The Vine

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Riding a Wave

If I have not made it known in my earlier writings, I am a big fan of surf music. I have recently made good friends with the guitar player of a local surf band, the Nematoads, and he gave me some of the music he produced on his Deep Eddy record label. It all ties in with hoola hooping, because of that show that I went to at Jo's Coffeehouse, a benefit for Surfrider Foundation where Three Balls of Fire was playing, then they showed Endless Summer on the outdoor screen right there in the parking lot. Very cool scene. I went with LM, took my hoola hoops, so I could hoop to Three Balls, and hopefully get other people hooping.

To our surprise, LM's ex-wife was there, it was the first time we met, and the first time that they had an in-person friendly visit for over a year. So I hung back and let them get reacquainted, and me and my hoops made friends with a sweet 10 yr old girl, and that was how I met the Nematoads, because she introduced me to her father. LM and I went to see them play later that night at Flipnotics.

Saturday they played our Block Party at my shop, and he gave me some of his Deep Eddy products, modern surf compilations, and I wrote to him this sprawling ramble about surf music, organizing, and Padre Island:

Okay, the Deep Eddy compilations you gave me are blowing my mind! What part did you play in getting all those bands together? I had not heard Shadowy Men before, so thanks for that one esp. LM and I sat around drinking Manhattans last night reviewing Fiberglass Jungle song by song. He pronounced it and the Shadowy Men to be very professional high-quality products. I let him take it to dub, hope you don't mind. He's also making a copy of my compilation of surf classics through time and style, Bajo el Sur, so I can give you a copy and you can check out my tastes.

It seems to me that you must be some sort of organizer. I am an organizer too, at least I used to be and I still have tendencies. During the mid 80's to late 90's I was a hard-core organizer for Earth First! here in Austin, that is why my musical education is so behind the curve, and why I missed stuff like the Sandblasters and Squid Vicious. Oh well, I guess I'm okay at playing catchup.

I'm just all excited about this music and how to me it seems different from the rest of rocknroll. I love how, from a fan's perspective, it is so difficult to know what band did what song because everybody plays each other's music, you know, *pooling* talent, combining styles, blending influences so liquidly! Maybe it's just the aqua-tinted sunglasses, but it just seems like there is more love and less ego in this music. Maybe its the lack of front-men vocalists. Maybe its the low pay and small crowds. I do think surf music is badly misunderstood and underappreciated. It could definitely benefit from promotion, education, and some well-placed propaganda. My opinion is that *everyone* loves surf music, but they don't want to admit it because it isn't in fashion. I intend to change that!

And all this enthusiasm makes me think things like, maybe I should try to help organize some really cool larger-scale surf-scene show, like specifically to benefit SurfRiders and/OR the Sierra Club's effort to get the drilling off of Padre Island National Seashore? Do you know about that??? It is really bad, and I have a good friend in the TX Sierra Club who is the point person for that issue. He is not as good of an organizer as I am, at least as far as getting lots of people to do one thing, and he has been trying to get me to step up to the plate on this one. Now as a burned out environmental organizer that sounds REAL scary, but if I could do something that pulled together musicians, activists, windsurfers, bellydancers, and performers, all in the context of promoting surf music and what it stands for, well, I would be in an excellent position to do that.

So I'd be interested in your imput on ideas like this. Feel free to burst my bubble, if need be, I like being part of the "reality-based" comunity.I'm thinking like late spring next year. I don't know, if Kerry wins, and if it was played right, it could come off as John Kerry, windsurfer, "gives back" Padre Island to beachgoers after GW Bush took it away from them and gave it to BP International.

Now I could be opening a can of worms with YOU, Johnny Vortex, because what the hell do I know, you might be one of those Bush-loving Republican SurfRider Ecology Action benefitting guitar players. In which case I'll shut up my liberalanarchistgreempartycapitalistsoshalistBULLshit and move on to a safe subject, like, say, trashing Dick Dale's last show in Austin. You just tell me where your boundaries are!

Keep It Up, Fool!


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