Exploring Madison's Music Scene
Jan 6, 2014
01:38 PM
Local Sounds

Local Band Modern Mod Showing Us How It’s Done

Local Band Modern Mod Showing Us How It’s Done

PHOTO BY JAMES FRAME

Modern Mod has launched a crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter.

There are only five days left to help out Modern Mod with their Kickstarter campaign. The local band is comprised of high school students and, although they’ve already eclipsed their goal of raising $4,000 to fund recording and promotion of their debut album Tunnels, this band is worthy of your support. The extra money could go a long way in helping these outstanding young people establish themselves and they are well-deserving. Not only is Modern Mod an already respected group of hard-working musicians, they are role models for their peers.

Modern Mod is also the next in a string of local musical acts that have turned to crowdfunding to gather support and resources. (You can read more about those organizations here.)

Modern Mod is doing it right. They rehearse regularly, they have participated in all kinds of workshops like Girls Rock Camp (there are three females and two males in the band) and numerous fundraisers and benefits. They’ve donated their time and efforts to the Madison Area Music Association and, as a result have earned one of the coveted performance slots at the annual Madison Area Music Awards this coming June. They have carefully created an image and a promotional effort to reinforce that image. They are young, they are cool and they are talented.

Of course they could not do this alone and here is the magic ingredient that makes the difference: They have the full support of their parents. Without that there is less likelihood of having rehearsal space, finding a way to get to where they need to be and being able to afford the instruction. More importantly, whereas once involvement in music was considered a deviation, it is now able to bond families and create mutual drive toward excellence among family members. We all know the value of music in young people’s lives. Whether it stimulates learning in other areas may be debatable, but we know it keeps kids in school and provides a sense of self-worth and accomplishment. It teaches teamwork and cooperative skills that are so valuable in life. Read this article by CNN reporter Andrew Schultz entitled “Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Music Class” if you have any doubt. I’ve known the parents of bassist Alivia Kleinfeldt, Dawn and Karl Kleinfeldt, for several years now. I constantly receive messages from them helping to promote their daughter’s endeavor. I see them at benefits, running tables, talking to parents, so genuinely excited because, hey, these kids are getting really good! Singer Emily Massey is the daughter of local musician Mike Massey and his wife Robin. All the parents of Modern Mod are supportive in the same ways and you can bet that will be a huge determinant on how far the band goes.

 

Dawn and Karl Kleinfeldt

So who is Modern Mod? Read it in their own words:

Modern Mod was formed in September of 2010 in Madison, Wisconsin when neighbors Alivia Kleinfeldt (bass) and Ronnie Clarke (drums) first started playing together in Clarke’s basement. Kleinfeldt and Clarke bonded over their almost identical musical style and vision for the band. Together, they created a unique style of garage rock combined with the classic vibe of 60s surf pop. From their mutual love for 60s mod culture, and their current yet vintage inspired sound, they chose the moniker Modern Mod. They now are a five piece comprised of Maximilian Werner on lead guitar, Calem Pocernich on rhythm guitar and Emily Massey on vocals. Still in their teens, Modern Mod has been praised for their advanced songwriting style, intricate harmonies, and ability to put on an eccentric live show. Having played with the likes of The Weakenders, Oberhofer, and Matt and Kim, Modern Mod strives to make every performance their finest.

Our album Tunnels was recorded at the Exchange Studios in Milwaukee, WI under the production of Jack Letourneau.

The Album Name:

Most of the band is made up of kids who have bedrooms in the basement, which is why we dub our sound basement pop. As underground cave dwellers, we often joke about digging tunnels to connect us to each others basements, since we are so geographically spread out. Which is where the name Tunnels for our album came from. We have even come to the revelation that every song on the record is like a tunnel that listeners can crawl through and explore. Maybe the listener can fill the tunnel with water or light. Tunnels are very abstract holes in the earth. Tunnels come in all shapes, sizes, and colours, and there is something new to discover in every tunnel you fall into. Now come on little moles. Let's tumble down the tunnels and see just how far they go.....

Also, check out this video for a brief introduction:

 

Congratulations to Modern Mod—and their familes—on their success. And thanks to the band for showing us all how it’s done.

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About This Blog

Rick Tvedt has been a performing musician since the age of eight and had regional success with local band The And. He has also been a solo performer and was a member of the Sled Dogs. He launched the monthly local music newspaper Rick’s Café in January of 2003, which is now publishing online as Local Sounds Magazine. That same year he founded the Madison Area Music Association, a charitable organization that raises money to fund music programs for kids and provides musical instruments. The MAMAs also produce the annual Madison Area Music Awards.

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