Feature for June 2012
June is International Surf Music Month!
June 1, 2012 – This June marks the fourth anniversary of “International Surf Music Month”, endorsed by a coalition of international surf bands. With the support of the North East Surf Music Alliance (NESMA), based in the U.S., surf music events are planned for the month of June throughout the world. In addition to the northeast U.S., including Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Pennsylvania, shows will take place in Georgia, Illinois, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, Italy, and Canada, among other places.
Surf music is a form of guitar-led instrumental rock music which evolved in the early 1960s. Pioneering surf musicians included bands such as Dick Dale and the Deltones, The Surfaris (of “Wipe Out” fame), and composers like Paul Johnson of The Belairs. Specialized instruments and amps focus on a reverb sound and guitar techniques that mimic the sound and feel of surfing. While taking a backseat to vocal pop music during the late 1960s and 1970s, surf music rebounded in the 1980s (sometimes called the “second wave”), and again in 1996 with the popularity of the film “Pulp Fiction” and its surf music laced soundtrack. Current surf bands continue to play the classic tunes from the 1960s and later, while composing new surf music and releasing original recordings to expand the style.
“Surf instrumental music has no language barriers or age restrictions", says Mike Rosado, founder of NESMA and the Connecticut surf band 9th Wave. “Today's instrumental surf music pays homage to the founding legends of the style, as well as pushing the boundaries of progressive, contemporary surf music.”
The month will start out with The Great Lakes Surf Battle (seventh annual) in Toronto Canada on June 1-3, 2012. Founded in 2006 by Canadian surf bands The Blue Demons and The Von Drats, the Great Lakes Surf Battle has grown to become the top surf music event north of the border. This year’s festival will see defending champs The Blue Demons take on ten of the top Great Lakes surf bands over 3 days at the Cadillac Lounge in Toronto, with special guest referee The Canadian Wolfman.
(more information at http://www.facebook.com/events/399386446748322/ )
In the U.S., the first Saturday of every month since 2004 finds Unsteady Freddie’s Surf Rock Shindig hosting regional, national and international bands at Otto’s Shrunken Head Tiki Bar in New York City. June 2 is no exception, with bands such as The Clams and Thee Icepicks performing for a crowd well-versed in instrumental surf music. (more information about Unsteady Freddie & Surf Rock Shindigs at http://www.nesmasurf.org/featurearchive/feb%202007%20uf.htm )
Italy is also celebrating its seventh annual surf music festival, called Surfer Joe Summer Festival in Livorno Italy, June 21-24. Billed as “The World’s #1 Surf Music Event”, it boasts performances by 18 international bands this year, including bands from Italy, Spain, Greece, U.S., Netherlands, France, Belgium, Sweden, and Russia. (more information at http://www.surferjoe.it/festival/ )
Two other annual surf music shows are coming up in the U.S.: Surf Fest will happen in Douglasville, Georgia on June 30th. This is the sixth year for this regional surf show in the southeast put on by The SURGE, and the free event will include 12 regional surf bands. Surfapalooza, hosted by the Atom Bumz, will take place on June 16th in Annapolis, Maryland with 5 regional surf music acts, growing larger in each of the three years since this event started.
Of course, other important surf music events happen in months that are not designated as Instrumental Surf Music Month, such as the Surf Guitar 101 Convention each August in southern CA (http://surfguitar101.com/ ); and The Instro Summit in Chapel Hill NC each spring, (http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Instro-Summit/106578046087152 ), covering many styles of instrumental music, including surf.
The genre of surf music continues to thrive throughout the world; surf bands in almost every country, including Russia, Israel, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Germany, Slovenia, Japan and the U.K. make this a truly diverse, international style of music.
For more information, contact Mike Rosado of 9th Wave, or your local NESMA surf band. This event is listed with Chase's Calendar of Events at http://www.mhprofessional.com/?page=/mhp/categories/chases/content/special_months.html#june