Spot On Etsy: A Very British Phenomenon

This week’s treasury is “A Very British Phenomenon“. It’s a little cheesy, but I like a nice sharp cheese sometimes.

And if you’re looking for a relevant Team to join on Etsy, Mods & Trad Skins still remains the only such Etsy group. I figure if a few more people join up, there can be Treasury contests and challenges and what-not. Buyers as well as Sellers are welcome. :-)

And let’s not forget a shout-out to the following Treasury lists, for featuring some of my badges:

[Modcast 2013-10-07] Music to Protect Your Drag Clothes from Your Cat To

 

John Cooper Clarke – “Midnight Sun”
Makin’ Time – “I’m Not Really a Welder”
The Moodists – “Where the Trees Walk Downhill”
Graduate – “Elvis Should Play Ska”
Department S – “Somewhere Between Heaven and Tesco’s”
The Headcoatees – “True To You”
Franz Ferdinand – “Tell Her Tonight (in German)”
Broder Daniel – “Lovesick”
United Future Organisation – “Fool’s Paradise”
The Prisoners – “Say Your Prayers”
The Real Kids – “She’s Alright”
The Pretty Things – “Mama, Keep Your Big Mouth Shut”
Rousers – “Face Toward the wall”
Powder – “I Try”
Purple Hearts – “Restless Dream Recurring”
Mick Harvey – “The Ticket Puncher”
The Fall – “Jawbone and the Air-Rifle”
The Go-Betweens – “People Say”
Tom Waits – “The Ocean Doesn’t Want Me”

Modcast for 22 July 2013

 

The Triffids – “Love & Affection”
Go – “Don’t Take Her Away”
Sharp Ties – “Get That Beat”
The Killermeters – “Twisted Wheel”
The Go-Between – “On My Block”
The Distractions – “Something For the Weekend”
The Merseys – “Sorrow”
Pizzicato 5 – “Sweet Soul Revue”
The Monochrome Set – “Crystal Chamber”
The Saints – “Simple Love (original)”
The Art woods – “Keep Lookin'”
Sharon Forrester – “Silly Wasn’t I?”
Les Elite – “Get A Job”
The Prisoners – “Go-Go”
Billie Davis – “Nobody’s Home to Go Home To”
Sandie Shaw – “How Can You Tell?”
The Chesterfield Kings – “Time to Kill”
Squire – “Live Without Her Love”
Jean Dushon – “Hitch Hike!”
Geno Washington & the Ram Jam Band – “She Shot a Hole In My Soul”
Gloria Jones – “Stage Coach”
Wall of Voodoo – “(Don’t Spill My) Courage”

DJ RJ’s Modcast for 15 July 2013

 

Saint Etienne – “Railway Jam”
Department S – “Whatever Happened To the Blues?”
Dexys – “You”
Paul Bevoir – “Changing Places”
Madness – “Believe Me”
Gli Evangelisti – “Un ragazzo di strada”
Tony Clarke – “Landslide”
The Out Cast – “You’ve Gotta Call Me”
The Smiths – “Work Is A Four Letter Word”
Purple Hearts – “Plane Crash”
The Small Faces – “Tin Soldier”
The Meddyevals – “Place called Love”
The Kinks – “Village Green”
The Ordinary Boys – “Over the Counter Culture”
The Monochrome Set – “Two Fists”
Prince – “4 the Tears In Your Eyes”
Skandalous All-Stars – “Cult of Personality”
Alexei Sayle – “The Winebars of Old Hampstead Town”

At the Gallery: The Kinks by ~gabrio76


The Kinks by ~gabrio76 on deviantART

Spot On Etsy: Midsummer Night’s Scene

First off, I want to apologise for slacking off this last week and a half, especially, I’ve been sick. At first I thought it was just allergies, but it turns out I’ve also got what’s likely just a nasty case of viral sinuitis —worst case scenario, it’s mono, but the DO at the Sparrow Hospital Urgent Care clinic says it’s unlikely, and only a week/week-and-a-half is too soon for such a diagnosis.

So, I created a cute, summery-inspired Treasury on Etsy:

Obviously not closely linked with any of my characters from the stories, but I thought it was a cute assortment of items.


So new items this week:

One of my Biba badges also got added to this very lovely Treasury on Etsy:

Go check it out!


ALSO!!

Since it’s my birthday this month, I was going to thank all ly lovelies with a coupon code:

HAPPYBIRTHDAYRUADHAN

Good on any purchase of US$3 or more, and gives a 16% discount ALL JULY!


Other shop updates:

I’ve redone some of the shop sections, mainly I’ve gotten rid of the “genre / subculture”-related sections, cos frankly, I mix n match so much, many bands have cross-over appeal, and honestly, trying to think of where to put some things made me feel like i was a seventeen-year-old who just discovered old school punk on the Internet and will now nit-pick everything to death in hopes of sounding smarter and more sophisticated than he is. I’ve passed the personal desire to do that sort of thing, well, let’s say some years ago. Anyway, the Etsy tag system does that just fine for me, so there’s no need for me to stick things in redundant sections.

I’ve also added a “Discontinued” section and am moving over there some things that have never gained much views, favourites, or sales, and discounting them. Now, there are some things that I’ll always keep, regardless of their apparent popularity (like anything related to the Compact Organisation label, or The Tubes) because why? I have much love for these musos and designs, and believe that if I believe in them, eventually others will, too. Anyway, the Compact stuff seems kind of popular in Japan, and while my Japanese orders aren’t as many as UK or French orders, they always come in batches, and the Japanese buyers seem to love the things no-one else loves as much.

I also finally seem to have happened upon the perfect dpi and dimensions for scanning badges, and it occurred to me that I might benefit from a watermark on my images, so over the next few weeks, depending on how my allergic symptoms can deal, I’m going to be re-scanning EVERYTHING, and watermarking it.

I’m also working on goodies to add to orders that will be low-cost to myself. I have a few Odd Mod Out badge designs, and am trying to figure out my options for stickers and a decent bookmark featuring a QR-code that has an excerpt from one of the forthcoming stories.

Lastly, hey, did you know I started a Team? An Etsy Team for both Buyers and Sellers? I’d really love to start monthly Treasury contests and such, so if you’re on Etsy, please join my team! :-)

Sunday at the Gallery: Edie Sedgewick by Channilingus


Edie Sedgewick by ~Chanillingus on deviantART

Modcast for 20 May 2013

Hey! Back up to two weeks in a row —seasonal depression is a cruel and merciless mistress, and even more so in Michigan, where any given year, there’s a fifty-fifty chance that the Horae will just skip Spring altogether. But I’m back, serving you up another weekly dose of freeform Mod radio from my attic.

 

The Supremes – “Reflections”
? & the Mysterians – “Hangin On a String”
Gloria Jones – “Finders Keepers”
The Untamed – “Gimmie Gimmie Some Shade”
Amy Rigby – “20 Questions”
Timebox – “Country Dan & City Lil”
The Cyrkle – “Squeeze Play”
Tyrannosaurus Rex – “Cat Black”
Joya Landis – “Angel of the Morning”
The Laughing Clowns – “Year of the Bloated Goat”
The VIP’s – “Straight Down to the Bottom”
Manuela und Drafi – “Take It Easy”
Pizzicato 5 – “Magic Twin Candle Tale”
Elton Motello – “Pipe Line”
The New Hearts – “True Love”
The Prisoners – “The Last Thing On Your Mind”

[2013-05-13] Modcast: Mostly Instrumental

 

The Creatures – “Standing There”
Lizzy Mercier Descloux – “Mission Impossible 2.0″
Lydia Lunch – “A Cruise to the Moon”
Rip Rig + Panic – “Warm To the If in Life”
Booker T & the MG’s – “Melting Pot”
Flipper’s Guitar – “Big Bad Bingo”
The Kinks – “Animal Farm”
The Easybeats – “All Gone Boy (alternate mix)”
Lorraine Silver – “Happy Faces”
Holly Golightly – “Too Late Now”
Mick Harvey & Anita Lane – “Who’s ‘In’, Who’s ‘Out'”

Yep, it’s longer than what I’ve been shooting for, lately. Consider it an extra treat. :-)

Modermist Library: Scooter Girl by Chynna Clugston

Title: Scooter Girl
Written & Illustrated by: Chynna Clugston-Major
Publisher: Oni Press
Published: 2004
ISBN-10: 1929998880

I know I’ve ragged on other stories for being formulaic, and while this one kind of is, Ms Clugston also makes clear diversions from the formula to keep it interesting in this story, which certainly makes up for the fact that you can see the ending coming just from reading the back of the book. The basic story follows this familiar formula:

  • Meet Boy, he’s a charismatic womaniser who gets away with it cos he’s something of a latter-day Alfie.
  • Meet Girl, she’s somehow the only one in all of San Francisco who’s wise to his hijinks and starts to point it out to others.
  • Boy is obviously crushing on Girl in some meaningful way, but is prematurely too set-in-his-ways to see it, and acts like a jerk.
  • Boy blames Girl for his sudden onset of personal problems, even though she’s barely said two words to him.
  • Girl and Boy can’t avoid each-other and somehow end up together in spite of long-held animosity toward each other.

I’m sure this has been explained on TV Tropes, but if I tried to look it up without knowing what they call it there, I’d never get this post finished. Now tropes are not bad things, or at least not universally; basically, they’re potentially entertaining little formulas for writing stories, including for television, film, or songs, that skilled writers use to make quality entertainment. Chynna Clugston is one of those skilled writers.

The story is focused on, and narrated by, Ashton Archer, who builds himself up in the first few pages as some paragon of male perfection, even though he’s only eighteen, and his ideas about dating, sex, and relationships seem plucked from the original version of Alfie. I really hated the title character in that film, by the way. As his life spirals out of control over this girl, Margaret Sheldon, I can’t help but get really into it, because I really hate those smarmy bastards. A lot of the humour also revolves around Ash getting his come-uppance and doing some much-needed introspection and self-analysis, and from the fact that many characters point out to him, on occasion repeatedly, that he’s not as gifted as he fancies himself.

I mean, to be frank, this really isn’t that different a story from Long Hot Summer, but the engaging style of Ms Clugston’s writing makes it, in my opinion, a far more enjoyable read, and one worth reading repeatedly. Her illustration style is also considerably more expressive and involved, whereas Long Hot Summer kind of looks as flat and reduced-emotion as the first couple seasons of Mad Men. While I started the story only caring very slightly more about Ash than about, say, Alfie, overall, I ended up understanding him and especially his character growth a little better, and in the end, I’m convinced that he’s a better person now. While Margaret isn’t given as much development by Clugston as the title might suggest, she’s also clearly more than a cypher existing for no other reason than as some personified McGuffin; unlike Long Hot Summer‘s Ashley, she clearly has a personality that’s developed enough to make sense out of her and the things she does and says, even if we’re mainly seeing this from Ashton’s point-of-view, and it’s very easy to like her. Even her twin brother, initially introduced for apparently little more reason than aiding Margaret’s own character development, is himself a fleshed-out character given a real and distinct personality.

Also keep in mind that the story diverts a bit from “the real world”, and it can make California’s Mod scene in approximately 2004 seem as big as London 1963 —which is a laugh and a half, in all honesty, but it’s nice that the story doesn’t have to deal with addressing the fact that it’s actually a pretty small subculture, Stateside, which kind of gives it a potential for wider appeal than California. Ashton’s self-introduction as some scholastic prodigy and a gridiron star for his school’s team, and suave enough to get into the knickers of every girl in his high school is just kind of ridiculous and makes it easy to really hate this character at first —if only cos, as per my experience and that of most of my friends in the scene, we didn’t become vinyl-hoarders obsessed with clothes well-removed from mainstream culture because we were athletic and possessing of amazing sexual prowess, and being vinyl-hoarders obsessed with clothes certainly didn’t help us toward becoming athletic and gaining sexual prowess. That said, I tend to forgive the clear fantasy elements noted simply because it kind of makes it clear that Ash is a bit of a narcissist, so naturally, he’s going to build himself up as being the best at everything, whether he might actually be so or not, and if I wanted to fan-wank it, as the kids say, I could say his idea that the Mod scene in California is bigger than it ever was is simply another symptom of his self-obsessions that borderline narcissistic delusions; to Ash, nothing else exists but his scene, so naturally any story told from his perspective is going to seem like the entire world is that way.

Clugston, clearly, is an awesomely talented story-teller, and her characters truly seem to pop to life in the pages, no matter how minor. My advice is to put this on your permanent summer reading list, and you’ll not regret it. I also really like her idea of putting in a “soundtrack” for the story, with songs and their bylines sporadically listed throughout the pages; I didn’t do that exact thing with New Dance, but before I’d even read Scooter Girl, I’d had a similar idea to give out a sort of self-selected “soundtrack” on CD-Rs at events where I bring copies of the novel, and will probably continue this. So naturally, I can appreciate people with similar ideas.