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”

[Modcast for 2010-07-12] I’m back!

Basically, I’ve had to start using another program for the Modcast, in addition to a dozen other hectic things that have been preventing me from uploading regularly.

Since the last time I’ve uploaded, I went to the Mod MayDay special event of Direct Hits at Goodnight Gracie in Ann Arbor, and the annual Mod Chicago Our Way of Thinking weekender. Met some awesome people I hadn’t met on previous years, and I might be visiting Baltimore later this year.

I’ve also implemented a new system that will hopefully help me remember to update this thing better every week.

Here’s this week’s playlist:

 
2010-07-12
Qypthone – Modernica In the Office (audio play)
Nomoto Karia – “M.O.D.E.L. Agent”
Pizzicato 5 – Twiggy Twiggy/Twiggy vs James Bond
The Smiths – This Charming Man
Sandie Shaw – Hand In Glove
Jasmine Minks – Think
Float Up C.P. – He Loves Me (No, No, No)
Tenpole Tudor – Fashion
Mick Karn & Midge Ure – After A Fashion (extended version)
Fun Boy Three – Our Lips Are Sealed
The Coventry Automatics – Concrete Jungle
The New Hearts – City Life
Secret Affair – Somewhere In the City
The Fall – Victoria
Squeeze – Hesitation (Rool Britannia)
The Kinks – Mr Churchill Says
The Evolution Control Committee – Rebel Without A Pause (Whipped Cream Mix)

[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.

 

2010-04-19
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

[2010-02-01] Chroma

One of the greatest influences on my sense of identity and how I relate to art I both enjoy and create has been Derek Jarman. There used to be a video rental in this town that was the only place I could rent his films (until I started collecting them on DVD, that is), and of the “great directors” have stuff in all sorts of the categories that Liberty Street Video would put arrange their videos, while others only had things in one or two sections. Jarman was a “one or two sections” director, much like another one of my favourite (though not nearly as influential) directors, John Waters. All of John Waters’ films at Liberty Street you could find under “cult” (this was also the only place I’ve ever seen legit copies of Multiple Maniacs and Mondo Trasho available for rent); Derek Jarman’s films were placed either under “Foreign – UK & Ireland” or under “Queer Interest”, and that, I think, sums up his film career as a director in as few words as possible while still making it clear that there may be more to it.

Derek Jarman is what happens when painters are given a Super 8 camera by a friend and get it in their head that they can make feature-length films; and I mean this as a great compliment. The first film of his that I ever saw was Jubilee, and the experience had this paradoxical quality of both opening my eyes to “Punk” in a way I’d never fathomed before, and at the same time summing up my own thoughts on history and culture in a way that I could make sense out of.

As I noted, he was a painter before he started making films, and most child psychologists tend to agree that when a child is drawing any kind of picture, they’re drawing an unconscious self-portrait in allegory. There’s this innocent quality to many of his films, and at the same time, you get the feeling that even when he’s giving us biographical film-portraits of famopus figures passed, that this is an intensely personal look at Jarman’s own self.

His creative process danced freely between careful planning and spontaneous improvisation. Jubilee was both filmed and written over the course of two weeks, the majority of the script was sparse, save for a few monologues that Jarman had to use, but every pre-production choice in casting, every second of editing, was all very meticulous and the whole project took roughly a year and a half to complete, for example. His creative process was also heavily influenced by those who worked with him, and he was just as likely to take script ideas from a cameraman, or costuming and set ideas from an actor as he was to use his own.

Had an AIDS-related death not come to him in 1994, Derek Jarman would have had a sixty-eighth birthday yesterday, 31 January — but I’d rather not dwell on sadness, but instead celebrate his life.

You see, Jarman also did a handful of music videos in his time, and so that’s part of what’s populating things this week — the other part is music from four of his films (Jubilee, Caravaggio, Edward II and The Garden). Just to keep things sounding interesting, I threw in a couple of covers to fill things out.

 
[download link]

2010-02-01
Sexgang – At Your Own Risk
Suzi Pinns – Rule Britannia
Carter USM – Panic
The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead
Pet Shop Boys – Rent
Marc Almond – Tenderness Is a Weakness
Marianne Faithful – Broken English
Annie Lennox – Every Time We Say Good-bye
Simon Fisher-Tuirner – All Roads Lead to Rome
Suzi Pinns – Jerusalem
Chumbawamba – Song for Derek Jarman
The Garden – Think Pink (originally from FUNNY FACE)

[2010-02-01] Chroma

One of the greatest influences on my sense of identity and how I relate to art I both enjoy and create has been Derek Jarman. There used to be a video rental in this town that was the only place I could rent his films (until I started collecting them on DVD, that is), and of the “great directors” have stuff in all sorts of the categories that Liberty Street Video would put arrange their videos, while others only had things in one or two sections. Jarman was a “one or two sections” director, much like another one of my favourite (though not nearly as influential) directors, John Waters. All of John Waters’ films at Liberty Street you could find under “cult” (this was also the only place I’ve ever seen legit copies of Multiple Maniacs and Mondo Trasho available for rent); Derek Jarman’s films were placed either under “Foreign – UK & Ireland” or under “Queer Interest”, and that, I think, sums up his film career as a director in as few words as possible while still making it clear that there may be more to it.

Derek Jarman is what happens when painters are given a Super 8 camera by a friend and get it in their head that they can make feature-length films; and I mean this as a great compliment. The first film of his that I ever saw was Jubilee, and the experience had this paradoxical quality of both opening my eyes to “Punk” in a way I’d never fathomed before, and at the same time summing up my own thoughts on history and culture in a way that I could make sense out of.

As I noted, he was a painter before he started making films, and most child psychologists tend to agree that when a child is drawing any kind of picture, they’re drawing an unconscious self-portrait in allegory. There’s this innocent quality to many of his films, and at the same time, you get the feeling that even when he’s giving us biographical film-portraits of famopus figures passed, that this is an intensely personal look at Jarman’s own self.

His creative process danced freely between careful planning and spontaneous improvisation. Jubilee was both filmed and written over the course of two weeks, the majority of the script was sparse, save for a few monologues that Jarman had to use, but every pre-production choice in casting, every second of editing, was all very meticulous and the whole project took roughly a year and a half to complete, for example. His creative process was also heavily influenced by those who worked with him, and he was just as likely to take script ideas from a cameraman, or costuming and set ideas from an actor as he was to use his own.

Had an AIDS-related death not come to him in 1994, Derek Jarman would have had a sixty-eighth birthday yesterday, 31 January — but I’d rather not dwell on sadness, but instead celebrate his life.

You see, Jarman also did a handful of music videos in his time, and so that’s part of what’s populating things this week — the other part is music from four of his films (Jubilee, Caravaggio, Edward II and The Garden). Just to keep things sounding interesting, I threw in a couple of covers to fill things out.

 
[download link]

2010-02-01
Sexgang – At Your Own Risk
Suzi Pinns – Rule Britannia
Carter USM – Panic
The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead
Pet Shop Boys – Rent
Marc Almond – Tenderness Is a Weakness
Marianne Faithful – Broken English
Annie Lennox – Every Time We Say Good-bye
Simon Fisher-Tuirner – All Roads Lead to Rome
Suzi Pinns – Jerusalem
Chumbawamba – Song for Derek Jarman
The Garden – Think Pink (originally from FUNNY FACE)

[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

[2009-12-21] 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

2009-11-16: 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.