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

- a n n i e -

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