May 12, 2017

850 songs, that is, on my Zen Surf music collection featuring surf music both classic and contemporary from around the world. I’ll admit that since my last post on this most respected and underappreciated rock music genre, my collection has laid pretty much fallow since my last post nearly two years to the day. But a couple of things happened recently that inspired me to re-engage to see what was out there: 1) listening to it over the past few days while working made me realize it had become a little stale and predictable, and 2) stumbling on a couple of new (at least for me) and exciting surf bands while ordering other stuff on Amazon.com.

Regarding #1: it’s no surprise that I’d be posting about surf music around the same time as my last post. Just like August draws me into listening to classical music for a couple of months before the fall draws me back to music by Pink Floyd and Gordon Lightfoot, among others, and after the New Year my taste turns to my Tropical Breezes collection, as soon as spring starts thinking about turning into summer and the days start getting demonstrably warmer, I start listening to surf music. And as far as my Zen Surf collection goes, well, I’d put that up against anyone else’s surf collection. Still, it’s only natural that after a while you get used to hearing a lot of the same songs over and over again and you start thinking about what might be out there that you are missing.

Regarding #2: last Friday night I was poking around Amazon.com because I wanted to order the new Jimmy Buffett biography coming out in a few days (it will be my reading material when I go back to Massachusetts for Goodboys Invitational week in July) that Amazon pre-selected for me a release by The Bambi Molesters, a surf band from Croatia, which then led me to a band called Insect Surfers, which in turn led me to an all-girl band called The Neptunas, which finally led me to a wild and crazy “surf n’ roll” band Messer Chups from Russia. What can I say? I cranked up my Amazon Music application and started downloading like crazy.

The Bambi Molesters are a damned fine group – in fact, their release “As The Dark Wave Swells” is about as good a surf release as anyone has done. Their music is wonderfully arranged, not too crazy when loud, almost hypnotic in their quieter arrangements. And they have a very attractive bass player, Lada Furlan Zaborac, who plays as good as she looks. Here’s a YouTube video that’ll give you a good idea as to their look and sound. All their stuff is good.

Insect Surfers is a band from Washington, D.C., of all places. A solid surf band that serves up classic sounds with a hint (sometimes more than a hint) of psychedelia that has been around a long time – can’t believe I’d never heard of them. Here’s a YouTube video to give you an idea of what they look and sound like. Note the classic Fender equipment and the tiki in the background!

The Neptunas have what I would consider the most classic surf sound of the four bands. Lots of ’60s surf and garage rock influence here, almost as if the Go-Gos decided to go a little retro and try surf. I wouldn’t say their music is memorable, but it’s definitely surf and a worthwhile addition to the Zen Surf collection. Here’s a YouTube video of their sound.

I’ve saved the most exotic of the three for last. The only way I can describe Messer Chups is that they’re close to the surf band equivalent to what Pink Floyd was in how they use music as just one aspect of their multi-media approach. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what they’re identity is. Certainly, surf is the foundation for everywhere else their music takes them, but as their website explains:

In their music Messer Chups combine surf, beats, film samples, scratchy historical recordings, lounge-y and cartoon sounds from the 50?s and 60?s.The show is combined with video from trash cult movies of the middle of the last century – Betty Page, Bela Lugosi, zombies, Russ Meyer’s and Ed Wood’s heroes all mixed in video collages of the master Gitarkin. Messer Chups is the project of Russian composer Oleg Gitarkin, and while the band’s instrumental rock is hard to neatly categorize, it’s safe to say that it would be enjoyed by fans of rockabilly, horror punk, scratchy surf records, Italian slasher films, My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, pulp fiction, lounge music, Ed Wood, the theremin, the Cramps, Russ Meyer movies and the theme song from “The Addams Family.” Gitarkin incorporates all of these elements and more, layering samples from Russian B-movies over weird vintage keyboard chirps and groovy horn loops.

What I found immediately striking about Messer Chups was that, like The Bambi Molesters, they have a female bassist named Zombie Girl or Zombierella who is – and I’m going out on a limb here – one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. What can I say? Don’t believe me? Check out this YouTube video. It gives you a good idea of what the band sounds like. A few of their songs are a bit over the top – they really like to incorporate their love of horror into their music – but their music is unique and a welcome addition to Zen Surf.

So there you have it: in four very different bands a microcosm of why I love surf music so much. No bullshit rap, no phony synthesizers, just music played on real instruments that is clean and distinct. A genre that allows for lots of improvisation. A genre where you can’t hide behind space-age technology – either you can play or you can’t. And that includes female bass players. :-)

Dudes (and dudettes), my Zen Surf collection just keeps getting better and better.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:08 | Comments (0)
No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment


goodboys.jpg


Search The Site



Recent Items

Categories

Archives
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006


Blogroll

Syndication

4 Goodboys Only

Site Info