The Power of East Coast Surf

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5/6/06 - Reverb Galaxy, Cocktail Preachers, This Spy Surfs in NYC


Well better late that never I always say. So here are my thoughts on May's edition of Unsteady Freddie's Original Surf Shindig ( )  at Otto's Shrunken Head .
First of all, 9th Wave was unable to attend as they had a severe brake malfunction. You might say they were vehicularly challenged. I am so glad they are all okay and I look forward to catching their next show at Toads in CT when they open for the King of the Surf Guitar, Mr. Dick Dale.
The night opened with Reverb Galaxy from Baltimore complete with the stunning Neptuna and Neptrina carrying smoking ray-guns. These muchachas are a cross between Judy Jetson and Barbarella! The rest of the band was also quite fashionable in their white space suits and glowing blue shades. They kinda reminded me of the demented oompa-loompahs in the Willy Wonka film, but maybe I'm a little odd. The band opened with 10-15 minutes of straight out spy surf (Sinister Island, Instigator, and Third Star to the left), heavy on the drums and beautiful Jaguar bass. This was followed by Wet Suit Twist, still loud & twangy but fun a real fun sound reminiscent of a 60s beach party flick. All in all, the set was a great mix of slow dreamy surf as in Blue Sunset as well the thrash of Miserlou and Hava Nagila. As an added bonus- FIVE ENCORES! Many thanks to Art (lead git) Joe (rhythm git) Jim (bass), & Jeremy (skins) for a righteous night of surf!
After a nice quick change over, those loungey, fez-heads known as the Cocktail Preachers all the way from Chicago rose to the occasion with the most exotic and erotic sounds to penetrate Otto's in way too long. The extra-large jungle drum beat of Rick Casino was only surpassed by the amazing bass line of Phil Tiki's red Fender. Rounding out the Cocktail Preacher's are the dynamic duo of Stevie Martini on lead guitar and Vitamin B-Bruce on rhythm git AND Fender Slide lap steel! I have never seen a surf band use a lap steel before and I was thoroughly impressed at the versatility of Bruce's playing. While I missed the go-go dancing of the Cocktail Shakers I was pleased to see that members of Reverb Galaxy decided to fill in as substitutes. Wish I could recite the set list or at least give you a sampling of what they played, but by song number 2 I was up & shakin my money maker. I do recall that Stevie Martini brought the beach bungaloo down with the punk-iest version ever of Wipe Out and a very dreamy lounge-style rendition of Hawaii 5-0. But If you would like to hear a sample of the Cocktail Preachers ride the tide to the Mp3 sampler at Rickshaw Records:
You'll get a taste of Stealing From The Collection - 17 original tunes. Nice sample, but way to small. And speaking of small I regret the I wa only able to catch a small shot of This Spy Surfs, up next.
When This Spy Surfs (NYC) brought their avant-garde beatnik surf stylings to the stage it was rolling towards 2 am. I can't begin to express how much I love this band, not just the music, but the members as well. They are kind, charming and always a pleasure to have as part of a show. I am hoping to catch them on May 20 with Venice Beach Muscle Club and The Tarantinos/NYC at The Underground Lounge, 955 West End Ave., New York .  T-99, Op, and a new drummer (at least new to me) Loop Sphere closed my evening with Sunset Surfer. A perfect ending for another perfect Surf Shindig. 
And now I must leave you, but only briefly. I will be on hiatus for 6 weeks, reappearing after July 1.. Maybe a few shows, but no reviews. I can't seem to concentrate or write or even think straight anymore...but don't worry, it's all good. I am relocating back to the home of NESMA, beautiful, bucolic CT because...
I am getting married there sometime later this Summer. WOW! It's a surprise for me too, but a happy one. So when the move is done & the nuptials are all set I will once again return and re-assume my responsibilities as the Official NESMA Reviewer.
Aloha. See ya' in the funny papers...
Blue StingRaye
Official NESMA Reviewer


Big THANKS to Unsteady Freddie for bringing us to NYC and Blue StingRaye for the nice review.  I'm glad you dug it.  It was nice meeting some NESMA members and everyone was really friendly and supportive. Its a really cool venue and the drinks were strong. I was bummed that 9th Wave had to cancel - I'm glad they are ok though. Mike & Sandy have come to Chicago and seen us twice so I was really looking forward to seeing them, hopefully I will get a chance again soon.

But I wasn't disappointed with the other bands we played with. Reverb Galaxy not only sounded great but had an entertaining show and This Spy Surfs blew me away. Great guitar work. I'm sorry I'm bad with remembering names but an interesting  tidbit I didn't know - after our set finished, guitarist for This Spy Surf asked me if we knew Tommy Klein, Chicago guitarist.  I said hell ya, he's helped us out a couple times. Then he asked if we'd seen "The Spy's Who Surf". I said of course, at Beat Kitchen and they were awesome. One of the best live surf bands I'd ever seen, within the top 5. He said he was in that band with Tommy. That's the correlation with band name. Now it makes sense why they are called "This Spy Surfs".

Anyway thanks for the kindness and support and for all those NESMA members that stayed late to see us Otto's. It helped make it a memorable roadtrip.

Stevie Martini

PS: Thanks Joe from Reverb Galaxy for letting me use your Deluxe Reverb.  I dig Mashalls but they definitely are my first choice for playing surf.


Let me jump on the gratitude bandwagon as well on behalf of Reverb Galaxy.  This was our second Otto's Shindig (previous was July 05) and even more fun than the first. The receptive crowd really gets our blood up and helps us stretch to pull off a better show. The other side of course is that when you play for the surf intelligentsia, there's no place to hide either (except perhaps behind the Neptinas and some fog). A bit of carrot and stick to motivate the performers. Plus big stiff drink-ees! Hail Otto's. 

Thank you to Blue StingRaye, Stevie, Freddie, and everyone else for their kind words. Our new drummer Jeremy will be happy to know that he made a good impression on his second time out with us. Jim our bassist is also glad someone noticed his newest girl, the swanky Jag bass. Like MacArthur and the Terminator, and with Freddie's blessing, we vow to return.

And to Stevie regarding the Marshall, save that for your Johnny Ramone moves. The Deluxe surfs as hard any amp out there, as you well know from you own back at home. 

Joe, Reverb Galaxy



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