Pop Surf Culture – Book

Update:
I got it today, but could only read bits here and there so far.
My favorite quote currently is Johnny Bartlett saying:
“See, a lot of surf bands (in recent years) got it so wrong. It’s not just the guitar you use, or the sound you get, or the clothes you wear… it’s the whole package.”

I encourage anyone with an interest in Surf to buy it asap. It’s just epic.

Pop Surf Culture: Music, Design, Film, and Fashion from the Bohemian Surf Boom: Brian Chidester, Domenic Priore
This is going to be a must have book – just trust me. If you’ve read previous publications by the authors (like the latest Dumb Angel Magazine for example), you know they get deep into their subjects and have great sense for entertaining writing. They take you right there, with coolest people – connecting all the dots of southern california youth culture of the sixties.

link to Pop Surf Culture on Amazon for your pre-order. I am Amazon affiliated, which just means by using this link for a purchase you get a great book and support this blog at the same, for the same money. Why give it all to Amazon ;–?

Great Quotes From a Legendary Jazz Drummer

These quotes are from a recent interview Evolution of Media made with Chico Hamilton, who happens to be one of my favorite drummers.

…I hear many drummers today, who have amazing chops, but who ultimately leave me cold because they never settle down long enough to get a pocket going, to keep some time. Some consider it old fashioned, but for my own listening pleasure, I enjoy hearing a band that swings. I think you will enjoy it too.

I’m told that people still dance to my music in nightclubs. There’s no greater compliment than that!

…But I can tell you one thing that I do know, which is that if this ‘so called’ industry becomes more about the format, than it is about the music, then it’s a dead end industry.

Chico Hamilton on iTunes and MySpace

Arthur Lyman Re-Releases

I knew about this big back-catalogue re-issue being planned before, but I somehow never could view the web-page until now.

Arthur Lyman died a couple of years ago, and it was a great loss to the people into Exotica and Tiki as he was still performing. He used to play with Martin Denny before he ventured out with his own group. Both artists released similar styled albums, but Lyman kept more Hawai’i in his music as the sixties went on, being hawaiian might be a reason. He had some of the deepest, most atmospheric and soulful Exotica recordings, combining authentic ethnic instrumentation with modern jazz. Another interesting point of note are humorous tunes he often selected to appear towards the end of his LPs. He may not have had a Sandy Warner on the covers, but many are very beautiful, classic Exotica designs. Taboo 2 had an authentic shrunken head on the front, until it was repackaged with a shot from the Pele roll of film.

Kevin Crossman writes on the Exotica list:

Collectors has released 18 Lyman albums in their entirety as 9 two-fer CDs.

Don’t be fooled by lame, generic cover art. each release has the cover of both LPs printed in full color. All you have to do is take the front booklet out and fold it backwards to show the cool orig Lp cover art! The CD also contains a reprint of one of the Lp back covers

Look for the double titles separated by a slash. Steer clear of the Greatest Hits package – it is not bad but I’m sure you would rather have the full experience of a Lyman lp in its original format

go to Collectors’ Choice Music

Birth of the Cool

I checked this book out a while back and I confirm it’s a must have. Here’s a quote from the New York Times.

birth of the cool

The cool was born in New York. It was in Manhattan that Miles Davis and the nine-piece group he convened in the late 1940s forged a tightly understated alternative to the hot expressionism of bebop and recorded the hugely influential tracks later collected in the album “Birth of the Cool.” But it was in California in the 1950s that cool jazz and cool art in general took root and flourished.

The story is well told in “Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design and Culture at Midcentury,” an exhibition here at the Addison Gallery of American Art. Organized by Elizabeth Armstrong, chief curator at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, Calif., where it originated, the show examines cool style of the ’50s in several disciplines, including painting, furniture design, architecture, film and photography.

The multidisciplinary approach could be confusing, but it all hangs together in ways both entertaining and thought provoking. What emerges is not just a style but a spirit and an ethos that are in many ways diametrically opposite those of East Coast Abstract Expressionism. Angst-free, not monumental, anti-grandiose:
California cool is laid back yet cleanly articulated, impersonal yet intimate, strict yet hedonistic, and seriously playful. …

Birth of the Cool – California – Art – Review – New York Times

Thanks to Lou Smith.

Exotic Guitar Scales

One of these days I have to learn them all, hopefully I already do some of them, without knowing their names. Exotic scales are what sets Surfmusic apart from earlier forms of instrumental rock’n’roll, and connects it with jazz (like early George Benson and Gabor Szabo) and Exotica.

Lyle Ritz Using Uke And Mac

Thanks to Lou Smith on The Exotica Mailing List

NPR – Weekend Edition Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lyle Ritz has logged over 5,000 sessions on the bass as a studio musician. But for his latest project, he wanted to figure out a way to make music on a computer. So Ritz bought an Apple laptop and a software program called GarageBand, designed for making home recordings. Six months later, he completed work on a new solo album.

‘Hardly anybody knew how to operate GarageBand, how to deal with it,’ Ritz says. ‘So I had to fool with it a couple of months.’

On No Frills, however, Ritz entered the bass line into the computer using a synthesizer. That’s because the album features Lyle Ritz’s other musical passion: the jazz ukulele.

Ritz is known as the ‘father of jazz ukulele’ for merging the genre with the four-stringed instrument, and his credits on bass include multiple pop hit singles. However, it was in college, while he was working at a Los Angeles music store, when Ritz first picked up either instrument.

‘This was in the 50s, when Arthur Godfrey, the entertainer, who liked to play the [ukulele], popularized the instrument, and so many people just had to have ukes,’ Ritz says. ‘And one day I picked it up, somebody wanted to see this beautiful, nice, big tenor uke, and I picked it up and played a few chords on it, and I was gone.’

After a stint with a U.S. Army Band during the Korean War—in which Ritz played tuba—he dropped by the music store and played a few tunes on the ukulele for his former boss. Ritz didn’t know that jazz guitarist Barney Kessel, the West Coast representative for Verve Records, was present.

‘I just about fell through the floor,’ Ritz says. ‘I couldn’t believe that I had actually played before this man.’

Kessel offered Ritz a record deal, and in 1957—50 years ago—Ritz recorded an LP called How About Uke?, the first album for jazz ukulele.

How About Uke and its follow-up 50th State Jazz generated little interest, however, and Ritz soon abandoned the ukulele for the bass. It was at that point when Ritz joined the ‘Wrecking Crew,’ the legendary group of studio musicians who played on many of the pop hits which came out of the Los Angeles area from the mid 1960s to the early 80s. Later, Ritz also played on film scores.

While Lyle Ritz’s bass was heard by millions, his jazz records for Verve were being studied by a generation of musicians in Hawaii, home of the ukulele.

Roy Sakuma is Hawaii’s foremost teacher of the instrument. ‘All of a sudden here comes Lyle with all these fantastic chord harmonies that just took music to a whole new level on the ukulele,’ Sakuma says. Sakuma tracked Ritz down in 1984, inviting him to headline his annual ukulele festival in Hawaii. Ritz ended up moving to the islands for some time.

Ritz currently lives in Portland, Ore., where he continues to experiment with music and new recording technology. He says he’s always fooling with his ukulele—after all, he did teach himself to play the instrument.

‘I’m a firm believer and exponent of the art of noodling,’ Ritz says. ‘You don’t necessarily have to have a goal in mind, you don’t have to have a specific phrase or song that you’re working on, but you just fool with it and things happen. And I call the result the fruit of the noodle.’

Lyle Ritz on iTunes

Los Angeles – The 50s and 60s

Maverick’s Flat 1966

Dumb Angel Blog is delivering the goods here. The next best thing to being there at the time is knowing all the good stuff.
All the themed night-clubs. The recording studios and labels. The Doo-Wop groups, the R&B and soul acts. The garage bands who covered them. The cool jazz-acts. Early Doors, artists and mindblowing interior design. Pheww… You owe it to yourself to check out this update of the Dumb Angel Blog.

Gogo Sitar – Autobahnraser
on TV Pro Sieben 20.15

Tonite on German TV channel Pro7 at 20.15 CET they will be broadcasting the carchase movie Autobahnraser. Gogo Sitar is on during the pizzadelivery scene. Nothing special, really, just thought I’d let you now about it.

04.11.2006, 20:15 Uhr
Autobahnraser
Spielfilm, Actionkomödie, D 2004

Der Polizeineuling Karl-Heinz wird auf eine Gang von Autobahnrasern angesetzt. Langsam gewinnt er ihr Vertrauen, und die Gruppe zieht ihn mehr und mehr in ihren Bann. Schließlich entsteht sogar eine echte Freundschaft. Mit Hilfe seiner Autobahnraser-Freunde gelingt es Karl-Heinz letztlich sogar eine Bande von lang gesuchten Autodieben zu überführen …

Darsteller:
Luke Wilkins (Karl-Heinz)
Niels Bruno Schmidt (Knut)
Alexandra Neldel (Claudi)
Manuel Cortez (Bülent)
Collien Fernandes (Nina)
Kristian Erik Kiehling (Ecki)
Regie: Michael Keusch

Autobahnraser at IMDB

New Luxuriamusic Shows

Here..s what Domenic Priore wrote about the new Luxuriamusic shows:

Friday: Dom, Kari and Becky 3-9 pm on Luxuriamusic.com

hey there all youse MySpace pals…

Domenic Priore reporting here; I shoulda told you sooner, but I’ve just started a radio DJ gig on Friday afternoons, between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time… that means my New York friends can tune in at 6:00 p.m…. as for England etc., it starts at something like 10 or 11 p.m. (In Hawaii, it’s on at noon)

This can be heard here, every Friday: Luxuriamusic.com

My show is called Volcanic Action, and the music is primarily Exotica and Surf… whatever works in that context, including West Coast Jazz, Bossa Nova, Hawaiian, Surf instrumentals and Surf movie soundtracks, ’60s Beach Boys/Jan & Dean-type things (Gals made those kinda records too!), Indo-Rock, records from Australia and South Africa, ethereal Joe Meek, Arthur Lyman, Martin Denny… lotsa groovy stuff to dance to, to relax with, and to take you far out into the oceanic stratoshpere. Remember what Lloyd Bridges said on Sea Hunt; “75% of the world is covered in water, so learn to live with it, and enjoy its many riches”

K.A.O.S. a Go Go with Agent Kari follows at 5 p.m. PST with Psychedelic Go Go music, deep and rich. To find out more about who Agent Kari is, see pages 200-205 of PAD (Chronicle Books)

The evening gets really gone, to happy-land, with Bubblegum & Other Delights from 7-9 PST. DJ Becky Ebenkamp (also known as Penelope Pitstop, New York Becky and more) gets down with the whole Joey Levine/Kastenez-Katz/Archies vibe… it’s better’n a thrilling game of chutes and ladders. (You can read tons of Becky’s work in the Kim Coper/David Smay book Bubblegum Music Is the Naked Truth, from Feral House).

Please be with us; we’re here every Friday, your mutual friends of Dumb Angel, spinnin’ on Luxuriamusic.com

Domenic Priore

Fridays on Luxuriamusic.com
3-5 pm Volcanic Action hosted by Domenic Priore

Pop historian Domenic Priore (of Dumb Angel Magazine) has got a new weekly show on my favorite radiostation, Luxuriamusic.com.

Each saturday 0:00 cet, 3:00 pm pst.

Now, this is the show if you have any interest in Surf music. In his first show last friday he played the direct LA roots of Surf, where it went and some mega-rare tracks from the 61-64 heyday, you wont hear anywhere else. Together with the other styles he spins it makes for very entertaining and interesting four hours.