Saturday, March 28, 2009


I chose to write my first post on a band who is on the top of my list for the moment. There may be posts where I decide to feature a more well known band, simply because I want to. Even though some of these bands have signed major record deals, they still are hidden gems in the American music industry in comparison to music tycoons like U2 or high rising artists like The Fray, who were once my undiscovered indie gem years ago.

British Rock is the most influential music genre for Modern Material. One band I just can't stop listening to is The Kooks. It's feel good music that will brighten up my day or help wake me up on my long commute to work every morning. A few years ago my friend Jamie had me listen to a few songs off the 2006 album, Inside In / Inside Out. But it wasn't until she took me to a show at Newport Music Hall in Columbus, OH, this past fall. I thought I would enjoy the show, but expected to only know the few songs I heard on CD101. Somehow I thought I knew almost every song they played that night, but I really just think the music was so uplifting it had a familiar feel. I remember being disappointed when I pulled out my camera and realized I forgot to put a memory card in it. As a designer and music fanatic, I crave the perfect photograph as a memento from each show. So the ones on my Black Berry just didn't cut it.

Jamie and I were having her husband drive by and pick us up at the Newport, so she told me it was time to go before the show was over. Normally I refuse to leave a show until the lights come on. We thought we'd just miss the encore song, but as we stood outside in the cold, with no ride in sight, I could hear the happy sounds from the inside seeping out the doors. I felt like a kid in a candy store, crying for more candy. And then it was over. The crowd filled the street, and we realized we would have to hike a few blocks to catch our ride. The following day I bought both albums on iTunes, Inside In/Inside Out and Konk. I have this rule where I won't buy an entire album on iTunes because I would rather have the physical CD and packaging to admire. But I didn't feel like driving a few miles down the road to find a music store. I wanted the damn candy.

The Kooks are composed of singer/guitarist Luke Pritchard, lead guitarist Hugh Harris, bassist Max Rafferty and drummer Paul Garred. This UK rock band has made waves from across the pond. With songs like She Moves In Her Own Way and Mr. Maker, the Kooks resemble a modern day version of The Beatles. The steady upbeat beats and vocals could make way for a new British Invasion. The quieter, more mellow songs like Seaside, One Last Time, Shine On and Sway still have this undeniable power to make you move along to the rhythm, tap your foot, drum on your steering wheel or mouse, and sing along.

Quoted from The Kooks website..."If it doesn't make you feel good, then what's the point?" says Luke. "There's too much drab shoe-gazing sh*t around. I hate all that cack. You've to push through it. That's where you get great songs."

There are currently no tour dates in the US. Check out their website for updates.
The Kooks Official Web Site
The Kooks MySpace

With each new post or review, I intend to include my fashion set list, which is a collection of clothing, accessories, and beauty products that along with the music review, inspire me as I look for the next great design for Modern Material. This week is titled European Rock Royalty, likely to be a regular category featured in this blog. Dominated by black & white with blush accents, ornate chain link details, and floral elements, this set is classy and elegant yet says rocker chick without screaming it.

THE KOOKS - European Rock Royalty
THE KOOKS - European Rock Royalty - by Modern Material on

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Shop, Rock & Roll

I decided it was finally time to create a weekly blog to feature new music material from up and coming musicians. I would consider myself a bit of an indie music junkie, anxious to discover new music and support the indie community. With attendance at over 150 concert performances and past dedication to musician street teams, I decided it was time to incorporate my passion for music with my commitment to develop her own product line.

I hope to turn Modern Material into a weekly online destination for shopping, music & fashion for the indie lifestyle. The weekly music & style review is designed to connect shoppers to hot new music and bring music fans to a trendy little place to find rocker influenced apparel and accessories.

Featured artists will most likely be from genres including Indie Rock, Alternative Rock, British Rock, Acoustic Rock and Signer/Songwriters. However, there are always exceptions when music moves you.

My plan each week is to choose a song or album to review and stream music from the blog. I will be searching for new artists to interview and share their music and fashion style. Relevant information such as album releases and tour dates will be noted. Photos and links to their MySpace page or web site will be accessible to encourage new fans to to join their communities. A fashion “set list” inspired by their music will also be created. These fashion sets will not be limited to the Modern Material brand. They will be reminiscent of style guides found in every fashion magazine, to inspire a new look.

If you are a musician or manager interested in having your music featured on Modern Material, please see my contact information on If selected, you will be notified of the date your blog feature will be slated to appear. A banner with your band will appear on the home page of the week of your highlight. The only request is that you share a reciprocal link or banner to the Modern Material home page with your fans.

I am also open to suggestions to check out your favorite indie musician. I spend all day listening to indie radio stations online, and have a long list of my favorite new artists. I love to catch shows at intimate venues as frequently as possible. The excitement of seeing and hearing one of your favorite bands up close and personal is amazing. And leaving a show with a new CD from an awesome opening act is even better.

Click over to the web store and find some rock and roll flair to wear to you next concert.

MODERN MATERIAL web boutique
Shop, Rock & Roll.

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Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones