The Power of East Coast Surf

horizontal rule


4/7/07 - Clams, Bongo Surf, Octomen, Outpatients in NYC

The night before Easter Sunday, and I wasn't sure what kind of crowd we'd have for the APRIL 7th 'SURF-ROCK SHINDIG'. Well, much to amazement, the place was packed YET AGAIN! and the 4 bands featured each played at an intensely high level - the twang-drenched vibrations never never let up!!

A quick re-cap of the line-up that performed....perhaps someone else will 'comment' ??

THE CLAMS, featuring 'OCEANA' doin' her go-go go-go-go dancin' at their side - The Clams from Connecticut have really come together, their bass player ("Knickers Clam") now entrenched, alongside Dan-O Clam (guitar) and Brain Clammage (skins);  trad surf with the "Clams personal touch" - sweeeet!!

BONGO SURF from New Jersey had the audience begging, pleading for more!  A great 5-piece band, obviously including a nifty Bongo sound....playing classic after classic after classic (I believe they did 1 original??);  I hope to God BONGO SURF come back for another SHINDIG in the Fall;  they just tore up the place (this was their first SHINDIG)

THE OCTOMEN from Middletown (and thereabouts) New York - another 3 piece combo;  again, I was (as was the crowd) BLOWN TO BITS by this band;  I did not know what to expect as I had not heard their music yet;  RATTLESNAKE RALPH on guitar just kept it steamin' hot, (scary tattoo dude!!  obvious how you got your nickname!!);  Bud and bass pounding away, and "KICK ASS" on drums was...well, just that;  this is a BAND TO WATCH!!! (their first SHINDIG too)

THE OUTPATIENTS offered more 3-piece mayhem -- mixing surf, blues, and keep in mind they went on around 1:30, 1:45 am, and when their set ended towards 2:30 am they had a mob dancing at the foot of the stage!  Johnny "I PLAY LOUD" Cola is now the band's guitarist, and that dude can play! OH! MY! GOD!  My Buddy Tony "Captain Insano" Vitale on bass, and Steve "King Klient" Pellegrino on drums -- O U C H !!  Killer!  The OUTPATIENTS will be back in AUGUST and DECEMBER!!

It's CONFIRMED!! We have a TRUE "SCENE" happenin' at OTTO's SHRUNKEN HEAD. Hey, you West Coasters....just like I did on your Coast....plan your travels to New York City around one of these WON'T be disappointed!!

Twang on with your bad selves


PS  thx to 'The Intoxicating Nell' and Steve Pang at OTTO's, and the support from the local surf scene, with members of the 9th Wave, TarantinosNYC, Mister Neutron, the Acoustic Surf Tones, and more in the house.....



Yeah, just when you think you've seen and heard every surf band in the area, along comes another wave of amazing talent. The Bongo Surf guys told me they surf together and one day figured out that they like surf music too.  The bongos seem to keep the tempos of the songs at a relaxed sinewy feel, but the intensity is there too. 

They played a lot of classic surf tunes and the guitar player - with great versatility and phrasing - also had some show biz tricks like playing with a beer bottle, and sitting down on the floor for some stuff. Very spontaneous.  Their version of "Jack the Ripper" was a highlight for me. 

The Octomen were younger but just as steeped in the surf feel. Guitarists, Otto's is the place to check each other out. This guy had a fat tone and the same kind of sure-footed impressive playing as the Bongo Surf guy. 

The new guitarist for the Outpatients had a lot of great playing to follow and he met that challenge. Extremely twangy, he held up his end of the shindig in the wee hours.  The last song was a medley of cool licks that go over the same riff, everything from Secret Agent Man to Beatles to Jeff Beck. Suddenly there were 15-20 people dancing at 2:30 in the morning. Their version of "These Boots were Made for Walking" was also a standout.

Unfortunately, Paul and I missed the Clams, but we heard they had a great set.  Looking forward to next Shindig. Un/F - how do you find these people?


aka Tricia Tarantino



          Back to NESMA website