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El Ray @ Surfer Joe 2014
El Ray @ Surfer Joe 2014

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Stories with tag: "kelp"

KELP On The Beach - Grover Beach, CA

Last Saturday in Grover Beach, slightly South of Pismo Beach, Santa Barbara's Surf Band KELP played a corporate gig for CoastHills Credit Union.  CoastHills employs 225 people with branches from Lompoc, CA to Paso Robles, CA.  Beach Butlers out of San Luis Obispo set up tiki torches, fire rings, chairs, cabanas, food & beer while KELP played 4 long sets, ending with their last song as the sun disappeared over the horizon. 

Not only were these the nicest people (they paid us each in cash with little thank you cards and hand written notes) but they hauled our gear with trucks down to the beach.  Mind you, you can drive trucks, dune buggies, ride horses and camp at Grover Beach.  There's a little bit of everything going on here. 

My 7 year old daughter, Keilana brought her maracas, tambourine and an assortment of shakers, joining us on stage and salting the music with her "instruments".  And at the end of the night she said to me "So, daddy - how much money did I make at this gig?"  Really?  Naturally I paid her an undisclosed amount.

To those of us that have had this experience of playing on the beach, facing the waves as they crash on the shore, watching bikini beauties stroll by, guys ripping it up on the waves and finally, the setting of the sun, there is absolutely nothing like it.  It's truly a zen moment.  I encourage everyone that can to do this!

Looking forward to playing the third year in a row next year.  Thanks CoastHills!



Battle of the Bands - Santa Barbara

The Battle of the Bands always seemed like a cool tradition back in the heyday of surf with a bunch of reverb heads grinding it out to see who was king of the spring.  I haven't seen many battles these days and those that I have rarely included an instrumental band.  Kelp attempted to remedy that situation by entering the Santa Barbara Independent's 2013 Battle of the Bands.  Amazingly we made the first cut from ~50 bands to semifinal list of 12.  After an online voting poll and some judging by local music industry types, a final 6 were chosen to play live in the final contest.  We were plenty surprised (and stoked) to make the finals with a group of more commercial indie and rock acts.  Each audience member got 1 vote and a panel of "industry" judges got 25 votes each.  Each band had just 20 minutes - we had to narrow things down to 5 songs, a bit of trad, a bit of fuzz, some happy melody, some driving reverby darkness.  When it was all said and done, we ended up second in the closest contest they've had in the 5 years of the contest - 75-78.  I admit we were a bit let down at not getting the winner-take-all prizes, which included some a spendy guitar and bass that we could have easily sold - the real prize was 12 free hours at arguably the best studio in SB.  Ah well, the new album will have to wait a bit longer.  In the end, we realized that, while we may not have come out on top, we had a blast and gained a bevy of new fans; nothing to be bummed about!