Monday, November 30, 2015


November 1, 2015
"November Has Come" performed by Gorillaz
"Gone Til November" performed by Wyclef Jean
"Alligator" performed by The National
"November Sun" performed by Susannah Hoffs
"November" performed by Azure Ray

November 2, 2015
"Four Day Creep" (live) performed by Humble Pie
"Sleeping In The Ground" (live 1969) performed by Blind Faith
"Although The Sun Is Shining" performed by Fleetwood Mac
"Activation/Glorious Om Riff" performed by Steve Hillage
"Daydream" performed by Robin Trower

"In Preparation" (live at Bright Red Studios 10-30-15) performed by Dash Hounds-WSPC PREMIERE
Unknown titled song (live at Bright Red Studios 10-30-15) performed by Dash Hounds-WSPC PREMIERE
"On Any Other Day" performed by The Police
"Dance This Mess Around" performed by The B-52's
"No More Words" performed by Berlin

"Butterfly Collector" performed by Garbage

November 3, 2015
"My Sister" performed by The Juliana Hatfield Three
"Monday Mornings" performed by Modern Mod
"Runs In The Family" performed by The Pursuit Of Happiness
"Unsatisfied" performed by The Replacements
"2 Days 'Til Tomorrow" performed by Paul Westerberg

November 4, 2015
"Gimmie Some Truth performed by John Lennon
"Love Goes On!" performed by The Go-Betweens
"When I Say" performed by Badfinger
"Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime" performed by Beck with Jon Brion
"Humdrum" performed by The Dream Academy

"All The Critics Love U In New York" performed by Prince

"A Farewell To Kings" performed by Rush
"Jesus Of Suburbia" performed by Green Day
"Starla" (live 2008) performed by The Smashing Pumpkins

November 5, 2015
"I Have The Touch" performed by Peter Gabriel
"Senses Working Overtime" performed by XTC
"Touch" performed by Daft Punk featuring Paul Williams
"Touch" performed by The Supremes
"(I'm Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear" performed by Blondie
"One Touch" performed by LCD Soundsystem

November 6, 2015
"Magnolia Mountain" (live-Avatar Sessions) performed by Ryan Adams and the Cardinals
"Morning Dew" performed by The Grateful Dead

"This Is The Life" performed by Living Colour
"Sourpuss" performed by Fishbone
"Everything" performed by Lenny Kravitz
"Blanket On The Ground" performed by Sananda Maitreya-WSPC PREMIERE
"Keep On Running" performed by Stevie Wonder

November 7, 2015
"Elegy" performed by Youngblood Brass Band
"The World Is A Ghetto" performed by War
"Down By The River" (live) performed by Buddy Miles

"The Headmaster Ritual" performed by The Smiths
"Wall" performed by Post Social-WSPC PREMIERE
"Zero Hour" performed by The Plimsouls
"Can't Finish" performed by The Fixx
"Calling All Girls" performed by Queen

November 8, 2015
"Our Little Angel" performed by Elvis Costello
"Jokerman" performed by Bob Dylan
"Your Latest Trick" performed by Dire Straits
"Fiction" performed by Joni Mitchell
"The World Is Not Enough" performed by Garbage

"World Leader Pretend" (live from "Tourfilm") performed by R.E.M.

November 10, 2015
"From The Beginning" performed by Emerson, Lake and Palmer
"Consequence Of Jealousy" performed by Robert Glasper Experiment with Meshell Ndegeocello
"Sheep" performed by Pink Floyd
"The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" performed by Gordon Lightfoot
"The Shepherd" performed by Planet P. Project

"Just A Closer Walk With Thee"
"St. James Infirmary"
"Victim Of The Darkness"
"Working In The Coal Mine"
"It's Raining"
"Sweet Touch Of Love"
"Southern Nights"
"Yes We Can Can"
"Last Train"

November 11, 2015

All songs performed by XTC
"Harvest Festival"
"Scarecrow People"
"Rocket From A Bottle"
"Jason And The Argonauts"
"Beating Of Hearts"
"You're The Wish You Are I Had"
"Then She Appeared"
"Earn Enough For Us"
"Pale And Precious" performed by The Dukes Of Stratosphear

November 12, 2015

"Turn Me On" performed by The Tubes
"Playboy After Dark" performed by Imperial Drag
"All Lovers Are Deranged" performed by David Gilmour
"Do You Feel Loved" performed by U2
"On The Radio' performed by Cheap Trick

November 13, 2015

"Long May You Run" performed by The Stills-Young Band
"Comes A Time"
"Out On The Weekend"
"Cortez The Killer"
"Natural Beauty"

"Everyday People" performed by Jeff Buckley-WSPC PREMIERE

"I Love Paris" performed by Ella  Fitzgerald
"Blues In Paris" performed by Sidney Bechet
"Florence Sue Les Champs Elysees" performed by Miles Davis
"Le Ballade De Paris" performed by Yves Montand
"The Last Time I Saw Paris" performed by Connie Francis
"Paris Blues" performed by Duke Ellington

November 14, 2015
"NO Colonial Fiction" performed by Yaslin Bey-WSPC PREMIERE
"What's Going On" performed by A Perfect Circle
"Compassion" performed by Todd Rundgren
"City Of Blinding Lights" performed by U2

"I Grieve" performed by Peter Gabriel
"Seven Prayers" performed by Kamasi Washington-WSPC PREMIERE

November 15, 2015
"Magnets" (live on "Saturday Night Live" 11-14-15) performed by Disclosure featuring Lorde-WSPC PREMIERE

"Love Is The Answer" performed by Utopia
"Saltwater" performed by Julian Lennon
"Love's In Need Of Love Today" performed by Stevie Wonder

"Can I Kick It?" (live on "Jimmy Fallon" 11-13-15) performed by A Tribe Called Quest with The Roots

November 16, 2015
"In The Morning" performed by Jefferson Airplane
"Yer Blues" performed by The The Beatles
"Stormy Monday Blues" (live 1996) performed by B.B. King
"Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl" performed by Muddy Waters
"Key To The Highway' performed by Derek and the Dominoes

"Complexity" performed by Eagles Of Death Metal
"Little Sister" performed by Queens Of The Stone Age
"Afraid" performed by Todd Rundgren
"The Warning" performed by Nine Inch Nails
"Sorrow" performed by Pink Floyd

"Drive All Night" performed by Bruce Springsteen

November 17, 2015
"Sing Sang Sung" performed by Air

"Jamaica Jerk Off" performed by Elton John
"The Rainbow" performed by Talk Talk
"One Of Our Submarines" performed by Thomas Dolby
"Suspended In Gaffa" performed by Kate Bush
"Ministry Of Love performed by Eurythmics

November 18, 2015
"Daysleeper" performed by R.E.M.
"I Go To Sleep" performed The Kinks
"Sleepwalker" performed by The Kinks
"Sleeping In" performed by The Postal Service
"Go To Sleep (Little Man Being Erased)" performed by Radiohead
"The Bed's Too Big Without You" performed by The Police
"I'm Only Sleeping" performed by The Beatles

"Sound And Color" performed by Alabama Shakes-WSPC PREMIERE
"Don't Believe In Love" performed by Dido
"No Difference" performed by Everything But The Girl

"Paris" performed by Thundercat-WSPC PREMIERE

November 19, 2015
"Blackstar" performed by David Bowie-WSPC PREMIERE
"Turn My Way" performed by New Order
"Swamp" performed by Talking Heads
"You Don't Understand Me" performed by The Raconteurs
"Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression) Parts 1 & 2" performed by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

November 20, 2015
"What I Say" (live in Oslo 11-9-71) performed by Miles Davis
"The Sparrow Loos Up At The Machine" performed by The Flaming Lips
"In The Wake Of Poseidon" performed by King Crimson

"Swing To The Right" performed by Utopia
"Believe It" performed by Planet P. Project
"(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding" performed by Nick Lowe
"War" performed by Bob Marley
"Africa Talks To You 'The Asphalt Jungle'" performed by Sly and the Family Stone

November 21, 2015
"Hyperballad" performed by Bjork
"The Prophet's Song" performed by Queen
"Ice Age" (live) performed by Dr. John

November 22, 2015
"So In Love" performed by Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark
"Wait" performed by Wang Chung
"The Working Hour" performed by Tears For Fears
"Sign Of The Times" performed by The Belle Stars
"Shy Boy" performed by Bananarama
"In The Name Of Love" performed by The Thompson Twins
"Looking For Clues" performed by Robert Palmer
"The Politics Of Dancing" performed by Re-Flex

November 23, 2015
"Savior Breath" performed by Foo Fighters-WSPC PREMIERE
"Bagboy" (live 2012 Eden Sessions) performed by Pixies
"Three Mile Smile" performed by Aerosmith
"Go Away" performed by Living Colour
"Tea For One" performed by Led Zeppelin

November 24, 2015

All songs performed by Queen
"Radio Gaga" (from Live Aid 1985)
"Somebody To Love"
"Don't Stop Me Now"
"Spread Your Wings"
"Tie Your Mother Down"
"Hammer To Fall"
"The Millionaire Waltz"

November 25, 2015
"Hello" performed by Adele with Jimmy Fallon and The Roots (classroom instruments)-WSPC PREMIERE
"This Time" performed by The Smashing Pumpkins
"Political Scientist" performed by Ryan Adams
"Me" performed by Erykah Badu
"The Chamber Of 32 Doors" performed by Genesis

November 26, 2015

"Stuffy Turkey" performed by Thelonious Monk
"Thanksgiving Day" performed by Ray Davies
"Gratitude" performed by Paul McCartney
"Thankful N' Thoughtful" performed by Sly and the Family Stone
"More Peas" performed by The JB's
"Jive Turkey" performed by Ohio Players
"All That Meat And Potatoes" performed by Fats Waller
"Further On Up The Road" (from "The Last Waltz") performed by The Band with Eric Clapton
"Little Birdie" performed by The Vince Guaraldi Trio

November 27, 2015
"The Less I Know The Better" performed by Tame Impala

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JIMI HENDRIX TRIBUTE NOVEMBER 27, 1942"The Wind Cries Mary" (live in Stockholm, Sweden May 24, 1967)
"Valleys Of Neptune"
"Dolly Dagger"
"Who Knows" performed with Band Of Gypsys
"Message From Nine To The Universe"

November 28, 2015
"A Day In The Life" performed by Wes Montgomery

"This Love" performed by Ryan Adams-WSPC PREMIERE
"The Vampyre Of Time And Memory" performed by Queens Of The Stone Age
"Afterlife" performed by Arcade Fire
"Have Mercy On The Criminal" performed by Elton John
"Mercy" performed by Prefab Sprout

"Free" performed by Dam-Funk-WSPC PREMIERE
"Re Run Home" performed by Kamasi Washington-WSPC PREMIERE
"Another Star" performed by Stevie Wonder

November 29, 2015

"All Things Must Pass"
"Love Comes To Everyone"
"Woman Don't You Cry For Me"
"Dream Away"
"This Is Love"
"If Not For You"
"Rising Sun"
"Be Here Now"

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (live at George Harrison's Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction)
featuring Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood and Prince

November 30, 2015
"Love Is Alive" performed by Gary Wright
"Love" performed by Erykah Badu
"Love And Rain" performed by Jeff Lynne's Electric Light Orchestra-WSPC PREMIERE
"Careless Love Blues" performed by Bessie Smith
"My Love Is Winter" performed by The Smashing Pumpkins


Released October 3, 1983
Released January 23, 1981
Released April 21, 2014
Released February 21, 1986
Released November 1, 1973
Released September 20, 2004
Released July 2, 1982
Released November 19, 1996
Released May 5, 2015
Released November 13, 2015
NEW 2015 MUSIC: Oh how my childhood was partially defined by the music of Electric Light Orchestra, but more specifically, the music, lyrics and production of Jeff Lynne, an artist who created a sonic universe that made my specialized brand of synesthesia spin and swirl with delight and also fueled by an interstellar imagery that captured my imagination tremendously. Now, for the first time since 2001, Lynne has resurrected E.L.O. yet this time, he is performing essentially all of the instruments and vocals, clearly illustrating that the band was his brainchild all along.

Beginning with the beautiful remembrance "When I Was A Boy," this new album of ten songs flies unapologetically into the face of nostalgia, as Lynne carefully crafts what could essentially exist as ten singles that work in tribute to the artists that shaped his music. The ghosts of The Beatles, most certainly are present (the "Ringo thud" of the drums throughout the album are unmistakable). But in tracks like "Love And Rain," "Dirty To The Bone," "All My Life," and "I'm Leaving You" for instance, the spirits of B.B. King, Carl Perkins, and Roy Orbison also make for welcome friends and guests.

While the album is a tad more on the slight side, and all of the grandiose concepts and double albums have been left behind, "Alone In The Universe" is a warm gift to hear Jeff Lynne's musical voice again after so many years of working behind the scenes.
Released November 23, 2015
NEW 2015 MUSIC:  No Foos, thank you!!!
In this age of surprise releases, the latest effort from Foo Fighters was a most welcome one...and FOR FREE, no less. Designed as a "Thank You" to fans, "Saint Cecelia" is a slam dunk five song EP that encapsulates the entire musical history of the band with high energy and superior musicianship. Where the title track already sounds like a classic FF single, I especially loved the hard charging, slightly off-kiltered "Sean" and the voluminously accelerated and updated punk rock of the ridiculously titled "Savior Breath." 
Released May 27, 2003

Monday, November 9, 2015


How about a little bit of a “speed round” for you. Who is your favorite artist or band and why?
Paul McCartney, hands down. I, like practically everyone else I know, grew up listening to the Beatles, but I never really paid a ton of attention to their music, or anyone's for that matter. But, when I really got into music, I watched a special on the Beatles and Paul inexplicably was my immediate favorite, and I pretty much decided that day that I was going to be a bassist. I guess it took me until I became a musician and songwriter myself to realize why he was my favorite all along. His bass playing and sound is iconic and is a huge influence for me, not to mention his vocals and overall songwriting, and his natural ability and love for the stage. I could talk about him and his music all day. He’s got my vote for the greatest pop songwriter of all time. Also Wings was great.
That answer thrills me. You just hit me right in my hearts of hearts! Who do you feel is extremely underrated artist?
Either Alice Cooper, or the guy who inspired him: Arthur Brown. The Godfather of Shock Rock and the God of Hellfire! Neither of them got as much attention as I think they deserved.
How about the most overrated artist?
I feel sort of bad to say it, but I have to go with The Eagles. I was just never interested in their music.
Well…that one hurt a little bit. But, I’ll let it slide for now. Just kidding. No worries whatsoever. Is there a musical trend that you feel needs to vanish and very quickly?
Songs with a group of people yelling “Hey.” I don’t know why, it just bothers me.
That’s funny…and quite true. I can go for that one. How about the opposite…what is a musical trend that either needs to stay or even return?
Crooners, especially slow pieces backed by an orchestra. Props to Michael Bublé!!

Wow! Now, I have to say that it is interesting to me how you hold an affinity to crooners and Brendan Manley wishes for the return of big band jazz. To what would you attribute this similarity?
I am not really sure actually but it is pretty awesome!
What are your most cherish desert island albums?
Hmm, how many should I choose? I’m going to go with 5 if that’s alright. I’d go with “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath; “Abbey Road” by The Beatles; “Fleet Foxes” by Fleet Foxes; “Band on the Run” by Wings; and “Louder Than Bombs” by the Smiths.

Excellent selections. Just great! Now, let’s return to you and Modern Mod. Despite all of the attention, higher profile shows and that momentum we spoke about earlier, that sense of change remains as well. Cal Pocernich departed the band this summer and his role has since been filled by Guitarist Henry Stoehr. All of the band members possess additional interests and artistic ambitions, including yourself, and we’ll get to that in a moment. While nothing has been formally announced or even floated publicly, is there any reason that you think Modern Mod should or could disband?

We aren’t entirely sure what’s next for us yet. Like several other past members, this is my first band that I’ve been in. We started as middle/high schoolers, and evolved not only as musicians but as people in general. Tastes and interests have, and continue to change, which is why several band members changed along the way. We’ve learned an immense amount about music and what it means to be in a band, and we have met and connected with so many amazing musicians. But I think for all of us, Modern Mod has been a fantastic starting point for us all, and a great introduction to the music industry. It’s unbelievably surreal for me to think Modern Mod might not be my main musical project in the future because it’s been my life for the past 5 years, but it’s really just the beginning for all of us.

I was curious, especially as you look to your musical future and in regards to all of the other instruments that you are able to play, would you like to incorporate those additional sounds into any future music?

I do, and in fact already have been! In Brendan’s and my new project, Dash Hounds, he and I write, play, and record everything ourselves. We have so much freedom in our writing since, aside from me not knowing how to play drums (yet), we can both write on any instrument so we can perfect each part together. We are really going to experiment with layering in our new music too, so a wider array of sounds will come in handy.
Could you please explain the origin of Dash Hounds, including the name, and your hopes for this project?
So, it pretty much started as my solo project because I was writing some music for myself that I wanted to do in a different style than anything we were doing in Modern Mod. With that intention, I asked Brendan if he’d be interested in backing me up and recording drums for me, but I still wasn’t extremely confident in myself to be able to go solo. I told him that my biggest problem was that I can start a million ideas and get a verse and chorus down and love every bit of it, but for the life of me, I cannot finish a song. But, he’s the opposite, and loves to arrange music and make final products, so we decided that we should make it a partnership, and that’s how the duo formed.
I showed him a few of my song ideas, and we’ve since taken those ideas and made almost complete overhauls of them, creating a new and greatly improved final product that’s completely ours. We are mostly writing new songs from scratch now, and I’m so excited about what it’s becoming. We’ve only completed a few songs but we are really pushing our creativity with every single one and are so excited to see what will come of it. I personally am working very hard to develop my personality as a vocalist and to be a more thoughtful lyricist, because the role is new to me and I have a lot of things that I want to be able to say. It’s going to be a lot less light-hearted at times than anything I’ve previously done, because it’s going to be my outlet for things I’ve not necessarily felt able to say or do before. We just really want to make something we are proud of, and experiment with new styles to be able to create the most accurate representation of who we are. We don’t necessarily know what “genre” we want to be yet, but we definitely aren’t going for anything in specific.
And we got our name from spending days of constantly shooting out random name ideas, and finally after we temporarily gave up, I said “Dash Hounds” and we both kind of liked it, then thought about it more and more and it just stuck. For some reason I’d always thought it was funny to call the dog breed "dash hound" instead of dachshund, so something prompted me to remember that and bring it up.
You have instantly intrigued me and I am very anxious to hear whatever you and Brendan have been creating together. Let me know when it’s all ready! But for now, I think we just may have reached the end. Thinking about everything you have experienced so far, and all that we have talked about, what are your grandest hopes for your musical future?

My ultimate goal is to get to a point where I can comfortably live as a working musician. I’d absolutely love to be in a well known band someday, y’know, tour the world, play festivals and Orpheum-sized venues in all different cities, get the glamorous perks that come with a large following and support. I definitely wouldn’t turn that down. But, really as long as I can keep writing music that I can fall in love with, and can get it out to the world, whether anybody listens to it or not, I’ll be happy. I know I’ll be doing music in some capacity for the rest of my life, and that’s the most comforting thought I can have.

It is an attitude of this sort, so clear, pure and gracefully filled with a healthy perspective, that makes Alivia Kleinfeldt the very type of musician that I feel the genre of music sincerely needs more of. Her enthusiasm towards performing is unquestionable, her affection for her bandmates is genuine and sincere and the joy she receives in the discovery that arrives with composing and recording is fully infectious and exists without even a drop of jadedness.
Modern Mod performing at Freakfest-October 31, 2015
Since the completion of our conversation, Modern Mod delivered what was reportedly a triumphant live performance from the main stage at Madison’s major outdoor Halloween festival, Freakfest. Since then, Guitarist Cal Pocernich just may rejoin the band for some more shows in the near future.
Dash Hounds live at Bright Red Studios-October 30, 2015
As for Dash Hounds, their first song, entitled “Idee Fixe,” and composed for a short independent film, has debuted upon their Soundcloud page, and it was truly a surprise as its eloquence and moody atmospherics have created a haunting spell that lingers strongly. And finally, as I reported at the start of this month’s activities upon this site, I was thrilled to have been a witness to Dash Hounds’ debut live performance, which was a brief four song set, confidently performed and executed and entirely made me anxious to hear whatever arrives in the future.
I sincerely hope and wish that for all of you who have taken the time to read this extensive interview have been inspired. Trust me, for I would never steer you in the wrong direction. Alivia Kleinfeldt's music with Modern Mod is bouncy, fun, richly melodic, undeniably romantic, superbly composed, arranged and performed power pop that I believe would delight your ears and make for infectiously repetitive listening. I invite you to check out any of the sites listed below and I hope that you become as enraptured as I have been all year long.
She’s the real deal. Now you can find out for yourselves.
MODERN MOD can be found upon
music videos for “Monday Mornings,” “Tunnels” and “Papercuts” can all be viewed upon You Tube
DASH HOUNDS can be found upon



There seems to be a strong visual component to the overall aesthetic of Modern Mod from music videos, photo shoots and the like. Was that intentional?
It’s pretty unintentional actually. We, for the longest time, had been going back and forth on finding a certain “look” and we struggled to figure out anything cohesive, so we just sort of had a general consensus on when we should look “nice” or just to wear whatever we want, and it sometimes wound up working pretty perfectly that we’d match. For the videos and shoots, we usually would bring a lot of clothes and decide what in our wardrobes would go well with everyone else’s, so there’s a little more planning in situations like that.
On the set of the "Papercuts" music video-November 2, 2014
What was it like to shoot your music video for “Papercuts”?
Shooting the music video was a ton of fun, but very, very cold. That happened with our “Monday Mornings” music video too; we never fail to choose the coldest days. But, it was a really cool experience, just messing around at the top of a parking ramp with some friends and making a video out of it.
The fun certainly translates! Now, how about that television commercial that premiered this summer? Very cool!!
The commercial was again, just making a video of us goofing around, so that was a lot of fun as well. The directors had some ideas planned for us to try out, but mostly just let us do our own thing. I’d always wanted our music to be in a commercial, so it was a plus that we were in it too! It was filmed for an eyewear event at a store in my hometown of Verona, so I was pretty famous around town for a while –haha!!
Returning to live performance for a bit, what is your favorite song to perform live and why?
It’s hard to choose since it changes pretty often, but I’d say as of right now I really enjoy playing “Papercuts” because it’s a fun, bouncy, upbeat song and it’s one of my favorite bass lines I wrote. It’s just a really easy one for me to get into when performing.
Outside of Madison, where has Modern Mod performed? Favorite show? Worst show? -We’ve played a few times in Milwaukee, Appleton, Eau Claire, and we’ve also played out of state in Minneapolis and Chicago. My favorite show was this past spring when we played the Rathskeller. It was one of our biggest crowds, and it was Emily’s sister’s birthday, so we invited her up to sing “Come Together” with us and everyone really got into it.
I’m not sure if I have a “worst” or least favorite show, but several times, my strap locks have failed and I’ve almost dropped my bass on stage, and at a recent show I snapped a bass string during our first song, but luckily someone lent me their bass.
What does it mean to you to be a working musician in Madison? Pros and cons?
Madison has been so supportive of us, especially since we started so young and weren’t old enough to be in most venues. We were given a ton of opportunities to grow and develop as musicians, and I feel like people really gave us a chance despite our age. It was really difficult to get our friends out to shows most of the time because we were playing in 18+ or 21+ venues, and even if it was an all-ages show, most kids didn’t go out on school nights. It was harder for me in particular because all my friends had to travel from Verona to Madison somehow since there are no venues in or around Verona.
Modern Mod performing live from WSUM-FM studios-Summer 2015
You have also had the opportunity to perform live on the radio. What is that experience like compared to a regular concert?
We’ve played a few times on the radio and you need a whole different kind of focus since it’s all about the music itself. No distracting from my mistakes! But, I think it’s a nice change of pace and we can just really focus on each other.
You literally brought the house down at the legendary First Avenue club in Minneapolis!! All kidding aside, I was stunned when I heard the news of the ceiling collapse the morning after Modern Mod had just performed there. What was that whole experience like for you?
It was crazy! First of all, the whole venue is historic. The walls are lined with the names of some of my all-time favorite musicians that played there, including Prince, who made the place pretty famous. We got to play at the smaller venue, 7th Street Entry, which kind of reminded me of a few really cool venues I’d seen in New York.
This was night one of two for us playing with the bands What Tyrants and Stereo Confession, both great bands out of the Twin Cities, and another band Brendan and I had been fans of for a while, Fury Things, opened the night. We played second and the crowd was very receptive of us for being an out of town band, which was so nice because you never know what you’re going to get in another place, but the Twin Cities has an amazing music scene that seems very supportive as well.
But, things got crazy after Stereo Confession started. Their set was cut short by the sound engineers and the venue’s security guards were telling everyone to evacuate the building immediately. I thought it was part of an act at first, but it turns out a water pipe broke in the ceiling at 1st Avenue and pieces of the ceiling collapsed. Luckily, only about three non-serious injuries occurred, but there were cop cars, firetrucks and ambulances lining the street, and it was very hectic. As we were leaving, a security guard ran after to me to assure me that this has never happened before and that he loved our set, so that was pretty sweet.
It’s pretty wild we got to be part of a night that made national news. Also, we went to a Perkins for breakfast at 1am, and the waitress kept sitting down at our table with us to hide from her boss, so it was the perfect cap to one of the strangest nights of my music career.
I should think so! I remember hearing the news the morning after and just thinking of you and the band having been there the night before, wondering if all of you were alright. I’m glad that you were all OK. With all of our talk about live performances, I feel compelled to ask you about some gender politics.
As a young woman who performs in a mixed gender band as opposed to the typical all male band, have you ever personally encountered any discriminatory oddities or treatments (either large or small) when performing live? Have you perceived any differences that you otherwise would not experience if Modern Mod was an all male band?
It’s definitely not the same to be a girl or woman in a band. We’ve experienced our share of unique treatments, from “compliments" about how surprised people are that we can actually play instruments so well, to uncomfortable sexual remarks, and flat out discrimination from people in the industry.
We entered a battle of the bands contest and were treated so poorly by a judge and the organizers, and from them, we received nothing but condescension, illegitimate criticisms, and an overall sense that we weren’t wanted in the competition.
What happened?
We were supposedly disqualified- although we were never officially informed of it- for a stunt we specifically cleared permission for, although a guy in the winning band also did the same thing. It left such a disgusting taste in our mouths to feel more than deserving of at least some sort of rank in the competition. But instead, we had to listen to a judge talk mostly about our appearance, how we basically are the band The Go-Go’s, and receive “You’re just not there; there’s just something that’s not there” as our only criticism. And as 14 and 15 year olds nonetheless. That was an extreme case of sexism we experienced, and sadly we aren’t the only ones who’ve gone through the same.

I feel like there’s a different set of expectations for a female musician, a lot having to do with appearance and attitude, but also more assumptions made on our capabilities, such as people assuming that it’s not actually us playing our instruments on our recordings. I could go on forever because this topic is incredibly important to me, I definitely focused more on the negative here since it’s still a prevalent issue. But I want to say that I absolutely love being woman in music. We’re overall in such a supportive community and I am very motivated from both the negative and positive aspects that my role comes with.
You know, taking the time to address the issues that you have been faced with personally I really think could go a long distance in creating a larger understanding of these specific issues within the music industry. Since this is your forum, is there any advice to other musicians (female and male) about how to persevere within the industry regarding the discriminatory treatment of female artists and musicians?
My best advice to everyone is to take a moment to really think about the comments you may make to or about a female musician, or any musician for that matter. Think about if they are appropriate and legitimate-meaning they’re not degrading the artist based on their physical appearance, and they’re not taking down a whole group of people to “compliment” just one person. “Chick bassists are so hot” and “Usually girl bands suck but you were actually really good” are both unwanted, generalizing comments I’ve received, and although they’re trying to be complimentary, they’re still offensive and/or uncomfortable to hear. The best thing to do is just to think about if your compliment to one person comes at the expense of another, and that it’s not likely going to make the person uncomfortable.

And as for the girls and women dealing with sexism in music, there are many ways you can handle these situations, it just depends on what makes you feel good and comfortable. You can try to confront anyone giving you a hard time, or try to help them understand what they’re doing that’s hurting you and/or any other women. But do what makes you feel better about the situation. Sometimes you just can’t win with certain people, but never, ever give up on your musical dream because there is such a strong support system out there, of men and women, working together to support female musicians.
Stay tuned for the fourth and final installment of this exclusive series as Alivia takes on the Synesthesia "Speed Round," addresses the future of Modern Mod, speaks about her new band Dash Hounds and shares some final thoughts.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Now, we arrive with your debut album, “Tunnels.” Congratulations to you and the band for created such a finely crafted album!!! What was the experience of recording the album like for you?
Recording “Tunnels” was one of the most trying, yet exciting and rewarding things I’ve ever done. I learned how long and difficult a process making an album can be, but it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. When we initially tracked all of our songs, we were at the Exchange studio in Milwaukee, where we saw a picture of David Bowie recording exactly where we stood, which was surreal. We stayed in Milwaukee for two nights, and on the second night, we slept in the basement of the studio, which ended up to be so cold and uncomfortable, but we all for some reason wanted to do that so it was just part of the learning experience.
What was the easiest song to record? The most difficult?
I don’t really remember what was the easiest song to record. They were all pretty difficult to me because I put too much pressure on myself to make each take perfect. I ended up psyching myself out, and I learned how unnecessary that was. I remember that recording “Papercuts” was a bit of a disaster because we had started and finished it about a week before we went into the studio, so it was barely rehearsed and the structure was confusing. That was the last song we recorded that night and we felt like giving it up, but I think we tried it again the next morning and then we were able to get it done and perfected.
I’m so glad that you stuck with it because it really is one of the highlights of the album. And it really did pay off in the end as “Tunnels” has received considerable attention and not just in Madison. What has it been like for you to know that there are people and fans as far away as California?
Yeah! Someone at Stanford’s radio station liked the album and wrote a really fun cat-themed review of it, rating each song with “MEOW’s” instead of stars. It’s very exciting to know people you’ve never met are enjoying your music. It’s a hopeful feeling.
And then, there are the two MAMA awards the band won this summer. Congratulations to that! What was that experience like for you?
The Madison Area Music Awards were great! We got to dress up and cheer on our fellow Madison musicians. We were pretty convinced we didn’t have a shot at winning, and were surprised to even be nominated in the first place. When we won the first award, we were sitting in the top balcony, and when they called our name, we immediately started sprinting down to the stage. It was a huge honor to receive awards for the something we took so long on, and I’ll always be proud to have contributed to an *award winning* album as a high schooler.
It feels as if the band is experiencing a certain momentum, especially with its current lineup. Would you agree or disagree?
Yeah for sure! I think especially with winning the MAMA awards and continuing to book shows and get radio airplay around Madison lately, that has all really helped us get some more local attention. The current lineup has gelled exceptionally well and we continue to write material that’s further and further away from the band’s origin, and I'm really excited about what our next EP is going to sound like.
Speaking to the current lineup of Modern Mod, how do you feel that the band has changed during all of the personnel comings and goings, if at all?
We definitely have gone through many stylistic changes. Mostly it has just expanded our musical variety because every new member we have has a different musical background and influences, so it’s always refreshing to write new songs with someone who has a fresh and unique approach to writing. Every member, past and present, has had such distinct styles and contributions.
Could you please spend some time telling me about the current lineup and how you feel they have all contributed to Modern Mod and how they compare and contrast with the original members?
Emily Massey (lead vocals, guitar): Emily’s voice is Modern Mod. She’s got this airy, innocent, but far from timid quality that complements, if not makes, every song of ours. No matter the lyrical content or song style, she can perfectly convey whatever she wants to say. She came into the band with our debut album completely written but not yet recorded, and did an amazing job at reinterpreting all of the songs and really putting a standout, natural personality into the album. She’s always been great at the onstage banter and working a crowd, and is purely fun to watch and perform with. When she joined, our live show became the most fun it’s ever been; I remember the first show she played with us, the rest of the band ended up watching her a good amount of time because she brought this live energy we had never experienced, which then pushed us to match that. Plus, she is the style queen and taught me practically everything I know about fashion.
Cal Pocernich (guitar): Cal introduced me to most of my favorite current music, for which I am eternally grateful. But, his playing and writing style are very 90’s alt rock which I absolutely love. He is one of the most creative musicians I’ve ever worked with; he can take a basic idea of mine and transform it to something I’d never think of, and I almost always end up liking what he comes up with so much more than my original idea. Cal has always pushed the rest of us to be less conventional, which took me until this year to realize how important that was/is, so he has been such a positive influence. He’s got such a serious, aloof persona and people are always drawn to him, but I can always get him smile at me on stage whenever he or I mess up, so that’s something to look forward to whenever I do something wrong, but I love it.
Brendan Manley (drums): Brendan had a really tough role to fill, because the new drummer slot was replacing the co-founding member, primary songwriter, and my best friend, so he or she had to be darn good. But, wow, is he incredible! He brought our energy level up a whole heck of a lot, and we’ve since gotten even more of an edge to our music, enabling our experimenting with more punk and heavy psych as of late. It took Cal, Emily, and I several months to find him, and before then we were struggling to write as a trio, but once Brendan joined, our creativity level was higher than it had ever been. We never, ever “jammed” as a band until he joined, and it was insanely fun to do that for the first time. We can always connect and come up with some really awesome stuff. Once he joined, we began writing songs collectively instead of one person writing a majority, so it was a huge change of pace but works perfectly for us four.
What is a “band” to you? There has been this consistent issue within rock music definitely, that if one member departs a band, then the “band” as it is known ceases to be. With all of the lineup changes in the band and since you are the sole original member remaining, has the concept of Modern Mod changed for you? What do you think is the identity of Modern Mod?
I think that a band can still be a band after a member change. It just marks a different stage in the music they create; it’s all part of its evolution. Even though Modern Mod has gone through 2 name changes and 6 or so lineup changes, I still consider it the same band because we still played the same songs. I think our identity is in our light-hearted, purely fun music and live show, and that has always been the underlying feel, and naturally too with every member's demeanor. Each new member brought a different energy and a whole new element to our writing process, but we’ve always been focused on having fun and enjoying what we do.
Stay tuned for Part Three as Alivia discusses making music videos, her adventures with live performances as well as a compelling look at her vantage point with gender politics within the music industry.

Sunday, November 1, 2015



What is your earliest musical memory?
ALIVIA KLEINFELDT (Modern Mod bass guitar/vocals, age 19): I think my earliest musical memory would have to be watching “The Monkees” reruns on Sunday mornings as a little, little kid. It was my favorite show since before I could remember. I was probably 2 years old when I started watching the show and I worshiped them and had so many songs memorized, and recently, my Mom and I just discovered that they are once again playing reruns, so it’s been so much fun to revisit that and remember why they were my first favorite band!
That is amazing!! The Monkees were the very first band I was ever obsessed with as well. I think I was maybe 5 or 6 years old when I first saw the TV show. I just have to ask. Who is your favorite Monkee? When I was a kid, it was Mickey Dolenz. Now, I think it's Mike Nesmith.
It’s too hard to choose a favorite! But I’d probably have to go with Davy Jones because I’m good friends with someone who has toured multiple times as Davy’s bassist, and he actually gave me the bass he used to play on stage for him and had informed me that Davy had often times picked up this bass and had loved playing it! So, I feel a special connection to Davy. And also, because he was on an episode of “Spongebob Squarepants” and that used to be one of my favorite shows, haha!!
Aside from The Monkees, which artists were your first sources of inspiration?
I have an extremely wide array of musical influences now that it's pretty crazy for me to think about what it really started with. But, I'd definitely have to say that as far as what initially inspired me to start seriously listening to and appreciating music in general was Alice Cooper.  There's a pretty long backstory on him for me.
I’d love to hear it.
One night in eighth grade when I couldn't sleep, out of desperation to do something other than lie wide awake, I got out this little iPod-shaped radio that my Mom bought me and I never had interest in using until that moment, and I started scanning the stations. I came across a familiar voice: Alice Cooper. My brother and Dad were really into classic rock and whenever we were in the car, they would turn on his radio show, so I decided to listen for myself. I instantly was fascinated by him and the music he played, and I started listening to his show every night. I got really into bands like Van Halen, Guns N Roses, and Alice Cooper of course.
My interest in 80’s hair metal bands and the like faded pretty quickly but Alice's earlier work really stuck with me, as did the classic heavy metal and psychedelic bands like Black Sabbath, The Doors, The Animals, Arthur Brown, etc. But, I also got into The Beatles for the first time, who then in turn opened me up to stuff of all different genres and time periods, and the rest is history I guess!  
To list a few of my first sources of inspiration for writing my first few songs, I'd have to say the Beatles and The Monkees for sure, Alice Cooper, The Doors, The Who, and my favorite contemporary band at the time: The Strokes. Those were the bands that really influenced me to write and play music, and inspired what and how I wrote. Also, something I more recently realized, is my vocal style is largely inspired by listening to and admiring my Grandparents sing to themselves around the house when I would visit them as a kid. I have always loved their voices, and the way they sing- capturing the 1940's/50's style- is just beautiful to me and I've tried to recreate that myself.
So, I say that I owe my love of music to Alice Cooper and his radio show, and accredit him for my being a musician. I even went as Alice for Halloween! You know, there was a period of time, pretty much most of middle school, that I stopped listening to and playing music.
Really? Why is that?
I think I stopped playing because I was really big into sports. I was a big time basketball player and I even thought at one point that I'd be playing it throughout college. I was a bit aimless in middle school, which makes sense because I was only 12, ha ha! But, I never wanted to practice my guitar because practicing just seemed like a chore at the time. I was in orchestra and was a pretty good violinist all throughout middle school, but I didn't ever want to practice that either. I was also really shy and felt like I got even moreso at the time, so I didn't ever sing or play in front of people unless I had to at an orchestra concert. So I think I stopped music due to a combination of other interests, a lack of purpose and confidence, and a bit of laziness too, ha ha!!
Even with going through that piece of your life, do you remember when you realized that you even wanted to express yourself musically?
I think when I really realized that I wanted to be a musician, a bassist to be specific, was one night in 8th grade when I joined my parents in watching a special on The Beatles, and I instantly connected with their music and with Paul McCartney in particular. It was pretty mind-blowing to me at the time, to think that I had never truly listened to them in the way I had that night.

All the while, I was becoming really good friends with someone in my school, a drummer named Emma Witmer (ed note: original Modern Mod songwriter/drummer credited as "Ronnie Clarke"). After we realized we were both really into music, Emma and I started joking about making a band, how I'd take up bass and we'd make a 3-piece with a random Hot Topic employee. One day, though, one of us said "you and I should actually make a band," and we were both so on board that I bought a bass a week later and we were playing music together practically every day.

I had already been playing guitar for years, so instruments had come pretty naturally to me and I was confident on that right away. Singing was definitely more difficult for me to start because I had very little self-confidence, and singing in front of an audience was an extremely nerve wracking thought, especially since I never sang even to myself and I thought that I was a pretty bad singer. I was just kind of forced into doing backup vocals at the beginning of joining my first band, and I think being pushed to do it and practice it consistently in front of people was what helped me feel more confident in my own ability. And now, I absolutely love to sing!
And how many instruments are you able to play exactly?
It really started with a plastic green harmonica that I got in a gift bag from my 2nd grade best friend’s birthday party, that I decided that I wanted to play real instruments. So, I got a real harmonica and taught myself how to play that. Then, I picked up a guitar after I saw my sister learning, and I wanted to do the same. I took guitar lessons for a while, then I took that break from music altogether until middle school orchestra, that’s when I picked up the violin. When I picked up the bass guitar, I also switched to the double bass in orchestra. I was also in my school’s Secret Underground Ukulele Club for a year. I can also fake my way decently enough on the cello and piano. But, I’d say I can respectably claim to play harmonica, bass guitar, guitar, double bass, violin, and ukulele.
Emma Witmer and Alivia Kleinfeldt, circa 2014

How did you and your Modern Mod bandmates first meet?
So, I am actually the only original member of this band right now, but it started as my best friend Emma and I deciding we want to start a band in middle school, and we found a program called Rock Workshop at the Madison Music Foundry, where I learned to play bass. The program puts kids of all ages, skill levels, and musical tastes together to form bands where they learn to write and record a song together and perform at a showcase. That’s how the band started, and we went through a number of people after deciding to try to stick together. We met Cal Pocernich (Modern Mod guitarist) through his friend Dan who was the original guitarist, and we met Emily Massey (Modern Mod lead singer) through her sister because I went to camp with her. This was all spread out through several years, and we’ve gone through a few (embarrassing) band name changes.
What is the origin of the name “Modern Mod”?
The name Modern Mod came from our interest in the 1960’s mod music and culture.  We actually decided that Modern Mod would be a good name because it implied we were taking on a new, modern spin on the Mod music and fashion, although, and I could be wrong, but I don’t think our music ever ended up really sounding like any mod bands I’d think of. But, we also agreed the name had a nice ring to it.
Were your parents always supportive of your musical aspirations, as well as your role in Modern Mod?
Yes for sure, they were always very supportive of my interest in music, and had encouraged me to pursue it even when I had my doubts and considered going to college out of state and forgetting about music for a while. I remember when I first told them that I wanted to buy a bass they were a little skeptical, but that's probably because I was so impatient and was determined to purchase one basically a few days after deciding I wanted to play the instrument (which I ended up doing anyways.) But, they’ve always supported my dream and are just as passionate as I am about my music, and I’m incredibly grateful for that fact.
Modern Mod, circa 2014
Do you remember very your first gig? What was the response to your first Modern Mod performance?
Our first gig was at the High Noon Saloon, under a different name and with all different members, and with songs we never play anymore, so I guess it’s barely a Modern Mod gig but I’ll still count it (laughs)! It was in the middle of the day for the Rock Workshop showcase. We “headlined" because we were the only band to write not one, but three original songs, and play two covers. It was terrifying, to say the least. I was so incredibly nervous, but I remember thinking it went well despite that. Our parents loved it! But, I remember getting some good compliments, so I’d say our first show was a success.
I asked the members of Post Social this very same question and I’d love to get your feelings about this one. It is one thing to receive praise from your parents. How have you been received by your friends and peers? Was one set (adults or peers) easier or harder to get on your side?
A lot of my friends thought it was the coolest thing in the world that they knew someone who was in a band, so I felt a lot of support from my peers in the early days of the band. It was always difficult getting them to our shows though because of age restrictions and the fact that none of them could drive. I’ve been very lucky to receive almost nothing but support throughout my entire musical career from friends and family alike. Only a few times I received a disapproving remark about my not going to college immediately after high school, but I knew and my family knew that I was making the right choice because it’s what I wanted to do most, so those negative comments never affected me.

Have you ever surprised yourself with any piece of music that you have written?

I have written and worked on a fairly substantial amount of music for the amount of time I’ve been doing it, but I’ve really only completed a small handful of songs. So I was astounded when “Papercuts” won the alternative song of the year at the MAMA’s (Madison Area Music Association awards) this year, because that was only the second song I’d ever written. But, some of the newer songs I’ve written have been sort of amazing to me that I could come up with something of the sort. I think back to my early days of writing, and I love where I’ve been going and I know that I can only progress and keep pushing my creativity because I have so much I want to create and I am still trying to figure out how to do so. But, I think that one of my newest songs that I’ve written for myself has surprised me the most, because of its lyrical content. The lyrics are pretty simple, it’s plain English, yet the meaning behind them is so powerful to me that it takes me aback when I really think about them. The song is still in progress but I really cannot wait until I finish it and let everyone hear it.
Stay tuned for Part Two of my exclusive conversation with Alivia Kleinfeldt where she discusses the recording of Modern Mod's debut album "Tunnels" and its subsequent success, the MAMA awards and her bandmates!