Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Waves of the Westdotdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is the third surf fundraiser CD from KFJC and "Surf's Up!" radio show. It contains all new live recordings of a wide spectrum of the surf sounds. Bands from across the planet have donated their performances is support or reverb radio. As before, Ferenc Dobronyi of Pollo Del Mar donated the excellent artwork. To all the artists and the fans, thanks from the bottom of my reverb tank.

Phil Dirt
Picks: Car Hop, Plight Of the Matador, Exotic, Rell Sunn Aloha, Percolator Stomp, Green Sunshine, White Sands, Ride Through Wild Country, Coyote Point, Crime Wave, Baja Cactus, Unknown, El Nino, (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, Happy As A Clam, Ocean Beach, Cecilia Ann, Strangle Louie / Ayo, Surf Before Sunrise, Missing Link

Track by Track Review


Car Hop dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This incredible cover of the Escorts' obscuro simply pumps out the energy and drips surf deluxe. Where the original was trad, this has the modern edge of the masked foursome with extreme punch and twango. Nashville's Los Straitjackets had done live radio before, and were not looking forward to more. Big Myke Destiny and I worked very hard to coax them into stopping by to play live in our pit. This fine performance is from 1996.

Plight Of the Matador dotdotdotdotdot
Toreador Surf (Instrumental)

Seattle's exquisite King of Hawaii visited us in October of 1997 for a special invitation only performance. It was in A-61, and was essentially a live mic with a small dedicated audience. They were magnificent. This fine track is full of the drama and glory of the toreadors, with a sense of the pomp and circumstance of the bull fight as experienced through a tango. Remarkably artistic and powerful.

Exotic dotdotdotdotdot
Power Surf (Instrumental)

Damn!!! This sucker is A-number one powerful. I'm sure Bruce Morgan had no idea when he wrote this that the Sentinals would fire it up like they did, and certainly no idea that Agent Orange would take it to such extreme heights! Southern California's Agent Orange are the prototype for all surf punk bands to follow. Their influence has been felt far and wide for twenty years now. High powered super crunch power driven chunk and roll. Amazing. This is from the Pit on March 8, 1997. Their gig for the evening had been canceled due to the club closing. It was just as well, because Mike Palm's voice was on its way out from the cold he was fighting. Agent Orange came into our den and played an hour's worth of high powered instrumentals. They were immense on that night, as this track shows.

Rell Sunn Aloha dotdotdotdotdot
Wake Surf (Instrumental)

Southern California's Slacktone are unsurpassed among the modern surf bands. These veteran players have a magical chemistry that leaves fellow players in awe. This recording is from the Pit on March 18th, 1998. This song had just been written in honor of the passing of Hawaiian surf legend Rell Sunn. The track is full of touching emotion. Utterly gorgeous.

Percolator Stomp dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There's no Sterno needed to percolate the coffee bubba, just a few seconds of "Percolator Stomp." Excellent, thick, and very powerful.

Green Sunshine dotdotdotdotdot
Crunch Surf (Instrumental)

This song is a masterwork of writing, nearly liquid in its sinewy flow. The melody line is beautiful, the and the textures are glorious. It is an extremely picturesque, psychedelic surf piece. Its structure migrates through moderately paced melodic scenes, into speed ravaged wave building power which drops into a harmonically driven pristine pool, and back to a mid tempo end that descends gradually to a stop. Absolutely stunning.

White Sands dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Les Fradkin had long been a fan of the genre. His long background with the Godz and Beatlemania had honed his skills as a writer and player. Les wrote and recorded a CD's worth of modern surf over a period of several years. He gave me a call to talk about his success on MP3 and the new disc. One thing led to another, and he volunteered to headline a benefit for us in 1990. He had moved to Redondo Beach in part to hook up with Eddie Bertrand (Eddie and the Showmen), so it was natural to draft Eddie to join the band when it came time to put together a real band to play live. This is the only recording of a line up put together just for us. I was more than a little honored to host these fine musicians. "White Sands" is nothing short of well crafted, and it drips of middle eastern mystery and glorious intense tone. The contrast between Eddie's analog chunk and Les' digital wizardry perfects the haunted feel of this fine song.

Ride Through Wild Country dotdotdotdotdot
Open Range Surf (Instrumental)

Austin's Shakin' Apostles are one of Texas' best kept secrets. They are one solid band, headed by Freddie Krc, whose writing is good enough to be published by Leiber and Stoller. Freddie's history goes back to Austin legends the Explosives and work with the eccentric Roky Erickson. His band the Shakin' Apostles were invited into the Pit by Big Myke Destiny, who asked me to do the sound. They closed with an appreciative nod to my engineering for them with their one instrumental "Ride Through Wild Country," an infectious purple sage rolling number with ample aquatic appeal and horseback sense. Exquisite.

Coyote Point dotdotdotdotdot
Traditional Surf (Instrumental)

Geoff Stitch has long been a local surf legend, grunting out instros since the mid eighties in the Surfonics and the Reverbs, and playing on sessions. On January 27th, 1996, they opened Winter Swell II in the Forum (F-12) to a delighted crowd. Local guitar wizard Dan Tores played rhythm, providing harmonics and chunk. This tune got the loudest cheers from the audience, as you will hear at the end. Infectious and playful. Geoff wrote this one day sitting in the park within eye shot of Coyote Point. He says it "just came to me." I should be so talented.

Crime Wave dotdotdotdotdot
Sci-Fi Surf (Instrumental)

1998 was the year that the creative juices of Planet Seven were first unleashed on the KFJC audience. Their unusual combination of garage chunk, theremin, fuzz and surf knocked me out. It's both wailing scary and melodic. It possesses a curious tension between the disparate textures. "Crime Wave" was recorded in Appreciation Hall (A-61).

Baja Cactus dotdotdotdotdot
Jazz Surf (Instrumental)

Chris' band knocked the audience out in Appreciation Hall. Far from traditional, Chris Shahin plays jazz from a surf appreciation. His band of exceptional musicians work the gap between surf and jazz like it didn't exist. I think I heard more compliments for inviting this band than any other live artist that isn't generally thought of as surf, except possibly Ashwin Batish. Tight, sensational musicianship, excellent melodic writing, and humility. Chris was amazed at his reception. he was afraid that the surf crowd would like him. I knew otherwise.

Unknown dotdotdotdotdot
Traditional Surf (Instrumental)

Splashback have become a monster band over the years since I first hosted them in the pit. Their surf roots are deep. Bill Epps was in the Vara-tones in the sixties (and is again today), and Dana Vincent cut his teeth in neighborhood surf bands himself. While they have written and recorded many fine originals, I found this personalization of the Vy-Dels' "Unknown" to be irresistible. They defined it in modern surf terms, and I think it shows off their prowess very well.

El Nino dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Loungie bongos, mariachi canteena ambiance, Mexican party cries, and fluid lead guitar come together over a "Tijuana Taxi" (Pretenders) feel. This is alone on the horizon, and very effective. The track seems to worm its way into your psyche without any resistance. Very nice, lads.

(Ghost) Riders In The Sky dotdotdotdotdot
Surfabilly (Instrumental)

Goleta's Cadillac Angels are just about the best rockabilly band on earth. The magic combination of Tony Tarzan's pure twang and Link Wray edge and Micky Rae's amazing upright bass provide a perfect vehicle for recreating Stan Jones' classic tune into a total twang monster. Big Myke Destiny had invited them in, and I did their sound a couple of times. I was honored when they asked me to record an off-air instrumental session with them. This was near the end of the day, and it has remained my fave from that session. Crunch and flair, and rockabilly infectious rhythm.

Happy As A Clam dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf (Instrumental)

Debating the relative joy of a bivalve mollusk aside, this KFJC track is indeed a happy song, with a highly infectious hook, and a speed driven double picked lead line. It not only laughs with you, it also growls and howls. This is a fine song destined to be a modern classic.

Ocean Beach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

San Francisco's Pollo Del Mar have played at KFJC many times over their career. From their first visit to KFJC in 1995 comes this fine version of the Mermen's modern surf classic "Ocean Beach." Among the things it demonstrates is cross pollinational prowess of Pollo Del Mar, and the morphability of "Ocean Beach." Excellent Nor-Cal surf.

Cecilia Ann dotdotdotdotdot
Pure Evil Love Surf (Instrumental)

The Surftones cut this initially. I lay unreleased for 30 years until appearing on Surf Legends and Rumors. The Pixies pop-punked it to broad acclaim. Then came Chachi, Boba Fett and the Wookiee with their intensely powerful majorly distorted reworking. This is a monster, from the confident pronouncement to the post assault description. Intending to surf the center section, the fuzz was accidentally left on. The result is pure annihilation!

Strangle Louie / Ayo dotdotdotdotdot
Carnival Surf (Instrumental)

San Francisco's sultans of suave the Swamis paid KFJC a visit on January 3rd, 1998. Their entire performance was stellar, bubbling with infectious fun. I had a devil of a time selecting just one track. In the end, I found myself most drawn to "Ayo," a marvelous tune with a surf guitar lead and laughing Brazilian rhythms. They opened the tune with an ever increasing raver called "Strangle Louie," which segued right into "Ayo." I left the pairing intact because it is not only way fun, but it demonstrates so well the artistic span of this joyous band.

Surf Before Sunrise dotdotdotdotdot
Predawn Surf (Instrumental)

Canada's frozen surf monsters Los Mel-tones came all the way down to Los Altos Hills just to play in a benefit for KFJC in the summer of 1998. Their performance was warmly received, and left an indelible impression on the fans. This tune is a drum intro pounder with raging double picked leads and an infectious melody. The crunchy delivery and strong writing set Los Mel-tones apart from the crowd.

Missing Link dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Chantays classic, shredded with a cowpoke backtrack. This is such a great piece of writing, that itÕs hard to imagine going wrong. The lead guitar is mostly surfy, but one verse also employ post Cry Baby wah-wah. Edgy tones and that cactus needle drive make for a rodeo monster. The second half is at half speed. It is a spacy super warble progression, based on a variation from some version of "Peter Gunn" IÕve heard before, but canÕt place at the moment. This allows the track to stretch out without being boring. Great action.