Thursday, September 16, 2010

Show #40 September 4, 2010

For Christine and the Mods of '79

- Gruppo Sportivo Pop! Goes The Brain/Design Moderne
He's A Mover- Nikki & The Corvettes Nikki & The Corvettes
OK U.K.- The Smirks Most Fun You Can Have with Your Clothes On: Beserkley Story
Hey Princess- Popsicle Laquer
Rock 'N' Roll Heads- The Scruffs Teenage Gurls
Tournament Of Hearts- The Weakerthans Reunion Tour
Hear This- Slaters The Big Black Bug Bled Black Blood
Things Will Be Different- The Shods Thanks For Nuthin'
^Just The Girl- The Click Five Greetings From Imrie House
Down- The Rooks Encore Echoes
New Little Girl- Off Broadway On
Right Now- The Wild Giraffes Right Now
Prove It- Tweezers Already!
Coit Tower- Millionaire At Midnight Titan: It's All Pop!
*Away From The Numbers- The Jam Direction, Reaction, Creation
*Millions Like Us- Purple Hearts DIY Starry Eyes: UK Pop II
*One Way World- Secret Affair Glory Boys/Behind Closed Doors
*Cortina MK.2- The Lambrettas Beat Boys In The Jet Age
Can't Take It- Numbers Add Up
She's A Sleestak- Nerf Herder How To Meet Girls
Tell That Girl To Shut Up- Holly & The Italians DIY Shake It Up: American Power Pop II
Whole Wide World- Wreckless Eric Big Smash
Dying In Fiction- The Front Lines Where Do We Go From Here? EP
When Reality Hits You- The Genuine Fakes When Reality Hits You
>Substitute- The Who Meaty, Beaty, Big & Bouncy
Break My Heart Tomorrow- Steve Blimkie & The Reason Steve Blimkie & The Reason
I'm Shakin'- Blasters The Blasters
It's Too Hot- Billy Karloff And The Extremes Let Your Fingers Do The Talking
House of Mirrors- Will & The Bushmen Will & The Bushmen
I Can't Wait- The Jolt The Jolt

^Power Pop Peak: #11 Billboard Hot 100 8/16/05

*SacroSet: Britain's Late 70's Mod Revival

>Power Pop Prototype: 1966

Duxbury High School in the late 70's was home to several rigidly defined social groups. The Jocks (mostly football players, and some soccer players who could keep up beer for beer, in long sleeve oxford shirts, Levi's cords and expensive Addidas sneakers) were at the top of the social ladder followed by The Yachties (rich kids and soccer players, heavily layered in Izod shirt over a white turtleneck with optional crew neck sweater, khaki pants with whale belt, Top-siders shoes). Also at the top were some high functioning members of The Druggies (kids from families with less money, or upper middle class kids trying to pass in the DHS smoking area, most wearing white thermal under a flannel shirt and down vest, jeans and Timberlands). At the bottom of the pecking order were The Brains (in glasses, oxford shirt, v-neck sweater vest, Levis cords, and off-brand sneakers), most of The Druggies and the unnamed dorks, dweebs, nerds, etc. The majority of the school, myself included, was in-between these two poles, usually rising or falling with the vicious cycle of high school popularity.

Against such a mundane background, how could I not be completely enthralled with the multiple youth movements in Britain at the time:
  • The last of the Glam Rockers (make-up, spandex, sequins, top hats, etc.)
  • Punks (legitimately ripped up shirts, sweaters, leather jackets or those purchased, probably from Malcom McLaren)
  • Teddy Boy Revivalists (Drape jacket, brocade vest, bootlace tie, drainpipe trousers, creepers on their feet)
  • RudeBoys/Skinheads (Bomber jacket, jeans, Fred Perry shirt, suspenders, Doc Martens )
and the subject of tonight's SacroSet
  • Mod Revivalists (Italian three-button, narrow lapel suits, button-down collar shirts, skinny ties, military parka, pointy-toed "winklepickers" on their feet)
While my favorite music in high school was Punk Rock, I didn't have the guts to pull off any "punk" style beyond The Ramones' ripped t-shirt, jeans, Chuck Taylors look. Plus, I lacked the social "blind spot" shielding me from the ridiculousness of a middle class American suburbanite dressing like a working class British punk. The Mod Revival look was another thing altogether though. I might not be able to look like Johnny Rotten, but I could certainly pull off Paul Weller.

Right across the street from the original Newbury Comics in Boston was a store called High Society- the first vintage/mod/new wave clothing store I'd ever seen. With the little paper-route money I had left after buying records I'd buy a skinny tie or a badge from High Society. My first major clothing purchase with my own money was this incredibly cool blue plaid satin tuxedo jacket that I wore for years and my son Jack wore to a few ballroom dancing lessons when he was in the seventh grade.

Around this time my friend Ted Maguire, who had older sisters and was the most fashion forward guy in our group, discovered the glorious bounty of the Salvation Army. From that point on thrift stores became a regular part of our routine. A few towns north of us, there was an amazing store at the Cardinal Cushing School in Hanover. Once a month, on the 1st Tuesday I think, they would have a "Dollar a Bag" day. I still have suits, shirts, ties, tuxes and shoes I bought back then. Even to this day, I get a little thrill whenever I walk into a thrift store for which I thank the bands in the late 70's British Mod Revival.

Here is the link to download Hour 1 of this week's show:

And here is Hour 2:

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