Saturday, October 13, 2007

Even A Man Who Is Pure Of Heart Re-up

The Surf Trio

Curse Of The Surf Trio



Okay, so they're really a 4-piece and they definitely ain't just a surf band. But before there ever was a surf revival, before punk rock was topping the charts, there was the Surf Trio, combining the best of both worlds with a sound that owed as much to the Ramones as to Dick Dale.
Born in the garages of Oregon in the mid 80s, the Surf Trio brought together the purism of 60s garage and surf with the raw energy of 70s punk to create a sound that was all their own. With a repertoire that included both revved-up instrumentals and punk rock rave-ups, the band began to make its mark on the Northwest music scene with gigs around Portland, Eugene and Seattle.
And with their vinyl debut ­ a 7-song, all instrumental EP on Moxie Records ­ they helped breathe life back into surf music, predating the current surf craze by nearly 10 years. An offer from Voxx records followed, and in 1986 the band released its now-legendary debut album, Almost Summer, co-produced by former Bad Religion guitarist/Epitaph Records honcho Brett Gurewitz. The boys played shows from Seattle to Portland to L.A., and made a second album, the souped-up Safari in a Living Graveyard.
Now, after a 3-year hiatus in the early 90s, the Surf Trio are back and better than ever. Between 1995 and 1997, they released two more albums ­ the punky Shook Outta Shape on September Gurls Records and the all-instrumental Curse of the Surf Trio on the Pin-Up label. And, after years of sweating it out in clubs, they've won recognition as one of the greatest live bands in the Northwest. Two European tours and countless high-energy, no-holds-barred shows in the States have won the band a rabid following both at home and abroad. Along the way, the boys have even become TV stars, providing theme and background music for The Learning Channel's national series Neat Stuff. Never a band to rest on its laurels, the Surf Trio put out yet another screamer of an album in 1999. The predominantly instrumental Forbidden Sounds was co-released by Dionysus Records and Blood Red Vinyl and made a big splash with fans and critics alike. Two tracks from the album ("Vibrosurf" and "Salt Bath") were used in the cinematic exploitation opus "Freeway 2: Confessions of a Trickbaby". Plans are underway for a new album in 2000, and the band shows no signs of slowing down.

Cape Wonder


Surf Is Dead

Port Orford


99th Wave

On The Reach Around


Forbidden Zone


Mr. Rhythm

The Plunger

Las Luchadoras

The Wedge

Monday, October 08, 2007

El Caminos

The El Caminos
Reverb Explosion
Re-up for Moocher

Geholt dir mit Obacht durch Herrn Teisco

The success of rock n' roll spaghetti western Pulp Fiction caused a tidal wave of resurgence in the twangy surf music that once ruled the waves back in the early '60's. Our BIG SURF HITS comp was QT's source for two Pulp-tracks, "Surf Rider" by the Lively Ones & "Bullwinkle Pt. II" by the Centurions. So it really should come as no surprise that Bob Keane's DEL-FI Records-the legendary home of those original surfalicious sounds-- is back with yet another instant classic stick of prime surfadelia, rendered in blaring "delphonic sound"...The El Caminos' REVERB EXPLOSION! "People have always asked me..." Keane recently told one writer, "When are you going to put out some new surf bands?,' but frankly I haven't heard anything that was as good as the stuff I released back then. And then I heard this new band, and boy, was I blown away!" REVERB EXPLOSION! is a brand new release by Japan's best Surf music export, The El Caminos, and it's a rattlin' rock n' roll tsunami! A few years back, their hypersonic twin-Fender assault caused that huge earthquake in their hometown of Kobe, Japan! (Okay, we're kidding.) This compendium of mostly-instro ber surf & hot rod madness reveals how a group of faithful Japanese musicians who've been aping the DEL-FI Original California Surf Sound( since '94 haven't just been monkeying around. We love the way a lot of Japanese bands have embraced American teen-pop & rock n' roll, creating an often animated, semi-unintentional parody, but while this Pacific Rim-job continues unabated and unchecked by U.S. customs officials and possibly even the C.I.A. , we do have the occasional solid musical Japanese export to look forward to from their shores. REVERB EXPLOSION! is your passport to a new exotic world of surf music bliss. Guitarists Eddie Ugata and Ritchie Khoda are DEL-FI fanatics (Khoda even spells his first name like DEL-FI's Ritchie Valens!) and both were inspired by the slurpy, splashy reverb-drenched sounds of the DEL-FI surf bands, their favorite being Central Coast rumblers' The Sentinals. Eddie, in particular, has been obsessed with getting the perfect "Delphonic" surf sound, using only pre-CBS vintage Fender amps, Jazzmasters and Jags. The El Caminos--- straight outta Kobe---are also the only band we've heard that has a go-go'ing Farfisa sound like the great East L.A. Chicano party-rockers (including DEL-FI's own Romancers), giving them a classic sound rumbling back from decades past, but positively dripping with Nineties attitude. (Give a listen to their take on a little-known Jimi Hendrix instro, "Hornet's Nest" and you'll question why Jimi even bothered to mutter 'May you never hear surf music again.')
1 Exotic
2 Sumo Wrestler
3 Big Surf
4 Hornet's Nest
5 Pachuko Soul
6 Exodus
7 Reverb Explosion Pt 1
8 The Wedge
9 Rolling Sushi
10 Shock Wave '95
11 T.J. Slough
12 Death Race
13 Quite A Surf Party
14 Gerugugu
15 How!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Surfin' Sunday October 7th 2007

Mister Neutron
@ International Surfing Museum
Huntington Beach, California
Twas a beautiful sunny day yesterday at the Surf Museum. Most of the tourists have left, leaving pretty much the locals to enjoy the fine day and excellent tunes by Mister Neutron. My attempt at doing any recording was a total failure. Need to do something about that Reamco cassette recorder! Made my purchase of their CD and had the boys all sign it. As long as I know the money goes in their pocket all is good.
Next week: The Verbtones and The Glascow Tiki Shakers! Be there!

Catch their current album Red Triangle over at the TwilightZone, shared by RYP & our mending buddy, Eek! the Cat.

Mister Neutron - Danger Diabolik

A little Mister Neutron to get me charged up for this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Keep Your Pets Away From The Vivisectors!

The Vivisectors
Case History Of John Doe

Raise the dead.
Through the gloom and shadows our eyes strain to make out the figures. Against the backdrop of a full moon is the silhouette of a cart being drawn across the countryside by the bones of what might have been an ox. At the reins, a skeletal figure with a sickle is relaxed and content with what surly is a grim mission. With what looks to be 3 or 4 wooden caskets piled in the bed of the cart, he seems to be heading for the cemetery. From the background comes a sound, a familiar sound in its nature, yet strange in form. It’s eerie and menacing, yet there is a sense of comfort, surprising at first, but not all that unexpected. We toss a puzzled glance at our hosts, The Vivisectors, and with a sly smile they utter one word: “Surf.”
For too long surf music has had no identity other than that of the beach, the waves, fun and sun, woody station wagons, surfboards, Go-Go dancing, and the like. The sounds of The Beach Boys, The Safari’s, The Ventures and countless others. In surf it has been the 1960’s for far too long because surf bands just haven’t kept up. With Case History Of John Doe, The Vivisectors are staking this century’s claim to the torch that was lit so many decades ago by the legendary Dick Dale. Taking the harder edge that Dick created (before all the pretty boys dressed it up and brought it to the party) and instilling a vision/feel of psychosis, horror, and fright to parlay the general view the world has on their native land of Russia, The Vivisectors offer up an invigorating musical metaphor of life in a place that people foreign to their culture and customs would never associate with a beach (“There are beaches in Russia?” is the common refrain when told that The Vivisectors are a Russian Surf band). They assume a lack of sand, surf, and Beach Blanket Bingo, while picturing that of something more cold, dreadful, and tremulous, that of something more significant and representative of The Evil Empire.
Wearing a frightening mask (the cover), Case History Of John Doe opens with a treat: five songs of instrumental surf that touch upon and transport us to the Wild West/Spaghetti Westerns as if The Vivisectors are riding into town upon Big, Phat “E string” Surf. Once the organ on “Intro” kicks in, there’s no looking back. “Big Diff,” “Cowboy Surfer,” “Good Time,” and “Hank, God Bless You,” all trick us into this countrified version of surf, of riding tall in the saddle on the sand of the beach, while the tiki torches flicker in the breeze and the grass skirts shake, but once The Vivisectors kick into their menacing cover version of The Animals classic “House of the Rising Sun,” capturing and exposing more of the original’s terror then ever before, well, we know we're not on Venice Beach anymore (Toto).
It’s songs like “Mad,” “Monkey Hunter,” and “Alien In Government” that then rip to shreds all our preconceived notions of what surf is. The Vivisectors slice and dice and toss it all around, injecting Garage Rock and Film Noir spy rock into the mix, with a sense of dread and urgency that somehow lifts the spirits. “Radio Spell,” “Fried Chicken,” “Cruel Love,” and others open up the Monster lo-fi sound that Mike Antipow (Guitars, organ, drum loops, home PC) plays with the furiousness of a man possessed. We hear him ripping and shredding chords like the powerful waves that crash upon the board riders and the beach, intricately picking at huge Phat bottom notes, that run and slice through the heart and the waves. We surf through an intriguing presentation of a genre that has long been treated as dead, and is only recognized by those who cling to the past and exult the extinct. It teaches us that the stereotyping of terror, evil, and repression of the old USSR blinds us in much the same way to the core, soul, and general goodness of its people.
“Motorpsycho,” “Russki Psycho,” “Scary Song,” “Midnight Travel,” “Terrorfobia,” and “KGB Moscow Nights” assert all the horror, terror, and dark, mysterious ways of fear and loathing under a communist regime. But, it is the sound that reaches in and urges us to let it go, to wrap ourselves in the resurrected music of a brighter and happier time and culture, but not to forget what brought us to this point and how much farther we still must go. “Enigma Of John Doe,” does just that with a schlock-psycho-monster style narrative that draws us like the curious to an accident. Perhaps this is the sound we make when we want to see what should in fact repulse us. It’s human nature reduced to its most primitive, a sullen fright that confuses, yet identifies us all at once, the world mummified for all to gawk and ponder.
Maybe that’s why “Cold Waves” leads to the closing of this CD. It finally lays the Russian surf scene out for all to see. While the waves are as friendly as they are frigid, they urge us to realize that those fanatics who practice and present it with revered vision should be warmly received for all they’ve done and accomplished. “Outro” may close the mausoleum doors, and while upon arrival the caskets may have been full of dead expectations of a genre and culture, we’ve been shown that we shouldn’t be shoveling the dirt – Raise the dead. From

1. Intro
2. Big Dif
3. Cowboy Surfer
4. Good Time
5. Hank, God Bless You
6. The House of the Rising Sun
7. Mad
8. Monkey Hunter.
9. Motorpsycho
10. Radio Spell
11. Fried Chicken
12. Alien in a Government
13. Russki Psycho
14. Cruel Love
15. Enigma of John Doe
16. Ghost Surfer
17. Scary Song
18. Midnight Travel
19. Terrorofobia
20. True Story
21. Walking
22. Son of the Beach
23. Moonlight Tango
24. KGB Moscow Nights
25. Cold Waves
26. Outro

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Holy's Holy's Holy's

Los Holy's
Sueno Sicodelico (10in LP)

If in Peru, Los Saicos are a razor-sharp black star of the subterranean heavens, Los Holy's are a blazing constellation. They could be considered the first local psychedelia movement of the mid-60s: they were capable of experimenting with compositions and sounds beyond the New Wave beat melodies common at the time, and all of this while remaining a basically instrumental band.

The group's first LP, Sueno Sicodelico (Psychedelic Dream), is an ambitious and original album, and one of the earliest and most perfect Latin American conceptual pop records. They wrote on the back of this LP, "Los Holys symbolize the restless and evolved heart of today's youth. Do we know all of the sounds that are heard at the bottoms of the sea? Space stations don't capture sound-waves produced at thousands of light years? We will try to reproduce those sounds with our instruments and maybe they'll end up being more pleasant than the crashing of waves." Leader Walo would later found additional bands, touchstones of other facets of Peruvian rock: Telegraph Avenue and Tarkus.

1 Campo De Vampiros
2 Sueño Sicodelico
3 Melodia Encantada
4 Reunion Psicodelica
5 Piedra De Doce Angulos
6 Hawai Five-O
7 El Hombre Desnudo
8 Holy's Psicodelicos
9 The High Chaparral
10 Psicodelico Desconocido
11 Spectro 1
12 Choque De Vientos


Like Stickin' Your Finger In A Socket!!!

1000 Volts Of Stax


by Lindsay Planer
Leave it to an English record company, in this case Ace is the place, to begin exploring long-lost nuggets from the definitive American Stax and Volt R&B catalogs. 1000 Volts of Stax (1991) is the first in a series of single-CD sets gathering "rare & unreleased tracks from the golden era of soul." The dozen-and-a-half tunes on this inaugural volume skim the surface of the hours upon hours of alternate takes and sensational cutting-room floor remnants from some of the most revered musicians in the genre. This further punctuates the prolific nature of many of those who emerged from the Memphis soul scene. One initial observation reveals that a majority of the platters included in this (and each subsequent) package often equal their "released" counterparts. Examples abound, with practically every side revealing new sonic twists on instantly recognizable and otherwise established themes. The alternate versions of Rufus Thomas' "Walking the Dog" or the pair of Otis Redding classics, "I've Got Dreams to Remember" and "Cupid," capture these late legends in their absolute prime. Although some songs vary only slightly, there is an overwhelming energy that remains as both vocalists familiarize themselves with the nuances of the melodies as well as their own interactions with the labels' respective and collective house bands, Booker T. & the MG's and the Mar-Keys. Some of the lesser-known sides are easily equal to the vibe on their more common counterparts. The Mad Lads' "Cloudburst," Ruby Johnson's "When My Love Comes Down," and Bobby Marchan's "Don't Worry About Tomorrow" may not have made any hit parades or seen much action on the respective pop or R&B charts; however, they bear the same driving rhythms and undeniable catchiness that propelled so much of the music emanating from the Stax and Volt empires. The annotations from series producer Roger Armstrong are insightful as well as thoroughly entertaining. 1000 Volts of Stax and its companion volumes are essential for the collector as well as highly recommended for the more casual listener.


Ana Popovic


While the U.S., Britain, and to a lesser extent Canada don't have a stranglehold on the blues, these countries account for the majority of music being produced in that genre. Therefore, when someone from a different nationality releases a strong album in the States, it usually makes news, at least in the rarefied blues universe. Born and raised in Yugoslavia, Ana Popovic would seem to have been brought up in an unusual area to soak in the deep soul, robust swamp rock, and husky R&B she reveals on her first album. But music is a universal language, and Popovic, along with noted blues-rock producer Jim Gaines, has delivered a rugged, confident, and eclectic debut that showcases the artist's many strengths (especially on slide guitar) in songs that shift from jazz ("I Won't Let You Down," "Minute 'Til Dawn") to deep funk (an innovative cover of Tom Waits' "Downtown") and soulful pop ("How Lonely Can a Woman Get?"). With a husky, sensuous voice similar to the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, she digs into these tunes with authority, even if English isn't her first language. A duet (guitar and vocal) with Bernard Allison on Johnny Copeland's "Bring Your Fine Self Home" is both sexy and gritty, as the two trade verses and riffs with obvious excitement and mutual respect. A raging version of Buddy Guy's "A Man of Many Words" (here titled "Girl of Many Words") rescues that song from obscurity as Popovic whips out a slimy version with rollicking horns that updates the tune while making it her own. Her originals don't push the limits of the genre, yet they are compressed slices of blues-rock that are excellent showcases for Popovic's tough vocals, wiry, Hendrix-styled leads, and robust stance. The self-penned "Hometown," a greasy, slinky trip down to New Orleans with hypnotic tribal drums, is but one of the album's gripping centerpieces. Recorded in Memphis and sounding like it, Popovic has captured the city's evocative, unvarnished R&B charm on this polished but far-from-slick album. A welcome shot of sex and showmanship in the blues world, Ana Popovic's American debut is a tour de force for this newcomer brimming with sass, brains, and talent.

More From Those Nutty Boys From Oslo

Los Plantronics

Rancho Nortorious!


You can always count on Los Plantronics to deliver high intensity spaghetti western instrumentals. Rancho Notorious is packed with an ample supply. While the sound is sometimes too thick, sometimes hiding the drums, and even occasionally obscuring much of the detail of the superb performances, it somehow adds to the sense of immense volume.

Picks: Bobby Peru, Trunck Music, Satan Jones, Jerome Green, Buzz Meeks, Big Truck, Sheena Is A Punk Rocker, The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly.
Phil Dirt Reverb Central
03. Trunk Music
04. Satan Jones
05. Jerome Green
06. The Ballad Of Lucas Doolin
07. Sick, Sober And Sorry
09. Lima India 2 Bravo
10. You're Gonna Miss Me
11. Big Truck
12. I Can Tell
13. Sheena Is A Punk Rocker (instr.)