Secondary Modern
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Secondary Modern

Carbondale, Illinois, United States | INDIE

Carbondale, Illinois, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Video Premiere: "Dart Board Blacklist" by Secondary Modern"

“Standing on the shoulders of John Lennon, Ray Davies, and Gene Clark,” this adventurous trio asks the musical question: “Just what is pop music anyway?” In the case of “Dart Board Blacklist” from their excellent Venus Birds EP (buy it here), the answer is gleaming, psych-influenced guitar-pop that brings to mind Yo La Tengo, Robyn Hitchcock and The Byrds. Dig this video, directed by Tyler Horn:

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Secondary Modern on tour now!
Thurs. June 19 - Carbondale, IL – Hangar 9
Mon. June 23 - Knoxville, TN – Preservation Pub
Tues. June 24 - Winton-Salem - Reanimator
Thurs. June 26 - NYC – Cake Shop (9pm)
Fri. June 27 - New Brunswick, NJ – The Candy Barrel
Sat. June 28 - Brooklyn, NY – Pete’s Candy Store (10pm)
Mon. June 30 - Indianapolis, IN – Melody Inn
Tues. July 1 - Bloomington, IN – The Back Door
Wed. July 2 - Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen
Thurs. July 3 - Champaign, IL – Mike N Molly’s
Sat. July 5 - Carbondale, IL – The Swamp - The Big Takeover


Alone at home on a Saturday with nothing to do? Perfect! Jack your headphones in, lay on your carpet, prepare yourself for the classically modern indie pop trio — Secondary Modern.

Their brand new EP, ‘Venus Birds’, dropped a few weeks ago & it is stellar. Carbondale’s D.D.M. (real names: David, Danny, & Mcguire) seem highly influenced by the eclectic classic rockers of Paul, John, Ringo, George, Reed, Cale, Costello, Dylan, or the more modern Wilco / Shins. Listen to “North Star B.C.” while closing your eyes & you’ll fall into a time warp back to the late ’60s almost instantaneously.

Don’t worry…you’re in fantastic hands for 20 minutes. It will make you want to listen their entire catalog, which is four LPs deep of pure unfiltered pop goodness. ‘Venus Birds’ is the perfect way to climb dive into the deep with D.D.M. - Bored 4 Music

"TVD Premiere: Secondary Modern, “Dart Board Blacklist”"

We’re delighted to direct your ears to Secondary Modern’s “Dart Board Blacklist” from the Carbondale, Illinois combo’s 2014 release, Venus Birds (which you can get your hands on right here.) We also cornered the band’s David Brown to spill the beans for us on some records that influenced his and the band’s thinking.

Can, Future Days (1973) | “I bought this LP on a whim because I had heard part of Ege Bamyasi and had some idea that Can was supposed to be consistently good. It has embossed gold font on a blue sleeve, which is great for tracing mindlessly with an index finger while staring at the wall.

Musically, everything about it is unique and unreal, and it’s even more insane to break it down and realize that there are definite roles within a set band and that this is a collection of finely tuned insanity which comes off as chilled-out groove. I had a vivid dream that I saw them perform it in its entirety live with the Damo lineup. Everything was blue.” - The Vinyl District

"Secondary Modern: Venus Birds Flying South by Southwest"

Secondary Modern had just a handful of songs and less than forty-eight hours to record them when the band hit Chicago's Observatory Studios back in November.

Naturally, the resulting EP, Venus Birds, turned out to be the veteran psych-pop outfit's most stripped-down, live-sounding delivery to date.

"We had less time to overthink it," said vocalist/guitarist David Brown, who was happy to lay off some of the layering, loops, and samples that listeners might have come to expect from Secondary Modern by now. "It's much more of a guitar record, which is kind of nice, because I do like rock ‘n’ roll still."

On Friday, March 7, the Hangar 9 will host a release party for the new record— Secondary Modern's seventh— and celebrate the band's March tour. The Flowers of Evil and the Jenny Johnson Band will warm up.

This is the first time the three-piece is playing for audiences in the South, tackling Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and, ultimately, Texas, where the group will debut at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin.

David said the band lined up two unofficial showcases— one of them put on by promoters from Bangkok and Amsterdam— but has no expectations about anything coming from South by Southwest, other than finding new crowds.

"We've been sort of reluctant to see how we go over in the South. We go over pretty well on the East Coast and in the Northeast in particular, but we're really that kind of band, or at least that's how I've explained it to myself," David said. "The South is a whole other animal. And South by Southwest was just another thing we hadn't done and needed to do. I guess it's next on the checklist."

The new year finds Secondary Modern working to hang on to the momentum they clutched with last year's touring and the release of their latest full-length, New Colony. Brown, as well as bassist Matt Maguire and drummer Danny Brown, also have all recorded what amount to solo projects.

"I think we're just kind of getting into the swing of it now. For awhile, it was a little overwhelming to get off of a tour and then go into the recording studio and try to be writing songs, kind of all at the same time," David said. "Now it's like, this is what we do. We're writing all the time, and I think we're kind of to the point now where the collaborations are fairly effortless. It's not a pain in the ass to spend a night working on a song."

For Venus Birds, Secondary Modern returned to recording engineer David Allen, taking a hybrid approach of both analog and digital production.

Brown said the band didn't set out to make an EP but the songs seemed to work in the context of each other, so there was no point in sitting on them until there was enough material for a full album.

"It's hard to make an album when you've got so many different ideas. If you can group four or five tunes together that sound like they make sense, maybe that's where we're going," David said. "With the market sort of headed in that direction, an EP in 2014 doesn't seem like a tossoff in the same way it might have felt at a certain point fifteen years ago or something."

The four-song collection, now streaming online, might capture the band at its most basic, but there's still a lot going on, moving between catchy, tripped-out melodies that touch on the British Invasion and more patient, brooding material. For the most part, the band sticks with a guitars-and-drums foundation, with minimal overdubs.

Brown, who previously worked on Josh Murphy's William Feigns project at Observatory Studios, said the band flirted with some embellishments that were scrapped by the end of the sessions.

"[They] were things that changed the vibes of the songs quite a bit," he said. "They had a great Wurlitzer electric piano. We tried to put it on everything and it just didn't work with those songs."

Brown said the band is heading back to the studio in March, but with a different vision.

"I think the next batch of tunes are probably going to work better as semi-insane studio productions," he said. "And I like the idea we're all comfortable bouncing between those two worlds." - Nightlife


"Venus Birds" (2014)

"New colony" (2013)

"Secondary Modern" (2012)
"Vaudeville Ghosts" (2010)
"Thin Cities" (2008)
"Vanilla to an Englishman" (2007)
"A Finance Opera" (2005)



SECONDARY MODERN:Three people who filter sprawling musical influences through the pop form. Brothers David and Daniel Brown started playing music together as children. Matt McGuire came into the picture in 2008. Image is a useless tool and does nothing to capture the essence of this trio. The combination of three obsessive multi-instrumentalists in one band is bound to produce a unique sound. In this case, it is a reworking of the pop form: standing on the shoulders of John Lennon, Ray Davies, and Gene Clark while taking in to account the abrasive chaos and DIY aesthetic of punk, and simultaneously searching for sounds and rhythms outside of musical form. How does a guitar sound like an organ? How does an organ sound unlike anything? Is there a chorus to this song, and if so, couldn't it be any of these parts? Repeated listening suggests some questions while answering others. Just what is pop music anyway?



*THIN CITIES (2008) - out of print *VANILLA TO AN ENGLISHMAN (2007) -
out of print *A FINANCE OPERA (2005) - out of print *SECONDARY MODERN ep
(2005) - out of print

Band Members