7/7/07 - Supertones,
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...
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
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)