andy Warhol
The Velvet Underground – Venus In Furs
Nico – Chelsea Girls
John Cale – Hellelujah
Leonard Cohen – First We Take Manhattan
Nina Hagen – New York
Talking Heads – Road to Nowhere
Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood – Paris Summer
Brian Auger & Julie Driscoll – Vauxhall to Lambeth Bridge
Eleanor Rigby – Last Night In Soho
Sharon Tandy – Border Town
Samantha Jones – Rain or Snow


[2010-07-19 Modcast] I’ve noticed a theme for when I’m cleaning…

No, serious, I have.

So, it’s my birthday on Thursday, and as loathe as I am to admit it on the ModCulture forum, my housekeeping skills are complete shit. I suppose if I wanted to, I could at least partially blame my parents who had the bizarre notion that expecting your child to clean their room was the same thing as teaching them good cleaning habits, but my family, and in particular, my parents are a subject best not thought about, if you ask me. Regardless, I admit, I have tendencies toward accumulating clutter, and I tend to mainly only really pick up around here when I’m expecting company — and my birthday is on Thursday, and I have some friends who plan on coming over.

So because yesterday I cleaned up in the bathroom and today it’s the kitchen’s turn, I’ve got more glam, punk, and art-rock for you.


Minty – Homme Aphrodite (Parts 1 & 2)
Roxy Music – Mother Of Pearl
Jobriath – Ooh La La
Be Bop Deluxe – Third Floor Heaven
David Bowie – John, I’m Only Dancing
Stiv Bators – Swingin’ A-Go-Go
The Cult – Edie (Ciao Baby)
Jayne County – Everyone’s An Asshole But Me
Nina Hagen – Stacheldraht
Lemming – Father John
Cuddly Toys – You Keep Me Hanging On
Slade – The Shape of Things to Come
Gary Glitter – Do You Wanna Touch Me
Pansy Division – Son Of a Preacher Man
The Tubes – White Punks On Dope

By the way, speaking of The Tubes — not only am i really surprised that I haven’t added “White Punks On Dope” to a cast yet, I’m kind of appalled that The Tubes are playing a county fair in Michigan this summer — and in September, they’re coming back to Michigan in October, playing a theatre venue. I looked up the theatre to check admission prices, and discovered that at the end of this month, they’re hosting Gallagher — which is even more appalling than The Tubes at a county fair, to be honest. Of course, I can’t decide which is more appalling about this: The fact that Gallagher is, for some inexplicable reason, still touring, or the fact that admission to see Gallagher at this theatre is six dollars more than The Tubes, and billed as a “non-smash” performance — which, as best as I can tell, is practically eliminating the primary reason to go see Gallagher in the first place. Almost makes me want to hold out on this performance and take the bus to Akron to go see them there — assuming that I can even, for all practicality, afford that.

[2010-04-19] Well, I thought I knew what I was doing with this one…

I would like to apologise for the somewhat disjointed set this week; but first I’d just like to mention that real life and real life illnesses have gotten in the way this last month, so that’s why it’s been so long since my last cast — I seriously thought about it last week, but have you even had such a violent coughing/mucus attack that you were physically exhausted afterward? If not, try and hope you never do.

So, I thought I knew what I was doing with this week’s cast, considering that I’ve decided to be a tad liberal with my definitions of “music for Mods” lately. You see, after I post this, I’m going back to the bathroom to film Part Two of How To Whiten Dyed Hair. If you watch the first part, you may notice that I’ve skipped a day because, honestly, my hair feels in really good condition — its best ever since I first started whitening my hair (including the last year and change I took off after a timing accident — but that’s another story for another time). So it hit me when I was contemplating today’s cast last night — “hey! I have a fair amount of music by people with whiten and/or bleached hair!” (I say and/or as I’m including The Winter Brothers and Welsh eclectic musician and recording engineer, David Wrench, who all have albinism, as well as Requiem In White and the other musical projects of Doc Hammer, who has either a spot-type albinism, possibly a chimeraism, or on odd placement of vitiligo of the scalp, resulting in a rare case of naturally two-toned hair, with a large section growing nearly white-blond and the rest dark brown.)

While this thought of last night is actually true, there are a few realities of my music collection that didn’t fully sink in until a couple hours ago:

  1. All of my stuff by The Winters (both solo and together) is on LP, and I’m still waiting for The Money Fairy™ to drop by and give me a spare $150-ish for a USB record player so I can mp3 my vinyl.
  2. This also means mp3 access to David Wrench Sings Songs of The Shangri-La’s, (which is honestly one of the strangest records I own, as well as one of the few that manages to be more depressing and down-tempo than Nico’s The Marble Index) is completely non-existent. Still, eternal thanks to Thea for acting as my record mule, as the seller did not ship across the pond on that one, the bastard.
  3. While I can reason the inclusion of Gary Numan on this set, considering everything else I lined up ahead of time, I really couldn’t do that for anything I currently have involving Doc Hammer — which makes me sad on several levels.

Furthermore, by “a fair amount”, I really meant “a lot of Johnny & Edgar Winter, David Wrench’s entire solo catalogue, and a complete discography of Japan”. At some point, I remembered Suzi Pinns is really “Jordan” (Pamela Rooke), who was best-recognised in part for her Mondrian-inspired make-up, and in part for her very bleached hair. Then I started really stretching the definition of “bleached hair” (and so included Divine, whose hair never got as fair as even Jayne County’s, and Nina Hagen, whose hair has been many colours, but never a very light blonde), and at some point gave up entirely and slipped in “White Punks On Dope” by The Tubes, because it’s my Modcast, and I’ll do whatever I want. Also, Ray Columbus & The Art Collection later became a band known as Powder — their inclusion is the latest of my many jokes, so if it doesn’t immediately come to you, think about why that might be funny.

In the end is something about as listenable as my Last.FM radio personalised stations, or at least WCBN 88.3 FM in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and more predictable than their Free Form Radio hours.


Suzi Pinns – Rule Britannia
Japan – Fall In Love With Me
Dusty Springfield – Windmills Of Your Mind
David Bowie – Look Back In Anger
Ray Colubmbus & The Art Collection – Snap, Crackle & Pop!
The Tubes – White Punks On Dope
Cuddly Toys – Fall and Decline of the Universe
David Wrench – Never Seen A Good Man Die
Tubeway Army – You Are In My Vision
The Cramps – Tear It Up
Nina Hagen – African Reggae
Jayne County & The Electric Chairs – I’m In Love With Dusty Springfield
Divine – I’m So Beautiful

[2010-03-22] Downtown in the Big City and Back Again

I’ve wanted to do a set like this for a while, but since I decided to use this podcast blog less as a “proper DJ blog” and more as a concept and form of self-expression, it’s been hard to think of times when I might be able to make a post such as this one. It’s no secret to my friends that I love big cities. Seriouslky, Philadelphia, while a gorgeous city, still feels too small to me. Even Chicago, with just short of 3milion, is probably the smallest city I’ve been happy with — London, on the other hand, city of my adolescent summers, not only has its nostalgic values for my life (where I first say RHPS, first got drunk, learned how to drive, etc…), but it has an urban population of nearly 8.25million and has this immaculate filthiness that has entranced people for generations.

But not every song can be about London, nor does every song have to have ties to a specific city.

And why? No, not “why can’t every song be about London?” The question is “why, Ruadhan, do you pick this of all weeks?” Because it seems that at my appointment with my allergist on Friday, March 19th, I was determined to be officially allergic to wilderness. All common grasses and half common tree pollens and weeds. And considering that my spirituality is even linked to large cities, my room-mate felt it appropriate to make the joke “this is some deity making a claim on you — because you can’t ever do anything simply by asking you to, you have to be given a reason”. Even ignoring the spiritual gratification, an allergy to wilderness not only explains elevated mood and feelings of wellness, but also the sometime-dramatic weight-loss I’ve experienced in long-term stays (two weeks or longer) in large cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, London, HK…. Hell, even Toledo, Ohio. Granted, city-prompted weight-loss is no doubt accelerated by the fact that the public transportation is better, and it’s easier to get to what I need and want to do just by walking, but personally, increasing mobility in rural and suburban areas has, for me, not done a whole lot for weight management on its own (and ask my smart-ass room-mate, I don’t eat that much; often enough, the “recommended serving size” on the package has proved itself too filling for me)

But don’t take this as me saying to pave the rainforests — after all, city air has to start as fresh air somewhere, and the grasslands are inefficient for oxygen production, as they’re where food is gestated before arriving in my grocery store, free of pollens and wrapped in cling-film. It’s all a splendiferous chain with connected ends, never ending, always turning in the hands of gods and daimons.

[right-click here to download or paste into your player

Leonard Cohen – Stories of the Street
Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood – Paris Summer
The Who – Armenia City In the Sky
Petula Clark – Downtown
Roxy Music – Streetlife
Cat Stevens – Lovely City (When Do You Laugh?)
The Monochrome Set – I Love Lambeth
David Bowie – London Bye Ta-Ta
T Rex – London Boys
The Inmates – Dirty Water
The Artwoods – Big City
The Lambrettas – London Calling
Manual Scan – Man About Town
Secret Affair – Soho Strut
The Jam – Town Called Malice
The Selecter – Bristol & Miami
Eleanor Rigby – Last Night In Soho
Madness – Razor Blade Alley
Giddle & Boyd – Sunset Strip SS

[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]

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