Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Curl Riderdotdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is the 2004 fundraiser CD I put together for KFJC. 26 bands donated 41 tracks. Disc one features a broad cross section of surf sounds from 25 bands from across the globe. Disc two is a complete show captured in the pit from the Detonators. Ferenc Dobronyi donated the artwork. More than just a spectacular set of music, Curl Rider supports surf on the radio like no other CD can. To all the bands, thank you! To all who bought the CD, thank you for making KFJC possible.

Phil Dirt.
Picks: Intruder, Lift and Separate, Expo 2000, Dark Side Of The Mushroom, Aquabeat, Double The Medication, Shark Attack, Que Hombre, Surfers' Guitar, Baklava, Free Fall, Mare Tranquilis, Ulan-Bator, Mig Alley, Blow Hole, Malaguena, Walk Don't Run, Naugahide, Baja Spyline, Hydrogen Highway, Mung Eaters, Exotica Fever, Surf West, Young Man, Vamonos, Stinger 67, For A Few Waves More, Penetration, Bulldog, Hiawatha, First Point, Forty Miles Of Bad Road, Liquid Chaos, The Wedge, These Boots Were Made For Walking, Jamaica Farewell, Ivan's Big Wave, Batman, Night Wave, The One I Love, And Then He Kissed Me, Presto Con Huevos

Track by Track Review

Intruder dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

At a hundred stars, this is still underrated! This is a spectacular and perfect performance of one of their most powerful and melodic surf rages. "Intruder" simply shreds! Not a better track will you ever hear! Unbelievable fire and perfect playing from all three musicians.

Lift and Separate dotdotdot
Industrial Funk (Instrumental)

A little funk wah wah, a couple of obscenities, and you begin to get the feeling that Shaft is buying a boogie board. Saucy and funky, heavy and thematic, and almost orchestral. "High Ride" is a powerful instro.

Expo 2000 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dave Aguilar's face told the tale as his Theremin sang a plaintiff song. This colest all their instros that they never played back in the day continues to gather power with every new performance. Rich tone, and a divine sense of the absurd from Richie Podolor's writing and the band's great sense of humor, executed through fine musicianship.

Dark Side Of The Mushroom dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Man oh man! This song came into Pollo Del Mar's set for inclusion on a developing Richard Podolor tribute. Podolor wrote it, the Chocolate Watchband released it, and Pollo Del Mar transformed it from just cool to a psych surf monster. Long sustain, slowly shifting phase and wah wah a la Hawkwind, and the soul of the night. Very cool!

Aquabeat dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a stunningly cool track from one of the most interesting and illusive British bands around. Vibrasonic have long been a fave of mine, so you can imagine my joy when Simon Jones agreed to exclusively donate an unreleased live in the studio track. A great surf melody and haunting ambiance created by Simon's wholly original production. Pure "Pipeline"-esq rhythm and piercing reverb. Incredible!

Double The Medication dotdotdotdotdot
Space Crunch Surf (Instrumental)

Great damped chords, dramatic chunk, fine edge and a mysterious melodic sense. A very simple but refreshing track. I found myself coming back to this for replays. A solid and powerful mid tempo song. "Double The Medication" displays their influences well, including Hawkwind. Perhaps more foretelling of their last album, this live track from the Pit back in 1999 is dark and rhythmic, and compelling.

Shark Attack dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thundering percussion and reverb, rich textures, a tribal beat, and drama with a capital D. Tribal in a dangerous way, throbbing with treachery, and thick. This is a very brilliant and powerful track. "Shark Attack" was specially recorded live in concert for KFJC. This recording appears nowhere else.

Que Hombre dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Just like on their new CD, the Hypnotic IV double picked Spanish drama with surf splash in this somewhat Treble Spankers-ish song. "Que Hombre" rocks the Baja coast with tuff surf energy and great tone. Lotsa fun!

Surfers' Guitar dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Lots of delicate glissandos, a fine melody with a slightly sad, almost Spanish feel, and some brilliant vibratoed shimmer. Spooky, playful, adventurous, and warm.

Baklava dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Always thinking snacks, Meshugga Beach Party play surf-n-sniff with fresh "Baklava" for the masses. This surely brings a grin. Magnetic and entirely cool! This is an amazingly cool song done in a brilliant surf translation that requires a grin. Magnificent.

Free Fall dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Free Fall" was written by Richard Podolor and cut by his studio band the Devons. It's been a fave for a very long time. So, when I saw it on the set list for this performance, my hopes were high. I was not disappointed. This is more than reverent, it's magnificent! Pristine playing, a fine mix, and that liquid Bill Epps lead compliment the song well.

Mare Tranquilis dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This brilliantly written instro employs great drums, ringing tone, sad open water melody lines, and exceptional structure. The second-half fuzz verse provides a nasty interlude to this stellar piece. "Mare Tranquilis" was written by Mel Waldorf, and it's much like the more fluid Los Mel-tones material. Full reverb, and visual a melody line.

Ulan-Bator dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a stunning number, with lush dramatic sound and richly textured rhythm. A bit jazzy, and on the sophisticated side of the street, "Ulan-Bator" is one tuff cookie. It's very enjoyable, and very smooth. "Ulan-Bator" is the capitol of Mongolia.

Mig Alley dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Insect Surfers occupy their own island in the surf scene - they always have. The rhythmic nature of this track, coupled with the whammy dipped leads, and pounding racing drums, create a unique and hauntingly dangerous sound. The insect Surfers have always been able to structure songs where every instrument is in a separate aural space, yielding a full spectral sound. The rhythm is playing fast and furious, shoving out glissandoes, the lead is playing a deliberate clear melody, the drums are speeding... and when one element changes, its counter part also adjusts to maintain the balance. This is a brilliantly structured track. It was recorded live at KFJC during the infamous asbestos removal period. They played in the lobby because the pit was off limits. The ambient reverb is the sound reflected off the office windows.

Blow Hole dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This brand new tune is dripping surf reverb and a playful melody line, with driving drums and glissando duet thunder from the guitar and bass. The delicately damped and reverb plucked middle verse is ultra water drop cool! Very infectious and adventurous. The Manatees are one of those bands that can't lift an instrument without a grin.

Malaguena dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With delicate intro guitar lines and rolling tom toms, the Woodies launch into a tight tribute to the Trashmen, using their arrangement and adding more reverb chunk. Big fun and so liquid.

Walk Don't Run dotdotdotdot
Aggressive Surf (Instrumental)

This performance of "Walk Don't Run" powers and dodges with surf ease and punk chop edge. A brilliant false end decays into feedback chaos angst.

Naugahide dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

After years trying to arrange a Pitstop for Surf Report at KFJC, Rick finally came North and the date was set, only to find me out of town. Fortunately, Uncle Al stood in at the mixing console. Here they are doing my favorite instro of theirs! High strung, churning, tortured, and very powerful. fast, furious, and that great melody line!

Baja Spyline dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surfonics used to play Northern California a decade ago. We never connected for a Pitstop, but one day I was given a soundboard tape of their performance at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz for the Cold Water Classic surf contest party. Well, a few hours of post production later and this infectious and powerful medley of spy and surf classics emerges. Songs in the medley include "Baja," "Pipeline," and "James Bond." No shortage of infectious!

Hydrogen Highway dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I love "Hydrogen Highway." It's a great way to power down an open road towards big surf. Fast and spunky, it has a fine melody line and an infectious beat, as well as a real feel of the surf and the open road. Excellent. Mark was miffed at the dirty sound of his guitar, but I think it adds a real grit to this highly rhythmic track.

Mung Eaters dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Exotica Fever dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Mexican flavored fantasy plays with laughter the way "Pipeline" plays with the motion of the waves. It is a fast paced, delightfully infectious track with solid drive and magnetic tone.

Surf West, Young Man dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This spaghetti western is vibrato twangy and very cool, with a fine melody line related like a second cousin to "Secret Agent Man," like might have happened if Enio Morricone had written that TV spy theme. Very fine listening, infectious and memorable.

Vamonos dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like the title implies, "Vamonos" hurries right along with infectious Mexican flair and rhythmic appeal. It's a very fun track, well played and well developed.

Stinger 67 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Stinger 67" features a fine melody riff and powerful rhythm section. The subtle organ slithers just below the surface like shark occasionally showing its dorsal fin. Way cool live!

For A Few Waves More dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A spaghetti western vibrato intro anticipates a fine spaghetti western cover, but alas it's an original inspired by "For A Few Dollars More." "For A Few Waves More" is a liquid variation on the theme that's both original and yet borrows. Great dribbling double picked guitar lines drag you to the surf.

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is at once a very traditional cover of the Pyramids' "Penetration," and an variation of just enough magnitude to make it stand apart. Very nicely done.

Bulldog dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Fireballs' rhythmic "Bulldog" is reverent without being a straight cover. Precise and infectious, and just plain groovy.

Hiawatha dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Geddes Brothers' ode to Hamm's Beer "Hiawatha" lies somewhere between the original Nobles' issue and the Surfaris classic. Great whammy and glissandoes, along with boss drums, accent this fine Indian theme instro.

First Point dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"First Point" is a circular riff based number with a relentless surf journey sound and energy. It has a bit of an Austin edge and coastal whammy chords.

Forty Miles Of Bad Road dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Duane Eddy's classic "Forty Miles Of Bad Road" is vibratoed and reverent. A very nice performance.

Liquid Chaos dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A mean opening ends with a shout of "Get Out Of The Water," and then launches a thick chorded driven long note drama. The notes ebb and flow with danger and great whammy. Truly a fine song!

The Wedge dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and slithery, Dick Dale' "The Wedge" oozes from the band like a lumbering bumble bee about to get you good! It's remarkably fluid and silky, taking on more of a Spanish edge. Great!

These Boots Were Made For Walking dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Moving to the fun side of the aisle, the Detonators countrify Nancy Sinatra's signature hit "The Boots Are Made For Walking." Simply fun!

Jamaica Farewell dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This might have been the highlight of the show. The beautiful melody of "Jamaica Farewell" becomes liquid amber under the Detonators golden touch. At the risk of overstating, this simply has to be the way it was meant to sound. Wet, fluid, magical, emotional, romantic, and brilliant!

Ivan's Big Wave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A poppy melody line with a coastal highway vision runs optimistically over a great backtrack. Tuff drums and solid bass support the two guitars perfectly. A great song!

Batman dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Neil Hefty's TV theme has been covered quite a bit by surfbands. It's a riff rocker with a hook that always seem to please.

Night Wave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mid tempo almost Tom Petty-ish, this fine silky instro has a few nods to "Breakdown" without being derivative. It's a very pretty song with a beautifully attractive guitar line. Very nice indeed!

The One I Love dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

REM's classic "The One I Love" seems only too natural a choice for the Detonators. Twangy and Athens chorded, it flows well. An interesting sidebar is REM's choice of the Bambi Molesters to open for them, closing the surf circle, and further cementing the propriety of the choice to cover this song.

And Then He Kissed Me dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Phil Specter's pomp and high school romance epic works really well here. Right up there with Slacktone's cover of "Be My Baby," this is both very surfable and very attractive, as well as a grin bringer. Excellent!

Presto Con Huevos dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Closing the show is "Presto Con Huevos," a rousing surf pumper with a dry edge and great drums! Powerful and hard driving, it leaves you breathless.