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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Music General Discussion »

Permalink Ethnocentric Bashing of European Surf Bands

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Over time these concerns will run dry, when the last global echoes of mid century pop cultural dominance will have faded.

The Exotic Guitar of Kahuna Kawentzmann

You can get the boy out of the Keynes era, but you can’t get the Keynes era out of the boy.

Last edited: Feb 16, 2018 20:33:11

bigtikidude wrote:

Sonichris wrote:

That kind of thinking will only get you new friends and fun adventures, mj. And nobody wants that.

Ha!
I almost believe that, considering all the hoops they have to jump thru to get the work permits.
Yet when bands go to Europe or Latin American countries it's smooth sailing. Come, play, enjoy!

Back in the 70s I might go see a fairly unknown band in a college hall and say wow they were good where have they been hiding! Then like a bolt out of the blue whoosh they were on an American tour and then a world tour and it was two years before you'd see them again! But then again we had quite a few American bands visit us which helped restore the balance. Bands were excited to travel to each others counties and play as best they were able, a little of that good natured friendly competition helps raise the bar, good for the bands, the listener and business.

Last edited: Feb 17, 2018 08:07:04

Let me get my personal rant out of the way: In my personal opinion, Facebook is the melanoma of civilization, maybe even melanoma plus pancreatic cancer. Id rather die than sell my soul to Zuckerberg.

Tracing the roots of music is never all that simple. The roots of Surf Music could be said to be Spanish, but the Spanish got it from somewhere. A while back, I researched the Andalusian Cadence and every time you pull on the thread, it unravels something deeper. It is found in Flamenco, Western Clasiscal Music, Greek music and is thought to have roots in ancient Judah, which begs the question of whether they got it from their years of Babylonian exile or if its ultimate origin was Israeli. I dunno, but it’s sure fun to play, whether we are talking Stray Cat Strut, Runaway or Walk, Don’t Run.

I see Surf Music as a local phenomenon to Southern California which quickly spread. It didn’t occur in isolation, by any means, The Shadows were not playing Surf, per se, but they were doing some great things with Instrumentals and had a sound which, at the very least, shares some common elements with Surf. My point is that Surf was waiting to happen. Surf required clean and powerful amps and reverb, both of which were most readily available in Orange County. Surfing was a social phenomenon of the area and having it intersect with the newest trends in music is hardly surprising.

But music is not a static thing, it progresses, develops and migrates. Jazz is said to be a truly American form of music, but it spread quickly and was quite popular in Europe. A French violinist and a Belgian Gypsy guitarist took it in a new direction in the thirties and the song Nuages became a symbol of quiet protest in occupied France. Django escaped being a Holocaust victim because a few German officers loved his music. So, who does this art form belong to?

If we play music of Western Culture, we all owe a great deal to an Austrian composer known as W. A. Mozart, but I don’t think that many of us are losing sleep over appropriating from him. Music, especially music without lyrics, crosses cultural, National and ethnic boudaries freely and is truly universal.

Go to a gathering of Native Americans and you are likely to hear polkas played with skill and enthusiasm. The radio station of a nearby tribe also has an hour of Reggae music every day. Country music is also popular on many reservations.

One reason that various instrumentals have been so popular with European bands is that the cross language boundaries. For example, a Swedish band could sell recording throughout Europe and the US, which was a much larger marketplace than the relatively limited Swedish-speaking market. When viewed in this light, there’s no surprise that these bands proliferated and continue to do so today. In many cases, such bands brought new ideas to the music and only served to enrich the genre.

In the end, it’s just a Facebook post, and I see no reason to give it more attention than it deserves. If Facebook shut down tomorrow it wouldn’t bother me a bit.

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.
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synchro wrote:

In the end, it’s just a Facebook post, and I see no reason to give it more attention than it deserves. If Facebook shut down tomorrow it wouldn’t bother me a bit.

There's enough trial by media out there at the moment that's for sure.

If someone can play where is the harm??? Preconceived notions are the worst.

Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah

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The quest for the Tone, the tone of the Quest

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My question is: “which ethnicity are we talking about?”
American doesn’t count, because it’s a national-political designation. Are
We referring to a certain pale subcategory of that?
I would proffer “Xenophobic” or “Jingoistic” bashing...
JONPAUL wrote:

This was posted on a Surf group on Facebook today.

"Now. Moving on to another point Mr. [ ] addressed, the issue of the idolization of surf bands emanating from Europe. What the hell is going on? Surf bands from Europe touring the United Sates. Why the hell do we need to hear an imitation brought from a foreign country that emulates American music!!!!! Why the interest? Southern California musicians crated [sic] the genre. Why the interest in emulators? Yeah, put an exotic babe on stage with her bass playing along with a couple guys playing loud, obnoxious noise. That is not what surf music is!!!! Why do we need to import copycats when we have original musicians right here in the USA? There is a plethora of talented musicians right here in the United States of America, some that go back to the birth of surf like the Tornadoes or individuals like Bob Spickard, Third Wave bands like the Eliminators and Blue Hawaiians, playing music made right here in the USA, seeking gigs, but are not considered because someone came up with the insipid idea that European bands know what the hell surf music should sound like. That is akin to going to a Pizzeria to get the ethnic taste of soul food. I've been around a while, so I know music tastes change, but when there are very talented musicians who play in the surf genre, born and raised right here in the USA, it is time to show respect to them and let the Europeans stay in Europe."

Thoughts?

Squink Out!

Reading that hate-riddled rant again, my favorite part is his use of "exotic". Really? Svetlana is exotic? Eastern European, exotic? It's the birthplace of racian misnomer 'caucasian'.

So assuming the US Surf gig scene is oversaturated as a whole, maybe it would be helpful for European bands to know which states don’t (yet) need this supply side regulation, to plan accordingly.

The Exotic Guitar of Kahuna Kawentzmann

You can get the boy out of the Keynes era, but you can’t get the Keynes era out of the boy.

Oh, it's not oversaturated, or saturated. Most surf bands, mine included, can't get off their asses to book shows or really attempt to write new or original songs.

Just look through images posted here of gigs. How many gigs are daytime in strip mall parking lots? European bands aren't coming here for those.gigs(save the Huntington Beach ones that are good gigs).

As a rule of thumb: the shorter the travel the bigger the privilege to play nice gig?

The Exotic Guitar of Kahuna Kawentzmann

You can get the boy out of the Keynes era, but you can’t get the Keynes era out of the boy.

The main problem here is attendance. Weather it's a local or traveling band, most people that like surf don't go to many shows.
Older, tired, family, distance, time of show, etc.
people keep asking me to help book bar shows, but it's not a fun prospect
Of putting together a show and having 5 surf fans and 10 general public show up.

Jeff(bigtikidude)

bigtikidude wrote:

Sonichris wrote:

That kind of thinking will only get you new friends and fun adventures, mj. And nobody wants that.

Ha!
I almost believe that, considering all the hoops they have to jump thru to get the work permits.
Yet when bands go to Europe or Latin American countries it's smooth sailing. Come, play, enjoy!

Not if you're a band trying to come to the UK, unless you are from the EU (for the time being at least).

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XIX c. German ethnographers postulated that the ancestral homeland, das urheimat of the ‘white race’ is the Caucasus mountains. It’s funny that we still use the term that way because from the Russian perspective Kavkazian peoples are swarthy southern tribesmen.
Probably the OP lives in a genetic cul-de-sac where all the women and men alike have kinky blond hair, freckles and pug noses, and wear size size 14 men’s shoes.

JakeDobner wrote:

Reading that hate-riddled rant again, my favorite part is his use of "exotic". Really? Svetlana is exotic? Eastern European, exotic? It's the birthplace of racian misnomer 'caucasian'.

Squink Out!

I just would wish that people would stop to refer to "caucasian" to describe people alltogether. It always sounds like it would represent some biological truth, but from a contemporary perspective it really does not. It's just a leftover from long outdated anthropological studies on supposed human "races", which have no counterpart in actual genetical analysis.

Besides that, what does it matter, how someones skull or skin looks like? Especially when they are playing a vintage guitar while you are looking at them.

Los Apollos - interplanetary surf music trio (Berlin)
"Chaos at the Lobster Lounge" OUT NOW as LP and download on Surf Cookie Records!

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