The Power of East Coast Surf

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7/1/06 - TarantinosNYC, Supertones, Isotopes, Sea Devils in NYC (photos)


Monthly meeting of Unsteady Freddie's Surf Shindig Club

For this club, you don't pay dues in dollar amounts, you just join by showing up the first Saturday of each month. There is the President, Sargeant-at-Arms and Historian, Unsteady Freddie, who holds court each month at Otto's Shrunken Head and Tiki Bar. The subjects discussed are, Surf Rock, of course. It was nice to see 3/4ths of 9th Wave, Mike Rosado, Sandy Brooks, Negative Ed, Mrs. Negative Ed, UF, Patty, Dan, Mike S., others I forgot names of.

Last nights meeting was the freakin' firecracker on the Fourth of July. There were four bands and first let me say I am sorry that I had to miss the Sea Devils at the end of the night. My loss I guess.
I caught the last 20 minutes of The TarantinosNYC. This was the first time I have seen them and it wont be the last. Was the song Bullwinkle Part II, I can't remember because it was like driving a convertible with a ponytail and starting to nod on smack. Gracious people them Tarantinos and I'd love to play a show with them.

The Supertones. Sorry no cape and tights, but they were still Super none the less. Of course Wingnut's Theme is what I came there for.

The Isotopes. Are they like from the progeny of the Love Canal/Three Mile Island enviromental disasters? It must be a genetic mutation because they are really two bands. The first, a nerdy surf band with a tastefull traditional sound. The second is the  hard-hitting all-out Thorium-fueled instro band soundtrack for the go-go Lab Technician-ettes. (Note to self, got to find really hot women to dance on stage when my band plays just like the Isotopes do.) You can tell they put a lot of work into their music and show. I enjoyed the show and have the T-shirt to prove it.
So at about 2 something a.m. I had to get back on my Vintage Japanese Twin Two-Smoke Motorcycle and head back the the less eviromentally compromised Jersey suburbs. Once again I'm sorry I missed the Sea Devils. Remember though the reason this "club" meets the first Saturday is not for this (See enclosed pic.), but to further the the art and science (as it applies to the Isotopes) of Surf Rock here in the environmental wastelands of the East Coast. Last nights action point: More go-go dancers!
- Bill M. of The Fin-Dicators


I have been remiss in posting my comments about last weekend's Unsteady Freddie Surf Rock Shindig at Otto's Shrunken Head Tiki Bar in NYC. I certainly enjoyed the show!

First up - the TarnatinosNYC. I missed the first tunes, but was impressed by the stage presence and professionalism of the band, as always. Every time I
see them they sound stronger. Patty takes center stage and plays a mean "lead bass" - reminds me of Sean from the Atomic Mosquitos, or Tony from SPF-4, all bass players who don't hide in the back! Also loved the classic piano riffs played on keyboard during Miserlou. You almost never hear anyone do those standard riffs on this tune (including myself!), but it was swell. Also, Patty & Paul are some of the most supportive NESMA members - they attend MANY shows to see & support other bands. Thanks guys!

Next up - The Supertones, in a somewhat rare live appearance. These guys have many recordings out over the years, being around as they have been since 1988. It's a treat to see them live, and they had the new addition of a tenor sax. I look forward to future incarnations of some of the sax parts - how about giving the lady a few leads? She can really play. I understand a new Supertones recording is in the works - look for that soon.

The big surprise of the night for me was The Isotopes, all the way from Rochester NY. They were the only band on the bill I had never seen live before. I knew about their geek-chemist schtick from their website, and videos and music posted there, but was not prepared for the onslaught of very professional-sounding, VERY entertaining full stage show & musical experience they provided! First, they dress & act the part of scientists gone made. Four guys in the band, plus computer dude controlling (I think) lights and sound effects from a laptop (including amusing and sometimes lewd pre-recorded comments between tunes). Also stage props, like a bubbling cauldron of something radioactive, lights, etc. Then for selected numbers, 2 dancers joined them on stage, first in lab coats and geek-glasses, then in hot outfits, with well-choreographed dance moves (I understand they perform with up to 4 dancers at a time - see video clips on their website at

Then, of course, there's the music. You might think they were all show, but NO. The music was great. They proved their roots early on with Perfidia - done very trad-style, and sounded GREAT! Then they went on to a bunch of other stuff, including new original tunes such as Mr. Sparkle and Biclops. Harder and faster as the set progressed, but always very musical. I'm sure they could play any style they want - VERY impressive. I certainly hope we can entice The Isotopes out of Rochester more often, or else I'm just going to have to make some road trips... If you can see these guys - DO IT.

Finally, it was getting late and I had a 3 hour trip back home to CT still staring me in the face. I was only able to catch a few tunes of The Sea Devils from
Brooklyn - hope to catch them again soon at another NYC venue.

Thanks to Unsteady Freddie for another wonderful show. Even on a holiday weekend (there were a lot of fireworks displays scheduled that Sat. night - but the real fireworks were at Otto's!), there was a good crowd of surf music enthusiasts, as usual for the first Sat. of the month Surf Rock Shindigs at Otto's. Try to get to the August 5th show for another all-NESMA night with The Clams, The Howlin' Thurstons, The Outpatients, and Ronnie Lake (all the way from MN).

Sandy, 9th Wave & NESMA HQ


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