Author Topic: SURF'S UP!  (Read 1944 times)

alan nagsworth

  • even the bombs and scarecrows will sing
SURF'S UP!
« on: September 10, 2007, 06:02:56 AM »
Another genre appreciation thread - why there aren't more of these god only knows. This time it's the not-all-that-appreciated surf rock. From the blatantly obvious Beach Boys to the lesser known Lively Ones and Tornadoes (not Tornados!) to the revivalists such as Man Or Astro-Man?, the music is mostly repetitive, usually without vocals, and with lots of reverb on wobbly (don't know the technical term) guitars.

Nevertheless, it's awesome and I'm really getting into it. Since my other thread on soul/funk lead me to download the Pulp Fiction soundtrack, I heard Misirlou (the main PF theme - you all know which one I mean) and another track whose name escapes me by the Lively Ones, and was instantly hooked on this irresistably cool genre. Who's with me?

P.S. I'll upload some tracks if anyone's interested in the original/revived side of it, just let me know.

CaledonianGonzo

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2007, 05:52:52 PM »
As much as I'm a sucker for old-school surf guitar, I doubly dig it when a resolutely non-surf band like The Ramones or the Mary Chain start getting a bit surfy.:

I'm gonna kill surf city, gotta get me a gun
Got to fry surf city with a nuclear bomb

Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2007, 05:55:52 PM »
Do upload stuff, Nagsworth, I'd like to hear more of what you're talking about. My knowledge of surf music begins and ends with Jan and Dean really.

CaledonianGonzo

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2007, 05:57:49 PM »
Jan and Dean are the business - Surf City and Dead Man's Curve are probably as good as surf music gets.  I've been meaning to add the former to the 1000 singles thread for an age now.

alan nagsworth

  • even the bombs and scarecrows will sing
Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2007, 06:12:57 PM »
The Lively Ones - Surf Rider - For the Pulp Fiction fans. An absolute classic!

Man Or Astro-Man? - Escape Velocity - For Dead Kennedys fans and surf fans alike, the surf revivalists kickin' it with some well-deserved modern attitude.

Dick Dale & The Del-Tones - Let's Go Trippin' - The fun, groovin-at-the-surf-shack-on-saturday-night side to surf music.

quadraspazzed

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2007, 08:03:34 PM »
I'd recommend the [and this is my own description as I don't actually know anything about the band] "post-surf-power-pop-proto-punkers" The Flamin' Groovies. I only have their greatest hits ('Groovies Greatest Grooves'), but its a fine collection. Two examples:

Tallahassee Lassie

Down, Down, Down

And surely a classic of the genre, from the "Godfathers of Surf":

The Surfaris - Wipe Out


alan nagsworth

  • even the bombs and scarecrows will sing
Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2007, 08:12:31 PM »
Aah yes the Surfaris. Fans of surf should really try and get Cowabunga! The Surf Box - a 4CD anthology of surf, but sadly it's out of print and fucking expensive anywhere you find it, so downloading is the way forward.

CaledonianGonzo

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2007, 08:16:48 PM »
And surely a classic of the genre, from the "Godfathers of Surf":
The Surfaris - Wipe Out

Pah - it's only half a song without The Fat Boys!

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gt0LBlH3dAc[/youtube]

As the guy who posted it says:  "The most ridiculous thing I've ever seen."  I wouldn't put anything past Mike Love, but is that actually Carl Wilson involved with this?

Edit:  D'oh.  That is, of course, Bruce Johnson.

Marty McFly

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2007, 12:37:14 AM »
god, I absolutely love surf music. it's even got a smart playlist in iTunes for quick access. one of my favourite pursuits is to collect recordings of the surf 'standards' like Misirlou, Sleep Walk, Wipe Out..

there's so many bands to check out.. it's difficult to really discern favourites.

if you're into vocal surf check out Bruce And Terry (that's Bruce Johnston, earning his forgiveness for the Fat Boys, and Terry 'son of Doris Day' Melcher). sort of a two-man Beach Boys effort. instrumentation was handled mostly by that old wrecking crew: Glen Campbell, Hal Blaine, Earl Palmer, etc.

bit disappointing on the youtube front, but here, if you don't mind watching a record spinning.. great song.

[youtube=425,350]dVuhPiDTzDI[/youtube]

incidentally that song was written by Phil 'P.F.' Sloan and Steve Barri, AKA another great two-man surf band known as The Fantastic Baggys..

Anywhere The Girls Are

everybody should really check out Los Straitjackets. Not strictly 'surf' but they are amazing instrumentalists. oh and they wear Mexican wrestling masks..
[youtube=425,350]JPDpXKySunQ[/youtube]

just found this vinyl-ripped Pebbles compilation which contains Bruce and Terry, the Baggys and loads more.

http://rapidshare.com/files/45602556/9p2e-b7b7.rar (password: rideyourpony)

1. BRUCE & TERRY: Summer Means Fun
2. FANTASTIC BAGGYS: Anywhere The Girls Are
3. THE FOUR SPEEDS: R.P.M.
4. JAN & DEAN: bonus track
5. THE CALIFORNIA SUNS: Masked Grandma
6. THE DANTES: Top Down Time
7. THE PYRAMIDS: Custom Caravan
8. THE RIVIERAS: California Sun 65
9. THE TRASHMEN: New Generation
10. THE SURVIVORS: Pamela Jean
11. GARY USHER: Sacramento
12. SHARON MARIE: Thinkin' About You Baby
13. THE KNIGHTS: Hot Rod High
14. THE WHEEL MEN: School is a Gas
15. LLOYD THAXTON: Image of a Surfer
16. THE CITY SURFERS: Beach Ball
17. DAVE EDMUNDS: London's A Lonely Town
18. THE RAGAMUFFINS: The Fun We Had


CaledonianGonzo

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2007, 06:48:36 AM »
if you're into vocal surf check out Bruce And Terry (that's Bruce Johnston, earning his forgiveness for the Fat Boys,

Writing Disney Girls (1957) gets him a free pass to participate in as many novelty hip-hop hits as he wants.

Cheers for the comp (nabbed before Neil sees it!).

Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2007, 03:58:09 PM »
As the guy who posted it says:  "The most ridiculous thing I've ever seen."  I wouldn't put anything past Mike Love, but is that actually Carl Wilson involved with this?

The distressing thing is that the only Beach Boy on the actual record is Brian.  The collaboration is Mike's fault, however.  Reportedly there'd been talks with Run DMC about doing something together, but Mike pushed through a deal he'd cut with The Fat Boys.

Ted-Maul

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2007, 06:16:03 PM »
One of my favourite bands are The Mermen. Theyre a great surf band but noone ive played them to has ever shown any interest.

They do classic surf, psychedelic surf, metal and country style songs....but its still instrumental surf music.

Just thought i'd give them a mention.

rudi

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2007, 07:24:42 PM »
I have a worrying amount of Man... Or Astroman? vinyl lying about the place.

Considering it's basically the same song with a different sample at the beginning I could justifiably be described as a sucker.

I even have a T shirt. Oh dear...

alan nagsworth

  • even the bombs and scarecrows will sing
Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2007, 03:49:45 AM »
Yeah but they are undeniably bad-ass.

Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2007, 08:25:58 AM »
I have a worrying amount of Man... Or Astroman? vinyl lying about the place.

Considering it's basically the same song with a different sample at the beginning I could justifiably be described as a sucker.

I even have a T shirt. Oh dear...

Man . . .or Astroman are the ultimate - you need to see them live to fully appreciate them though, the live album 'Live Transmissions from Uranus' is by far the best I reckon. In glasgow their gigs are legendary for violence and excess, probably stemming from the time in Nice and Sleazys when the actually tazerd a guy . . .

The music is definately not all the same either, they changed their sound so dramatically over the years - from the clean gimmicky twang of the early stuff they got progressively weirder, adding more and more distortion and more disjointed, colder sounding stuff like on the album 'a spectrum of infinite scale' which has tracks of random noise and one tune written entirely on an old school dot matrix printer - a far cry from the tinny geek-pop they started with.

It was man . . .or astroman? that got me into surf - and there's loads of good shit. I like how surf music falls into almost cinematic categories, for example there is cowboy surf played by bands like Huevos Rancheros, the Aqua Velvets play like spy/noir surf . . .The Bomboras early stuff was like classic horror surf (see the album 'Creature Feature') Man . .or Astroman would be sci fi surf along with Laika and the Cosmonauts (best version of telstar ever).
You've got your electronic surf (Messer Chups) , your surfabilly (Los Straightjackets), your exotica surf (Tiki Tones) of course the classics like Dick Dale, The Ventures, Surfaris but most of all, the master LINK WRAY

The prize for wierdest surf genre however has to go to The Vampire Beach Babes who are, you guessed it, goth surf. They have pictures in the album sleeve of them standing on the beach in full victorian funeral garb, white faces and surfboards under their arm. Absolutley ridiculous.(music isn't up to much though)

Just off the top of my head, other surf bands I like - Satan's Pilgrims, Lost Acapulco, The Ultras, The Space Cossaks

I've got an absolute shit ton so I'll upload some when I get in from work . . .


Brundle-Fly

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2007, 03:56:02 PM »
Messa Chups are great.

My favourite surf track has to be Surfin' Bird by The Trashmen which featured on my battered copy of KTel's Goofy Greats. The first album I bought from Woolworths in the mid seventies, I pronounced it Sufrin' Bird for years though.

Out Of Limits by The Challengers is cool too. I highly recommend the Brain In The Box compilation which has five CD albums of kitsch U.S. horror/sci fi pop/ tv themes/ soundtrack and surf stuff. Fantastic packaging (It comes in a cube with a hologram of a brain kept alive in a tank) It's Ltd edition and a bit pricey though (£99 if I recall) but you get a lovely book and a surf version of Star Trek and The Blob title track too.

alan nagsworth

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2007, 04:47:48 PM »
Do it, sookmafarter. Doitdoitdoit!

rudi

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2007, 08:10:47 PM »
Quote
The music is definately not all the same either

I was being affectionately flippant; no need to twist your knickers about it dear.

I do also listen to the records I buy, you know...

I've only seen them live once. It was in a tiiiiny venue but was a lot of fun, if my addled memory serves.

Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2007, 11:33:47 PM »
Took me a while but . . . .

Here is a surf mix I made for a Tiki bar, got a good mix of old and new surf . . .not the worlds most skilled mixing but it's surf music for goodness sake . . .

http://www.sendspace.com/file/9d2ivd

Took me ages to get the tracklisting but here it is . . .

The Pygmies - Don't monkey with Tarzan
The Fathoms - Fathomized
The Pyramids - Penetration
Moon Probe - The Vulcanes
Telstar - Laika and the Cosmonauts (live)
Gammera - The Moons
Bustin' Surfboards - The Tornados
El Gringo Muerte - The Cadillac Hitmen
Moondawg 2000 - Huevos Rancheros
Land of the 1 per centers - The Bomboras
Plymouth Rock - Satan's Pilgrims
On The Rocks - The Aquamen
Pa Pa Ooh Mau Mau - del Tino's Hesitations
Night Prowler - The Deuce Coups
Surf Nouveau - The Aqua Velvets
Rumble - Link Wray
The Lonely Dragster - Bobby Fuller Four

If you like it, you should check me out on Soulseek, the name's Vitus303 , it's all in the surf folder. Give us a message and i'll add you.

And I'd just like to big up nagsworth for recognising the inherent coolness of this genre  . . .

Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2007, 01:50:05 AM »
The Lively Ones are extraordinarily under-recognised. They were the most uncompromising of the original surf groups, with a wonderful lead guitarist, at least the equal of Dick Dale. The 'Surf Drums' and 'Surf Rider' LPs from 1963 are consistently distinctive and brilliant (can be found on one CD at Amazon).

Dick Dale's 90s LPs 'Unknown Territory' and 'Tribal Thunder' are the best modern surf records I've heard, along with 'Made from Technetium' by Man or Astroman, which has them moving on from their original formula without losing their way.

Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2007, 04:06:09 AM »
Here are a few songs that have helped ease my MOAM? withdrawal somewhat.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/vh4g2r

The Intoxicators!- Lightning Bolt
The Cavefish - A Boy Named Tsunami
The Novarays - Walking Bristol Bridge

Thanks for introducing me to Satan's Pilgrims, Sookmafarter. Great stuff.

samadriel

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2007, 12:09:23 PM »
It's not quite traditionally 'surf' (more Ramones-y, really), but the atmosphere's there;

'Aloha Steve and Danno', by '70s Aussie punkers Radio Birdman.  With Hawaii Five-O medley!

Gamma Ray

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2007, 02:14:56 PM »
Ten East - Black Sabbath goes surfing apparently ...

Try Aqua Beard.

Marty McFly

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Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #23 on: November 05, 2008, 01:36:02 PM »
is this thread really over a year old? my, how time flies.. best thread you've ever started nagsy ;)

I tend to get the old autumn/winter blues at about this time each year and one of the few things that always cheers me up for a little while is some good old Southern California style surf!

downloaded an album called (or by, it's difficult to tell) Ramonetures a few months back. as you can probably guess, it's Ramones songs done in a Ventures style. pretty nice sounding and some of the songs work really well..

here's a youtube playlist I've been working on of instrumental music: here

not all of the tracks in it are strictly 'surf' but all great instrumentals nonetheless. enjoy!

Re: SURF'S UP!
« Reply #24 on: November 05, 2008, 02:21:04 PM »
The Pixies aren't really a surf-rock outfit by most people's standards, but parts of Bossanova are lovely pieces of music.  Don't know whether or not anyone else feels the same, but there you go.