Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Southern Surf Stomp! presents The Monterreys, Bruce Joyner and Atomic Clock, The SideBurners

August marks the triumphant return of Charlotte, North Carolina's The Monterreys.  Not only were they the first group to headline the inaugural Southern Surf Stomp! but will be the first to do so for a second time.  The trio plays a powerful brand of surf with a world music influence, guitarist Johnny Stewart also a flamenco guitarist.  After losing their previous bass player Leon Daniel, which is now working on his solo project The Wrecks House amongst other things, they were fortunate enough to be joined by Aqualads' (and now Southern Surf Stomp contributor) Jeremy DeHart.  Reinvigorated by the change, the band will be bringing fresh songs, their fabulous new record "The Pharaoh", and even a different look with them to Kavarna.

Bruce Joyner is a legend in the underground garage rock scene with his seminal work with The Unknowns and will also be returning to the Stomp for a second time with his band Bruce Joyner and Atomic Clock.  The front man has a larger than life presence and having seen he and guitarist Tom Byars perform in different configurations with various groups over the past decade or so, I can honestly say this iteration is by far the best I've ever seen.  They nearly blew the roof off the place last time and people were practically begging me to have them back.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Southern Surf StompFest!

I am so proud of our accomplishments over the past sixteenth month and the announcement of our very first festival is no exception.  This day long event is FREE, welcomes all ages, and features many of the great bands that have previously performed at the Stomp, and we'll also be joined by a few new groups.

Aqualads (Charlotte, NC)
The Mystery Men? (Atlanta, GA)
Gold Dust Lounge (Miami, FL)
The Surge! (Atlanta, GA)
The Beech Benders (Nashville, TN)
Caroline & the Ramblers (Atlanta, GA)
Ouroboros Boys (Asheville, NC)
El Capitan and the Band With No Name (Atlanta, GA)

DJ Dusty Booze

Southern Surf StompFest! will be held at Little Tree Art Studios (2834 Franklin St, Avondale Estates, GA 30002) Saturday, September 19 from 12-8pm.

There will also be a free, all ages pre-festival show held at Sunbrimmer Records (4 N Clarendon Ave, Avondale Estates, GA 30002) Friday, September 18 with MOONBASE, Genki Genki Panic (Chattanooga, TN), and Vacations (Athens, GA).

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Highlights from Southern Surf Stomp! on June 6, 2015.

Woven In's Mariah Johnson

The Compartmentalizationalists: Jeffrey Butzer - guitar, Chad Shivers - bass, Sean Zearfoss - drums

Joe Weigel

Drew De Lutio

Guest bass player, Joey De Lutio

Bob Walk from The Surf King Surfwear

Friday, July 10, 2015

Why would you want to Live Stream your Gig over the Internet?

Why not? 

I don't think anyone would argue that the musical landscape for humans has been steadily changing throughout history. I don't think it has changed much for birds or whales, but for humans it has gotten rapidly more technical and modernized. Instead of going out to see their favorite band play live these days($75-$100 later), a lot of people opt to buy a CD or download music to their Smart Devices. And while this guarantees slightly better performances, it lacks the thing that makes music, well, music. I may be alone in this, but I often wonder what music IS. Why am I attracted to it? What makes me love some things and hate other things. Why some songs can make me almost come to tears and others make me want to fight. It's not only an art form for us humans, it's also an experience. It instantly involves so much of our psyche and physical bodies, that we don't really know why it affects us the way that it affects us. The ancient Greeks referred to it as "Pathos", which is basically the way that great speeches or rhetoric can inspire us. In a sense, that's what music is. The body's natural, healthy response to this evolutionary organic stimuli. So with all of this "Farm to Fork" and "Organic" trends going on in the food world, why does the same not apply to our music world? Isn't the true organic nature of live music something that nourishes our soul in a more healthy way than listening to pre-processed canned music? I think if nothing else, as humans we should strive to make our music a bit more healthy, and in my opinion live music will do just that.

What is it about the live element that makes music any different? When I was growing up my older brother always had the coolest records, the Police, Jimi Hendrix, and every other band that was long gone and didn't play live shows anymore. I always had this sense that I had missed it all, and it made the music unattainable somehow. The experience was not available to me, and there was no way that I could ever find it or reach that place that they were at when the music was recorded. And it made me cynical about bands that were still playing, as though they would never match up to the greatness of these long lost experiences. Unfortunately a lot of those long lost bands got back together, and I soon realized that they were just excellent recordings, and those bands actually kind of sucked compared to the more recent bands (Not in the case of Jimi, but then again I don't know that).

In this day and age of "Reality TV" and "Found Footage" style movies, everything is edging ever closer to live experience. But is it healthy to fool our minds into thinking that things are live? Or rather set our expectations with true reality and the natural ebb and flow of the mistakes and experiences that are inherent in live situations. I would love to be rich enough to go experience firsthand all of the bands that inspire me right now. However there was literally no way I could afford a plane ticket to Italy, and there's absolutely no way I could afford to travel to all of the Surf shows I want to experience live THIS WEEK ALONE! But there is a way we can all experience shows together, even if we can't be there in person. We can live stream over the internet for free! Technology has somehow closed the circle in music to where we can actually experience things at the same time as the people that are physically
there! I don't know about you, but hearing the Surfer Joe festival streaming live from Italy made me feel like I was a part of the experience, maybe not completely, but in a small way. And that small way made my soul feel as though I had just experienced something along with a whole lot of other people who I'd never met. It made me feel as though I was experiencing the music as it happened, and to me that is what will always be lacking from a CD, a download, or a youtube video. It reaffirms to me that somewhere there are people like me who love this music, who love this sound, and who love the way that listening to this music makes them feel, and we experience it together. In the end the healthiness of the live situation revolves around the social aspect more than anything else. The community that embraces each other is a healthy, growing community, and if you compare where we are now to where we were in the 90's, it's not even close. We've come so far already, but a community that can't unite because of distance and cost, is a struggling community.

Ultimately though this is new technology. Obviously live music isn't, and broadcasting music isn't, but being able to broadcast your music live from anywhere with just an ipad and an internet connection is, and this is just happening now. This is a revolution in a lot of ways and especially if we embrace it. If a huge band like the Grateful Dead did it just this past week, it seems to me that this is a growing market, and the smart businessman will always grow the market and then figure out how to monetize. At this point it seems like mostly dead heads, phish heads, spread heads and Moe-rons are taking advantage of this new revolution, but I see the Surf Music community trouncing them in the near future. I want to hear your show live! And why not? If I like your music and I like what you're doing, I will financially support you. And now more than ever I have a need in my soul to travel to Italy and experience first hand the thing that I experienced live over the internet. Surfer Joe 2016 here I come!

Here's what I know about live streaming your own show:

Get a free account at www.mixlr.com and start streaming from your android, iphone, ipad, PC or Mac instantly for free for one hour a day. More time and special features equals a premium account and money per month. But if you always wanted to be a radio DJ and Pump up the jams, this is your ticket!

From mixcloud you can publish your sets and shows to mixcloud, where you can build your audience and listen back to the goodness that is. It's all about being social, so don't shy away now! Pump up the Surf!

Reddit Streaming Now!
I was lucky to get someone who knew what they were doing commenting in my mixlr feed and told me to publish my live feed here.

I recorded some shows with my ipad, and literally just threw it out there and used the onboard mic. however the zoom ipad mic attachment has the potential to revolutionize the sound for me and I'm trying this next. Blue makes one as well so pick your poison. I've always had a lot of good luck with Zoom, so that's what I'm going to try, but really the system is so flexible you can use a USB Mic plugged into your computer, or an interface with a thousand dollar mic pre and a pair of ribbons, you decide!

One thing that live streaming does require is a live internet connection. I've achieved this so far with a Verizon Mifi, a Time Warner Cable hotspot which was free because I'm a TWC customer, and of course stealing an unsuspecting wireless signal that was unsecured. The point is, It really only takes up somewhere between 100-200MB to stream a full hour set thanks to new encryption technologies which is typically a very small amount of your cellphone monthly data plan. So what excuse do you REALLY have?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Southern Surf StompShop

We are very pleased to announce the launch of our brand new online store featuring CDs, vinyl records, and t-shirts from your favorite Southern surf and instrumental artists.  Our inventory and purchase links will also be listed regularly on the sidebar of this page currently marked 'Stomp Shop'.
Order Online

2015 Surf Guitar 101 convention

The 2015 Surf Guitar 101 convention is now just one month away!  This event showcases the best surf and instrumental groups in the world and I'm pleased to announce that my group MOONBASE will be representing the Southern contingent.  Fans from all over the globe (Mexico, Italy, Japan, etc.) regularly attend and it should surely not be missed.  If you're unable to attend, you'll be able to stream via KFJC.org.
The Surf Guitar 101 convention Facebook event page can be found here.

But the action doesn't just stop there as there are many fantastic surrounding shows as well.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Highlights from Southern Surf Stomp! on May 9, 2015.

The MysTiki Men?
The Barrow Boys
Barrow Boys singer Troy Junge
Kinky Waikiki

A.J. Adams

Stomps are fun for the whole family!
Our wonderful friends, DJs, and sponsors, Richard and Glynis of the Fringe Factory.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Blurred Lines and the Surf Music Community

Unless you live on the Planet of Mars, you've probably heard of the Blurred Lines Case Ruling.

It was passed down not too long ago from the Courts in LA, and found Pharrell and Robin Thicke guilty of creating a song "In the Style Of" Marvin Gayes hit "Got To Give It Up" from 1977, and the Jury awarded the Gaye family 7.4 million dollars as recompensation for Copyright infringement. If you're really into Surf music like a good deal of us in the SG101 community, you may or may not be aware of the actual songs that are involved in the case. Here's a primer on the situation: Blurred Lines was created by Hip-Hop/R&B Superstar and seven time grammy winner, Pharrell Williams, along with another artist T.I. and Robin Thicke, who produced it for Robin Thicke's latest album of the same name. The song has been nominated for the World Music Awards best song in the World category, as well as selling around a million copies.

When a song is this successful it's natural to assume that someone is going to sue to get portions of the proceeds if the song uses a sample or uses an exact riff or musical phrase from someone else's musical composition. What's interesting to me is that even though supposedly no samples were used, and no direct parts are exactly the same, Pharrell and Thicke decided to Sue the Gaye estate pre-emptively in order to secure an order from the courts that there was no connection between Gaye's song "Got to Give It Up" and their new song "Blurred Lines". Perhaps this is what created the ultimate doubt in the Jury's mind to find for the Gaye family, but ultimately this is exactly what happened. At this point Gaye is listed as a co-author of the song on the wikipedia page for the song (yes, it has a wikipedia page even), and they are halting sales until future monetary situations are arranged.

So listen to those two songs and you decide for yourself if Blurred Lines is indeed "In the style of" the Gaye song. For me, it's obvious that they have that same general feel and for sure, some elements of the songs percussion and construction are very reminiscent of the 70's hit. However what is astonishing to me is, since when is it a crime to create music "In The Style Of" another artist? I completely understand that using someone else's music and passing it off as your own in order to profit from it is a crime, because that's the way it currently is in the Music Industry, and I agree with this to an extent (I always wonder how much this was the case in the classical era, or even in earlier times when recordings were not a factor?). However Music is a very subjective form of artistic expression and creation, so "in the style of" encompasses every form of music ever in my opinion. Even original creations that basically started completely new genres are still in the stye of music that came before them to the musicians themselves who created the music. Everyone is inspired by something, regardless of how original you might think it is. And how are you actually copyrighting something that is not wholly your own creation?

So what really is going on here? And how does this affect the Surf Music Community in General? Well lets just say that the very foundation of the Surf Music Community stresses the inspiration, similarity and "Style" of the young people that started the Genre in the 60's. Even as new genres are embraced and integrated into the new songs of instrumental Surf Rock bands of today, there are still elements of the music, the Sound, the construction of the songs, that harkens back to the original songs written by the First Wave musicians in the original groups that comprised the Surf Bands of the early 60's. So if all of the Surf Songs from all of the various revivals are "In the Style Of" and use basic elements of that first wave, why are there not tons of lawsuits? It could certainly be that there is no point in sueing someone or something when money is not really a factor, of course! But that sidelines the main point, which is that music has never been created in a vacuum, so how is it legitimate to sue someone who stole your idea, if the person you stole your idea from never sued you? I would suggest there is no end to this madness!

To me the Surf Music Genre has and always will be about "In the Style Of" the classics. It's what holds the community together and gives us a common bond that unites us in the joy of listening to the classics, and then listening to the wonderful and awesome music that it has inspired over the years. It seems to me that back when the music was first created, most bands played each others songs, something that I very much miss seeing in the Surf Music Community in general these days. Perhaps it is this fear of copyright infringement that is stifling this type of musical cross-pollenation, and if so I for one find that unfortunate, I think the United States has always been a petrie dish experiment for law and in particular Intellectual Property law, but this latest ruling speaks volumes about where we're at with law in the music industry in this day and age. The ridiculousness to think that a musician can create music without being inspired by anything or anyone that came before it is so ludicrous to just be outright dismissible by anyone with a thinking brain. Granted when millions of dollars are at stake, things change, but I for one hope that this latest ruling does not hamper anyone's creativity going forward. To me, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", and hopefully always will be in the Surf Community. Besides, isn't our National Anthem just a British pub song? Ridiculous!

Southern Surf Radio #1 - Blurred Surf! by Aqualadius on Mixcloud