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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Best-Of SG101 »

Permalink Why you like surf music

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The other day I found myself having to explain to yet another friend why it is that I enjoy listening to surf music, and I thought it would be cool to see everyone else's reasonings. I mean, we're all members here by means of a common interest/passion/obsession, so what is it about surf that makes everyone here tick? I know this is a pretty big, loaded question, but I figure we've all gotta be big enough fans to express why.

It’s thrilling and atmospheric. A very good combination in any kind of music.

KK

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: Oct 09, 2009 16:07:59

I like what Dave Arnson said--"It doesn't suck."

(Usually.)

-Warren

That was excessively violent and completely unnecessary. I loved it.

It combines west coast hip-hop with east coast gangsta rap.

it´s got a good beat and you can dance to it

http://www.myspace.com/cochabambas
http://gianninisupersonic.blogspot.com

I tried to answer this question to someone else recently too. It was very hard to do. I don't know, music is such a highly personal and subjective thing. There is just something about the sound, the moods, the danger of wave riding, the reverb, the intense emotions it can generate, the aggression, the exotic scales, the surf beat, the rolling toms, the glissandos...its just magical when it is done right. The lack of vocals has something to do with it too, allowing for more imagery I think. When done right it seems to transport you somewhere in time.

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

it's timeless...and no words are required...

Good intrumental music can act as a soundtrack to your life. Surf and it's related sub-genres is the soundtrack to the best bits in your life.

And it sounds good. Rolling Eyes

I'll give my answer now. I just waited because I didn't want to be the first person to answer my own question. I agree that "it doesn't suck," but my personal answer is actually strikingly similar to Brian's:> the sound, the moods, the danger of wave riding, the reverb, the intense emotions it can generate, the aggression, the exotic scales, the surf beat, the rolling toms, the glissandos...

Since first discovering surf I've always been struck by the range and effectiveness of emotions it can generate. All sorts of styles are compatible, from the "standard," "classic" sound (I'm gonna say the Lively Ones) to the incredibly exotic (The Madeira, who I haven't been able to stop listening to since July 30th). Sometimes you just need your face rocked off, and surf can fully accomodate (think Surf Coasters and Slacktone) or you can opt for gorgeous, ornate, and complex compositions (Pollo Del Mar and The Bambi Molesters). It even works with songs that have no real kick or soul, but can be just totally adorable and way too much fun (The Lively Ones' Rik a Tik and The Sentinals' Sunset Beach). The genre as a whole is so impressive because, even as a sub-genre of "rock music" it's still complex enough to hold its own further sub categories, and I like 'em all.
Especially if you compare it with other modern sub-categories, surf seems all the more impressive: Whereas so much rock today has (in my opinion) devolved into a much more commercially driven bore, surf has only grown in its scale and complexity. Take modern punk rock. So much of it now has become kids my age going for the "I'm-a-snooty-well-brought-up-kid-and-I-hate-my-parents" kind of message, but the delivery is just loud guitars backing a dude with spiky hair throwing a tantrum into the mic. If I were to complain about my parents through a surf song, you would get the message. The song, instead of being a musical hissy-fit, would be dark and agressive and actually emotional, expressing the "anger w/ parents" theme with a compatible and pertinent composition. Surf as a medium allows for such tangible emotion, and can be done so well when guys like those of you reading this actually take the time to fully channel and express that emotion. The final product, especially once all reverbed and whammied out, is totally awesome.

Though now that I think about it I don't think anyone has ever written a surf song complaining about their parents. Confused

Good post Wooza.

Another thing I like about it is the deceptively simple aspect to it. It seems to have such a limited vocabulary at first glance, yet it can be so expressive in the hands of the masters.

I also like your assessment about the range of bands from the fun party rock type stuff, to the classic surf sound, to the people taking it as if 1964-65 didn't happen (Madeira).

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

I like it because when it's done right it gives me goose bumps, and makes me shiver like I just got a chill.
and of course the no lyrics thing is a nice 2nd runner up.

Jeff(bigtikidude)

Jeff(bigtikidude)

It's powerful, it's melodic, it evokes intense emotions, it's complex yet simple; to me it's deadly serious, but not full of itself; it's cool; it's innocent yet evil; and above all else....... it's FUN! Surf always puts a smile on my ugly mug.

Bob

Last edited: Jul 10, 2016 22:29:39

For me, it's hard to stay in a bad mood, when listening to surf guitar and instrumental rock.

Matt

Fast Cars & Loud Guitars!

Today I was buying some strings for a cheap guitar (I keep in my car to practice with) at the local Guitar Center. Some guy was shredding one riff after another, and quite well. However technically precise he was, it wasn't music, instrumental or ortherwise. It was more like yelling with a guitar.
Surf, in most cases, has an identifiable melody (somewhere), and can become a memorable icon, ie, Miserlou, Pipeline, Surf Rider/Spudnik.
No one will remember this guy except that he was annoying as hell.

<i>"In the beginning there was Nothing. Then it Exploded"</i>

It makes it less embarrassing when your mom walks in on you while you're pretending to surf on your futon if you're listening to it.

Jon
It makes it less embarrassing when your mom walks in on you while you're pretending to surf on your futon if you're listening to it.

shit, dude, that's what you're afraid to get caught doin'?

I had my mom walk in on me once - I was 16 and it was the first time my girlfriend slept over .... we were NOT pretending to surf on the futon, though one might mistakingly think we were practicing our body-board skills. Shocked I was also playing non-surf music at 3 am way too loud and I don 't think it would have been any less awkward had it been surf-music.

as things turned out, I married this girl 14 years later. Cool

WR

Rules to live by #314:
"When in Italy, if the menu says something's grilled, don't assume it is."

https://www.facebook.com/The-Malbehavers-286429584796173/

.. oh, and why I like surf music? what's to tell. let the people who don't like surf music explain themselves, huh, they're the ones that have some explaining to do!

WR

Rules to live by #314:
"When in Italy, if the menu says something's grilled, don't assume it is."

https://www.facebook.com/The-Malbehavers-286429584796173/

WR
.. oh, and why I like surf music? what's to tell. let the people who don't like surf music explain themselves, huh, they're the ones that have some explaining to do!

WR

Good point. By the way, in my experience, surf music is a crowd pleaser at gigs - even if people don´t exactly know what you´re playing, they find it fun, most of the time.

http://www.myspace.com/cochabambas
http://gianninisupersonic.blogspot.com

WR

Jon
It makes it less embarrassing when your mom walks in on you while you're pretending to surf on your futon if you're listening to it.

shit, dude, that's what you're afraid to get caught doin'?

Well, I'm 23 years old, and I live in my mom's basement. Also, there are no girls anywhere near my room. Just me. In my underwear. Damn, I shouldn't have said that. Laughing

I like surf because it's what I grew up with. Rap is crap, hip hop & pretty much everything on the radio sucks except for a few oldies & classic rock stations.

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