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Sound Bites

By The Mighty Afrodite

NESMA Surf Summit +Hooternanny Hangs Ten
The PussyCat Lounge
Sat., April 3rd, 2004

It took so long for spring to get here, I'm already impatient for summer. Thankfully, I was on hand for the perfect show to warm the cockles of my heart.

After the cold, bitter winter that just passed, I was a definite at the door when Frank Wood's Monthly Rockabilly Saturday hosted the North/East Surf Music Alliance Surf Summit (NESMA for short) at every one's favorite Hall of Sleaze, The Pussy Cat Lounge.

In case you're wondering, NESMA is an organization dedicated to bringing people from the North and East coast who love, play, and promote Surf music together, to benefit from each other's experience, enthusiasm, and perspective, and to break down the notion that only sunny climes are entitled to surf. All are welcome, as the only requirements are low ego, and serious dedication to a surfin' good time. And at the NESMA Summit I showed up for, the dedication was well in evidence.

Unfortunately, The Brimstones had to pull out of the line-up at the last minute, but there was no room for disappointment when the appropriately named Surf ResQ filled in for them. These guys were simply tremendous. They plugged in to the Fountain -of-Youth quality that characterizes Surf Music, and pulled off an energetic set of traditional surf sound, mostly well done originals with a few highly enjoyable covers. Next up was the Hammer-House-of-Horror brilliance of They're Gonna Get You. "They're" a foursome from the Boston area, and for those of you who don't believe such a frosty New England town can produce worthy or Real surf music, well, that's why NESMA exists. They gave a rambunctious, campy and high-test performance, with live sound bites from the bassist between songs, and a soldiering spirit in the face of some mysterious technical difficulties. They relinquished the stage to the barnacly, roadhouse surf of The Recruders, who's ranks included a saxophone player, for that slinky, dirty, screwing-under-the-boardwalk feel. Last, but certainly not least. One of the founding bands of NESMA , 9th Wave. Headed by the Vivacious Sandy (Oceana) Wave, and her Sand-Rockin' Daddy Mike Surf, They brought the show crashing down with a tidal wave of otherworldly surf sound, expanding on traditional hot rod surf concepts, experimenting with different cultural sounds, such as on "Surf on the Nile" and Sandy even treated us to a swingin' little ditty about "The Waffle House."

Afterwards, we needed a different kind of swing to cool the house down, so the Unpronounceable took their rightful place on the stage, and set the tone as Hooternanny hung Ten. Jana Peri warmed up with a rousing rendition of "Rockaway Beach" (keeping with the surf theme of the evening) and finishing off with a heartfelt turn at "Little Surfer." While the other ladies did not quite get a chance to keep up with the surf idea, we enjoyed a very sweet version of "Leaving On a Jet Plane" from Jen Emma (formerly of Broadband), Our other favorite Pockette Christine gave us her usual spirited(and eerily accurate) belting of "Gun Shy" (Wanda Jackson) and Dolly Parton's anthem to working women every where, "9 to 5" was inspired to new life by the powerful talent of Jill (of Temptress fame).

And even though Daylight Savings brought the morning tide in a little early, The Unpronounceable still managed to bring it home with their usual energetic ditty, "Ugly."

If you're sorry you missed it, not to worry. NESMA is hosting another tremendous evening of excellent surf Saturday, June 5th, at Otto's Shrunken Head. So if you don't trust my opinion of these surftastic goins-ons, check out the next show and form your own!

Aloha, Darlings!