The Power of East Coast Surf

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4/22/06 - 9th Wave, Venice Beach Muscle Club, and Crustaceans in Storrs, CT

The Storrs summit was great! Great friends and food at NESMA HQ before (including Perilous Cheryl's pickles!), then to the club for a well-done and fun set by the future of surf music - The Crustaceans (some tasty modern surf covers and a pure joy for making music that leaked out all over the audience!) Next up, Venice Beach Muscle Club was a blast! Some superb surfy twists on great non-surfy tunes (I loved the Kinks/So Tired of Waiting arrangement!) Great musicians and great people - can't wait to see them again. Finally, 9th Wave, busting with new tunes! Smokin' set. The irony of the title "The Stranger Rides Again" was a major discussion topic! And a surprise - Surf Squad! Yes, an incarnation of Vinnie O and crew blessed us with a well
appreciated taste of Dick Dale.  love nights like this.
 

Dano Clam of The Clams

 

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Last Saturday's, Family Fun Nite/NESMA Surf Summit at Casa de la Luau (aka Rancho Rosado) was a joy from beginning to end. I am so grateful each and every time I walk into Mike and Sandy's home. Not only are they generous with the musical talents, but that are damn fine hosts as well! The house was filled to the brim with good food and great people. The best part of the evening was not in the club, but at the house when Melina, Steve, & Evan (VBMC), Mike (9th Wave), and Dan (The Clams) plucked up the numerous guitars, a uke, and an acoustic bass to have an impromptu jam session in the living room. As I left there was tons of reverb was making the house shake as Vinnie "O" (former Surf Squad) grabbed a guitar and made it beg for mercy!
 
However, soon it was off to the club, Schmedley's Pub, to catch a taste of the Crustaceans, Venice Beach Muscle Club, and 9th Wave. This was my first time hearing the Crustaceans and if you will indulge me, I would like to introduce the band:
Kelsey - Percussion (age 17)
Galen - Keyboard & percussion (age 12)
Ryan - Drums (age 13)
Patrick - Percussion (age 10, sat this night out)
Dave - Guitar (Dad-Kelsey, Galen, & Pat)
Paul - Bass (Dad-Ryan)
 
Ladies and Gentlemen, you have just met the "Partridge family" of surf! This was the Crustacean's first bar experience. Before this they have played art shows, a Katrina Benefit, more wholesome venues. However, the entire band was very professional both on and off stage. The set opened with the three younger members in front providing killer percussion which included a couple of djembi-like drums and maracas. This was followed by one of the best tunes of the night, "Linus & Lucy", also known as the Peanuts theme song. From geezers to grandkids, the whole room was clapping and dancing to this memorable song. Dolly Madison would have been proud! This was followed by a creepy version of Rockula with a monster sound and the classic Pipeline. The following 45 minutes were sprinkled with a fine mix that included western twang and the hard hitting Big Foot. I have to say that Ryan (drums) was incredibly impressive with his crisp snappy sound. Can't wait to see where these young squids are when they are old enough to vote! Crustaceans, you rock! - as musicians and parents.
 
Venice Beach Muscle Club ... 4 words, 4 musicians, one of the rockin-
est surf sounds out there today. Since their inception last year this band has built up a following as big as their sound. Evan is smooth with his double pickin' and his delivery of each and every song. I can't begin to express the way VBMC has grown. I am amazed and awestruck. Plus they are still the friendliest folk in NYC. The set opened with Planet Claire and then transitioned into Rumble without stopping or missing beat. Way to go on the skins Todd! Steve and Melina always stand off to the side, but their playing is right out in front as well providing the support needed to get each and every song off the ground. They showed off their harder edgier side with a fine rendition of Surf Ro Mania before kicking into a surf version of White Rabbit. What a very trippy and pleasant surprise! But the finale of the set was the best of night, Paint It Black. (**Please look for video of the nite very soon courtesy of SchizoMonkey Studios)
 
Sorry I had to miss 9th Wave, but I am sure to catch them in NYC in a couple of weeks.
 
I am so glad that the warm east coast sun has finally decided to shine her rays upon us and surf music will provide the soundtrack to another fabulous NESMA Surf Summit Summer.  I hope to see you all very soon at upcoming shows:
 
A-Loooo- HA!
Blue StingRaye
Official NESMA Reviewer
www.nesmasurf.org
www.myspace.com/bluestingraye

 

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Hey everyone -  I need to publicly thanks Sandy and Mike for all their hospitality last weekend, when we played at Schmedly's surf summit.  They treated us like family. When they started making burritos for us at 2am, after having already cleaned up after the big afternoon party they threw before the gig, I thought I was dreaming. Thank you guys for really going way above and beyond. It was nice to get to hang with Negative Ed (9th Wave bassist) and Tommy (9th Wave drummer) too, who always show us a good time. I loved meeting the whole Crustacean family - they were really an inspiration. Great to finally meet Dan from the Clams, and to see Phred (formerly of The Clams and 9th Wave) back from Florida, and to meet everyone in the community of friends there, who were all super welcoming. I'm looking forward to seeing you all soon. The Stranger will ride again...
 

Melina, VBMC



 

     

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