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Slacktone report, 3/25/06 SBI, Melbourne, FL

Man, where to begin...

The venue is one that I hadn't been to in FL before called the Sebastian Beach Inn, right on the water. I went with my wife, my brother, and my fellow Cavefish. (Coincidental anecdote: the SBI was also where Reuben and Patty, Cavefish bassist and rhythm guitarist, respectively, had their first date at a Dick Dale show, during which a space shuttle launched at Canaveral...DD broke into an impromptu version of the "Star Spangled Banner" as the shuttle went up over the ocean. Reuben & Patty are now married with a kid.) The SBI is a pretty fair sized joint, and borrowing a phrase from Dr. Rich, it would take at least 200 people to make the place not look like a barn. There are actually 2 stages - one on the deck outside, overlooking the ocean, the other is inside, where the bands played that evening (it was too chilly outside, otherwise).

So the stage is set, and the Thrusters do their thing. I'd seen the band open for DD about 4 or 5 years ago (DD stories are the lube that keeps the conversations flowing all night, it seemed). They did a few surf tunes...very raw, distorted, and garagey. They threw out a couple of Shadowy Men numbers for Reuben in salute to his SMOASP t-shirt, followed by some vocal numbers ranging from Neil Diamond to Chuck Berry...overall, a fun band, and cool guys.

In what seemed like no time at all, The Thrusters broke down, and Slacktone was up (the fact that Dusty was using The Thrusters' kit helped, I'm sure). Now, I can't say with any certainty which songs came first, or even it what order, it never occurred to me to write them down, but from the first note I was BLOWN AWAY. The original songs I distinctly remember being played..."Blast Bolero," "Rell Sun Aloha," "PCH," "Hitman," "Tiki Bar Crawl, ""Tidal Wave," "Bell's of St Kahuna..." all just completely shook me...if there were any missed notes or flubs, they got past me undetected. Covers included "Baja," "Hawaii 5-0," "Misrlou," and a silky-sweet instro version of "Be My Baby" that was dedicated to Cait of the Defiant Ones. I've seen dozens of shows, surf and otherwise, and I have never seen another guitar player with the energy and technical prowess Dave Wronski brings. Ever.

Now as a guitar player, it's easy to focus on Dave, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the rhythm section...Sam and Dusty are as much the glue that holds the thing together as Dave is. Dusty Watson has to be the hardest-hitting drummer I have ever seen. Lightning fast, hard as nails...everythime there was a break in the drums, it looked as though Dusty, with his head between is knees, would faint, then out nowhere, the seisemic pounding would start again. I've seen Dusty and Sam play with DD....but this is a whole other animal.

Now, just when you think the set is over Dusty announces some friends in the audience...out come Dr. Rich and Cait to throw in a Defiant Ones tune. I'll be apologizing from now to Armageddon, but for the life of me I can't remember the name of the tune they did. By special request, James of the Thrusters joined Dave and the boys back onstage for a final go-round of "Rumble" - and after a brief stab at the first few notes of a Buck Owens tune, the show was over.

After the set, Dave was super cool, guit-geeking with a few of us about what has to be his most worn-through topic: his guitar rig. Now, whether Dave came up to chat with us out of benevolence, or unfounded paranoia that we may have run off with his Echo-plex remains uncertain. I mentioned to him that as a guitar player, I didn't know whether to burn all my gear in a giant bonfire, or quit my day job and lock myself in a room for 6 years with nothing but a porthole for sustinance, a guitar, amp and reverb tank. Dave's response..."Oh, c'mon man (smile) I guess the stuff I play just doesn't seem that hard."

As I posted on the MySpace page...I've never been to The Vatican, or Mecca, or Tibet, but I have seen Slacktone. So I guess those other places really aren't that big a deal.

Update on Jimmy Dale from Dick Dale

(I received this from Dick Dale via email)

thank you all for your caring on jimmy dale's healing and recovery...we feel it

After performing two explosive concerts with his dad dick dale, one being a lifetime achievement award from so cal music awards at the Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro, Ca.

Then the following weekend with bow wow at The Henry Fonda theater in Hollywood, Ca.

then the next day, Jimmy ripping on the drums with the pros at The Guitar Center in Hollywood and then playing dueling guitars with his dad in the guitar room only to be struck down from a freak accident while riding the desert with his friend out at the dry lake bed in joshua tree.

his friend shot out in front of him kicking dirt up in his face and they were both at a high rate of speed and before jimmy could shut down he hit a large rock and was thrown from his 250 dirt bike landing directly on his elbow breaking it into 3 pieces and shattering and driving the bones of the elbow 6 inches up into his arm.

jimmy's arm was stitched up at the High Desert Hospital in Joshua Tree, Ca. and after viewing the xrays the decision was immediately made to rush jimmy to Loma Linda Hospital in Loma Linda, Ca..

the surgeons reviewed the xrays and were negative in the outcome. they thought jimmy would lose the use of three of his fingers from nerve damage and that jimmy would have to battle a bone disease for the rest of his life from the dirt driven up into the bone.

After a day of surgery from the greatest surgeons to be, their talent produced the outcome that they feel that jimmy would make a full recovery in time, but would have to live with a steel plate in his elbow along with two large steel rods traveling inside his arm. jimmy is moving his fingers at this time...

he is now walking around with a robotic arm cast and freaking out people when they see him.

we are praying for his complete healing and that jimmy will be able to play his guitar and his drums with his dad dd, stronger than ever....

The Moral of this story...... PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE - ''YOU YOUNG RIDERS'' out there...... if you think you are invincible ....

please take a lesson from Jimmy...... PROTECT YOUR ELBOWS and everything else on your body when you ride...... DICK DALE

Pollo Del Mar Year of The Rooster Contest!

In celebration of the release of their new CD "The Year of the Rooster", Pollo Del Mar is running a contest with a truck load of fabulous prizes! Head on over to the contest page for the rules and the quiz questions. Hurry up because the deadline is March 31!

Ferenc on Songwriting

I pulled this article from the Yahoo Group archives. Ferenc from Pollo Del Mar created this great post on songwriting way back on 16 December 2002. People still refer to it to this day, so I had to archive it here on the new site. Enjoy!

There is more to this story, continue reading ...

Nebulas "Surf Party" Guitar Tab

In order to seed the new Tablature section, I have submitted a tab I did a long time ago: The Nebulas arrangement of The Astronauts classic "Surf Party". Well, it's the lead guitar part anyway. Anyone got the rhythm part figured out?

Please leave comments and corrections!

There is more to this story, continue reading ...

New Topic: Tablature

I thought I would create a new topic called Tablature, where, well, people can post tablature! These tablature "stories" will be archived on the site. The advantage of publishing tablature as stories as opposed to just making text files available for download is that people can leave comments on them. Thus, we can get a little peer review action going.

The current difficulty with posting tablature as a story is we need a way to display the tablature in a non-proportional font so all the staff lines line up correctly. The current javascript editor I have installed doesn't let you do that, yet. I will look into configuring it to do so. The other option is that I throw away that javascript editor (as it doesn't like the Mac Safari browser anyway), but that would force people submitting tab to pick up a little HTML. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this, so leave a comment below.

Until we get this editor business sorted out, if you would like to submit a tab that you have created, just email it to me and I'll format and post it for you.

The Ventures @ The Birchmere, Alexandria VA 15-Mar-2006

Read on for this show report from Carol, aka mom_surfing. She caught The Ventures live at The Birchmere in Alexandria, Virginia on March 15, 2006.

There is more to this story, continue reading ...

Event Calendar Now Available

I have just installed an event calendar. If you have an event (show date, release date, etc.) that you would like to publicize, just click on the Calendar and then Submit Event Info. Fill out the form, paying careful attention to the event date (it defaults to today). Then click Submit Event to send the info to me for approval. Please leave a comment here if you have any problems or questions. Thanks!

Fender American Vintage Reissue Jaguar Review by Carol

(This review submitted by Carol, aka mom_surfing. Big thanks to Carol for submitting the first review for this site!)

I have been playing guitar for 7 years and concentrating on surf instrumentals for almost the last 2. I am just someone who has a passion for playing and play at least 2 hours a day. I've been on a quest these last two years to find the 'perfect' surf guitar, asking a lot of questions and opinions of others and trying out different instruments. My first guitar was/is an American standard strat. I also have a PRS custom 22 (definitely not surf) and happily stumbled onto a ventures model MIJ jazzmaster. I have fairly small hands and long fingers and found the neck on the jazzmaster a little fat up past the 12th fret, but what a nice tone it has, especially for rhythm. My search for an in-stock jag, white with the red tortoise pick guard, or any jaguar for that matter, yielded none. I had to order one. Fender didn't have any in stock so I patiently waited four months for it's arrival. And, it was well worth the wait. Fender ships these from the factory with 10's, so I had the tech set it up with 11's before I took it home. He commented on what a nice instrument it was and said he did very little to it (one little shim) and a slight truss rod adjustment. To my eyes the workmanship is A+. My primary sound set up is a fender deluxe reverb and a RI outboard reverb (I also have a twin reverb but it's too heavy to drag around, so it's my back up). From the first few notes i played i knew it was the sound i've been looking for! With so many switch combinations it's easy to find the right 'voice' for leads and rhythm. The neck is comfortable in my hands. I know we all play differently and hear things differently, but for me I feel I've finally found the 'perfect' surf guitar. It was money well spent.

Double Crown On The Rocks Podcast Is Back!

The Double Crown On The Rocks Podcast is back! I tried doing a show last year, but gave up after 5 shows because it wasn't turning out very good with the equipment I had at the time. I now have an iBook with Garageband 3 and doing good-sounding podcasts is a snap now. I hope to do at least one new show each week. This week's show features two tracks from The Nebulas' brand new, self-titled CD. Check it out at:


I will be working on getting it up on iTunes as well.


Double Crown Records