Feature for June 2014
June is International Surf Music Month!
(now on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/surfmusicmonth )
June 1, 2014 – This June marks the sixth anniversary of “International Surf Music Month”, endorsed by a coalition of international surf bands. With the support of NESMA, a U.S. based network of surf bands, surf music events are planned for the month of June throughout the world. In addition to the northeast U.S., including Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, shows will take place in Texas, Nevada, Colorado, 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 one of Bobby D's legendary Surf Nights in Connecticut featuring The Clams on June 6. Bob D has been putting on CT Surf Nights since 2007, most recently at Two Boots Pizza in Bridgeport CT. This will be followed by The Great Lakes Surf Battle (ninth annual) in Toronto Canada on June 6-7. 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 thirteen of the top Great Lakes surf bands over 2 days at the Cadillac Lounge in Toronto. (more information at on the Great Lakes Surf Battle at https://www.facebook.com/events/587428404683419/?ref_newsfeed_story_type=regular )
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 7 is no exception, offering up a special 10th Anniversary celebration with bands such as 9th Wave (CT), Strange But Surf (NY), Bongo Surf (NJ), TarantinosNYC (NYC), and Mister Neutron (NJ) performing for a crowd well-versed in instrumental surf music. (more information about Unsteady Freddie & Surf Rock Shindigs can be found at http://www.nesmasurf.org/featurearchive/may%202014%20unsteady%20freddie%20redux.htm )
Italy is celebrating its ninth annual surf music festival, called Surfer Joe Summer Festival in Livorno Italy, June 20-22. Billed as “The World's #1 Surf Music Event”, it boasts performances by 15 international bands this year, including bands from Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, U.S., Denmark, Germany, Serbia, Spain, and the Netherlands. (more information at http://www.surferjoemusic.com/festival/ )
Of course, other important surf music events happen in months that are not designated as International Surf Music Month, such as the Surf Guitar 101 Convention each August in southern CA (http://surfguitar101.com/ ), the Douglasville (Georgia) Surf Fest (https://www.facebook.com/SouthEastSurfFest ), and The Instro Summit in Chapel Hill NC each spring, (https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Instro-Summit/106578046087152 ), covering many styles of instrumental music, including surf. And new this year - the First Annual Asbury Park Surf Music Festival in Asbury Park NJ on July 12th (https://www.facebook.com/apsurfmusicfest ).
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, Serbia and the U.K. make this a truly diverse, international style of music. (For a brief history of surf music, see http://www.nesmasurf.org/surf%20music%20history.htm )
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
International Surf Music Month community on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/surfmusicmonth