Harry Partch, Gustavo Romero, Diamanda Galas, Pacific Strings, inside the opera, best organs, best pianos, the composer, the concertmaster, the piano tuner, the tenor, the symphony player’s wife
Various Authors 6:22 p.m., Sept. 24
1) As Good as Gone
2) It's All Your Fault
3) I Might Have Been Wrong
4) Dragging My Feet
5) Ah...the Warmth of Wool-Knit Clothing
6) Thirty-Seven, Japanese
7) For Goodness' Sake
8) Allison Says
9) The Prude and the Stubborn
10) What You Had in Mind
11) Here's to Being Happy
12) I Wouldn't Know What to Do
13) What's in a Conversation
If you could hear coloring within the lines, it would sound like the Modlins. They are a '60s pop heartthrob band like the Monkees -- only talented and not irritating. The music is derived from the time before Hendrix started breaking rules and Iggy Pop was still a weird little kid.
Like the straight-cut suits they wear onstage, nothing is out of place in the songs. The music perfectly timed, slow-tempo, upbeat, and with harmonized vocals. The lyrics are all about relationships, love, and lost love, in a plinking-along mode reminiscent of pre- Ed Sullivan Beatles. Even with sideways lyrics such as the odd, abstract line from "Thirty-Seven, Japa-nese" that goes, "Thirty-seven Japanese/ survived by loving family/ but they did never take my heart from yours," the song is about a girlfriend.
Fans of "progressive music" who like to listen to a theremin played through a vacuum-cleaner tube into a washing-machine drum will not be entertained by the Modlins, but a hipster or mod worth her mint-green tube dress wouldn't miss a show.
Here's to Being Happy was nominated for Best Pop Album at the 2007 San Diego Music Awards.
--- Hometown CD Review 4-26-07