Modernettes – Teen City E.P. 12″

Some punky powerpop now and then is exactly what we all need to be able to coop with life. Canadas Modernettes does everything right, up till the title track. It’s catchy, it’s intense, it’s great, it’s awesome. Hell(paradise?) yeah, they make smile the whole sunday long which makes it’s so much easier to do the laundry and clean my apartment.

What’s for dinner? Mmm salmon. Pink innersleeve and pink food. Take note of the great looking sleeve. Always been very fond of squares and circles. AND! AND the production! Oh man it’s Bob Rock you know! Track on repeat: Celebrity Crackup.

Country: Canada
Year: 1980
Label: Quintessence
Format: 12″
Suicide Club.mp3
Celebrity Crackup.mp3
Little Girls.mp3
Teen City.mp3

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53 Responses to Modernettes – Teen City E.P. 12″

  1. Senap says:

    Awesome record dude!!

  2. YUMMY One of the very best from Canada and I just had my own Canada thing on the blog today, haha. Bloggin’ magic!

  3. Martin says:

    OK, I’m just 45 seconds into celebrity crackup, but I know this is one hell of a 12″ already. Amazing!

  4. Jay Thurston says:

    To think that I missed this one. This is one fucking great record!

  5. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    Holy shit this is post 666!!! Evil!

  6. hairy palm says:

    Better late than never…..Great punky powerpop. Really great.

  7. hairy palm says:

    Keep on posting canadian bands! How about D.O.A.? I love them.

  8. Jeffen says:

    Here, I’m the Canadian and I’m posting Irish stuff. Thanks all the same for the fine CanRock post.

    You remain on the blogroll at:

  9. Lee says:

    love this 12″!!!

  10. DOAs ww3 7″ has been posted. The early DOA stuff is great but not hard to get so it’s just for you to buy them. Some Pointed Sticks and I, Braineater has been posted too.

  11. timmythepunk says:

    One giant of an 12” excellent production on every track, fat buzzsaw guitars, solid rythmn and great vocals, up there with The Flyboys epee. Did they do anything else. New Zealand band Marching Girls had a similar attack, this sounds like their live shows in Melbourne, Australia during 1979 and 1980.

  12. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    Modernettes release 2 LPs besides this. There’s a comp. CD out there. Thanks for mentioning the Marching Girls makes me think about posting the one and only 7″ I have with them.

  13. adamski says:

    Wow, this sounds pretty great! I’d heard the name before, but had not heard any of their stuff. Man, you’ve got me listening to some real good power-pop, Peter! Think I’ll bust out my Young Canadians CD that I picked up real cheap a few months back.

  14. hairy palm says:

    Thanks for the recomendation, but I think I have all of D.O.A. records (at least those that worth a dolar). I just mentioned them because I think they’re a band that many people know, many of these people have some records of them, but none of these people ever listen to their records!!! They have some truly killer songs, like “Rent a Riot”.

  15. Jay Thurston says:


  16. See your point hairy but this site(for the most part) is about the lesser known bands.

  17. I will NEVER forget how disappointed I was when I bought “Hardcore 81” in ca. 1985. Hardcore? It was lame, boring rock music. Would I like it today? Maybe I’ll put it on once again.

  18. Hardcore ’81 is pretty good. You’ll probably still find it rocky. Not lame, though. I can understand why you didn`t like it at the time, as it`s a very un-1985 record, as it`s not fast, has rock influences et cetera.

  19. hairy palm says:

    I prefer D.O.A.’s earlier work. The problem with Hardcore 81 is not only the name (maybe a bad choice when things were turning harder) but the fact that it´s not very inspired.

  20. phlegm says:

    wonder why they thanked art bergman . . . did he contribute anything to this record?

    • John Auber Armstrong says:

      Art taught me to play guitar, and he played our demo for the label when he was making hte first Young Canadians record, and that got us in the studio to make Teen City. Thanks again – Buck

  21. behjan says:

    On a different note ,but not too far off the topic here :

    If you have-by chance-that cool” LOST IN ACTION ” 4-song 7″e.p. by Van´s_PRIVATE SCHOOL_, please post it here-I can not find that on any other blog as of yet. Their “Fuck you” song is AWESOME (with a young Dave Gregg furiously playing guitar on this one !)
    BTW,the “FLEX!” book thinks the same with this song.

    Their other songs are also still Punk ,but bit more sophisticated (esp. on the B-Side),which does not annoy me AT ALL ,and at last the SUBERB closing song with the title of “Sci-Fi”,one sounding like its title suggest,a Sci-Fi form of style,if such a thing could be considered at the time in the genre (with sax and violin,again NOT annoying ,either!)
    Not to forget their VAN COMPL album appearing there w/ other contemporaries (the LP that includes the “who-is-who” acts of the time there)
    There _PRIVATE SCHOOL_ manage “Rock And Roll Radio” ,which sticks to my ear every time I give it a listen. Seems they belonged to the least mentioned and footnote-standard even of the late 1970´s VAN happenings …
    (BTW, some people have a REAL soft spot for regionale/State/Cities compilations…have anyone spotted a blog that deals WITH THIS VERY SUBJECT as of yet !??! P:L:E:A:S:E T:E:L:L M:E: !!!!!
    Once again,back to the PRIVATE SCHOOL 7″ep :
    NOT TO SPEAK OF THEIR GREAT envelope-sleeve which was a silk-screen affair as an icing on the cake
    (coincidentally (?) those blue squares on this MODERNETTES good PowerPop 12″ here,reminds me exactly to that from the PRIVATE SCHOOL 7″ep “cover” (über-über-trivia,yes),that envelope
    8 1/2″ x 11″ sikscreen-sleeve. Tough on my insert (justa blue/greenish-silkscreen insert with each member´s photo´s & names, the date “1979”,at which the record is said to have been red´d in every book,…is “absent” on the (my) entire record totally or my copy misses any add. info!?! (FYI: got it in a trade from RobertHB/SOCAL–that was a trade for my M-/M- with M- insert VERY 1st 1980 4-song 7″ep “Acts Of Defiance” by greaties RF 7, um…)
    (my ranting here is -as usually:
    I am kinda “afraid” not (too) MANY have heard it yet and if MANY would hear it,MANY would most propably like/love it !?) I find it is not a wants-list staple, like as ROTTERS (1st),LIZERDS (yawn),CHEIFS,CONTROLLERS (yaaawn) were so ,back a few years ago…

    Sure , MODERNETTES play a neat 12″ep with “Barbra” my fave one , but I guess if this one was a 14-song LP clocking at circa 35 minutes , I would exactly say “they should have kept the best songs for a 7″ or 12″ ” , which they anyway did wisely enough- A M E N ! #:+D)

  22. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    Always like your commenting Behjan :). And as I´ve said before the Private School is ripped, sleeves etc are scanned and is waiting in the posting que.

  23. Jay Thurston says:

    Holy shit, behjan, I just spent half the evening reading your comment. You should write a novel!!

  24. behjan says:

    PRIVATE SCHOOL is a real matter to me but I have seen myself after reading that comment it is way TOO long…
    I will look to keep it short in future,I try to promise this -but not sure if I can keep that if ie. one day the likes of THE NOTHING or OPUS turn up (here) #:+)

  25. Thomas says:

    The Modernettes ‘Teen city’ 12″ep is absolutely awesome, one of the best Powerpop records from Canada, catchy like hell.
    The 2nd 12″ep namend ‘View from the bottom’ is different, I still like the track ‘Rebel kind’ on this record. But compared to the 1st 12″ep ‘View from the bottom’ is pretty lame!
    The album ‘Gone, but not forgotten’ is extremly rare, I saw it just one time on Ebay for a Buy Now-option of $250.00, but I neber heard this before.
    Anyway, an underrated and forgotten canadian band from the golden age!

  26. Brian says:

    Ms. Kopechne, the Modernettes bassplayer, not only plays tight but bops like an Amazonian rocket doll. I’ve put the album cover with them hitching to hitsville on my wall every move. Check out their videos if you like their style . . . they had it in spades.

  27. Brian says:

    Another great Canadian 7″ is the Poles. Its from 1977, its midtempo but the female singer is great, and the two songs are strangely affecting. It was posted either here or somewhere else, not long ago.

  28. graham says:

    awesome! i’ve tried finding this one online every couple months for the past few years and could never track it down.

    nardwuar’s got a good interview with buck cherry from december of ’06 you should check out if you haven’t heard it. he’s got a funny story about johnny thunders “accidentally” trying to walk out of the room with buck’s guitar (covered in modernettes stencils)! here’s a link to the audio:

    thanks again!

  29. Jay Thurston says:

    Dishrags! Or if you are feeling really punk and truly brave….I dare you to post the first Loverboy 7″!!! That was what punk rock was about!!

  30. behjan says:

    there will be soon official albums (LP) by the DISHRAGS,WASTED LIVES and JERKWARD,made by Mr.Dirk M
    and Herr J.Flower!

  31. chris says:

    Great stuff! Now, can someone please post “Irene” by The Photos? (who were Satan’s Rats given a new wave makeover and a female vocalist… I live near the former Spaceward Studios and am a big fan of those old Raw Records bands!)

    Also, is anyone able to post Loli & the Chones’ first (I think) ep which featured Yeah and Summer of Love?

  32. mamamot says:

    it’s fucking powerful record. i just cant find another words to explain how great is it

  33. Buck says:

    A friend sent me this link and i thought I’d answer the “why thank Art Bergmann” question
    Art was my friend and guitar/music guru and the guy who played our demo to the owner of Quintessence, which resulted in us getting to make the Teen City record. Also, he lent me his old Strat to play on Confidential.

  34. Ola says:

    Sweater Girl from the first demo is abso-fucking-lutely one of the best power-pop-tunes ever! I found it on the the Get it Straight collection and you should to! Great post as always, thanks.

  35. Jay Thurston says:

    Did I tell you already how I first heard “Barbra”? There was a fellow named Ken Jensen who was in a band called Red Tide in the early ’80’s…he made me a tape of all these great Canadian bands. Included were Pointed Sticks, Subhumans, Scientists(??), (this is by memory, which is long gone)…and Modernettes. I always thought the Modernettes were the Pointed Sticks…a record that I could never find. I just found out a couple of years ago that it was the Modernettes. I was bored and had to tell someone. PS..yes, I do know that Ken Jensen later went on to join D.O.A and perished in a fire(RIP Ken).

  36. Eric says:

    this is great ! thanks for sharing this.

  37. McDonald says:

    Confidential is a fantastic track that I have been looking for for like a year. I heard it on CBC Radio 3 and have been in love with it ever since. Excellent post.

  38. Sean Kirwin says:

    I always loved this song, great.I miss 1980.

  39. Stephen (AI) says:

    Maybe everyone’s seen it already, but check out the restored video for “Barbra.”

    Pure fucking bliss.

  40. (1) the MP3s or “digitalized” CD crap (ditto whatever the european vinyl comp was mastered from) sound NOTHING like the TEEN CITY 12″ original vinyl.

    the record proper is a LOUD motherfucker that blows the wall down, any wall you put up a tin fence it blows that down too. it is fuckin LOUD. and to call the modernettes “power pop” is a punishable crime… at full volume on a loud stereo it makes the Buzzcocks sound like 6th amateurs playing through two defective Fender Champ amps and a toy drum kit (i’m a undertones fan to the max so i diss the wanktarded buzzfuckcocks every chance i get. i hate half of the other favorite bands you like too, so sue me). at $150 or less (and way less than $100 if worn, and its vinyl should sound hella good down at a properly graded VG+)

    (2) there was only one copy (of its 300 pressed) of GONE BUT NOT FORGIVEN that ever made it down to california in its time — into the “c/o MRR” record review coffers of course, from whence it later wound up in jeff bale’s “record collection” a while.

    jeff and angry samoans braintrust/head fucktard metal mike played together in the second lineup of the Fried Abortions during 1982-1984 (jeff having been previously been a lead singer for crummy local hardcore band Warzone, immediately preceding his Fried Abortion stint) during 1982-1984, so you can see where this is going….

    it took one entire year for Jeff to figure out where on earth he had “put the Modernettes album” but it eventually surfaced (and in ex/ex condtion, maybe having been played a grand total of once only for its MRR review), and Jeff gladly volunteered to be the stool pigeon for one of the all-time great “highway robbery” straight-up trades, a la Frank Robinson-for-Milt-Pappas back in winter 1965-66 —

    FEAR now you’re dead 45 (ex/ex, played exactly once. but the Licorice Pizza $2.49 shrink wrap and price tag long gone) i had no dupe of this 45, so take note: i was “selling out” my 2nd favorite punk rock scene of all time (1977-1982, duh) in order to more or less complete the key 45s/LPs list from my very favorite same scene of that era (VC of just roughly 1978-1980, the vancouver Skulls w joey and brian goble not exactly having been sent into the recording studio in late 1977 to record their nascent repertoire). I STAND ACCUSED and would do the same thing all over again. because that first Fear 45 really does suck, y’know.

    and it was swapped straight up (with no dupe copy)
    straight up for the

    MODERNETTES Gone But Now Forgiven lp

    the fact that GBNForgiven is “valued” by GEMM/Ebay at only $300-$400 is….insane. bordering on delusional. meaning = at any given random omoent (when one isn’t listed on Ebay) = TRY AND FIND ONE.

    especially in another ten years when the five to ten Vancouver drunk ex-punks trying to make rent money have long since disposed of their copy (and usually a worn one at that, VG+/VG+ at best)

    there’s 1,000 pressed/sold of the FEAR 45
    against 300 only of the MODERNETTES album

    do the math all you hilary duff fans

    Footnote #2:
    metal mike being an “anti-record-collector” to the max, his hard earned copy of course incurred mild to moderate “water damage” (to the jacket) within a year thanks to the fucktarded “leaky roof” above his 386 Grove Way (hayward) rental house’s “back room” (originally some sort of small “kids room” added on to the original house.

    • typo/correction:

      at $149.99 or less (and way less than $100 if worn, and its vinyl should sound hella good down at a properly graded VG+), it (TEEN CITY on its original 12″ 45rpm vinyl issue) is the bargain of a lifetime. because it’s the best record ever made (of its type), duh! (there is nothing in all of 1977-78 UK punk rock that is even in the same universe as “Celebrity Crackup” and that is a fact. but the Vancouver scene? “Hawaii” by the Young Canadians and the Subhumans “Firing Squad, ” those two tracks/tunes/45s/local hits (in the YC’s case) are right up there with the Modernettes, man.

      PS: i found a copy of (pre-Young Canadians, i.e. Art Bergman) the SCHMORGS album right here in hayward, back in the early-mid 80’s. hayward kicks ass for cheap records! (weekly and sometimes almost daily deluges of 50 cent albums coming into the local Ecothrift and the Salvation Army that’s right down the street from HQ here)

      hahahah a couple years ago even including my only copy (to date) of the world’s greatest uh, rock album, INTO THE UNKNOWN by you know who. i’ve got some extra Bay Bridges in the backyard to sell you too, just look me up in the white pages and ring the landphone.

      • for the record as the sports announcers always say: after seeing the Modernettes at the semi-legendary Mab “West Front” friday night gig of DOA / Young Canadians / Modernettes, i went home and played the TEEN CITY ep pretty darn loud, and still wound up going

        “booooooo this record is NOTHING like the group live, it’s fucking wanky in comparison to their onstage noise blast on the same songs”

        a real conundrum that, since TEEN CITY is the best record ever made (of its type), tied with any other “best record ever made” (of that or any other type). but true.

        • said SF Western Front Mab gig being in Oct 1980, on the very same Friday night as…ha…the B52’s up the street at the 2,000 seater the Warfield Theater. ha. and yes i knew a couple people who “had to go to the B-52’s because my friend bought me a ticket AS A BIRTHDAY PRESENT.” and crapped their pants when everyone who was at the Modernettes gig/Mab told them “i just saw God in the form of a rock band,” and true. a veritable religious experience. (musically). turns out (per the john armostrong bio GUILTY OF EVERYTHING), the Modernettes had really really great “speed” given to them at the local CREEP fanzine compound, and hence played even more crazy/hyper than usual. and in the book the SF gig is certified as “one of our best,” the band long having been described (by VC locals) as could be “really great or really terrible, depending on how big a bar tab the club gives them”


    from six months ago (and only just now crossing the PC screen here). my goodness. an actual low-budget hollywood movie based on the john armstrong bio? the book/bio’s plot line is pretty un-fuckupable one would think, but that’s what everyone says about any book that they like (per its screenplay adaptations, unseen).

    if the can’t-write-the-story-of-the-band-without-it early scene/drunken evening where the guys-house’s Jan and Dean fanboy expert goads john into writing “a song as good as Jan and Dean, buddy” and which he does, right then and there (just upstairs, until finished) — BARBRA, right — is in the movie, then ha. the scene obviously would cut to the “real life video” or reasonable fascimile. ha. wow and WITH THE REAL MUSIC/ORIGINAL RECORDING on the big screen soundtrack. jeez who knows, maybe it wouldn’t be a terrible movie.

    i got to review that very Jan and Dean ANTHOLOGY double album in rolling stone (when it came out). and i agreed with john’s 1978 real-time review to the Jan and Dean fan club roommate (‘”can you turn that shit off? do you HAVE to play it all over again?”) (paraphrased) — take away Surf City and Dead Man’s Curve and New Girl in School (the brian wilson co-writes, in other words) and it is AWFUL chinese water torture type awful.

    ahhh, towards the bottom of the Q/A interview
    Q: I’ts interesting because we’re both Canadian, but I saw at the Cannes Market a poster for “The Rebel Kind,” which you and colaborator/fiancee Jay Baruchel are looking for financing for.

    A: Yes. We’re still trying to figure out timing and financing in between.

    Q: But it’s a story of The Modernettes, led by a gentleman named Buck Cherry, and you’d be playing their bassist, Mary Jo Kopechne. She was not an insubstantial young lady. Are you prepared to do that? She had some sway to her.

    A: I haven’t looked into it at all, because I’ve just been focusing on a girl from Indiana moving to New York and Working in a news oom or being on a post apocalyptic train and being a school teacher teaching kids songs. I don’t even know what I would do with it.

    Q: Will you be playing the bass for yourself?

    A: No idea.

    Q: Essentially, it’s one of those movies that exists as a script, a good idea, and a poster?

    A: Yes, and I have no idea what’s up with it.

    (note: Mary Jo’s youtube page, from her horse farm out in cattle country/farm country in the provinces)

    MudpuddleRanch commented 3 years ago

    “Bob, simply that there was no media back then to support what was going on. Vancouver was ultimately the squarest of the square places to be. It was the dead end street, the concrete shithole, the dont say your from here cause theres nothing happening place to be. Run by the bigger players that only wanted you to hear what they deemed as music and as far as I was concerned they had people in radio that kept it that way, is it any different now, I dont think so.”

    Mary Jo Kopechne
    commenting to
    Bob Rock (interview outtake) / Youtube

  43. Monger says:

    The track little girls sounds like a rewrite of the track rat race by active dog. And since buck cherry was in active dog before this…. Active dog is worth checking out

  44. GG Allin says:


  45. fisker says:

    Awesome share, thanks!

    I wonder, would you have kept lossless files of this rip? I’d love to have it in lossless rather than just MP3.

    • The Flakes // Drummer says:

      Sorry I’ve only kept the mp3s. I always compare them to .wav file and to be honest there’s no difference at all.

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