Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Thee Midniters - The Complete Midniters - Songs Of Love, Rhythm, and Psychedeliadotdotdotdot
artworkOK, no surf, but Thee Midniters were contemporary with the surfbands, and hit the chart with their instrumental Whittier Blvd. in 1965, plus they recorded a few other instros. They arguably created the Latino rock sound, the sound of East LA, and while were largely ignored outside LA, they are extremely important to the history of rock, and particularly Latino rock. This monumental 4 CD box captures all of their recordings for the first time. Essential for early-mid sixties fans.
Picks: Whittier Blvd., Heat Wave, Dragon-Fly, Whittier Blvd.

Track by Track Review


Whittier Blvd. dotdotdotdot
Pachuko Soul (Instrumental)

This is it! "Whittier Blvd." may be the ultimate cruising song. High spirits, rockin' stompin' good fun, and great mariachi horns. This is one of a handful of songs that demonstrate the incredible power of a simple riff that's well written and turned to great effect through outstanding arranging. The bass line is more melodic than the lead lines, yet the guitar and horn section pummel while the rhythm section simply rocks. A must have of the era. It's not surf, but surf bands used to play it. "Whittier Blvd." ended up being their signature, and I think it was their only instro. Totally cool.

Heat Wave dotdotdot
Pachuko Soul (Instrumental)

Thee Midnighters cut this instro version of "Heat Wave" that is basically a backing track. There is no melody line, yet it's infectious and fun. Their big horn section and energy make it work as is.

Dragon-Fly dotdotdotdot
Pachuko Soul (Instrumental)

This is one of those instros that I have long held a love-hate relationship with. It's not very well recorded (lots of varying levels), yet it is very much what Thee Midniters were all about. Fiery and spirited, and boomy moody. It's a very saucy number with a catchy one-note rising hook.

Whittier Blvd. dotdotdotdot
Pachuko Soul (Instrumental)

This is it! "Whittier Blvd." may be the ultimate cruising song. High spirits, rockin' stompin' good fun, and great mariachi horns. This is one of a handful of songs that demonstrate the incredible power of a simple riff that's well written and turned to great effect through outstanding arranging. The bass line is more melodic than the lead lines, yet the guitar and horn section pummel while the rhythm section simply rocks. A must have of the era. It's not surf, but surf bands used to play it. "Whittier Blvd." ended up being their signature, and I think it was their only instro. Totally cool.