I spent a good 22 years in the Cleveland/Akron area before motoring West. The area might be the butt of a lot of jokes, including this one and that one, but it’s actually a cool city with a beautiful suburbia, one that boasts a phenomenal music scene. It’s nice to see that nothing’s changed since I left. Following the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Pere Ubu, The Dead Boys, The Black Keys, The Pretenders and Devo to national greatness and acclaim is The Modern Electric. 

The Mod Men are Garrett Komyati (lead vocals/piano/guitar), Matthew Childers (bass/drums), Holden Laurence (guitar), and Michael O’Brien (drums); their influences range from David Bowie, ELO and the Killers to killer John Hughes soundtracks. If you’re a fan of those bands, and/or MGMT (the one album that didn’t suck), The Airborne Toxic Event, M83, Muse and/or Pulp, the Modern Electric could be your favorite new band.

Their self-titled album The Modern Electric was named ”Album of The Year“ by Cleveland Scene Magazine. The cinematic sequel, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, was recorded in Austin, TX with producer Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Heartless Bastards).

Perhaps the best thing about this video beyond the song (which is awesome), the models (who are gorgeous) and the concept (which is spot on) — is the setting. Prepare yourself to witness one of the greatest record collections on Planet Earth, courtesy of the studios at Case Western Reserve University’s WRUW-FM. I had the privilege of guest co-hosting an episode of my friend’s radio show more than 20 years ago and I’m thrilled to see that not only has nothing changed in the underground cavern’s dizzying maze of not-so dusty vinyl, it’s only gotten bigger and better with the addition of CDs and lord knows that their digital collection looks like.

So for Best Performance by a Phenomenal College Radio Station Pretending to be a Lame-ass Commercial One, here is WRUW starring in the world premiere of The Modern Electric’s “David Bowie Save Us All (Redux)”:

To get the full story on how this came together, POPDOSE caught up with The Modern Electric’s lead singer Garrett Komyati:

How did you gain access to the legendary WRUW studios for the shoot?

GK: We’ve had a relationship with WRUW for years now. They are huge supporters of our music and play us all the time. We are now friends with the program director and a few of the DJs. We’ve had the privilege of playing live sessions there, being interviewed, and even guest DJing a show or two.

When I was there 25 years ago, I never wanted to leave. Did you discover any lost treasures while perusing the aisles?

GK: Their vinyl collection is otherworldly. Their music collection in general has to be rivaled only by the Library of Congress. The first thing I looked for was the Bowie section of course and it did not disappoint. They had some rarities that only fanatics, like myself, would know about.

Who are your biggest rock heroes to emerge from Cleveland and/or Northeast Ohio? 

GK: One of the coolest bands to come out of Cleveland is the James Gang. Joe Walsh was the leader of the group when they came out with their classic album “Rides Again.” That being said, Cleveland has a solid graduating class currently. Bands like Cloud Nothings, Herzog, and Lighthouse and the Whaler are getting attention nationally and giving the world a taste of our killer music scene. We are in good company.

The Modern Electric - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Album Cover (1)

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is due out in January. Can’t wait to hear more? Connect with The Modern Electric on facebook or via their website (where you can score a killer free mixtape to boot).

Stream it here:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/163309153″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Here’s the original:
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/27561108″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

About the Author

Keith Creighton

Keith is a music correspondent for Popdose and an advocate on women's empowerment, gender identity and gender liberation issues. He is a monthly new music contributor to the Planet LP Podcast and is a marketing writer by day for Sudden Monkey.

View All Articles