Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Learning To Play (Surf) Guitar

I've been struggling recently with learning a new instrument - the guitar. I've played in bands in the past, playing bass guitar, then later organ. I got out of music for a few years, but a couple of years ago I decided I really wanted a hollowbody electric guitar (a Gretsch), despite the fact that I didn't know how to play it. Music lessons are an option, of course, but other than playing in the school band in junior high and high school (the only formal music instruction I've had), I've mostly taught myself (and it shows!). I've been thinking about taking guitar lessons, but am not really sure who to go with.

Which leads me to my final dilemma - what kind of music do I want to play. Surf guitar is obvious - I run a surf rock label, and if I could ever come up with something decent, playing and recording solo or with other musicians, I'd have an outlet for it. But I didn't buy a surf guitar - yes, with the right amp, reverb and pedals you can get it to sound pretty "surfy", but it's not the ideal surf guitar. The thing is, I like other kinds of music too - indie rock, electronic, and Brit pop - I can't learn how to play guitar in all of these genres.

I'd love to hear some feedback from other musicians. When you started to play guitar, what made you decide to play the kind of music you play? Do you play more than one style of music? Have you sunk a bunch of money into pedals and amps to get a certain sound, only to decide later that you wanted to go for a different sound?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

SNL Is Actually Funny Again (Well, Occasionally...)

It's been a while, but SNL seems to be getting slightly better recently. One of the funniest bits I've seen in a while was this one:

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Spotnicks Theme In Wild World Of Batwoman?!?

"Is this some sort of weird-ass hootenanny?" I never really thought of the "Spotnicks Theme" as fast pickin' country n' western tune, but that's the way it's used in The Wild World Of Batwoman. I was watching the MST3K version of the movie tonight and was surprised to hear one of my favorite Spotnicks tunes used in a goofy chase scene towards the end of the flick. It wasn't the original version, which got me to thinking... How did a bunch of low budget film producers in the late 60's even hear of the Spotnicks? Then, going beyond that, why did they find a band to record a cover version - there are so many other songs they could have used. I can't embed the clip here, but if you follow this link (scroll forward to 2:40) you can see the segment of MST3K that features the song.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Mobsmen - Scelerats Syndicate CD Available Now!

The Mobsmen - Scelerats Syndicate CD (Double Crown) Released May 26, 2009 (Order Now!)

Double Crown is proud to announce our latest release - Scelerats Syndicate from the great Norwegian surf combo, The Mobsmen! These masked marauders are set to tear apart the surf music world with their powerful, 12-track debut. You can find out more information about the band, and hear previews of songs from their album, at their MySpace page. Most of the songs are instrumentals, but they sprinkle in a few vocals here and there, so there’s bound to be something for everyone. Who would of thought - Scandinavia is the place to be for surf music these days - The Surfites, The Barbwires and now The Mobsmen!

BONUS! Order direct from Double Crown, or join the Double Crown Music Club, and receive a free bonus track via e-mail. It will be a cover of the classic instro - “Contact”.


2.Gridiron Syndicate
3.We’re the Mobsmen
5.Holy Gold
6.Scelerats Ave
7.Cicero Comet
8.Tandenborstel Twist
10.Raven Girl
11.You Better Tell me Now
12.Moaning Lisa

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Postmarks Cover "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue"

I have a confession to make - I actually do listen to music other than surf music. Okay, now that you've picked yourself up off the floor...this post is about finding surf/instrumental rock songs in unexpected places. Bands that you normally don't think of as surf bands have actually turned in some pretty decent surf/instrumental songs, bands like REM, Belle & Sebastian and Richard Hawley have all done surf or instrumental rock n' roll songs that have been surprisingly good. I just picked up the latest release by The Postmarks, a cool pop/samba/lounge/indie combo, who have just released an album of cover songs called By The Numbers. Among songs by Ride, The Ramones, Bob Marley and others, there's a cover of the Ventures' Slaughter On Tenth Avenue. I like the use of organ on this - it's actually one of my favorite versions of the song - check out a preview, or purchase it here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Operation: CRUSH CANCER” – A benefit for Brian (Spanky Twangler) Rogers of The Penetrators

If any of you have picked up The Penetrators DVD “Declassified” (available for purchase here: http://www.penetrators.com/loot.html ) I’m sure you’ve committed to memory the fact we played our first club gig on March 26th 1994. As coincidence would have it, the 15th anniversary of that date will be commemorated with “Operation: CRUSH CANCER” – A benefit for Brian (Spanky Twangler) Rogers at the Star Bar in Atlanta on Thursday March 26th and Friday March 27th.

Benefit or no benefit, this is one crazy-great line up of straight-up Surf & Garage Rock and Roll!!!!!

Here is the info:

[begin transmission] I'm proud and excited to present the "official" line-up for:

The Southern Surf Syndicate Spanktacular, Operation: CRUSH CANCER

At The Star Bar March 26th-27th. Benefit for Brian (Spanky Twangler) Rogers.

Thursday March 26th

9:00-9:30pm Slim Chance and the Convicts
9:45-10:15pm The Mystery Men!
10:30-10:50pm Myopic i (Debut!)
11:05-11:35pm The Holland Dutch
11:50-12:40pm Cletis and His City Cousins
12:55-close Thee Crucials

Friday March 27th

9:00-9:30pm The Surge!
9:45-10:15pm The Electric Cycles
10:30-11:00pm Dragline (Re-union!)
11:15-11:45pm The Penetrators w/ special guests
12:00-12:50pm The Woggles
1:05-close The Forty-Fives

There will be DJs each night and a fund-raising raffle too!

The Star Bar is located at 437 Moreland Ave Atlanta GA 30307

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Concussions - Magic Fingers Named Instro Album Of The Year!

The Concussions Magic Fingers CD, released on Double Crown Records last year, won the WYCE- FM Jammie for top instrumental album of 2008! They performed at the awards ceremony as well, wearing their jammies of course! You can find out more about the event here.