The Power of East Coast Surf

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7/7/07 - Supertones, Chillers, Reverb Galaxy, TarantinosNYC, Venice Beach Muscle Club, and El Muchacho in NYC

Man oh man - what a smokin' party we had goin' on for this past Saturday's SURF-ROCK SHINDIG.

It started a little earlier than usual because the show featured 6 bands instead of the usual 4. It was pointed out to me that we had 6 bands, yet 6 different "styles" of the surf-rock genre - sometimes it works out that way....

THE SUPERTONES kicked it off with their usual brilliant trad surf presentation;  they performed as a 3 piece (guitar, bass drums; no 2nd guitar, no sax, this time around);  sounded as tight as ever.

THE CHILLERS came out second;  they play explosive surf "New Jersey style" mixing elements of blues and jammin' rock.;

Third, we had the great, spacey deep reverb sound of REVERB GALAXY who were completely on top of their game;  Nancy accompanied them as Judy Jetson-ish dancer -- she was a gorgeous adorable kitschy addition to their show...killer killer set from a band visiting us again from Maryland.

TARANTINOS NYC was up thereafter;  my goodness has this spy-fi/spaghetti western band grown musically;  maybe the best I have ever witnessed!  Note:  I had to stop their show in the middle to deal with an intolerant male who kept insisting on punk/moshpit dancing; now if you have been to OTTO's SHRUNKEN HEAD, or seen pictures, it's not exactly a large venue, is it;  it's like a basement apartment, a small one, at that;  he refused to stop, so I stopped everything; eventually management "asked" him to leave;  don't get me wrong, I dug his energy a great deal - he just had too much of it!!  One bad move, a kick of another patron, a table gets knocked into, glass goes flying, or a musician gets smashed into...you can see my point;  this ain't no disco, nor CBGB's, there ain't no foolin' around, you dig?

VENICE BEACH MUSCLE CLUB was next in line;  Evan's new Mosrite-wanna-be sounded just beautiful!  I luv the way this band mixes its tunes, from so many sources....call it "pop surf" for lack of a better description

Finally we closed with EL MUCHACHO, playing a blistering set of fuzzed-out, psychedelic surf!  man they went on close to 1:45 am, played to 230 am, and there must have been 10-15 people still up there dancin' and groovin'. In fact, the dancing, once it started to get happenin' during the TARANTINOS NYC set....it never let up.

What I set out to do, I have done....I wanted so so bad to create a regular, ongoing surf-music scene in NYC....and this past show really made me feel like we are now officially entrenched.

Also, important to point out, was how young so many of the guests were;  yeah, lots of young girls in their early 20's .....one of the things I set out to do was to bring surf to a new, young audience...not simply make it available for us surf music junkies....that is most gratifying...love to see that.

Thanks to everyone who came out to support the Surf-Rock Shindig, and to the bands who all trekked to NYC to make this a very special evening. Surf is up, way way up...

Unsteady Freddie


***

It was quite surreal to see Otto's Shrunken Head in the daylight. The mystique of glowing neon was subdued until you crossed its door way into the dark depths of the grass skirted and tiki festooned walls. And what should I hear as I step inside ( feeling a bit like Alice through the looking glass) but the booming voice of Unsteady Freddie, the twangy Mad Hatter of ceremonies. Mr. Unsteady was decked out in a creamy swank suit and looked to me like TV televangelist out to save us sinners from falling into the pit of depravity. How Ironic! Can I get an A-MEN!?
 
The trio known as The Supertones were tuning up as I sat at a side table, front row, no waiting dontcha' know. The set began promptly at 8 pm (give or take 10 minutes). There was a quiet crowd of 6 or so as the band washed the room in reverb and let it drip down the walls. Though I love to watch musicians work their craft I must say my eyes remained closed to better breath in the notes that fell from each string and drum beat. When I opened my eyes I could see that the room had begun to fill and that was the trend for the rest of the evening. People, some wide-eyed, some savvy surfers, would walk into the room to get a dose of surf sure to cure your ills and shake off the blues. The bands music gravitated between psychedelic-surf, then back to trad and off the exotica again. The Supertones are a classy and classic band I and, while I have seen them twice in two months, I could hear them every day and not get tired of their sound.

Next up were the Chillers, New Joisey surf, raw, raucous and in your face. Love this band and the entourage they carry with them. Like Fenders, Jags and reverb tanks, The Chillers would not be the same without their friends coloring the venue and adding to the music. They played originals such as Mr. Moto, Pipeline and Darkside(John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown  Band) with such attitude and zest it was hard to sit still and few people did. The vocals were a nice touch including Juicy Miss Lucy which I haven't heard in forever. Thanks for a great set of fun, fun, FUN!
 
But what's more fun than a band of funky outer space compadres and their interstellar glamour go go girl Nancy Neptune!? Not a darn thing. Reverb Galaxy, with their matching white suits and glowing blue specs, are worth a trip to Baltimore (and you won't even need a Space Shuttle to get there). Lucky for us Unsteady has convinced them to travel across light years several times to appear at Otto's. This is real power-surf band, heavy on the drums, but not dark, just smokin' hot. They delved into the exotica with Rivers of Surf and time traveled back with the 60's sounding 10 Miles to Nags Head.  By he end of the set the room was full, the dancing floor was bouncing and Otto's was ready for the Tarantinos/NYC. Me, I was ready for some air between sets…the bar was heatin' up.

As I strolled back to the stage just 15 mins. later, I could have sworn  I heard a CD or a DJ spinning tunes, but no, it was just the very together sounds of The Tarantinos/NYC. This band is the best of the best when it comes to soul, sci-fi, spaghetti, surf and exotica music. You can tell how much they love the music by how well they play. The TarantinosNYC set is always  enhanced by the rapport and banter between Patty, Paulie, Brian and Joey as they spit out movie lines as fast as Paulie double picks. I stayed until they Brought Out The Gimp. I guess that was a good thing considering the moshing and mishagosh that Unsteady Freddie attended to, with finesse and tact to be sure.

Sorry to have missed Venice Beach Muscle Club & El Muchacho. Glad it went well despite the little trouble in Ottos's.

Great show once again Unsteady Freddie. I hope to be at the August show and I can't wait until 7/27 at the Cuttting Room with The Rip Chords & The Clams.

And be Jimmies Seaside the next night 7/28 for Surf Nite w/ Muck & the Mires, Lifeguard Knife Fight & This Spy Surfs (www.myspace.com/surfnite)

Aloha,
Blue StingRaye
www.myspace.com/bluestingraye

 

     

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