Archive for mod

My “mandala” for The Who

Posted in artwork, mod, music with tags , , , , on October 1, 2009 by reccaphoenix

I made this several years ago, and recently re-discovered it on my computer while cleaning out my art folder…

(c) 2008 Recca Phoenix

(c) 2008 Recca Phoenix

(click for fullsize)

It’s a “mandala” of sorts for my favorite band of all time, The Who.  The way much of their music and albums are organized sort of lends itself to the mathematical and geometric organization here, I guess.  4 (band members) is such a nice number, and it plays into many of their works.

Now for the explanation.

Obviously, the overall background motif is a British flag….because the Who were British and it has at least something to do with them.  Which leads me to the next feature, “MOD” at the center in a mod symbol, the R.A.F rondel.  The Who came out of the mod subculture and were originally sort of a “modsploitation band” called the High Numbers who wrote songs about mod stuff.  Moving outwards from the center, we have the blue ring of the rondel, the 4 band members as expressed by 4 songs showing the 4 personalities of Jimmy, the main character of the album Quadrophenia.  These songs are the “themes” of each of the band members: “Bell Boy” (Keith Moon), “Is It Me For A Moment” (John Entwhistle), “Helpless Dancer” (Roger Daltrey), and “Love Reign O’er Me” (Pete Townshend).  The red bars radiating from the center contain the names of the band members.  The “records” represent 4 of the Who’s most well-known/representative songs, “Baba O’Riley,” “I Can See For Miles,” “My Generation,” and “Who Are You.”  The lyrics of these 4 songs are written on the diagonal white bars that cut through them.  Finally, the 8 triangular blue sections in the background are the 8 best albums by the Who (which is obviously a matter of opinion, but most would agree with me): A Quick One, My Generation, Quadrophenia, Who Are You, Tommy, Live At Leeds, The Who Sell Out, and Who’s Next.

So that’s my little “fan art” for my favorite band.  Hope you enjoyed it.

OWN THE QUADROPHENIA SCOOTER! / ’79 Quadrophenia movie rant.

Posted in cinema, merchandise, mod, music, rants, reviews/opinions with tags , , , , , , on November 7, 2008 by reccaphoenix

I ride a GS Scooter with my haircut neat...

"I ride a GS Scooter with my haircut neat..."

Up for auction for an estimated 32,000-40,000 U.S. dollars…. Jimmy’s Lambretta scooter from the 1979 Quadrophenia movie!  A must-buy for any hardcore mod!

For those of you who are unenlightened, Quadrophenia is a 1973 rock opera album by my #1 favourite band, The Who.  It’s about the tail end of the mod movement in the UK.

I’m not too big a fan of the Quadrophenia film, actually.  I prefer the album much better, and I think the “Quadrophenia Live” DVD actually does a better job of telling the original album’s story better than the film does.  While the Quadrophenia film wasn’t nearly as much of a bastardization as the Tommy movie was, it still just doesn’t do it for me.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Somehow, having Jimmy drive his scooter off a cliff to “I’ve Had Enough” (which comes in the MIDDLE of the album) at the end of the film doesn’t work as well as ending with “Love Reign O’er Me” which is a much more poignant ending.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?  That Jimmy can in the end overcome the desperation of youth rather than submit to its pressure and commit suicide (or trash his scooter…we don’t actually *see* him “die”).

*END OF SPOILERS*

Another issue I had with the film was casting: I don’t really think Sting makes a good Ace Face/Bellboy.  This character is supposed to be the KING of all mods, the moddest of all of them.  Sting just isn’t mod enough.  Okay, I know that they had to put at least one well-known person in the film so that it could sell more tickets.  Fair enough.  But they threw this popular ’80s…er…late ’70s guy in there who just isn’t that mod.  I totally felt the whole late ’70s thing more than I should have, especially with regards to some of the girls’ hairstyles in the film.

I realize I’m being exceedingly picky here.  These little things don’t affect my total appreciation of the film.  That has more to do with plot/music choices and pacing.  Seriously, Sting and curly-hair girl wouldn’t have taken away from it if it was a better film in the first place.

I appreciate the fact that the Who learned from their mistake in the Tommy film and switched to using the album versions of the songs in Quadrophenia.  However, using the songs as background and not having the characters sing them like they would in a musical really takes away from the film.  Ideally, the casters should have picked actors who can sing and act, and not put too too much of their own weird spin on the songs (I love Eric Clapton, but his rendition of ‘Eyesight to the Blind’ in the Tommy movie just pales in comparison to the Who’s…bluesy doesn’t work for it).  You know, like they did in Across the Universe….make it different, but the same…..if that makes any sense 😛

And what’s more, the film doesn’t even use all of the songs on the album, but uses other Who songs and mod favorites (like “Da Doo Ron Ron”)….and takes far too long to actually start using the songs from Quadrophenia everyone wanted to hear!  And it goes for a linear plot, unlike the album, which totally ruins the order of songs/events, and makes everything way less poignant.  How are we to experience the awesomeness of “The story begins ON A ROCK….*dramatic pause*,” as Pete Townshend said in Largo, Maryland back in seventy-whatever, if the story doesn’t start from “the end”?  And while it is educational to see Jimmy and his buddies participating in all their mod antics (such as breaking into the Chemist…er….Pharmacy to steal uppers), we want to see the STORY.  Anyone could make just “a film about mods,” what I wanted was a film OF QUADROPHENIA.

So….. to cut this long-winded and heavily disorganized rant short and come back to the point…..

It’s still a pretty sweet scooter.  Snatch it up.  Even if the movie pretty much sucked, the scooter is quite appropriate for mods and part-time-mods of all sizes, shapes, and persuasions, so snatch it up if you’ve got a couple thousand dollars lying around.

This important newsflash came to my attention via ModCulture.co.uk, as always your #1 source for mod happenings in Europe and mod information of all types.

Review – Mod Fuck Explosion (1994)

Posted in cinema, kitsch, mod, reviews/opinions with tags , , , , on June 10, 2008 by reccaphoenix

Mod Fuck Explosion (USA, 1994) dir. Jon Moritsugu. Feature film. Color, 16mm.

London and her brother X-Ray Spex

Strange, satirical, irreverent tale of teenagers in a toxic, postmodern world of mods and rockers, drugs, and kitschy trash culture materialism, Mod Fuck Explosion follows a girl named London (Amy Davis) whose greatest wish is to have her own leather jacket.
It takes a bit of adjusting to get into the world of the film, where the gang of mods affect intentionally-cheesy “villainous” pretentious posturing and the gang of rockers, called the “Nipponese” biker gang (led by Kazumi, who is played by the director) speak in intentionally-bad dubbed-over English.
Almost everything in the film is Continue reading

Review – 10th Victim (1965)

Posted in cinema, future + scifi, mod, reviews/opinions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 17, 2008 by reccaphoenix

The 10th Victim [La Decima Vittima] (Italy, 1965) dir. Elio Petri.  Feature film.  Color, 35mm.

10th Victim is a brilliant work of mod dystopic satire that comes off as “cool” and well executed in so many dimensions. It tells the story of a future in which one can join the “Grande Caccia” (Big Hunt), “mankind’s safety valve” designed to prevent wars and violence where one alternates being a “hunter” or “victim,” one’s opponent selected by a computer, and wins a million dollars on successful completion of 10 hunts.

“Why decrease births when we can increase deaths?”

“Hey suicides – there’s a place for you in the Big Hunt also!”

and other bitingly satirical remarks emanate from the speakers on the headquarters of the Big Hunt, an immaculate white building out of many masterpieces of midcentury modernism scattered throughout the film. The use of color is also quite notable within the mise-en-scene, as is the strange modern jazz and vocal music repeated through the film.

A hunter is told everything about his or her victim, who can’t kill just anyone chasing him either – outright murder outside of the Big Hunt still lands you in prison.

…which is where we find our protagonists, Caroline Meredith, an American huntress, and Marcello Poletti, her next victim. Meredith tails the cool and collected Continue reading

New Mod Film “Flawless”

Posted in advertising, cinema, mod, video with tags , , , , on February 14, 2008 by reccaphoenix

modreccaI heard about Flawless, a new jewel heist movie that’s coming out soon, and was quite excited 🙂 , seeing as how it’s set in London in 1960!

http://www.apple.com/trailers/magnolia/flawless/trailer/

A little before the mod period, but still very stylish and modern 😉

Here’s another connection to mod that isn’t so apparent – Michael Caine, who plays the old janitor in this movie, was in a famous mod film called Alfie, remade in ’07 with Jude Law.  He’s known for not trying to hide his working-class accent (even though that’s exactly what he did in his first big film, Zulu, where he played a pretentious officer).

I like heist movies (my favorite is Rififi) so I think this should be a pretty awesome film.